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Leah F. Cassorla
Visiting Assistant Professor in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric
Phone: (860) 297-2168 Office Location: 115 Vernon Street Room 105A
Send e-mail to Leah F. Cassorla Personal web page
Trinity College faculty member since 2019
General ProfileTeachingResearchPublications/PresentationsHonors/Awards
Ph.D., Florida State Univ. (2015)
M.F.A., Florida State Univ. (2008)
M.A., Univ. of South Florida (2004)
B.A., Valdosta State Univ. (2003)

Born in Beer Sheva, Israel, Leah F. Cassorla moved to the United States as a young child. Though her parents were American, her first language had been Hebrew. As an English learner, Leah insisted to her second grade teacher that having a rule (in this case, "i before e") made no sense if one followed it immediately with a laundry list of exceptions ("except after c, or when sounding like a, as in neighbor or weigh"). Frustrated, Leah's teacher told her, "There are at least 25 exceptions to every rule in English, including this one!" and insisted that Leah simply "get used to it." Leah's response, of course, was to begin to hunt down exceptions. First, she attempted to find all the rules--at least 25--that didn't have at least 25 exceptions. It was not in a spirit of proving her teacher wrong that Leah doggedly pursued the English language, but in a spirit of love for a scrappy language that borrowed freely from every land it touched.

As an adult, Leah moved back to her homeland, where she worked as a technical writer, correcting the written English of her compatriots. After three years, she returned to the United States and to more formal study of English, first earning a Bachelor of Arts in English in the Journalism program at Valdosta State University, where she minored in Creative Writing, and then earning a Master of Arts in English in the Rhetoric and Composition program at University of South Florida.

There, halfway through her second semester, Leah learned she had been accepted to the Fiction program at Florida State University. She finished her MA and defended her thesis by the end of June; she took the plunge into the Fiction program, in all completing 16 graduate credit hours that summer. After she finished her MFA, still in love with both school and the English language, Leah opted to continue for a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition. She stayed at Florida State to do so. Finishing the PhD, however, required a little financial assistance. This came in the form of work on a third Master's degree, this one in Religions of Western Antiquity. Leah taught college-level courses in her mother tongue, Hebrew, while taking a full load of Master's courses in order to subsidize and finish writing her dissertation.

Throughout the process, Leah has come to love English ever more and to appreciate the power of technological networks in ways she never fully had, despite having been exposed to computers and computing for much of her life--long before most people of her generation. Though Leah had had the privilege of being an early adopter in a family of early adopters, her understanding of the importance of computer networks and their ways of connecting people and ideas was completely revolutionized by the dissertation process and the research for her dissertation--so much so that her interests crossed into the questions of the ways in which network theory could be used to explain the emergence of The New Testament and Christianity.

Leah continues to pursue her interests in English, Network Theory, and Digital Convergence; there are still so many exceptions to be discovered.