Dr. Kelly Sassi
Office: Minard 318E22
Kelly Sassi (PhD, University of Michigan, 2008) is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment—55% in the English department and 45% in the School of Education. She serves as Director of the Red River Valley Writing Project and is on the national leadership team for the College, Career, and Community Writers Program. Sassi teaches courses in both English education and composition. Her research agenda focuses on social justice issues, including race in the classroom, fair practices in writing assessment, feminist research methodologies, pedagogical approaches to Native American literatures, multicultural field experiences, and the high school to college transition in writing.
Sassi’s most recent publication is a chapter titled, “Bending the Arc of Writing Assessment Toward Social Justice: Enacting Culturally Responsive Professional Development at Standing Rock” in the book Writing Assessment, Social Justice, and Advancement of Opportunity (2018) edited by Mya Poe, Asao Inoue, and Norbert Elliott. Sassi has co-authored three books, Writing on Demand for the Common Core State Standards Assessments (2014) Writing on Demand: Best Practice and Strategies for Success (2005) and A Student Guide to Writing on Demand (2006), with Anne Gere and Leila Christenbury. She has also published on anti-racist teaching practices (2008) and issues of plagiarism (2011) in English Journal, mentorship as methodology in Qualitative Inquiry, “warm demander” pedagogy in Urban Education, and immersive field experience in Multicultural Education.
A former high school English teacher, Sassi is passionate about rigorous and innovative preparation for future teachers, especially in terms of multicultural field experiences, often off campus, such as at Circle of Nations School or at historical sites like Fort Totten, where students have had opportunities to learn from Dakota and Ojibwe elders, as well as national scholars and local experts on North Dakota history. Sassi has had 30 successful grant proposals, many of which have funded new teaching and learning activities for North Dakota students, teachers, and community members. She won the Peltier Award for Innovative Teaching in 2018.
Sassi has served as faculty adviser for the Bison Men’s and Women’s Nordic Ski Clubs since 2009 and has been the Sigma Tau Delta adviser since 2017. She enjoys cross-country skiing, bicycling, and travel with her partner, Enrico Sassi, who directs NDSU’s Center for Writers. They have two college-aged sons.
Please click here for access to Kelly's research.