Kate Stephenson

Kate Stephenson

Associate Professor, General Faculty, Writing Program

Bryan 302

Office Hours: W 11:30-1, 2-3
Class Schedule: TR 9:30 - 10:45 TR 12:30-1:45 TR 2:00 - 3:15



Ph.D.  University of Virginia, 2001

M.A. University of Virginia, 1997

B.A. Duke University, 1995


Teaching and Research Interests

My teaching focuses on community engagement because I believe that combining community work with academic inquiry fosters powerful learning experiences that help students understand writing as a means of discovery, collaboration, and activism. I also support engaged learning on Grounds by creating partnerships between UVA courses and local organizations, fostering collaboration among faculty, and organizing events that feature public writing.  

Community Engagement; Race and Social Justice; Public Writing; Travel Writing, Twentieth Century literature  


Awards and Grants 

Excellence in Public Service Award, UVA, Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Outreach, March 2021.  

LTi Grant, “Pedagogical Portals: Platforms to Support Community-Engaged Learning,” UVA, awarded Spring 2021. One of five faculty members working on grant to expand technological support of engaged learning in the Writing and Rhetoric Program.  

Jefferson Trust Grant, “The Engaged Writing Project," UVA, awarded Spring 2020-Spring 2022. One of lead faculty members involved in obtaining $100k grant to create infrastructure and expand engaged learning in first-year writing courses at UVA.  

Thrive Grant, Center for Teaching Excellence, UVA, Spring 2020.


Pedagogical Leadership

Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Faculty Fellow (March 2021-May 2023) 

Co-Director, CTE Community-Engaged Teaching Scholars Workshop (May 23-26, 2022 and June 7-21, 2021) 

Facilitator, Summer Institute for Engaged Learning, The Engaged Writing Project, Jefferson Trust Grant, UVA (May 17-20, 2021 and June 8-18, 2020) 

Facilitator, Community Engagement Syllabus Workshop for graduate students (January 18, 2021, December 14, 2020, Fall 2020)    

Founder, Community Writing Symposium, an event held each semester that brings together students, faculty, administrators, and community members to showcase writing projects produced in engaged learning courses (2017-present) 

Panelist, “Words Matter: Teaching Writing and Community Engagement,” Writing Program Panel, University of Virginia (April 21, 2017) 

Facilitator, Central Virginia Writing Workshop, Curry School of Education (September-December 2016) 


Conference Presentations

“Collaborative Writing in Community Engaged Courses: Finding Hope in Writing Together,” CCCC Conference, Chicago, February 15-18, 2023.  

“First Day, Last Day: Using Writing to Create Community,” Experiential Commons Scholar Summit: Community-Engaged Pedagogy and Practice, UVA, March 24-26, 2022. 

“Unsilencing Stories: Writing Opportunities to Share Suppressed Narrative,” Conference on Community Writing, Washington D.C./online, October 21-23, 2021. 

“Writing in Place: Writing Assignments in Engaged Courses that Inspire Wonder, Curiosity, and Creativity,” Innovations in Pedagogy Summit, UVA, May 13, 2021. 

“Going Public: Community Engagement and Writing Transfer,” Mid-Atlantic Conference on College Composition and Communication, Old Dominion University, May 31, 2019. 

“Words Matter: Using Writing to Connect Classroom and Community,” Innovations in Pedagogy Summit, UVA, May 1, 2019. 

“Opening Up: Creating Classroom Conversations about Race, Class, Gender, Politics, and Other Difficult Stuff,” Mid-Atlantic Conference on College Composition and Communication, May 25, 2018. 

“Poetry Reading and Presentation: ‘Caroline,’ “Capstone Literary Festival, Kaplan University, August 15, 2012. 

“Communication, Community, and Authority in the Online Classroom,” Society for Educators and Scholars 33rd Annual Conference: Leadership in a Transforming World, San Antonio, TX, October 7-9, 2010. 

“Writing Nonsense: Sylvia Plath and the Tradition of Nonsense Literature,” Sylvia Plath Symposium, Indiana University, October 29-31, 2002. 

Session Chair, “Children’s Literature” Central New York Conference on Language and Literature, Cortland New York, October, 2001. 

“Beyond Our Borders: Writing Center Outreach Programs,” NEMLA, Hartford, Connecticut, March 30-31, 2000. 

Panel Organizer, “New Perspectives on Old Careers: When High-Brow Authors Write for Children,” NEMLA, Hartford, Connecticut, March 30-31, 2000. 

“When the Little Things Matter: Teaching Writing in a Literature Course,” New York Conference on Language and Literature, Cortland, New York, October 29-31, 2000. 

“Unsung Career: Sylvia Plath as Author and Reviewer of Children’s Books,” American Literature Association Conference, Long Beach, California, May, 2000. 

“Recovering Childhood: Sylvia Plath’s Poetry and the Language of Childhood,” Visions of Childhood: Representations of Childhood in Contemporary Literature in English, University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain, March 9-11, 2000. 

“Jet-Propelled Beds and Bright Mustard Suits: The Children’s Literature of Sylvia Plath,” University of Virginia Graduate Student Conference, April 2, 1999.  

Moderator, “Apocalyptic Visions in Modern Poetry,” University of Virginia Graduate Student Conference, April, 1998.



“Adventures in Travel Writing,” Thoughts from the Lawn, May 24, 2022. 

Editor, Voices, community writing publication featuring the work of Haven staff, volunteers and guests, June 2022.  

Stephenson, K., guest, “Episode 96,” Pedagogue, Shane Wood, host, December 29, 2021. 

Editor, Voices, online zine featuring the work of Haven staff, volunteers and guests, May 3, 2021 and December 1, 2020. 

Community-Engaged Teaching in a Time of Trauma Video Project. Center for Teaching Excellence. September 18, 2020. 

Assistant Editor, Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition, (2018-2019).  

“Revealing Greece,” travel essay, March 31, 2017 in Coldnoon: International Journal of Travel Writing and Travelling Cultures

“Revising Revision: Teaching Students to Revise Essays Effectively December/January 2010. Kaplan University WAC Newsletter

“Rhythms in Poetry: From the Beat of Blues to the Sounds of Everyday Speech,” Instructor’s Guide to  American Passages: A Literary Survey . New York: WW Norton, 2004.  480-525. 

“Poetry of Liberation: Protest Movements and American Counterculture,” Instructor’s Guide to American Passages: A Literary Survey.  New York: WW Norton, 2004. 709-757. 

“Beyond Our Borders: Using A Corporate Model to Fund Writing Center Outreach Programs” Writing Lab Newsletter 26:7 (March  2002):10-14. 

 “’Reading Fiction/Teaching Fiction’: A Pedagogical Experiment,” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture 1 (2001): 143-165.  Written in collaboration with Jerome McGann, et.al. 

“The Real Magic of Harry Potter,” The Looking Glass, <http:www.the-looking-glass.net/> August 2, 2000.