Alumni Profile: Diane Penrod ’80

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April 1, 2007

Diane Penrod ’80 MC likes to describe her life’s path with a quote from the Grateful Dead: “What a long strange trip it’s been. . .”

As a Media/Communications student at Medaille, Penrod completed internships with Ellis Advertising and WIVB-TV’s Creative Services division. These positions prepared her for jobs in advertising and corporate sales immediately following graduation.

Penrod transitioned into the higher education field in 1987, earning two master’s degrees and a doctorate in English/Composition and Cultural Rhetoric. She then began the current phase of her professional life as a professor at Rowan University in New Jersey.

Commenting on her career now, Penrod says, “If anyone at Medaille would have told me back in the old days that I'd be a full professor at a state university by my mid-40s, I probably would have laughed myself senseless.” In addition to her teaching duties, she works as the university’s Graduate Program Coordinator for the M.A. in Writing and Site Director of the National Writing Project.

Penrod’s fifth book, Using Blogs to Enhance Literacy (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2007), hit the shelves this spring. In it, she draws on her experiences with teaching and technology to demonstrate to educators the connection between online writing in weblogs and literacy. According to Penrod, “My students are more excited about the book’s release than I am . . . then again, my students didn't do the heavy lifting of writing the manuscript.”

I'm grateful for the education I've received.

The instructors were knowledgeable and welcomed class discussions, with
respect for each student's contribution. I've learned how to be a more
effective leader. My capstone class gave insight on how to combine all
the education learned to operate a business. That's when I realized how
much I had sharpened my knowledge.

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