- B.A., Mass Media Arts, Hampton University
- M.A., English, Old Dominion University
- Center City PCS Leadership Fellow, 2012
- 21st Century Teaching Award, CCPCS, 2011
- Honor Fiction Award, 2011
- Featured as Daily Press' "10 Under 30", 2005
- Fiction Award Nominee, Library of Virginia Awards, 2005
- Fiction Honor Award, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, 2005
- Excel Award for Public Relations Feature Article, 2002
- Excel Award for Excellence in Public Relations, 2001
Select Works Published
- Shattered (as Kia DuPree)
, Hachette/Grand Central Publishing, 2012
- Silenced (as Kia DuPree)
, Hachette/Grand Central Publishing, 2011
- Damaged (as Kia DuPree)
, Hachette/Grand Central Publishing, 2010
- "Lost One" Hood 2 Hood Anthology
, Shannon Holmes Media, 2008
- Robbing Peter
, Prism Pages, 2005
My teaching philosophy centers around two core concepts: 1) fostering critical thinking skills through literary analysis and 2) the development of lifelong skills that will assist students in the real world through effective oral and written communication. In addition, I believe that in order to be an effective instructor of reading and writing, students must be able to access information that will provide a broad perspective including but not limited to: opinionated articles and research, blogs, podcasts, multi-media, exposure to high-quality literature, classic and contemporary poetry, and a fundamental understanding of rhetoric.
I believe that in order for students to become better readers and writers, students must understand how words can be used, if done effectively, to manipulate, persuade, engage, inform and entertain a variety of audiences. Besides building students' terminology banks, students must learn how to organize their writing in a meaningful way. This can be done with explicit and intentional teaching modules and tools allowing students to be empowered.
Furthermore, as a professional writer and reader, I use my own experience in the world of publishing to guide my teaching. For example, I've worked in various fields where different writing styles have been employed such as public relations, at a daily newspaper, as a novelist and as an editor. This knowledge makes me uniquely qualified to build a student's capacity to both read and write better.