Simone Sessolo

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Simone Sessolo as our new Associate Director. We are very fortunate to have someone with his experience and initiative in this key role. Simone came to Sweetland in 2012 after completing his PhD in Comparative Literature at The University of Texas at Austin. Through these years, Simone has contributed substantially to many Sweetland initiatives. He has taught Writing 100, 200, and 201; as well as Writing 300 and 301 in the Peer Consulting Program. He’s also offered classes at the graduate level, and was instrumental in creating Writing 631, Dissertation Writing. With Louis Cicciarelli, he co-directed the Dissertation Writing Groups and the Dissertation Writing Institute, and he led a group of colleagues in developing the Dissertation ECoach, a messaging tool that provides targeted feedback to writers. Furthermore, in 2021 he won the Digital Studies Institute inaugural teaching award—strong evidence that his pedagogy in digital rhetoric and graduate studies is excellent!

In his teaching philosophy, Simone has written that his goal is to promote a rigorous, but accessible, rhetorical methodology. We can all agree that his words support Sweetland’s mission when he says that “I situate rhetoric as a civic discourse that enables students to contribute to and shape the communities they live in. […] I relate discourse to the practical, everyday lives of students, and I help them develop the necessary skills to be active citizens in their communities.” Specifically addressing issues of diversity and inclusion, Simone recognizes Sweetland’s collaborative efforts, and in particular the work of the Sweetland’s Anti-Racist Task Force: “It is impossible to separate my activities, struggles, and plans from those of the members of the Task Force. My professional skills and experience enhancing campus equity and inclusion would be moot were it not for the strength and support that is born out of collaborative activism.”

In describing his goals for Sweetland, Simone seeks to pursue a humanistically conceived and ethically attentive approach to working with the Director and everyone in Sweetland to make sure that our center continues to support student writing at all levels and in all forms and modes. As Associate Director, he is in charge of outreach to departments and centers, supervising First-Year Writing Requirement courses and approving courses taken elsewhere for Transfer Credit, as well as providing assistance for faculty across the university who are preparing and developing writing courses and assignments.

Welcome, Simone!