Matthew Balk earned his B.A. in Creative Writing & English Literature from Loras College, his M.A. in Creative Writing at Ball State University, and his PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, also from Ball State University.
As a researcher, Dr. Balk spends much of his focus on Writing Center studies and rhetorical history. His dissertation, entitled Primary Materials and Historical Narratives: An Archival Case Study of the Ball State Writing Center, explores how primary materials created by different Writing Center directors and staff at one location reveals information about professionalization, branding and historical narratives in the center itself. His research has also focused on mediums of communication, especially language usage in online environments. He has presented original research at several national conferences, including 4Cs, IWCA, and RSA.
Dr. Balk has taught a variety of classes, including freshman composition, Introduction to Digital Literacies, and Writing Center Theory. His teaching pedagogy stems from the belief that students learn more about writing and want to learn more when they have agency in their creative processes. At the heart of this process is his belief in giving students every opportunity to write during and outside of the classroom. He also believes in the practical aspect of the writing classroom, especially writing for real rhetorical situations. This means not only teaching students how to identify with audiences, but also getting them to publish their work in a public forum, be it online or in print.
Dr. Balk's background and research interests make him a good fit to lead the Writing Center at UCCS. He takes great enjoyment out of seeing student writers find success, and is passionate about the work the Writing Center does on a daily basis.