• Title:
    Professor of English, English Department Coordinator
  • Department:

Timothy Doherty, Ph.D.



Since 1999, Dr. Timothy Doherty has directed the first-year writing program at Rivier. This first-year seminar focuses on conflict resolution through the interplay of perspectives and voices—to develop empathetic communication skills and envision public venues for deliberations beyond the classroom.

Teaching the honors course, Serving the Community, Dr. Doherty encourages students to look beyond the classroom and engage directly with community partners to share in educational and social transformation. After extensive discussion and reading on servant leadership, student teams select one of thirteen local, non-profit agencies and collaborate with staff to research and build resources that “leave a legacy”—projects that result in durable, capacity-building materials and processes.

Through these courses and others, students gain critical thinking, communication, and collaborative learning skills.


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

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.”

Courses Taught

  • ENG 115 FYS: Expositions and Arguments
  • ENG 210 Advanced Composition
  • ENG 211 Major British Writers
  • ENG 223 Shakespeare
  • ENG 230 Introduction to Fiction
  • ENG 260 Literature of Self-Discovery
  • ENG 395 Shakespeare and Film
  • GSP 202 Serving the Community
  • HUM 200 Literature, Art, and the Human

Recent Publications and Proceedings

  1. Named a Teagle Assessment Scholar by the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, Wabash College (2013-present).
  2. “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).
  3. “Encouraging Faculty Attendance at Professional Development Events.” (Co-authored with Dakin Burdick and Naomi Schoenfeld). To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development (Vol. 34:1-2, 2015).
  4. “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.
  5. Keynote Speaker. “Using Assessment Data to Foster Growth.” Third Annual Culture of Assessment Conference. College of New Rochelle. September 26, 2013.
  6. Professional and Organizational Development (POD) conference, Pencils & Pixels. Seattle, Washington. Oct. 26, 2012.
  7. “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.
  8. Trained Mediator. Completed forty hours of mediation training in accordance with Massachusetts General Law chapter 233/23C with Mediation Works Inc. Boston, MA (2007).
  9. “Restructuring in Higher Education and the Relationship between Literature and Composition.” Composition and/or Literature: The End(s) of Education. Linda Bergmann and Edith Baker, editors. National Council of the Teachers of English, 2006.
  10. “The Coalition Rhetoric of Rose Schneiderman.” Rhetorical Democracy: Selected Papers from the 2002 Rhetoric Society of America Conference. Gerard A. Hauser, editor. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. (2003).