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Daune O'Brien

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Senior Lecturer, English

1204 Tawes Hall
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Daune O’Brien has been a Lecturer in the Department of English since 2014, where she teaches Advanced Composition, Academic Writing, Business Writing, and Technical Writing.

In 2015, she was competitively selected to join the Online Course Development Cohort, a rigorous collaboration resulting in the development and launch of multiple asynchronous versions of Professional Writing courses.  She was a TRACE Faculty Research Assistant in the College of Information Studies from 2017-2018, piloting developmental accessibility software.

Her research interests are heavily informed by disability activism and justice, inclusion, universal design theory, and feminist studies. She is the chair of the Faculty Research and Writing Group: Women and Professional Writing and is an active member of the Digital Pedagogy Research and Writing Group. O’Brien currently serves on the President’s Commission for Disability Issues.

In 2019, O’Brien received a Beyond the Classwork Grant, enabling her writing students to design the “What I Wish My Teacher Knew About My Disability” Campaign, which coincides with UMD’s Disability Awareness Month.

Her teaching prioritizes student voice and works to emphasize how rhetorical writing empowers students to solve problems. She prioritizes student voice because she wants students to learn that rhetorical writing in the classroom is relevant outside the classroom, and that effective writing strategies, styles, and genres are critical tools that students can use to amplify their voice in academic, professional, and personal situations. O’Brien creates public-facing assignments like research-based Digital Media Campaigns, Blogs, and Poster Presentations to promote creativity, while teaching students to write responsibly with a keen eye toward audience accommodation.

Daune O’Brien holds an M.A. in English Literature, with a concentration in Language, Rhetoric, and Writing.