MSUToday
Published: April 11, 2013

Faculty conversations: Malea Powell

By: Courtney Culey Media Communications courtney.culey@cabs.msu.eduContact(s): Jennifer Orlando Media Communications office: (517) 353-4355 cell: (517) 980-0076 Jennifer.Orlando@cabs.msu.edu

For Malea Powell, associate professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures and faculty member in the American Indian Studies Program, graduate students are the ones who get her out of bed even on the coldest January days.

“Graduate students are the people who are going to make knowledge tomorrow,” Powell said. “I like working with Ph.D. students because I like the idea that I’m producing my colleagues. Those will be the folks I’ll eventually be in my discipline with and that’s very exciting.”

Powell has spent a decade at Michigan State University enriching the lives of many.

She teaches a variety of classes ranging from undergrad to graduate courses in topics like cultural theory, American Indian rhetoric and professional writing. Powell also has taught courses in MSU’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.

Aside from teaching, Powell has a five-year commitment to the Conference on College Composition and Communication, a national organization that focuses on college-level teachers of writing, rhetoric and literacy.

“Our mission is to support teaching in those areas as well as to promote and sustain innovative scholarship in those areas,” she said.

Powell also spends her time working on a larger research project related to the art of making.

“As writers, we’re makers. We make writing and we make knowledge,” she said. “I’m really interested in the connections between material makings – like basket weaving – and textual makings, like writing.”

Click to enlarge

Malea Powell, associate professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures. Photo by Matt Hallowell

Malea Powell, associate professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures. Photo by Matt Hallowell

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