Ph.D., Syracuse Univ.
M.A., Cal. Polytechnic State Univ.
B.A., Brigham Young Univ.-Hawaii
Dr. Tennyson O’Donnell is an experienced administrator and teacher. He
leads the Allan K. Smith Center
for Writing and Rhetoric in an endowed position, which offers a minor in
Rhetoric, Writing and Media Studies, administers Trinity’s writing requirements
and writing assessment program, and provides special programming for
student-writers and faculty.
Dr. O’Donnell is the Senior Director at the Center for Academic and
Experiential Advising, the central hub for the Trinity Plus curriculum, where
he coordinates many academic resources on campus as part of the Academic
Dr. O’Donnell also directs the First
Year Seminar Program, which offers small, discussion-rich classes, created
out of a faculty’s passion for a subject, where all First Year students read
critically and engage intellectually with a diverse group of peers to write
regularly and develop research skills becoming enculturated into the behaviors
of successful student-writers and college learners.
Dr. O’Donnell is also the Faculty Lead in the Trinity-InfoSys Partnership,
which provides new Business Analysts at InfoSys with eight weeks of training,
uniquely fusing business analysis, design thinking, liberal arts skills, and foundational
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.