J. Michael Rifenburg is an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition and director of first-year composition at the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega campus where he teaches courses in rhetorical theory, intermediate composition, and first-year composition to undergraduate and graduate students.  He also briefly taught literature at the post-secondary level.  He received his MA from Auburn University; he received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma where he worked as a program development coordinator in the athletics department and as a program assistant for the Writing Center. His work on the intersection of athletics and academia has appeared in, Composition Forum, Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, and Grassroots Writing Research Journal. These articles culminated in a book-length study of student-athlete literacy, The Literate Practices of Big-Time College Sports, which is currently under contract with Utah State University Press.

Beyond college sports and literacy, Michael thinks broadly about writing, what writing is, and how it’s accomplished. With Trish Portanova and Duane Roen he is editing the collection Contemporary Perspectives on Cognition and Writing, which is under contract with the WAC Clearinghouse/Parlor Press. The collection includes a foreword by John Hayes and an afterword by Linda Flower and includes contributions from Charles Bazerman, Kathleen Blake Yancey, Alice Horning, Dylan Dryer, and others.

Michael has also co-authored a piece on Christianity in writing centers in The Dangling Modifier  and worked with a performance artist on a piece about writing center work published in a special issue of  Across the Disciplines: A Journal of Language, Learning, and Academic Writing.

He teaches courses within the Writing & Publication major in the English Department and received the 2015 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award given by UNG’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership.

On the national level, he is a reviewer for The Writing Center Journal and the Queen City Writers, a journal dedicated to publishing undergraduate research on issues related to writing, rhetoric, and reading. He serves on the Newcomers’ Orientation Committee for the annual Conference on College Composition and Communication and helped revise the CCCC Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Research in Composition Studies. Born in New York and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Michael briefly worked as a sports reporter for a daily paper before turning to his chosen field of rhetoric and composition.

Follow Michael on twitter @JMRifenburg




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