Bio for Jeff Andelora
I began my career as an English teacher at Mesa High School in 1986 and ten years later joined the English department at Mesa Community College (MCC). This was the job of a lifetime, and I knew then that I wanted to work at MCC for the rest of my career. Because my primary assignment was teaching first-year composition, and because I wanted to be as effective a teacher as possible, I enrolled in ASU's PhD program in rhetoric and composition. The degree took me nine years to complete--I was married with children and working full-time--but it remains the academic accomplishment of which I'm most proud.
As current chair of MCC's English department, most of my duties are administrative; however, I do teach two classes each semester--generally one section of First Year Composition (ENG 101 or ENG 102) and, recently, one section of Teaching Composition in the Two-Year College (ENG 295), a course for current and prospective community college English faculty. I'm also active in a number of professional organizations, including The Two-Year College English Association (TYCA), the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), and the National Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA).
I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, the eldest of five children. One of my biggest joys as a kid was playing soccer: I began playing when I was ten, and went on to play for my high school, for a local club that toured Europe in three Volkswagon buses during the summer of 1974, and then for the University of Buffalo. When I was twenty years old, I decided that before getting too rooted in Buffalo, I needed to see more of the country and moved to Tempe, Arizona to attend ASU. Although never part of a conscious plan, Tempe became my long-term home, and I've lived here ever since. I'm married to Amy, who teaches high school English and is one of the most amazing people (and writers) I know. We live with Chelsea and Caitlin, our two teenage daughters, and Charlie, our bouncing, 90-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Like Thoreau, one of my literary heroes, I try to live deliberately, tending carefully to the relationships and activities I'm involved in. While most of these activities are happily rooted in my roles as father, husband, and teacher, I also spend a fair amount of time reading and writing, tramping through the rough searching for errant tee shots, cheering for Cait at her soccer games, muttering apologies to Bach for what I'm doing to his three-part invention in B-flat, and sitting quietly.
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