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Tennyson L. O'Donnell
Director, Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric and Allan K. Smith Senior Lecturer in English Composition
Phone: (860) 297-2206 Office Location: 115 Vernon Street 215
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Trinity College faculty member since 2012
General ProfileTeachingResearchPublications/PresentationsHonors/Awards
Ph.D., Syracuse Univ.
M.A., Cal. Polytechnic State Univ.
B.A., Brigham Young Univ.-Hawaii

Tennyson O’Donnell is an experienced teacher, administrator, and communications consultant.  He has worked as a writing center director, a start-up consultant to community colleges to establish their own writing centers, a curricular and program evaluator, as well as a technical writer for various private companies.  His expertise in composition and cultural rhetoric informs his approach to teaching beginning and advanced writers to see writing and research beyond simple vocational skill sets.  O’Donnell believes student-writers can learn to ask questions about the function of writing that will serve to sharpen their awareness of the discourse of their discipline and explore how that discourse participates in meaning-making.

O’Donnell and Jack Dougherty are co-editors of Web Writing: Why and How for Liberal Arts Teaching, a book that explores integrating web tools into what we value most about a liberal arts education: the intensified learning opportunities presented by writing across the curriculum. Whether a persuasive essay, scientific report, or creative expression, all academic disciplines value clear and compelling prose. The act of writing visually demonstrates how we think in original and critical ways, and more deeply than what can be taught or assessed by a computer.