Center for Teaching Excellence

Murphy Building
600 Forbes Avenue 20 Chatham Square
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412.396.5177

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    About Rachel

    Photo of Rachel Luckenbill

    Rachel Luckenbill

    Instructional Consultant for TAs

    Current Role

    Rachel's position at CTE supports graduate students preparing for college teaching across the disciplines. In addition to facilitating CTE workshops, Rachel is also available to consult with graduate TAs on topics related to teaching and learning, including preparation, assessment, and classroom management. Her other responsibilities involve managing various components of the CTE website, developing teaching resources, and offering consultation for TAs who are preparing to enter the job market and would like to review statements of teaching philosophy, cover letters, and CVs. Rachel is excited about working with, and learning from, TAs from a range of disciplinary backgrounds.

    Education and Experience

    Rachel received her B.A. in English from Lebanon Valley College in 2002 and her M.A. in English from Villanova University in 2005. She then returned to Lebanon Valley College where she taught in the English department from 2005 through 2009, first as an adjunct and then as a visiting instructor. She also served the department by participating in committees and bringing well-known author Joy Harjo to campus for classroom visits and poetry reading. Her time at Lebanon Valley solidified Rachel's enthusiasm for the classroom and became a catalyst for her pursuit of the PhD in English at Duquesne.  While serving as a teaching fellow (2009 – 2013), she participated in the department's teacher training program by mentoring three incoming graduate teaching fellows. Rachel has taught English composition courses, introduction to literature, and surveys of American literature 1 and 2. She is now writing her dissertation.

    Rachel's research focuses on multiethnic literatures of the United States and Christianity in American literature. She combines these two interests in her dissertation by studying representations of Christianity in contemporary Native American fiction and poetry. The dissertation will outline the tension-fraught dialogue between Christianity and Native American cultures through close readings of fiction by Linda Hogan, Louise Erdrich, and Diane Glancy and poetry by Joy Harjo. The project explores the role imaginative writing plays in creating paradigms for reconciliation between sometimes disparate cultural and religious groups. Supplemental to the dissertation, Rachel is conducting and compiling interviews with Native American Christian women about the relationship between faith and gender.