Michael Russo

Academics


I am fortunate to have worked with brilliant professors at Rutgers University and Clemson University. I study and teach digital rhetoric and multimodal composition, focusing on learning theory, persuasion, politics, and educational technologies.

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       Higher Education & Beyond


I am fortunate to have worked with brilliant professors at Rutgers University and Clemson University. I study and teach digital rhetoric and multimodal composition, focusing on learning theory, persuasion, politics, and educational technologies.

LMS & Wiki Administration

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I am skilled in an array of e-learning authoring tools, including Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Rise, and Elucidate. I can also write HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. I have created courses for both academia and buisness, including courses on the regulation, the law, and safety.


I deploy adult-learning theory and track data to exploit possibilities in the classroom, emphasizing iterative, cooperative learning experiences.


I have taught courses in technical writing / instructional design / digital literacy / nonlinear composition / online privacy / the digital humanities / and game studies.


I also organize workshops on e-learning technologies / LMS management / web development / blockchain / and multimodal composition.


Clemson University

I teach rhetoric, multimodal composition, and technical writing at Clemson University. Classes include software workshops where students learn to use industrustry-standard software.


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Most courses are either blended or online. My students make extensive use Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office 365, Google Suites, Slack, Twitch, Twine, and advanced data visualization software when communicatiing in digital spaces. 


Advanced Technical Writing

ENGL 3140 at Clemson University, focuses on clear, effective writing, tailored to business, journalistic, and informative settings. Students practice honing an ability to understand and use a focused rhetoric — cutting fluff and keeping word counts low. Students also learn to effectively use data visualization software, distant reading techniques, and ethical communication practices, writing in a variety of technical genres. The goal is realized, readable prose.

  • ENGL 3140-003: Advanced Tech Writing | F18
  • ENGL 3140-004: Advanced Tech Writing | F18
Post-Truth Rhetorics

ENGL 1030 at Clemson University, focuses on critical thinking skills through the teaching of rhetorical strategies in oral, print, and digital environments. Students will learn to critically “read” a variety of texts in different mediums – including speeches, podcasts, films, news media, peer-reviewed journals, and more. Students will also compose three larger rhetorical projects based on issues and research raised in the reading assignments and the in-class discussions. These three big projects, along with other smaller assignments, explore the use of rhetoric as tools of persuasion and conversation.

The class theme frames the concept of “post-truth” within rhetorical theory, referring to the classic triad of logos, ethos, and pathos. Borrowing from the rhetorician and scholar, Bruce McComiskey, we ask how rhetoric and argument function in a society where the value of reason is diminished and audiences allow themselves to be swayed by pathos and ethos. This scenario has serious consequences not only for our public discourse but also for the study of composition. Within this frame, students are free to explore their own subjects of interest, so long as such exploration meets the standards and expectations Clemson University.

  • Comp 1030-62: Post-Truth Comp & Rhet | S18
  • Comp 1030-63: Post-Truth Comp & Rhet | S18
Orality, Literacy, Electracy

ENGL 1030 at foregrounds the evolution of rhetorical culture, from the oral to the written to the digital. The term electracy is borrowed from Gregory Ulmer, and describes the kinds of rhetorical skills and faculties necessary to exploit the full communicative potential of multimedia, hypermedia, social software, and virtual worlds. Within the scope of the theme, students are free to explore their own subjects of interest, so long as such exploration meets the standards and expectations Clemson University.

  • Comp 1030-52: Orality, Literacy, Electracy | F17
  • Comp 1030-71: Orality, Literacy, Electracy | F17
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“Students listened intensely to each other, in a kind of open-ended spirit of exploration, simultaneously amused, uncertain, and utterly compelled. Presiding over this was Russo’s calm, quiet voice, his manner utterly relaxed and often provocatively witty: always unpretentious, and wholly with them in spirit … Russo stayed with and within the exploratory contradictions and unsureties, pleasantly gentle, always sincere, and encouraging as primus inter pares. The result was that every student in the class participated, and often several spoke at once … In summary, Russo’s class mingled the utile and the dulce, the stimulating confrontation of fiercely challenging ideas, with sheer social joy. Both amiable and masterful, Mr. Russo is deeply at home in the exposition of ideas, maintains a climate of quiet control, and is a born teacher. We are fortunate indeed to have him teaching our students.”

“Students listened intensely to each other, in a kind of open-ended spirit of exploration, simultaneously amused, uncertain, and utterly compelled. Presiding over this was Russo’s calm, quiet voice, his manner utterly relaxed and often provocatively witty: always unpretentious, and wholly with them in spirit … Russo stayed with and within the exploratory contradictions and unsureties, pleasantly gentle, always sincere, and encouraging as primus inter pares. The result was that every student in the class participated, and often several spoke at once…

In summary, Russo’s class mingled the utile and the dulce, the stimulating confrontation of fiercely challenging ideas, with sheer social joy. Both amiable and masterful, Mr. Russo is deeply at home in the exposition of ideas, maintains a climate of quiet control, and is a born teacher. We are fortunate indeed to have him teaching our students.”

Rutgers University

While earning my master's desgree at Rutgers University, I taught rhetoric, composition, and digital studies at Rutgers University. I also helped to kickstart the Rutgers Digital Studies Center, an interdisciplinary, collaborative research, development, and education track for students interesting in programming and creative design.


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Besides teaching face-to-face classes in the Rutgers University English department, I also taught blended classes and organized workshops on digital studies, game design, and website development.


Object Oriented Research
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Start Playing Around
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Privacy Reboot
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Intro to the Digital Humanities
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Literature & Videogames
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Dissent & Debate
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“Students listened intensely to each other, in a kind of open-ended spirit of exploration, simultaneously amused, uncertain, and utterly compelled. Presiding over this was Russo’s calm, quiet voice, his manner utterly relaxed and often provocatively witty: always unpretentious, and wholly with them in spirit … Russo stayed with and within the exploratory contradictions and unsureties, pleasantly gentle, always sincere, and encouraging as primus inter pares. The result was that every student in the class participated, and often several spoke at once … In summary, Russo’s class mingled the utile and the dulce, the stimulating confrontation of fiercely challenging ideas, with sheer social joy. Both amiable and masterful, Mr. Russo is deeply at home in the exposition of ideas, maintains a climate of quiet control, and is a born teacher. We are fortunate indeed to have him teaching our students.”

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“Michael is very energetic and ethusiastic, plus creative as he teaches. He comes across as professional, but fun, approachable, and knowledgeable. His students seems to enjoy the class a lot.

Again he moved among the students and chatted with them as the worked. The students had a blast with this. It was like a game, a challenge to reduce the language down. Then [Michael] went around the room and asked [the students] to explain how they did it. Finally, he asked them to use [this technique] with their own next drafts, and yet not lose sight of their unique voices. He wants to help them learn….

Tutoring & Outreach

At George Washington Community High School in Indianapolis, I helped to kick-start an open-source initiative that provided more than 50 computers to students in need. I also ran a workshop on open-source publishing and magazine creation. Students created their own newspaper, while I redesigned the school’s website in order to better suit the needs of a multilingual community.

Each year, the Rutgers Future Scholars program introduces 200 first-generation, low-income and academically promising middle-school students from districts in our four Rutgers home communities of New Brunswick, Piscataway, Newark, and Camden to the promise and opportunities of a college education. I created and facilitated workshops to the digital humanities, videogame development, gamification, and nonlinear narrative.


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Besides teaching face-to-face classes in the Rutgers University English department, I also taught blended classes and organized workshops on digital studies, game design, and website development.


Student Testimonials

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"When I saw “Dissent and Debate” on the syllabus, I became worried because I knew I was not good at arguing my ideas, let alone explaining them clearly. However, this class has definitely made me a better writer. Writing essays has always been a painful experience because I could not properly express my ideas. But now it’s not as painful."  — M.N.

"I definitely feel that I’ve improved as a writer from taking this class. Understanding the rhetorical realms really helped me write a kick-ass scholarly essay without sounding boring." — D.C.

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"I am going to be blatantly honest. At first, I despised this class, even dreaded it. I assumed that because we did not share the same beliefs that you would make the class miserable for me. And, at times you did. But, about halfway through the semester, I figured it out: you were trying to make me uncomfortable, but not without reason. It was to make me feel something about my writing; it was to help me make stronger arguments and support my claims based on what I believed. I found my voice as a writer which I otherwise may not have found." — K.M.

"Writing essays has always been a painful experience because I could not properly express my ideas. But now it’s not as painful." — M.N.

"I definitely feel that I’ve improved as a writer from taking this class. Understanding the rhetorical realms really helped me write a kick-ass scholarly essay without sounding boring." — D.C.

"I am going to be blatantly honest. At first, I despised this class, even dreaded it. I assumed that because we did not share the same beliefs that you would make the class miserable for me. And, at times you did. But, about halfway through the semester, I figured it out: you were trying to make me uncomfortable, but not without reason. It was to make me feel something about my writing; it was to help me make stronger arguments and support my claims based on what I believed. I found my voice as a writer which I otherwise may not have found." — K.M.

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