Alden Wood

Image: 
Wood, Alden
Literature

Biography

Undergraduate institution: CSU Long Beach

Graduated from SFSU: MA in English Literature, 2011

Other related SFSU certificates/degrees: MA Humanities, 2013

Current employer/institution and position: Ph.D. Student in English and Critical Theory at the University of California, Irvine

After receiving my MA in Literature from the English department at SF State, I enrolled in the single subject teaching credential program at CSU East Bay. I went on to teach 9th and 12th grade English at a high school in Oakland, CA. I taught for three years at a school in a resilient lower-socioeconomic community where all of my wonderful students were young scholars of color. Many were English language learners and almost all of my seniors were going on to become first-generation college students. It was an absolute honor to help these students on their path towards a college education. My time in the MA Literature program at SF State undoubtedly helped inform my pedagogical practice. From being a T.A. for Gitanjali Shahani and getting the invaluable experience in leading a few meetings of her course on the postcolonial novel to Lawrence Hanley’s seminars on instructional design and backward planning – the experience gained from the MA Literature program prepared me well for future teaching positions.

Now living in the Los Angeles area, I am currently in the Ph.D. program in English and Critical Theory at the University of California, Irvine. At UC Irvine, I am presently the program coordinator for the Culture, Law, and Capital Center. I also teach an introductory course in argumentative research writing in the composition program. The professionalization opportunities offered in the MA Literature program at SFSU are currently serving me well at the Ph.D. level. The opportunity to present my intellectual work at SF State’s annual Graduate Research and Creative Works Showcase and the Humanities Graduate Symposium prepared me for field-specific professional conferences at the national level. The opportunity to publish my writing in the English department’s graduate journal Interpretations helped prepare me for publishing in indexed peer-reviewed publications. The faculty in the English department’s MA program in Literature were invaluable in helping me transition from MA student, to high school teacher, to Ph.D. student. I am fortunate enough to still remain connected to several SF State faculty, and I am humbled to say that a few have even been kind enough to comment on my current academic projects even five years after I graduated the program – talk about dedication to your students!