Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Cunningham, As Dedicated As They Come

Dr. Jennifer Cunninham, an Associate Professor and Writing Program Coordinator at the Kent campus,

is as dedicated as they come.

Dr. Cunningham has had a passion for teaching since her days as an undergraduate. She earned her BA in Integrated Language Arts from Malone University, her MA in Composition with a Certificate in Linguistics from the University of Akron, and a PhD in Literacy, Rhetoric, and Social Practice from Kent State University. 

Today, she is the Writing Program Coordinator and teaches Introduction to Composition Theory. Her role as the Writing Program Coordinator involves making sure that faculty teaching composition has the information and support necessary to meet the learning outcomes mandated by the State of Ohio and the University. Dr. Cunningham also works directly with all faculty who teach College Writing, which she enjoys thoroughly. 

Outside of teaching, Dr. Cunningham spends a great deal of time with research. Her two main areas of research are online writing instruction and digital African American Language. She is currently part of a four-person research team who studies online writing instruction. She traveled to the University of Utah last semester to conduct observations and interviews with students and instructors in hybrid writing courses. Dr. Cunningham is currently using the data she and her team collected to write an article that examines peer review in online and hybrid courses.

Dr. Cunningham has received several awards since beginning her career. In 2018, she won the 2018 Computers and Composition Ellen Nold Best Article Award for her research on Digital Afircan American Language in Text Messages. That same year, her research team was awarded the Conference on College Composition and Communication Emergent Researcher Award for “Cross-Institutional Study of Communities of Inquiry in Blended and Online Composition Course.” Her team also received a $10,000 grant, which they used, in part, to fund their research at the University of Utah. 

As far as her future career plans, Dr. Cunningham is not sure where her career might take her. However, she hopes that whatever she ends up doing happens at Kent State. She loves her job, her position as the Writing Program Coordinator, and hopes to continue working at Kent State for the foreseeable future. 


Written by William Picha, Writing Internship Program Intern


POSTED: Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 10:22am
William Picha, Writing Internship Program Intern