Sarah L. Skripsky
Associate Professor of English
Director of the Writing Center
Phone: (805) 565-6122
Office Location: Reynolds Hall 102
- Rhetoric and composition (history of rhetoric, epideictic rhetoric, minority and women’s rhetorics, rhetoric in Christian tradition, composition pedagogy and assessment, writing across the curriculum, writing center studies)
- Postcolonial literature and theory (international fiction, literary nationalism, periodical studies)
Having joined Westmont’s English department in 2008, Sarah (Yoder) Skripsky is grateful to be in such good company. As an undergraduate, she studied at Northwestern College, a Christian liberal arts college akin to Westmont, and met faculty mentors who inspired her to commit to a teaching career. While studying abroad in Mexico City and rural Wales, she pursued interests in creative writing and postcolonial studies. She earned her Ph.D. in English at Texas Christian University, and there also studied the history and theory of rhetoric, the rhetorical practices of women and minorities, and composition theory and pedagogy.
At Westmont, Prof. Skripsky teaches writing and literature courses and directs the campus writing center, Writers' Corner, where talented peer tutors strive to minister to each writer who enters. She also enjoys collaborating with colleagues in Communication Studies: she has co-taught with Dr. Deborah Dunn (Ireland Mayterm program) and Dr. Omedi Ochieng (Wisdom and Folly in World Literature). In addition to her academic pursuits, Prof. Skripsky has been known to volunteer at the Westmont Gardens and join the horn section of the Westmont Orchestra. A native of the Midwest, she has resigned herself to “suffering for the Lord in Santa Barbara” along with her husband, Scott, and daughter, Josephine.
- Ph.D., English (Rhetoric and Composition), Texas Christian University (TCU)
- B.A., Humanities (English concentration), Northwestern College of Iowa (NWC)
Courses Taught at Westmont
- ENG 002: Composition (Stewarding Writing, Rhetorics, and Cultures)
- ENG 044: Studies in World Literature
- ENG 087: Introduction to Journalism
- ENG 104: Modern Grammar and Advanced Composition (Style)
- ENG 160: Women Writers
- ENG 165: Topics in World Literature (Postcolonial Literature)
- ENG 165/COM 138: Topics in World Literature (Wisdom and Folly)
- ENG 167: Writers’ Corner Practicum
- ENG 193/COM 195: Narrating Ireland
Select Publications and Presentations
- Co-author (with Winslow and Kelly). "Not Just for Citations: Assessing Zotero while Reassessing Research." Chapter in Information Literacy—Not Just for Librarians: Issues in Assessment, Teaching, and Application. Ed. D'Angelo, Jamieson, Maid, and Walker. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press, 2016. *forthcoming
- “Rereading [John Tinney] McCutcheon’s Suffrage Plots: Rising Action in the Archive.” In The Critical Place of the Networked Archive: A Case Study with Suffrage Cartoons: special issue of Peitho (The Journal of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition) 17.1 (2014).
- “Spaciousness and Subjectivity in Alice Walker’s Womanist Prose: From Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own to a Garden with ‘Every Color Flower Represented’.” In Virginia Woolf & 20th Century Women Writers. Critical Insights Series. Ed. Artuso. Pasadena: Salem Press, 2014. 228-42.
- Co-author (with Covington, Lee, and Stern). “Irreducibly Embodied.” Review of James K. Smith’s Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works (2013). Books and Culture Jan./Feb. 2014.
- Co-author (with Tatiana Nazarenko). Poster Presentation. "Closing the Loop with Limited Data: Assessing Writing across the Curriculum with a Senior E-Portfolio Assessment." WASC Academic Resource Committee. San Diego, April 2013.
- Co-leader (with Elisabeth Piedmont-Marton), Special Interest Group (SIG) for Small Liberal Arts Colleges (SLAC): "SLAC-ers Unite: Finding Power and Making Knowledge in a Small College Setting." International Writing Centers Association Conference. San Diego, Oct. 2012.
- Co-author (with Covington, Lee, and Stern). "Habits of the Heart and Mind: Teaching and Christian Practices." Review of Smith and Smith's Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning (2011). Books and Culture, July/Aug 2012.
- "NSSE Results as Mapping for Mission." (presentation). Panel: The Consortium for the Study of Writing Survey as a Gateway to Writing Assessment, Faculty Development, and Program Building: A Comparative Perspective. Conference on College Composition and Communication. St. Louis, March 2012.
- "Christian Formation and the Liberal Arts." Colloquium Presentation with Jesse Covington, Maurice Lee, and Lesa Stern. Educating for Wisdom Conference. Institute for Faith and Learning, Baylor University. Waco, Oct. 2011.
- "WACky Cartography: Coding the Contours." Research Presentation. Dartmouth Summer Seminar for Composition Research. Hanover, Aug. 2011.
- "Sounds of Music and Pictures of Style in Advanced Composition." Conference on College Composition and Communication. Atlanta, March 2011.
- Research presentations at the International Seminar on Epideictic Rhetoric and the RSA Research Network Forum. Rhetoric Society of America Conference. Minneapolis, May 2010.
- Co-editor (with Richard Leo Enos et al.). The Rhetoric of St. Augustine of Hippo: De Doctrina Christiana and the Search for a Distinctly Christian Rhetoric. Rhetoric and Religion Series. Waco: Baylor UP, 2008.
- “The Red Dragon: The National Magazine of Wales (1882-1887)”; “Wales: A National Magazine for the English-Speaking Parts of Wales (1894-1897)”; and “Young Wales (1895-1904).” Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism. Ed. Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor. London: The British Library and Ghent: Academia Press (hard copy); ProQuest (online), 2008.
- Associate Editor. Advances in the History of Rhetoric: The First Six Years (1997-2002). Ed. Richard Leo Enos, David E. Beard, Sarah L. Yoder, and Amy K. Hermanson. West Lafayette: Parlor Press, 2007.
- “Postcolonial Nation-Building and the Fin de Siècle Literary Press: The Case of Wales and the Red Dragon” (presentation). Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. New York, Sept. 2006.
- “Confounding Logic, Remaking Rhetoric: New Rhetoricians’ Response to the Confines of Modern Reason” (presentation). Rhetoric Society of America Conference. Memphis, May 2006.
- “Narrations of Literacy: Reassessing Literacy through Welsh Bilingual Policy Debates” (presentation). Conference on College Composition and Communication. Chicago, March 2006.
- “In Search of Textual Gardens: Mary Daggett Lake’s Garden Rhetoric—Writing Conviction Through Place” (presentation). Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) Conference. Houghton, MI; Oct. 2005.
Select Professional Service and Development
- Director, Tutor Conference of the Southern California Writing Centers Association; Santa Barbara, Spring 2016.
- Director, Writers' Corner (writing center); Westmont College, 2008-present.
- Personnel Committee; Westmont College, 2015-17
- Diversity Committee; Westmont College, 2012-14.
- Faculty Search Committee; Westmont Art Department, 2014.
- Faculty Search Committee; Westmont English Department, 2013.
- Faculty Mentor and Co-Investigator (with Grace Miller): “WACky Cartography: Mapping Writing Across the Curriculum.” Provost’s Summer Research Assistantship for the Humanities. Westmont College, Summer 2012.
- Lead Assessment Specialist for General Education (Written Communication Outcomes); Westmont College, 2011-2012.
- Admissions and Retention Committee; Westmont College, 2009-2012.
- Research Participant; Dartmouth Summer Seminar for Composition Research, 2011.
- Co-Leader (with Deborah Dunn), Narratives of Conflict and Reconciliation off-campus program (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland); Mayterm 2010.
- “Wales Writes Back: National Periodicals as a Response to Empire” (presentation); British Studies Research Colloquia; TCU, 2007.
- “Teaching Students How to Conduct Research and Evaluate Sources” (presentation); TCU Composition Program, 2007.
- Graduate Consultant (Tutor); TCU Center for Writing, 2005-2007.
- Graduate Instructor; TCU English Department, 2004-2007.
- Research Assistant to the Radford Chair of Rhetoric (Richard Leo Enos); TCU, 2005-2006.
- “Approaches to Teaching Public Discourse Analysis” (presentation); TCU Composition Program, 2005.
- Instructor in Spoken English; TCU Intensive English Program, Summer 2005.
- Volunteer, Write to Succeed program (writing workshops for victims of domestic violence); Women’s Haven of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, TX, 2004.
- Assistant to the Director, El Centro Luterano (The Lutheran Center); Mexico City, Summer 2000.
Awards and Honors
- Professional Development Grant for the Wisdom and Folly in World Literature curriculum project (collaboration with Omedi Ochieng); Westmont College, 2013.
- Nominee for Faculty Council; Westmont College, 2013.
- Interdisciplinary Study Grant ("Christian Formation and the Liberal Arts: Critical Engagement and Application"), Westmont College, 2011.
- Professional Development Grant, Westmont College, 2009.
- American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) Dissertation Award (runner-up), 2008.
- Pass with distinction, Ph.D. dissertation, 2008.
- Pass with distinction, Ph.D. qualifying exams, 2006.
- Dissertation Fellowship; TCU English Department, 2007-2008.
- Nokia Research Award (supporting research at the National Library of Wales), 2006.
- VanArsdel Prize (runner-up); Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, 2006.
- Graduate Teacher of the Year (finalist); TCU Composition Program, 2006.
- Graduate Student of the Year; TCU Department of English, 2005-2006.
- Australia Tarver Award (Best Critical Essay on Race, Postcolonialism, or Multi-Ethnic Studies): “Reassessing Celticism: James Bryce as Celtic Iconoclast”; TCU Creative Writing Awards, 2005.
- William L. Adams Writing Center Prize (Best Essay on Rhetoric and Composition): “The Problematics and Possibilities of Border-Crossing Pedagogy”; TCU Creative Writing Awards, 2005.
- Lillian and Rupert Radford Fellowship in Rhetoric and Composition; TCU, 2003-2004.
- Co-Winner, Faculty Honors Award; NWC, Class of 2002.
- Jackson Hospers Memorial Prize for Poetry; NWC, 2002.
- Beacon Award for Campus Journalism; NWC, 2002.