Ashley Summer Boyd.Working at the intersection of educational theory, literacy, and minoritized communities, Associate Professor Ashley Boyd is reshaping English education and helping to transform the lives of high school students across the nation. She is the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of English.

What is your main research topic?

My research focuses broadly on social justice education. As a former secondary English language arts teacher, my scholarship examines practicing teachers’ equity-related pedagogies and their critical content knowledge, or knowledge of society and contemporary issues that they connect to classroom curriculum. More recently, I have focused on how young adult literature in particular is an avenue for cultivating students’ critical understandings of the world and how it can motivate them to take social action.

What classes do you teach?

I teach “Approaches to the Teaching of English and Young Adult Literature” in our undergraduate English education program and “Critical and Cultural Theory and Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies” in our graduate program. Teaching brings me great joy and is truly my passion.

What brought you to WSU Pullman?

I came to Pullman to take the position in the English department after graduating from my doctoral program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During my interview [at WSU], I fell in love with the landscape, the university, and the people here. I wanted to join a community that valued colleagueship and supported students holistically, and I found that here.

How has COVID-19 changed how you teach?

In face-to-face settings, my teaching is dialogue-centered and activity-based. I wanted to make sure that was still the case when adapting to the online environment. COVID-19 has challenged me learn new technology tools that engage students and to design experiences that still elicit similar kinds of participation. I’ve gotten more creative with discussion methods and ways to facilitate student interaction. I feel like my pedagogical toolbox has definitely expanded in recent months.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I am a die-hard UNC basketball fan!

Top image: Ashley Boyd (photo by WSU Photo Services)

From WSU Pullman Facebook page for the #WSUFacultyFriday feature

Top photo: Ashley Summer Boyd