What drew you to the law?
When I was a young writer and English teacher, I admired civil rights lawyers. Later, as a journalism professor, I was asked to teach a college course on mass communication law. It quickly became my favorite class. I loved the bold promise of the First Amendment, but I also valued the careful thinking that was involved in cases that weighed the freedom of speech against competing values such as public safety and personal privacy.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy the good humor and energy of my students. To teach writing, I must often critique their work. I comment on everything from their understanding of statutes and selection of cases to their legal arguments, sentence structure and grammar. I am repeatedly impressed by their eagerness to hear criticism so they can grow. That is a mark of maturity and professionalism.
What do you hope students gain from your courses?
I hope my students gain confidence in their ability to identify a legal problem, find and understand the relevant law and write a sound analysis of the issues.
What did you do prior to entering academia?
I wrote for newspapers in the Midwest and then for the Associated Press broadcast wire and CBS News in New York. I taught journalism in several settings: a private college, an African university and a state prison.
What are you passionate about outside of the law?
My family. I love spending time with my husband and our wonderful sons.
What are your research interests?
My research focuses on the role of the news media in public conflict and conflict resolution.