Education CV

Alissa-Nielsen-professorI strive to create a learning environment that is open and engaging, built on principles of mutual respect and equality. My goals for writing composition classes are to assist students with step-by-step instruction in the writing process while also providing tools to improve the focus, organization, clarity, and mechanics of their writing. In literature classes, I emphasize critical discussion and writing assignments that examine the literary and rhetorical dimensions of texts through developing close reading skills, including the ability to analyze relationships between form and meaning.


  • M.A. English Literature, Portland State University. 2013.
  • M.F.A. Writing, Pacific University. 2009.
  • B.A. with a focus in Literature and Writing, The Evergreen State College. 2002.

Professional Development in Education

  • Full-Time Writing Faculty, Chemeketa Community College. Aug 2014-present, Salem, OR. Fundamentals of Writing.
  • Adjunct Faculty, Chemeketa Community College. Aug 2013-Sept 2014, Salem, OR. Fundamentals of Writing.
  • Writing Consultant, Portland State University’s Writing Center. Jan 2011 to Sept 2014, Portland, OR.
  • Adjunct Faculty, Pacific University. Aug 2013-Dec 2013, Forest Grove, OR. HUM 100: Human Rights & Global Literature.
  • Adjunct Faculty, Pacific University. Jan 2013 to present, Forest Grove, OR. English 255: Special Topics, Literature Across Cultures.
  • Writing Intensive Assistant (WIC), Portland State University. January 2011 to January 2012, Portland, OR. Helped students from various disciplines improve their writing.
  • Teaching Associate, Pacific University. August 2008 to June 2009, Forest Grove, OR. Eng 201 Expository Writing: Work & the Working Class. Eng 220 Literature & Human Concerns: Literature Across Cultures.
  • Artist in Residence, Sunnyside Environmental School. February 2008 to May 2008, Portland, OR. A contracted position to teach poetry and creative writing to a group of 12 middle school kids.
  • Writing Tutor, The Evergreen State College. September 2001 to June 2002, Olympia, WA.


  • Co-editor-in-Chief, Silk Road Literary Journal. August 2009 to June 2010, Forest Grove, OR.
  • Editor, Tug Boat Press. January 2006 to January 2007, Portland, OR.
  • Interning Editor, The Raven Chronicles. January 2002 to June 2002. Seattle, WA.


  • Flash Fiction, Indigo Publishing. June 2011, Portland, OR.
  • Writing the Lyrical Essay, Siren Nation. Arts Festival. November 2011. Portland, OR.

Arts Administration & Freelance Writing

  • Coordinator of the Zine Archives & Publishing Project (ZAPP), Richard Hugo House, Seattle, WA. Archived 50,000 hard-to-find publications (including chapbooks, zines, comic books and mail art), created an independent publishing space, organized volunteers and fundraisers.
  • Contracted Writer, Pacific University. September 2008 to June 2009, Forest Grove, OR. Conducted interviews and written profiles of faculty and students for Pacific University’s Arts & Sciences web page.

Publications & Awards

  • Propeller. “A Perfect Waste,” story published May 14th, 2013.
  • Pacific MLA Conference. “Desdemona, Interrupted: the Unsung Song in Act IV, Scene iii of Othello.” Paper acceptance for the 2012 Conference.
  • Fiction winner in WORK. “Beyond the Bay,” WORK’s Employee of the Month Contest. June, 2011.
  • Voice Catcher. “Consider the Moment,” story published in Vol. 6, 2011.
  • Prick of the Spindle. “Blue Like Babe,” story published. Vol.5.1, 2011.