Department of English

Meet Dr. Tim Doherty

Director, Campus Writing Program
Coordinator, Department of English

Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst
M.A., University of Massachusetts, Amherst
B.A., University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Phone:  (603) 882-2518

Courses Taught
  • Introduction to Writing
  • Expositions and Arguments/First-Year Seminar
  • Advanced Composition
  • Major British Writers
  • Literature, Art, and the Human
  • Shakespeare
  • Introduction to Fiction
  • Introduction to Drama
  • Literature of Self-Discovery

Specialties/Research Interests

  • Writing pedagogy
  • Assessment
  • Deliberation
  • Faculty Development

After graduating as an English major from UMass-Amherst in 1983, Tim Doherty spent his first three years after college teaching at the Greenwood School in Putney, Vermont, a private residential school for learning-disabled boys, ages 8-15. While teaching at Greenwood, he spent three summers at the Pine Ridge School outside of Burlington, Vermont as a teacher-trainer in Orton-Gillingham, a multi-sensory, phonics-based remedial reading method for dyslexics. In 1988, he began his doctoral studies in English at UMass-Amherst, and teaching first-year composition throughout the eight years of his program there. He pursued a dual concentration in English Renaissance literature and Rhetoric and Composition, completing a dissertation with Peter Elbow entitled "College Writing and the Resources of Theater." That title might suggest something of his values as a teacher of writing: he believes in creating experiences that help people play with language and perspective. Since 1999, he has directed first-year writing and the writing-across-the curriculum program at Rivier. In 2010, he founded its Center for Faculty Excellence.

Named a Teagle Assessment Scholar by the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, Wabash College (2013-present). Keynote Speaker. “Using Assessment Data to Foster Growth.” Third Annual Culture of Assessment Conference. College of New Rochelle. September 26, 2013. “Beyond the ‘One-Shot’: Information Literacy and the FY Seminar Curriculum. Presentation with Brad Stull and Shawna Smith (Rivier University). 34th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience, Dallas, Texas, February 7-10, 2015. “Initiating, Sustaining, and Rewarding Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Small Colleges.” Roundtable with Stacy Grooters (Stonehill College) and Phyllis Blumberg (University of Sciences). Professional and Organizational Development (POD) conference, Pencils & Pixels. Seattle, Washington. Oct. 26, 2012. Trained Mediator. Completed forty hours of mediation training in accordance with Massachusetts General Law chapter 233/23C with Mediation Works Inc. Boston, MA (2007).

Academic Philosophy
Two values drive my teaching: empathy and transformation. The social nature of literacy underscores the promise of language to cultivate peace. Our capacity for empathy, the capacity to imagine others, captures my imagination. I want my professional life to be about that, deeply. Through active, experiential, learner-centered classroom environments and lessons, transformation of each learner is possible. With ample opportunities to engage each other in conversation, students will gain confidence and competence in the art of conversation itself. The same vision I have for students applies to me: conversation brings mutual flourishing. The more present and available I make myself to students, genuinely listening to them, the better their education and the better my teaching life.

Recent Publications
  • “Beyond the Usual Suspects: Encouraging Faculty Connections in Professional Development.” (Co-authored with Dr. Dakin Burdick and Dr. Naomi Schoenfeld). To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development (Vol. 34, 2015).
  • “Lessons from the Believing Game.” The Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning 15 (Winter 2009-2010). Peter Elbow, editor. Urbana, Illinois: National Council of Teachers of English.

English Location