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Department of Writing and Rhetoric

O'Dowd Hall, Room 378
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2746
fax: (248) 370-2748

Crystal VanKooten

headshot of Crystal VanKooten
Acting Chair and Associate Professor
Office: 379 O'Dowd Hall
Phone: (248) 370-3791
Fax: (248) 370-2748


Crystal VanKooten completed her Ph.D. in English and Education at the University of Michigan in 2014, specializing in digital media, video composition, and writing pedagogy. Her digital book, Transfer across Media: Using Digital Video in the Teaching of Writing, is now available from Computers and Composition Digital Press. She is an avid video composer herself, and she has used and developed many audio-visual, digital, and multimodal assignments in the writing classroom with students. 

Dr. VanKooten has written about the assessment of new media in 
Digital Writing Assessment and Evaluation, sound and choric invention in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, students' processes of sonic and multimodal invention in Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Cultureand the rhetoric of music in Currents in Electronic Literacy. Her current writing and research interests include new media rhetorics and pedagogies, digital research methods, and transfer in first-year composition. 

Before her doctoral studies, Crystal was a high school English teacher for five years, where students first introduced her to the idea of exploring the intersections between reading, writing, and technologies through blogging about literature. More of Crystal’s work can be found on crystalvk.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter @crystalvk.


Ph.D. in English and Education. University of Michigan.
M.A. in English, minor in Rhetoric and Composition. Oregon State University.
B.A. in English and Spanish Secondary Education. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI. 


WRT 1020 Basic Writing
WRT 1050 Composition I
WRT 1060 Composition II
WRT 2070 Introduction to Writing for Digital Media
WRT 3030 Literacy, Technology, and Civic Engagement
WRT 3070 Digital Identity and Culture
WRT 3071 Podcasting
WRT 3073 Digital Storytelling