Welcome to Scott May’s professional and creative portfolio:

Scott May is an award-winning educator, life-long learner, published writer, and creative thinker. On this site can be found May’s

Curriculum Vitae

Education

Master’s Degree | Composition and Rhetoric, Eastern Illinois University, 2014
Bachelor’s Degree | Literature & Writing, Eastern Illinois University, 2012
Associate Degree | Journalism, Lake Land Community College, 2010

Academic & Civic Appointments

Full-time (T) English Faculty, Delaware County Community College, 2022- Current
  • 050 Developmental English(Classroom)
  • 100 English Composition (Classroom, Asynchronous/ Synchronous)
  • 112 Writing through Literature (Asynchronous/ Synchronous)
Writing Professional Tutor, Le Salle University, 2022
  • In person and online writing tutoring
Communications Manager, Awbury Arboretum, 2022
English Adjunct & First Generations Retention Specialist, Delaware County Community College, 2021- Current
  • Improve advising services for First-Generation College Students
  • Enhance entry processes to support First-Generation College Students with applications, registration, and financial aid processes 
  • Design supportive coursework for First-Generations College Students
  • Practice and refine a student Accompaniment Philosophy
  • Implement and design a worthwhile orientation program
Records and Communications Secretary, East Falls Community Council (RCO), 2021 – current
  • Council communication system redesign summer 2021
  • Weekly Newsletter “East Falls This Week” Editing and management (MailChimp)
  • Info@eastfallscommunity.org email management
  • Managing HostGator (the platform for all EFCC emails including zoning, events, etcetera)
  • Keeping an active/paid “good standing” members list in coordination with the Treasurer.
Adjunct Faculty, Philadelphia, 2018-2019

IVY TECH COMMUNITY COLLEGE (2014-2018)
  • Academic Director/Faculty Lead ASAP Accelerated Program 2015-2018
  • Assistant Professor of English, 2015-2018
  • Writing Center Coordinator (Writing Row), 2014-2018
  • Faculty Fellow, 2014-2015

Adjunct Faculty, Parkland Community College, 2013-2014
Writing Center Consultant, Parkland Community College, 2013-2014
Writing Across the Curriculum Faculty Fellow, Easter Illinois University, 2013-2014
Writing Center Graduated Assistant, Easter Illinois University, 2012-2014

Administrative Experience, Committees, and Services

Academic/Faculty Director and Advisor for ASAP (Accelerated Program)
“Writing Row” (writing consulting) Founder and Coordinator
First Year Composition Statewide Redesign Committee
Various Hiring Committees
Academic Discipline Committee
Writing Judge for Annual Optimist Club Scholarship
High Risk Student Retention Task Force 
Chancellor’s Cabinet bi-annual participant with the Board of Directors
Coordinator (and host) of Annual Storytelling Night, a partnership with Student Life
2018 Indiana Statewide Student Success Summit (invitation only)
Faculty Mentor for Zero-level writing instructors (2017-2018)
“Talking with your Students about Grades” ITCC Campus presentation (2014)

Teaching Coursework Experience:

Delaware County Community College (Fall 2021 – )
Decoding College and Creating Community (Non-credit First Generation Student Support Course)

Adjunct (Fall 2018- Fall 2019)
HALL 400 Fourth Year Capstone Portfolio and Reflection
WRTG 100 Intro to College Writing

Ivy Tech Community College (Fall 2014 – Spring 2018)
English 112 (Distant Learning/Video Hybrid, Second-Year College Composition)
English 111 (First-Year College Composition F2F & Online)
English 111 (Co-Rec) (Zero-level/First-Year Composition Hybrid)
English 112 (Second-Year College Composition)
English 223 (American Literature Survey, Post-Civil War – Post-Modern)
Liba 227 (Liberal Arts Capstone Course, Digital Portfolio)
Accelerated Program (ASAP) Friday Enrichments
Accelerated Program (ASAP) Orientation Week

Parkland Community College (Fall 2013)
English 101 (First-year College Composition)

Eastern Illinois University (Spring 2012)
English 2001 (Advanced Composition, Graduate Assistant)

Publications

“The Space Between.” Graduate Writing Across the Disciplines: Identifying, Teaching, and Supporting. WAC Clearing House. University Press Colorado. 2020
Evaluation of Student Writing and its Effects on Motivation (Eastern Illinois Master’s Thesis / Winner of the Award of Excellence), 2014
“Is it Really My Fault: Sharing In-Class Discussion” During Office Hours, 2017

Creative

“Jack After Jill” Leaves of Ivy (An Ivy Tech Student/Faculty partnership publication), 2016
“Aromatic” The Fox Magazine (Chicago, Illinois), 2014
“Still Moving” Vine Leaves (Vignettes: the forgotten art, Australia), 2012
“Learning Curve” The Vehicle (An Eastern Illinois University publication), Fall 2010

Volunteer Efforts and Memberships

East Falls Executive Committee, Recording Secretary/Correspondence, 2021 – Current                   Friends of the Wissahickon Valley (Thursday Trail Steward 2019)
East Falls Neighborhood Clean-up 2019 – Current
NPR Contributor 2015- Current
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Member 2014- Current
National Parks Conservation Association 2014 – Current
Friends of the Wissahickon Valley (Thursday Trail Steward) 2019

Scott May’s Awards include:

  • Consecutive Excellence in Teaching nominations for every teaching year at ITCC (student nominated)
    • Outstanding Contribution Award for the ASAP program at ITCC
    • Excellence in Advising Award for ITCC (Student Nominated)
    • Master’s Thesis Award for Excellences EIU
    • Editor Choice “Best Of” annual Micro Poetry Publication Vine Leaves 2014

*The Scott May Faculty Recognition Award (awarded annually to an ITCC ASAP student)

Professional Philosophy

As a teacher, trainer, academic mentor, and writing consultant, I have come to appreciate four key approaches to teaching others how to become better learners. Those approaches are

  • Kairos,
  • Becoming a student of my students,
  • Accompaniment,
  • Authenticity & candor.

The first is the idea of Kairos: seizing momentary opportunities for teaching. Kairos dictates that the teacher must be prepared to forego the plan and address the often unpredictable learning needs or curiosities of the learner/s. Learning happens most authentically when the learner is at the stage of development to ask for information or to ask to learn a skill. In that moment an educator must be ready to seize: Kairos. With this skill and preparation, the educator can meet the timely and natural course of progression for the learner.  It creates a symbiotic teaching/learning atmosphere. 

The second is Mina Shaughnessy’s idea of becoming a student of our students. My strategy with this approach is to frequently place myself in teaching positions to learn more about the learners with whom I work. I design curricula with this approach in mind, too. The more I know about the learner the better I can assist them, and the better I can realize those needs for Kairos as mentioned above. Additionally, being a student of my students is the first step into creating an environment of inclusivity and personal respect.  

The third is Dr. Paul Farmer’s approach to care utilizing his philosophy of accompaniment. Think of this philosophy as an I’m-with-you-through-thick-and-thin approach, or as Farmer put it, “to be present on a journey with a beginning and an end.” As an educator, I want to be present through the learning process, which is to implement accompaniment. This approach can be as an advocate and as a motivator for the learner – even a fellow learner. Advocating for students and/or vocalizing support for a cause important to the student community is another way to practice accompaniment. In other words, I go to bat for the students I represent. Moreover, motivation offered from a learning companion cultivates the kinds of relationship sought after through institutional efforts of student engagement.  Signals of encouragement and mutual investment or even co-ownership of learning efforts are extraordinarily beneficial, of course. It is of no surprise then that my accompaniment demeanor is highly preferable to that of the error-finder or critic, which many students mostly associate with teaching. More holistically, the philosophy of accompaniment pivots the teacher-student posture from adversarial to collaborative. Along the same root of philosophy, I redirect students’ attention to the act of learning and personal growth as the objective of education and away from the front-and-center “gpa,” or the diploma-exchange-for-job perception of “education”. With my accompaniment, I regard myself as a learner, a life-long learner, who operates without the need for grades, which illustrates by practice the point of education. 

A closely related approach is sharing authenticity with learners. Since I am a learner too, it is important that I embrace and share my weaknesses in the process of learning – as I said, this approach is closely related to accompaniment. The phrase “I don’t know, but let us both find out together,” is just one example of how authenticity can be utilized to build working relationships. In every classroom, of every semester, I am along for the learning ride just the same as the scholars enrolled in my coursework. In this same spirit, my curricula design incorporates many opportunities for students to teach me throughout the semester. This approach is probably my most controversial philosophy when it comes to teaching. In my experience, my peers, advisors, and hiring committees prefer the air of expertise guarding the front of the room, marking errors, and building an undeniable ethos.  The latter of which, however, I know can coexists with authenticity and free of affectation. Affectations, which stem from insecurities in so many teachers today, damage the three approaches above.

Beyond these traits in my educational philosophy, I practice an extremely high form of personal and professional responsibility. Holistically, a responsible educator is one who embraces a community of learners and represents that community as an ambassador always. It is my responsibility to build pride in my community and environment through demeanor and action. For me, that means I must be present, timely, accountable, and wholehearted with all that I do on campus and off. That air of responsibility must be made contagious, too, insomuch as it must be expected of others with the same manner with which responsibility is practiced.

Diversity Statement Narrative

The first time I had the opportunity to teach a literature class was with a post-civil war American survey course. The class was part of an existing accelerated program for economically disadvantaged students, and the syllabus I was handed was heavily composed of people who looked like myself, a white man with gray hair. Because of the design of the program, I knew somewhat in advance the demographics of my class, which included only two white men out of 25 students. I was concerned by the previous reading material set for this program, and I knew changes were in order.

Since the program was accelerated, only eight weeks of scheduled class time for the survey, I wanted to avoid lengthy readings, and I wanted the literature readily available online to spare the students the financial burden of purchasing the books. In addition, the program was designed to work in tandem with a history course of the same period. So, with those restrictions, along with my own limited knowledge, my options to make the reading list more just were somewhat limited. I chose those with whom I was familiar, mostly. For example, I chose Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Sandra Cisneros to name some – after all this was an 8 week survey course. But with Cisneros at the time, I was only familiar with her by name – believe it or not.

While “teaching” her novella, The House on Mango Street, I learned most of the ten Hispanic women in the class had already read the book at least once. My initial feelings were mixed. I felt my ignorance in assigning literature I assumed would be new to the students because it was new to me, I felt shortsighted in assigning literature I assumed was college challenging, and I felt a bit concerned that the students would know more about the literature I was “teaching” than I knew. All of my thoughts were valid, though they shouldn’t have been concerns. Not at all. 

Through that Cisneros unit, I experienced the power of vulnerability, which I had prized as an avenue to authenticity before, but this time the depths of my exposure was almost uncomfortable. I was laughed at when I didn’t know what a quinceañera was. Hell, I was laughed at every time I tried to pronounce Esperanza with my white, St. Louis hard-schwa accent. But, I found success at being laughed at. Conjuring their laughter at me was a success because I knew that everyone other than the Hispanic women in the class didn’t know much of anything about the condition of being a Latina in Chicago exactly as those women did. So, every time the class and I laughed at me, I showed the purpose, and the fun it could be, closing our cultural distances with each other. I was the example of a learning individual and there was nothing wrong with my ignorance being the source of good natured humor. And in that rare position, one that certainly should not be rare in the college atmosphere, I played the role of the student for the benefit of everyone in the room. I was able to ask the sensitive questions candidly. For example, when Esperanza and her friends in the novella tried on high-heeled shoes for the first time and were accosted by an older man, I was able to ask the probing questions I assumed most men (five in the class) had curiosities about, and which led to a deeper understanding of the text for the class, including myself. 

Overall, the students’ actions of teaching me through that unit broke down a barrier I’ve long wanted demolished, and it stayed down with that cohort for the remainder of our time together. For example, one student shared with the class then that she did not have a speech impediment until she was forced to learn English by a strict and intimidating grade school teachers. I wasn’t aware she had a “stutter” until she began to become more vocal in class. It was at this time too that one of the white male students shared with the class that they preferred the genderless pronoun and shortly after began coming to class with a drastically changed style. I suspected too that with having the opportunity to experience the rewarding feeling of playing the role of the expert, the students gained a greater since of confidence in addition to the sense of inclusivity.

That is to say that I’m aware that I don’t know what I don’t know. I have much to learn, as we all do. But, instead of hiding behind some affectation like so many teachers of all backgrounds do, I know that learning along with learners is a remarkable position to be in, and it is one that I prefer. An authentic learner in a room of learners is an opportunity, a moment of Kairos, no matter the demographic of any classroom or teacher. I am comfortable turning my shortcomings into sincerity and strength to benefit learners from either side of the desk. And, I will never understand why anyone would twist and contort that opportunity into a such a horrid detriment such as insecurity, fear, and hate. 

Ultimately, I have taught myself that it is my duty to play the role of the outsider for the benefit of learners, especially as it is my privilege to conclude that role at the end of every class. In that regard, it maybe a “best practice” for a teacher to treat themselves as an outsider so students can take ownership of the inside.