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Tennyson L. O'Donnell
Director, Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric, and Allan K. Smith Lecturer in English Composition
Phone: (860) 297-2206 Office Location: 115 Vernon Street, Rm. 102
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Trinity College faculty member since 2012
General ProfileTeachingResearchPublications/PresentationsHonors/Awards
Ph.D., Syracuse Univ. (2005)
M.A., Cal. Polytechnic State Univ. (2000)
B.A., Brigham Young Univ.-Hawaii (1997)

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 is working on a collection of articles for a manuscript, titled Tutoring by Tutors, featuring the scholarship of graduate students in the trenches of writing center work.  Another work in progress, “Reading and Writing the Beauties of a Multifaceted Reality”, explores how students can be taught to write more original claims by analyzing the role secondary sources play in constructing primary texts, thereby shaping what is known and what can be known about the subject.