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College of Communication & Creative Arts - Writing Arts

Rowan University

Writing Arts Faculty

Dawn Schulde
Phone: 856-256-4345
Office: 141 Bozorth

Stephanie Heiser
Phone: 856-256-4096
Office: 201 Hawthorn

Department Fax: 856-256-5730

Jennifer Courtney, Interim Chair
E-mail: courtneyj [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Duquesne University
M.A. Western Michigan University
Ph.D. Purdue University


Jennifer Courtney teaches Introduction to Writing Arts, Evaluating Writing, Sophomore Engineering Clinic I, Situating Writing, and the graduate Teaching Practicum.

Her research interests are curriculum development in stand-alone writing majors, writing program administration, and cultural studies; her work has been published in several books and journals, including Rhetoric Review, Design Principles and Practices, and Composition Forum.


Anahita Bassiri
E-mail: bassiri [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Temple University
M.A. Georgetown University

Anna Bassiri has been teaching at Rowan University since 2005 where she has taught Foundations for College Writing, Intensive College Composition I, and English as a Second Language Classes in the Pathways Program. Professor Bassiri holds a Master of Arts Degree in ESL and Bilingual Education from Georgetown University. Her research interests include methodologies for effective writing instruction for ESL students and multilingualism.


Ronald Block
E-mail: blockr [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
M.A. Syracuse University
M.S. Syracuse University


Ron Block serves as the graduate program advisor. He teaches undergraduate and graduate-level creative writing, focusing on poetry and the short story. His books include The Dirty Shame Hotel and Other Stories and Dismal River, a collection of poetry. His work has been published in numerous journals, including Epoch, Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, Midwest Review, Southern Review, and Ploughshares, as well as the anthologies A Different Plain, The Big Empty, Nebraska Presence, and many others. His radio interview program Writers’ Roundtable is broad- and podcasted from WGLS-FM.

In addition to being a two-time winner in the Minnesota Voices Project, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Nebraska Arts Council in 2000. In 2002, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowship. He has an MA in Creative Writing and an MS in Television-Radio-Film, both from Syracuse University.


Katherine Brown
E-mail: brownks [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. La Salle University
M.A. Temple University

Kate Brown has been teaching at Rowan University since 2005. She teaches primarily in the First-Year Writing Program and serves as Course Coordinator for College Composition I. She also teaches Writing for the Workplace and enjoys the opportunity to work with students outside of the Writing Arts major.


Christine Bryant
E-mail: bryantc [at] rowan [dot] edu
M.A. Monmouth University

Christine Bryant received a Master of Arts in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing-Poetry from Monmouth University, where she was also awarded the English Award for Graduate Study. Additionally, Columbia University’s School of the Arts awarded her The Writing Program Scholarship for their Master of Fine Arts Program in Writing. Christine's poetry is published in the 2011- 2013 issues of Monmouth Review and the 2014 issue of Wormwood Online Magazine via Talking Weeds Press. She is presently working on her manuscript. For more information, please visit


Katie Budris
E-mail: budris [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Hope College
M.F.A. Roosevelt University

Katie Budris earned her M.F.A. in poetry and has had her work appear in over a dozen literary magazines. Her debut chapbook, Prague in Synthetics, was published in March 2015 by Finishing Line Press. She is currently working on her first full-length poetry collection. Her interests include poetry, literary theory, and the transferability of writing across disciplines. At Rowan, Katie teaches first-year writing courses, creative writing, and Editing the Literary Journal for the MA program. She also serves as the Editor in Chief for Glassworks—the Master of Arts in Writing graduate literary magazine, which can be read online at For more information, please visit


Julia MacDonnell Chang, Professor Emeritus
E-mail: chang [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Stonehill College
M.S. Columbia University
M.A. Temple


Julia MacDonnell Chang's second novel, Mimi Malloy At Last, was published by Picador in 2014. Her first novel, A Year of Favor, was published by William Morrow & Co. She is the nonfiction editor of Philadelphia Stories, a quarterly journal of literature and art in both print and online formats.

Professor Chang publishes under her maiden name, MacDonnell. Her story, "Soy Paco," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her story collection, Plight of the Piping Plover, was named a finalist in the 2012 Spokane Prize for Fiction, and was short-listed for the 2012 Snake Nation Press fiction prize. Her articles and book reviews have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia and the New York Daily News, and the Philadelphia City paper.

She is the recipient of two fiction fellowships from the N.J. State Council on the Arts, two Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation fellowships for residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, a Pulitzer Traveling fellowship, an excellence in journalism fellowship from the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation and numerous other awards for her journalism and fiction. Samples of her writing are available on her website,


Andrew Davison
E-mail: davison [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Gettysburg College
M.F.A. Rutgers University

Andrew Davison teaches a range of courses in the First-Year Writing and Honors programs, and Writing, Research, and Technology in the Writing Arts major. He also serves as Assistant Director of the Rowan Writing Center and Managing Editor of Glassworks—the Master of Arts in Writing graduate literary magazine. His short fiction and essays have placed in several contests and have been published in print and online. In addition to creative writing and composition, his interests include digital rhetoric and media, multimodality, and their role in the college classroom.


Celeste Del Russo
E-mail: delrussot [at] rowan [dot] edu
BA in Writing and Literature, Wheaton College, Massachusetts
MA in English, University of New Orleans
MSc in Higher Education, University of Oxford
PhD in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English, University of Arizona

Celeste Del Russo directs the Rowan Writing Center, where she collaborates with students, tutors, and faculty across the disciplines. As a teacher, she writes with her students to articulate the connections between place, learning, and knowledge production, and her pedagogy engages students with resources available on campus and in their local communities. Currently, she teaches Tutoring Writing.

Professor Del Russo's research interests include composition pedagogy, community-classroom archiving, and writing center histories, and she has published in Reflections: A Journal of Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing, and Service Learning, ​Kairos/Praxis and in a forthcoming collection, Making Space: Writing Instruction, Infrastructure, and Multiliteracies.


Tiffany DeRewal
E-mail: derewal [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Messiah College
M.A. Villanova University

Tiffany DeRewal teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program, including Foundations for College Writing and College Composition II. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in American literature from Temple University; her dissertation research focuses on the cultural and literary currency of medical rhetoric during the Revolutionary era. Tiffany’s research and teaching interests include cultural studies, film studies, mass media, and information literacy. Her work has been published in the journal Literature and Medicine, and one of her most recent presentations was a lecture on bodysnatching in colonial Philadelphia at the Museum of Morbid Anatomy.


Tim Donaldson
E-mail: donaldsont [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Cedarville College
M.A. Villanova University

Tim Donaldson has been teaching first-year writing courses since 1998, and he has been teaching at Rowan University since 2013. In 2014 he began a new chapter in his life when he enrolled in Fairfield University’s Low Residency M.F.A. program for fiction.


Gracemarie Mike Fillenwarth
E-mail: Fillenwarth [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. King's College (PA)
M.A. Virginia Tech
Ph.D. Purdue University

Gracemarie Mike Fillenwarth received a Ph.D. in English with a focus on Rhetoric and Composition from Purdue University. She currently teaches Sophomore Engineering Clinic I and Introduction to Writing Arts. Her previous teaching experiences include technical writing, business writing, and global engineering. She also has professional work experience in technical editing.

Dr. Fillenwarth’s research focuses on writing pedagogy across a range of contexts, including second language writing and writing in the disciplines, in order to improve practices in the teaching of writing. Her recent work examines the rhetorical strategies engineers employ to convey their expertise in résumés.


Marie Haughton Flocco
E-mail: flocco [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Saint Joseph’s University
M.A. Carnegie Mellon University

Professor Flocco earned her M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition from Carnegie Mellon University and has been teaching first-year writing and public speaking since 2001. She joined the Rowan’s Writing Arts faculty in 2010. She teaches Intensive College Composition I and College Composition II. Her recent conference presentations focus on the Studio component of ICC1 and its pedagogical influence on the classroom/writing center relationship.


Joseph Giampalmi
E-mail: giampalmi [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Widener University
M.Ed. Widener University
Ed.D. Temple University

Dr. Joseph Giampalmi has been teaching at Rowan since 1998. He teaches CCI Honors Sports Concentration, CCII Honors Technology and Publication, Honors Business Writing, and Writing As Managers. His research interests include brain-friendly learning, writing-to-learn, and Common Core Standards.

Dr. Giampalmi has published three sports books and dozens of articles for national publications. Since 1985, he has been writing a semi-monthly education column ("Conversations in Education") for Town Talk Newspapers (Media, Pa.) and has published more than 700 columns. In addition to consulting with schools and businesses, he has presented to local, regional, and national audiences.


Ai Guo Han
E-mail: han [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Xi’an International Studies University
M.A. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. Indiana University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Ai Guo Han has been a member of the department since 1993. He teaches College Comp I, College Comp. II and Chinese language courses. His research interests include social cognitive learning and rhetorical traditions of philosophical Daoism.


Erin Herberg
E-mail: herberg [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.S. Western Carolina University
M.A. Western Carolina University
Ph.D. Georgia State University


Dr. Herberg teaches College Composition I and II, Writing for the Workplace, Writing, Research and Technology, and Contemporary Rhetoric. Her research interests include the history of rhetoric, women and rhetoric, and assessment.


Marya Hornbacher
E-mail: Hornbacher [at] rowan [dot] edu

An an award-winning essayist, journalist, and the New York Times bestselling author of five books, Marya Hornbacher’s work has been published in eighteen languages, and her writing across genres appears regularly in literary and journalistic publications around the world, including recent and forthcoming work in AGNI, Gulf Coast, Fourth Genre, The Normal School, DIAGRAM, Broad Street, The Bellingham Review, and Vestoj. Her research interests include the intersection of creative writing and critical theory, literature and gender, humanist ethics, and the American mythos. Her sixth book, a work of long-form journalism on science and the mind, will be published in 2018, and her seventh, a collection of essays on solitude, will appear the following year. She was recently honored with the Annie Dillard Award in Creative Nonfiction.


Edward (Ted) Howell
E-mail: howelle [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Eastern University
M.A. Villanova University

Ted Howell teaches courses in the First-Year Writing program and Sophomore Engineering Clinic. As a Ph.D. candidate in English at Temple University, Ted is writing a dissertation about modernist fiction, ecology, and vitalism. Both his research and teaching are driven by his interests in climate change, science fiction, and the geological concept of the Anthropocene. Recently, Ted’s course on “cli-fi” was featured in The New York Times and The Atlantic.

Lisa Jahn-Clough
E-mail: jahn-clough [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Hampshire College
M.F.A. Emerson College


Lisa Jahn-Clough received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in 1994, the same year her first book, Alicia Has a Bad Day was published. Alicia is still in print and was developed into an ITunes app. To date Lisa has written and illustrated twelve picture books, including My Friend and I, Little Dog, and A Tale of Two Bunnies, and has written three young adult novels, Country Girl/City Girl, Me, Penelope and most recently, Nothing But Blue (all published with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Her books have received awards and exemplary reviews from Bank Street College, Child Magazine, Parent’s Choice, Raising Readers, and Her current book project is a series of Early Readers, illustrated by her husband, author/illustrator/professor, Ed Briant.

Lisa came to Rowan in 2010 and teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses in creative writing, writing children’s stories, and writing the graphic novel. Prior to Rowan, she taught at Emerson College, Maine College of Art, Vermont College of Fine Arts and Hamline University. She has helped to develop numerous students’ careers as published authors, editors and agents in the children’s literature field. In addition, Lisa is a frequent speaker in elementary, middle, and high schools and libraries, promoting literacy and writing to children. She is on the board of the PEN Children’s Book Caucus. You can find more about Lisa and her books on her website:


Andrew Kopp
E-mail: kopp [at] rowan [dot] edu
Ph.D. University of Arizona


Drew Kopp received his Ph.D in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English from the University of Arizona in 2009. Both his scholarship and teaching focus on the practice and theory of rhetorical inquiry in a variety of contexts: he currently teaches Evaluating Writing, The Writer's Mind, Writing, Research, and Technology, and a new course for Writing Arts majors called How Writers Read.

Dr. Kopp has published articles in Rhetoric Review (2013), JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics (2012), and in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy (2010).

For more information, please see Dr. Kopp's website here.


Cynthia Kopp
E-mail: koppc [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.S. University of Florida
M.A. University of Arizona


Cindy Kopp primarily teaches First Year Composition, including Foundations for College Writing, and Composition for TESOL students. She has also taught the Technologies & the Future of Writing module for Introduction to Writing Arts, and brings her interest in New Media to all of her classes. Cindy is ABD (all but dissertation) in the interdisciplinary doctoral program in Second Language Acquisition & Teaching from the University of Arizona. Her research interests cross the divide between linguistic anthropology and rhetoric and composition, focusing on study abroad narratives.


Deb Martin
E-mail: martind [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.S. Western Michigan University
M.A. Texas Woman's University
Ph.D. Texas Woman's University


Deb Martin is an associate professor. She joined the department in 2003. She teaches Tutoring Writing and Perspectives in Assessment. Her research areas include writing assessment and writing pedagogy. Her work has been published in various books and journals including Middle School Journal, Writing Program Administration, Disability Studies Quarterly, and Assessing Writing. Dr. Martin directed the Rowan Writing Center from 2009 to 2011 and is now director of the University’s Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.


Jeffrey Maxson
E-mail: maxson [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Yale University
M.A. University of California at Berkeley
Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley


Jeff Maxson teaches Writer’s Mind, Issues in Composition Studies and Core I. He is currently looking at how alternative discourse forms—multi genre writing, translation, parody—open up new spaces for writers. This may be especially the case for writers who are non-native or non-standard-dialect speakers of English. Ultimately such efforts can challenge the notions of “good,” “acceptable” or “beautiful” writing in academic settings, and help us more eagerly embrace the differences among us.


Joe McGee
Email: mcgeej [at] rowan [at] edu
B.S. Rowan University
M.A. Rowan University
M.F.A (July 2014) Vermont College of Fine Arts


Joe McGee is the author of Peanut Butter & Brains (Abrams, 2015). Professor McGee received his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts low residency program. He is represented by Linda Epstein of the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency. Joe is working on several picture books, revising a middle-grade novel, and at work on a graphic novel collection. Peanut Butter & Brains was wonderfully reviewed in the New York Times and Washington Post, as well as in a wide range of academic and professional outlets.

Professor McGee is a product of the Rowan graduate writing program, the 2012 Medallion Award winner, and 1st place recipient of the 2012 Rowan University Prize for Poetry. He teaches Writing Fiction, Creative Writing I and II, The Writer’s Mind, Composition II, and Sophomore Engineering Clinic.

He is extremely invested in helping writers better themselves through growth and development, as well as celebrating their successes and achievements. For more information, please visit


Keri Mikulski
E-mail: mikulski [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.S.N. Thomas Jefferson University
M.A.T. The College of New Jersey
M.F.A. Rutgers University

Keri Mikulski is the author of the young adult novels Head Games, Stealing Bases, Making Waves, and Fifteen Love. Following and prior to her four-book deal with Razorbill/Penguin, she sold short stories, poetry, and creative nonfiction to Current Health 1 and 2, Highlights for Children, LiveStrong, Romance Writers Report, Whirlwind Journal, and many other publications. She is represented by Three Seas Literary Agency.

At Rowan University, Keri teaches creative writing courses, Sophomore Engineering Clinic I, and first-year writing courses.


Jude Miller
E-mail: millerju [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Rutgers University
M.A. Rutgers University


Jude Miller has been teaching writing at Rowan University since 2009. He teaches a number of courses including Foundations for College Writing, Intensive College Comp I, College Comp II, and Sophomore Engineering Clinic. His most recent conference presentation analyzes the scholarship on responding to students’ work in revision-based writing classes, while also examining the technology available for providing feedback to student writing. He has also recently presented at the Philadelphia Writing Program Administrators’ Conference on teaching interdisciplinary classes that connect composition and STEM courses. Professor Miller is the Course Coordinator for College Comp II.


George Mote
E-mail: mote [at] rowan [dot] edu
A.S. Gloucester County College
B.F.A. Emerson College
M.A. Lehigh University
Ph.D. Lehigh University (in-progress)

George Mote teaches in the First-Year Writing Program where he integrates digital practices with the composition classroom to emphasize the collaborative and social nature of writing. His research in composition focuses on the foundational writing classroom and he blends his research in rhetoric and post-45 American fiction to focus on the rhetorical impact of narrative perspective in the post-45 novel. He enjoys working with first-year students to produce writing portfolios that recognize the crucial role that revision plays in any writing process.


Anthony Palma
E-mail: palmaa [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Saint Joseph’s University
M.A. Arcadia University

Professor Palma has been teaching writing and English courses since 2008. He has been at Rowan since 2014, where he has taught College Composition I and II. He is interested in working with students in order to help them get the most out of their college experience. He has been trained in the Safe Zone program at Saint Joseph’s University, and is looking forward to getting involved in the program here at Rowan.

Professor Palma has published poems in several journals, and is currently working on a book-length collection.


Kimberlee Peters
E-mail: peters [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Bryn Mawr College
M.A. Bryn Mawr College.


Kim Peters holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a master's degree in history of art. She teaches Foundations for College Writing, Intensive College Composition I, and College Composition II, and is the department liaison to Rowan's Camden campus. Kim especially enjoys working with freshmen and helping all of her students succeed in meeting their educational and career goals.


Amy Reed
E-mail: reeda [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. & B.S. The Ohio State University
M.A. University of Dayton
Ph.D. Virginia Tech


Amy Reed joined the department in 2012. She currently teaches Writing for the Workplace and Evaluating Writing. Her teaching approaches aim to help students cultivate greater rhetorical awareness and confidence when approaching new writing situations.

Dr. Reed's research interests are in medical rhetoric, technical and professional communication, disability studies, and theories of written communication. She is currently researching the rhetorical elements of prenatal testing for Down syndrome—including how medical professionals represent testing options and disability and how pregnant women represent prenatal decision-making. In addition, she is working collaboratively with an interdisciplinary research group to study the experience and needs of individuals receiving a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. More information about the study can be found here:


Rachael Shapiro
E-mail: shapiror [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. State University of New York, Plattsburgh
M.A. Washington State University
Ph.D. Syracuse University


Rachael Shapiro teaches Writing, Research, and Technology and Intro to Writing Arts. She works with students to develop their rhetorical flexibility across a range of writing spaces and genres, focusing on questions of social and political relevance. She has taught developmental, freshman, critical research, professional, and digital writing classes both online and face-to-face, in addition to years of writing center work. Her research centers on digital literacies, feminism, and globalization. Her work has appeared in Computers and Composition Online, The Basic Writing eJournal, Literacy in Composition Studies, and Reflection.


Christopher Tirri
E-mail: tirri [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Hofstra University
M.A. University of Delaware

Christopher Tirri teaches within the First-Year Writing program, primarily College Comp I and College Comp II. He currently serves as the Social Media and Marketing Editor for Glassworks—the Master of Arts in Writing graduate literary magazine. His academic interests are cultural studies, popular culture, and digital writing.

Jennifer Tole
E-mail: tole [at] rowan [dot] edu
Ph.D. Temple University


Dr. Jennifer Tole earned her Ph. D. from Temple University before coming to Rowan in 2014. She teaches Sophomore Engineering Clinic I, Writing for the Workplace, College Composition I and College Composition II.

Whether it is in the composition classroom, in training students to communicate as successful professionals, or in helping engineering students navigate technical documents, Dr. Tole views the act of writing as empowering and her goal is always is to inspire students to be more critical readers, more effective writers, and more informed thinkers. Her research interests include technical and professional writing, writing in the disciplines, collaborative writing, and community-engaged learning.


Sevé Torres
E-mail: torress [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. University of California at Berkeley
M.F.A Rutgers University, Camden

Sevé Torres teaches in the First-Year Writing program and has taught composition and creative writing courses on poetry and creative writing pedagogy. With a strong commitment to community engagement he has taught Camden high school students creative writing with a focus on developing interest in writing and making key formal English concepts more accessible to young writers. His passion for teaching and writing are influenced by his research in the fields of social movements, identity, composition studies, rhetorical theory, poetry, and creative writing praxis. His writing has appeared in: Duende, The Crab Orchard Review, and Dismantle: an Anthology of Writing from the VONA/VOICES Writing Workshop.


Sanford Tweedie, (current Interim Dean of the College of Communication and Creative Arts)
E-mail: tweedie [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. University of Michigan
M.A. Eastern Michigan University
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Sanford Tweedie teaches writing at all levels in the department. He has taught at the University of Erfurt in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar and received Rowan's Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. His research interests include students in transition, classroom-based research, genre-stretching writing, and pedagogy that matters.

He is the author of In the Shadows of a Fallen Wall from University of Nebraska Press. His writing has also appeared in College Composition and Communication, English Journal, Exquisite Corpse, and Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, among others.

More information is available at

Gerald Williams
E-mail: williamsge [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. Catawba College
M.A. Rutgers University

Gerry Williams has taught several courses in business and technical writing, college composition, and communication at several institutions including Rowan University, Rutgers University, and community colleges. He published regularly in computer technology media, and he participated in The National Endowment of the Humanities Bridging Cultures Project: Thinking through Cultural Diversity program in 2013. Research interests include computer-mediated communication and intercultural communication. Gerry enjoys working with first-year writing students and motivating them to think critically and to develop their writing styles.


Amy Woodworth
Email: woodworth [at] rowan [dot] edu
B.A. New York University
M.A. Rutgers University at Newark
Ph.D. Temple University


Dr. Woodworth teaches Foundations for College Writing, College Composition II, and Fiction to Film, and serves as assistant coordinator for the First-Year Writing Program. She has published articles on the films of Sofia Coppola and on the film genre “the male weepie.” She currently is a consulting editor for the Journal of Men's Studies. Her research interests include gender studies, film studies, film adaptation, media literacy, genre theory, and the transition from high school to college.


Roberta Zehner
E-mail: zehner [at] rowan [dot] edu
A.B. Rosemont College
M.A Glassboro State College


An instructor in the department since 1990, Professor Zehner teaches in the First Year Writing Program. Teaching College Composition I and II is the perfect place for her to help ease the transition from high school learning to college learning, one of her areas of interest. Her main goal is for students to learn to be critical thinkers, and her assignments and class discussions are geared to allow students numerous opportunities to develop this ability. Learning to read critically, producing a writing portfolio, and speaking in class are the methods by which this goal is accomplished. In her classes, students are urged to participate and soon realize that there is no such thing as a stupid question or a bad idea, just ideas that need to be explored. The emphasis is on learning: it is a rare student entering the composition classroom who has been trained to think critically. Critical thinking has to begin somewhere and Professor Zehner's CCI and CCII classrooms are a good place to start.