University of Minnesota
center for writing

Center for Writing alumni—Alex Mueller

read another alum's response

11 Questions for Center for Writing Alums

  • Alex MuellerYour name: Alex Mueller
  • Your email:
  • When did you work with us?  I worked with the Minnesota Writing Project from the summer of 2003 through the summer of 2007.
  • What was your role? teaching/research assistant
  • What education and/or occupation(s) have you pursued since working with us?  I worked for two years (2007-2009) as an Assistant Professor of English at the State University of New York - Plattsburgh.  I am currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston (2009-present).

Reflections on your center experience:

  • Did your work with us influence your educational or occupational choices? If so, how?  Completely.  I often tell people that I wouldn't have a job without the Minnesota Writing Project and the Center for Writing.  C4W not only immersed me in the writing culture at UMN, but also involved me in a national organization (National Writing Project) focused on the teaching of writing.  This real time social network for writing teachers offered an almost ideal balance between theory and practice, which was integral to my choice to work with secondary and college English instructors.
  • What are the most significant abilities, values, or skills that you developed in your work with us?  It's difficult to limit the number of "most significant" abilities, etc. because the C4W and MWP helped me develop in a wide range of areas, from educational research to grant writing to digital pedagogy to workshop facilitation.  If I had to pick one, though, I think I would select the value of collaboration, mostly because it's capacious enough to capture the productive challenges I experienced in planning MWP events and initiatives, team teaching, and writing workshop participation.  
  • In your personal and professional life today, how do you find yourself using what you learned from working with us?  Even though I am not actively involved in NWP in my current position, the NWP philosophy of "teachers teaching teachers" informs the structure for the "Teaching of Literature" and "Teaching English with Technology" courses that I regularly teach.  I also find myself ardently defending public education in the face of mounting criticism and scrutiny.  It's a shame that the public is often misinformed about the dedication and excellence of writing teachers at all levels across the country. 
  • Anything else you want to tell us and your fellow Center alums?  Someday I hope I can begin to repay the great debt I owe all of you for your friendship and support.
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  • Provide a link to your personal or professional website (if you’d like to).