Biography"I love being able to expose students to literature in ways that make their worlds larger and I love the fact that I learn from them as well."
Dr. J. Gabriel Scala is an Assistant Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at Ashford University. She holds a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Mississippi and Bowling Green University, respectively. Dr. Scala has been an educator since her first appointment in 1998 as an 8th grade English teacher in Hopewell, Virginia where she was awarded the Sallie Mae Teacher of the Year Award. In 2001, she moved from secondary education to higher education and has taught at such institutions as Lebanon Valley College, Delta State University, and Chadron State College. With nearly 15 years experience in literary editing and publishing, Dr. Scala holds the position of Chair of the Student Publications Committee at Ashford University where she spearheaded the creation of student journals such as The Ash and the Ashford Humanities Review. She has served as managing editor of Mid-American Review, founder and poetry editor of Valley Humanities Review, coordinating editor of Creative Nonfiction Books, and co-editor of Tapestry as well as sitting on the boards of The Willa Cather Foundation and Vox Press. She has published two short collections of poetry, Leaping from the Bottom Step (1997) and Twenty Questions for Robbie Dunkle (2004), as well as numerous individual poems, creative nonfiction and critical essays in journals. Dr. Scala says, “My favorite thing about teaching is, hands down, working with students. I love being able to expose students to literature in ways that make their worlds larger, and I love the fact that I learn from them as well. I’ve never taught a class in which a student didn’t surprise me with some fresh new approach to a text or insight that hadn’t occurred to me or, in some cases, to any of the scholars currently working in the field. The fact that Ashford makes this opportunity available to such a wide spectrum of students is one of my favorite things about the University.”