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Nikki Caswell's Spotlight

Nikki Caswell ('12)

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Graduate Program of Study: Literacy, Rhetoric and Social Practices
Degree: PhD
Graduation Date: August 2012
Areas of Research: Writing Assessment, Teacher Emotions, Response Practices, Writing Centers
Hometown: Perry, Ohio
Current Employment: Director of University Writing Centers/Assistant Professor of English at East Carolina University (tenure-track)


Prior to the completion of her doctoral degree, Nikki aspired to operate her own writing center and teach at the collegiate level.  Luckily, after obtaining a PhD in Literacy, Rhetoric and Social Practices, her future career goals came true as she recently accepted a position at East Carolina University as the Director of University Writing Centers and Assistant Professor of English (tenure-track).

With a fellowship and a teaching achievement award under her belt, Nikki will officially walk across stage with her diploma in August 2012, which she deems will be one of her proudest academic accomplishments.  Her areas of research focus on writing assessment, teacher emotions, response practices, and writing centers; during her time at Kent State University, Nikki has contributed to several publications that highlight her interested research areas.  As a long term goal, Nikki plans to continue her publishing efforts as well as write a book.

Nikki assures that Kent State prepared her for her position at East Carolina University.  “KSU provided me with all of the tools to be a successful teacher, scholar, and administrator. I had the opportunity to gain experience through a teaching fellowship and as a summer Graduate Student Orientation (GSO) leader, as well as working as an assistant director of the writing program as part of my assistantship two years,” Nikki stated.

Nikki acknowledges her mentor, Dr. Brian Huot, for his support.  Nikki exclaimed, “My dissertation chair was a mentor and a friend. We had a great working relationship. He guided my research and helped me see new ways to approach my research questions.”

Running is one of Nikki’s hobbies.  She wishes to provide the following advice to future graduate students: “Get involved. Either in your department, through Graduate Student Senate or GSO, or other university sponsored programs. The relationships you make in these organizations can help you during and after your time at KSU both career and networking-wise as well as support during your studies.”