Stanford Old Union



Alyssa J. O'Brien, Ph.D.
Curriculum Vitae 

("The Course of One's Life" or "A Brief Account of One's Career")  -- OED




June 2000


Literature in English: University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

May 1997


Literature in English; Graduate Certificate in Gender/Women's Studies University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

December 1991


Literature in English, Minor in Women's Studies: Summa Cum Laude Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY

Academic Positions:



Stanford Cross-Cultural Rhetoric Project (CCR)


Assistant Director

Stanford University, Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR)



Stanford University

·         Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR), Stanford Introductory Seminars (SIS)



Stanford University

·         Public Policy Department



Stanford University

·         Continuing Studies Program (CSP)


Postdoctoral Fellow

Cornell University

·         Department of English

·         Center for the Study of the Humanities



Eastman School of Music



Department of English, University of Rochester

·         Writing and Thinking Program

·         Creative Writing Program


Teaching Assistant

William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration

Grants & Awards:

Grants and Fellowships: 


2012-2013       SIS-PWR Research Award for Scholarship

2010-2011       SIS-PWR Research Award for Scholarship

2009-2010       Stanford Initiative for the Arts (SICA) Grant for Program Events, Co-PI

2008-2009       Stanford Initiative for the Arts (SICA) Grant for Curricular Innovation, PI

2007-2008       Wallenberg Global Learning Network Grant, Year 2, Project Coordinator, Co-PI

2006-2007       Wallenberg Global Learning Network Grant, Year 1 Project Coordinator

                        for “Developing Intercultural Competencies through Collaborative Rhetoric”

2003 – 2004    Grant for Development of Visual Rhetoric Website, Longman Publishers

1998 – 1999    The University of Rochester Raymond N. Ball Dissertation Fellowship

1998 – 1999    Susan B. Anthony Institute for Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship

1997 – 2000    English Dept Professional Travel and Research Grant, Rochester NY

June 1997        Mellon Dissertation Summer Fellowship Recipient

1995 – 2000    Susan B. Anthony Institute for Women’s Studies Travel Grants



2010 – 2011    Instructor to student, Alison Roy-Ting, winner of Lunsford Oral Presentation of Research Award

2008 – 2009    Instructor to Boothe prize winning student essay, Katherine Disendorf

2007 – 2008    Instructor to Boothe prize winning student essay, Sophie Theis

2007 – 2008    Instructor to Hume Writing Center prize winning student essay, Katherine Heflin

June 2006       Award, Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching

2004 – 2005    Award for Exemplary Service to the Program in Writing and Rhetoric

2002 – 2003    Award for Exemplary Service in Boothe Publication, Stanford University 

2002 – 2003    Instructor to Community Writing Project students winning first prize

2002 – 2003    Instructor to two winning Boothe prize student essays

1999 – 2000    William H. Gilman Memorial Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Candidate


See my research page


International Presentations: 

  • “US-Russian Video Dialogues on Presidential Rhetoric," Felicitology in Education International Conference, Invited Speaker. Khabarovsk, Russia. September 27-29, 2012.
  • “Global Citizenship and the Challenge of Global Learning.” Örebro Conference in Memory of Eva Magnusson. Invited Speaker. Örebro, Sweden, October 7, 2011.
  • “Facilitating Global Learning.” With Olga Kovbasyuk. SIETAR European Congress. Krakow, Poland. September 22, 2011.
  • “Actio: The Visual Rhetoric of Mannequins.” Nordic Intercultural Rhetoric Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, October 6-12, 2010.
  • “Intercultural Communication and Collaboration.” International Conference on Intercultural Communication Competencies (ICCC7). Khabarovsk, Russia, September 14, 2010.
  • “The Writing Center as International Portal.” European Writing Center Association. Paris, France, May 2010.
  • Multimedia Language for the Intercultural Encounter: Lessons in Cross-Cultural Rhetoric,” American University in Cairo, Egypt.  March 2009
  • “The Next Horizon: Writing and Rhetoric, Public Speaking, and Cross-Cultural Communication,” Invited Speaker, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, October 2008 
  • “From Page to Screen:  Rhetoric Traveling Across Media and Cultures,”  Invited Speaker, Presentation at University of Sydney, Australia, August 2008
  • “What Can Rhetoric Do for You?  Rhetoric as a Practical Art”  Invited Speaker, Presentation at University of Sydney, Australia, August 2008
  • “Academic Enculturation: Lessons in Cross-Cultural Communication,” Invited Speaker, Presentation at Seoul National University, South Korea, July 2008.
  • “Global Communication for Leaders:  The Practice of Cross-Cultural Rhetoric,” Presentation at Sookmyung Women’s University, South Korea, June 2008

·         “Writing and Rhetoric: The Curriculum at Stanford University,” Invited Speaker, Conference on Global Learning, Örebro University, May 2-3, 2008.


Invited Presentations, USA: 

  • “Building Collaborative Digital Classrooms,” with Christine Alfano, Julia Bleakney, Helle Rytkonen, and Robert E. Smith. EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, Anaheim, CA, October 2011.
  • "New Media Pedagogies." Santa Clara University, May 2011.
  • National Day of Writing. “From Visual Analysis to Thesis Statements.” Webinar, October 2010.
  • "Facilitating Cross-Cultural Teaching," EDUcause, October 12-13, 2010.
  • "Library Collaboration," Stanford University, August 2010.
  • “Rhetoric of American Advertising,” International VIA Scholars Program, Invited Lecture, Stanford University, August 2009

·         “Connecting Students for Global Learning: Building Intercultural Collaboration into Pedagogy,” Faculty Innovation Showcase, Invited Presenter, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, Educational ELI 2009 Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, January 2009

  • “Harnessing the Power of Communication for Innovation and Leadership,” Invited Lecture, Colorado School of the Mines, Entrepreneurship Program, October 2008

·         "CCR: Wallenberg Showcase of Research," Invited Speaker, Wallenberg Hall, June 2, 2008.

  •  “Technology and Learning Spaces for Collaborative, Global-learning based Curricula,” Wallenberg Summer Institute, Invited Speaker, August 2007
  • “Cross-Cultural Rhetoric and Digital Pedagogy,” Wallenberg Hall, Invited speaker, May 2007
  • “Writing and Research at Stanford: Cross-Cultural Opportunities,” Admit weekend, April 2007.
  • “Cross Cultural Rhetoric:  Exploring Visual Rhetoric Across the Globe,” Invited faculty talk, FroSoCo (Freshman Sophomore College), January 26, 2006
  • “Integrating Visual Rhetoric into the Writing Program Curriculum,” Invited Workshop for faculty and administrators, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 19-21, 2005.
  • “Writing at Stanford University,” Asian American Student Association, October 6, 2005
  •  “Visual Rhetoric in the Composition Classroom,” Graduate Seminar Presentation, Stanford University, October 5, 2005
  • “Sequencing and the New Curriculum,” PWR 2 Summer Institute, September 19, 2005
  • “Strategies for Collaboration with Oral Communication,” Stanford University, February 7, 2005.
  • “Harnessing the Power of Visual Rhetoric in CWP,” Lecture and Workshop, February 3, 2005.
  • “How I Write: Collaboration/Teaching/Revision,” Faculty Book Series, January 2005.
  • “Envision: the Launch,” Wallenberg Hall, November 19, 2004.
  • “The Research Paper Process.” Stanford Graduate Student Pedagogy, November 3, 2004.
  • “The Academic Job Search: An Inside Look,” Invited Faculty Perspective, Career Development Panel, Stanford, October 9, 2003
  • “Global Perspectives on Gender Myths and the Media,” Sophomore Fellows Lecture, Stanford University, February 2003
  • “Constructing Oral and Multimedia Presentations,” Lecture and Workshop for Graduate Student Classes, 2002-2003


Presentations –  Selected Conferences:

  • “Globally Networked Learning Environments as New Gateways for Theory, Research, and Pedagogy.” Workshop Presenter. Conference on College Composition and Communication, St. Louis, March 2012.
  • “Transnational Writing Programs.” Panel Paper Presentation. Conference on College Composition and Communication, St. Louis, March 2012.
  • “US-Russia Video Dialogues on Presidential Rhetoric.” Bakhtin Conference on Education. Delaware. March 2012.
  • “Graphic Narrative Storyboarding and Intercultural Competencies.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Atlanta, GA, April 2011.
  • “Research into Multi-modal writing across Global Teams: Composition, Collaboration, and Cross-Cultural Rhetoric.” Writing Research Across Borders II, George Mason University, February 2011.
  • “Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Technology-Enabled Learning in the Global Writing Classroom, “ CCCC March 12, 2009, San Francisco
  • “Developing a Curriculum Based on Global Learning: Theory to Practice.” CCCC March 11, 2009, San Francisco
  • “Cross-Cultural Connections: Intercultural Learning for Global Citizenship,” 5th International Conference on Intercultural Communication Competence, Wichita, Kansas, May 21-23 2008. ·        
  • Responsibilities of Global Rhetoric,” Rhetoric Society of America, Seattle, May 23-26 2008.
  • “Global Learning through Communication Technologies.” Anders Eriksson, Christine Alfano, Eva Magnusson, Alyssa O'Brien, Kalmar Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, May 7-9, 2008
  • “CCR:  Lessons from Two Years of Building a Global Learning Curriculum,” Alyssa O'Brien, with Eva Magnusson, Christine Alfano, Anders Eriksson, Conference on Global Learning, Örebro University, May 2-3, 2008.
  • "Computing Across Cultures: Learning Intercultural Competencies through International Exchanges" College Composition and Communication Conference, New Orleans, April 2008.
  • “Technology for Global Rhetoric,” Designs in Learning, Stockholm, Sweden, March 2008.
  • Cross-Cultural Rhetoric and Intercultural Communication: U.S. and Swedish Students at Work" in Writing Research Across Borders, Santa Barbara, CA, February 2008.
  • Cross-Cultural Rhetoric International Symposium, June 14 2007; Stanford University and Örebro University hosting an online virtual conference with 8 countries attending.
  • Wallenberg Global Learning Network PI Presentation, May 23, 2007.
  • "Teaching in Wallenberg," Stanford Faculty Meeting Presentation, May 18, 2007.
  • "Improving Cross-Cultural Communication through Collaborative Technologies," 2nd International Conference on Persuasive Technologies, Palo Alto, CA, April 27, 2007.
  • "Negotiating the Divide," College Composition Communication Conference, NY: March 2007.
  • “Experimental E-Zines: Composition for the Community through Social Entrepreneurial Writing Projects”; “Writing on the Electronic Frontier, CCCC, Chicago, IL, March 22-25, 2006
  • “Multimedia Writing: Advances and Retreats in an Experimental Curriculum,” SAMLA, Atlanta, GA, November 4-5, 2005
  • “Transformed Writing Texts through Student Selection in Computer Classrooms,” Computers and Writing, Stanford University, June 2005
  • “Why Writing Models Matter,” Respondent to Panel, CCCC, San Francisco, CA March 2005.
  • “How I Write: Articulation of a Writer’s Process,” Stanford University, January 2005
  • Teaching Modernisms: Other Uses for Our Scholarship,” Modernist Studies Association, Vancouver. BC.  Organized and led Seminar.  October 2004.
  • “Interactive Authorship on Manuscripts-in-Progress: Collaborations, Conversations, and Classroom Dynamics,” with Christine Alfano, CCCC, San Antonio, TX, March 2004.
  • Lights, Camera, Writing as Multimedia Performance,” Presenter, with undergraduate student Jeremy Battle, Northern California Writing Center Conference, Stanford, CA, March 2004. 
  • Panel Organizer and Presenter: “Visual Rhetoric: Theoretical and Pedagogical Approaches”; Paper given collaboratively with Christine Alfano: “Multi-vocal, Multi-media: A Bakhtinian Approach to Visual Rhetoric,” Modern Language Association, San Diego, December 2003
  • “Theorizing Political Cartoons as Persuasive Rhetoric,” Panel “Transforming Pedagogy-- Visual Rhetoric and the Power of Possibility,” CCCC, New York City, March 2003 
  • “After 9/11:  The Rhetoric of 'Normalcy' and the Gendered Nation State,” Interdisciplinary Conference on Gender and Globalization, Stanford University, May 2002
  • “From Ten Weeks to Four Years: Stanford Study of Writing,” CCCC, Chicago, March 2002
  • “Bisexual Bodies: The Modernist Palimpsests of Joyce and Woolf,”  Modern Language Association, New Orleans, LA, December 27-30, 2001
  • “Textuality, Sexuality, and Authorship: Collaborative Writing and Ulysses,” The New Modernisms Third Annual Conference, Houston, TX, October 12-15, 2001 
  • “Theorizing a Pedagogical Approach to Women’s Multi-Media Autobiographies,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Hartford, CT, March 30-31, 2001
  • “Speaking of Sirens: Joyce Interpreting Nora's Dreams for the Odyssey of Ulysses,” 2001 Miami J'yce: A Joyce Odyssey, Miami, FL, February 2001
  • “Languages and Legacies of Modernism: ‘Britain’ and ‘Ireland,’” Seminar Participant, The New Modernisms II, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, October 2000 
  • “New Approaches to the Harlem Renaissance: Nella Larsen’s Writing of Female Subjectivity,” The New Modernisms, Pennsylvania State University, October 1999
  • “Revising British Modernism through Eva Gore-Booth and Nancy Cunard,” Cortland Conference on Language and Literature, Cortland, NY, October 1998
  • “Who’s Afraid of Feminism?: Virginia Woolf and the ESL/Composition Classroom,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, April 1997


Presentations –  Workshop Leadership and Service Presentations:

  • Workshop designer and leader, "Publishing the Scholarly Article." Hume Writing Center Workshop series for Graduate Students, August 2012 - October 2012.
  • Workshop designer and leader, "Creative Effective Multimedia Presentations," Hume Writing Center Workshop series for Graduate Students, July 2011-July 2012.
  • Leader of Workshops: “Writing the Policy Brief,” “Writing the Op-Ed,” “Collaboration and Presentation Strategies.” Public Policy Practicum (Prof. Joe Nation), 2010-2012.
  • Workshop Organizer and Leader, "Teaching New Media Pedagogies," Stanford Faculty Club, April 2011.
  • Workshop Organizer & Chair, “Making Cross-Cultural Connections: Global Learning in Composition Classes and Writing Centers,”  Half Day Workshop, CCCC March 11, 2009, San Francisco
  • “Style as Rhetorical Strategy,”  Hume Writing Center, Developed Workshop, November 2008
  • “Working with Multiple Texts; Visual Literacy,” Hume Writing Center, Developed & delivered Workshop, October 2008
  • “Understanding American Writing Conventions,” Stanford School of Business, November 2007
  • “Analyzing Visual Rhetoric Texts,” Hume Writing Center, Developed Workshop, October 2007
  • “Political Cartoons and Cross-Cultural Rhetoric,” Hume Writing Center, October 2007
  • “Sequencing the Research Paper,” Graduate Student Pedagogy Workshop, October 2007
  • “Approaching Texts Rhetorically,” Developed Writing Center Workshop, January 2006
  •  “Preparing Oral Presentations,” Developed Writing Center Workshop, November 2005
  •  “Visual Rhetoric and Writing Program Curricula,” Designed and led Workshop for faculty and administrators, Salt Lake City, October 19-21, 2005.
  • “Rhetorical Analysis of Visual Texts,” Workshop for Graduate Teachers, Fall 2005.
  • “Transition to Stanford,” with the Center for Teaching and Learning, October 2005
  • Workshops and Leadership, PWR 2 Summer Institute, Stanford University, September 2005
  • Workshops and Leadership, PWR Orientation for New Instructors, September 2005-2009
  • Stanford Undergraduate Research Programs, Development meeting, February 9, 2004
  • Stanford University, Presentation and Hands-on Facilitator, Technology Workshop for Parents’ Advisory Board Meeting in Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning, November 8, 2003
  • Stanford University: Pedagogy Committee, Workshop Planner and Leader for Second-Year Graduate Student Pedagogy Workshop Series, 2002-2003
  • Stanford University: Collaboration with Instructional Staff at Green Library, 2001-2007
  • Stanford University, Leader, “Turning Pedagogy into Publication,” October 2003
  • Stanford University, “Multimedia Presentations,” Workshop for students, 2001-2002
  • Stanford University: “The Teaching Portfolio for Instructors of Writing,” October 2001
  • Stanford University, Leader, “Assessment Strategies for Evaluating Student Papers,” May 2002
  • Stanford University, Leader, “Preparing for a Post-Doctoral Lectureship Position: Strategies for Applications and Teaching Portfolios,” March 26, 2002
  • Stanford University, Leader, “Approaches to Visual Rhetoric in PWR,” March 8, 2002
  • Stanford University, Leader, “Technology in Teaching,” February 22, 2002
  • Stanford University, Leader, “Lecturer Dialogue on Library Research,” February 1, 2002
  • Stanford University, “Web Page Resources,” Talk, PWR Annual Retreat, Fall 2001
  • Cornell University: PowerPoint Presentation, “Writing Group Guidelines,” February 2001
  • University of Rochester:  Organized Brown Bag Series on Teaching Techniques, Fall 1997

Courses Taught & Advising & Mentorship:

See my Teaching Page

Stanford Palm Trees

Professional Activities & Service & References

Available Upon request.


Alyssa J. O'Brien, Ph.D.
Tel. (650) 723-3802