About

This blog as an extension of my academic work, but meant to be more for public audiences who don't usually walk around with other academics, researchers, teachers, and professors in colleges and universities. So I'm trying to translate and apply my academic work for broader audiences.

What should you know about me?

I'm the dude on the left feeling lucky to be with the
woman on the right. 
Well, I wasn't always a professor of rhetoric and composition or an associate dean. Back when only birds tweeted and "drones" were a kind of bee, I was born in Inglewood, California. My mom met my dad there. They separated shortly after I was born, and, after a few years in Oregon, she moved my twin brother and me to Las Vegas, where we started school and grew up.

I was blessed to grow up in a loving, single-parent home. My mom usually worked two and three jobs just so we could be poor, but she always took care of us. We never had much, but this fact likely gave me drive and purpose early on. I've always loved words and language, so it makes perfect sense that I'd become a professor of language.

I have never known or even met my biological father, who was Japanese from Hawai'i. My ethnic background then is half Japanese and a mixture of a number of other ethnicities on my mom's side, English, Irish or Scottish, and Greek or Italian (the family just isn't sure). I identify as a cis-gender, Japanese man. I'm happily married to my partner, Kelly, going on 28 years as of 2020. We have two sons, Kiyoshi and Takeo, both are out of high school now and making us proud.

Growing up, I was also a remedial English student in elementary and junior high school, despite my loving to read, and reading lots of science fiction and fantasy novels. Some of my favorite authors at the time were Tolkien, Asimov, Bradley, Brooks, McCaffrey, and LeGuin.

By the time I reached sixth grade, my brother and I found Dungeons and Dragons, and we were hooked on the game until college. The game give me a strong grounding in doing research, creating worlds, stories, and characters with language. It was also a deeply satisfying daily literacy practice that was collaborative and rewarding, something I shared with my twin brother, Tad. Today, we still play every now and then. We've moved to the Pathfinder system.

I went to Oregon State University for my B.A. in English, where I met, fell in love with, and married Kelly. We both graduated together, and I continued at OSU and got an M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition. I was a technical writer for a few years, working for NASA, Hewlett-Packard, and other high tech companies. I took a tenure-track job as a writing instructor at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon for a few years, then went back to college and got my Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition at Washington State University, where I completed my dissertation, Epistemology of Racism and Community-Based. Assessment. While a WSU, I worked closely with Dr. Victor Villanueva, Dr. William Condon, and Dr. Rory Ong.

For the last two decades, my research and teaching have revolved around several topics:
  • teaching writing in the college classroom 
  • antiracist classroom writing assessment 
  • large-scale writing assessment (like placement tests, etc.)
  • racism studies (including the study of white supremacy)
My academic training started in English and Cultural Studies departments, but I draw on a number of academic disciplines, such as rhetorical studies, cultural studies, Marxian studies, psychology, sociology, educational measurement, compassion and contemplative studies, writing assessment, writing studies, among a few other related fields.

I continue to be deeply mindful and grateful of all that I have, and the privileges of struggle that have shaped me. If you want to learn more about my academic work, you can see my ASU faculty page, my academic.edu page, both have links to my CV. There are also links to my academic work on the other sections of this website.