san by Sherry McMeans

san by Sherry McMeans

Amanda Gardner

I relocated in 2015 to Waco, Texas, home of Baylor University, Lula Jane's, and amazing people.  The possibilities as a doctoral student and graduate assistant in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, School of Education, started me on this journey.   

I'm at the end of my third year as a doctoral student, am finishing up coursework, and am preparing for my dissertation study. Originally I thought it would be a collection of teacher lore but that was before I was introduced to the possibilities of CVR (cinematic virtual reality) or 360 film.  Immediately I went to the possibilities of CVR in a high school English classroom - the ability to perhaps create a deeper connection to the work, to themselves, to each other via the CVR medium. After all, the point of teaching and studying literature, for me anyway, is to connect to other - to find that we are not so different after all - that our desires and hopes and dreams are, regardless of our packaging and our language, pretty much the same. After all, as Maya Angelou so perfectly put it, we are a human family

And before Baylor? I travelled a little, taught high school English some, and I learned a lot from every student who I had the privilege of working with (Yes, I know, dangling preposition and it should be whom not who, but rules are meant to be broken if for a rhetorical reason - read it with grammatical correctness and see what you think). My Army brat ways (my father Special Forces in Vietnam, the last member of Mike Force) taught me early on that people are people and I tried to convey that to my students. Dad also taught me that it is up to us to foster our own talents just as my mother taught me to pursue my passion by pursuing hers (writing) though 86 rejection slips before it was time to move stateside and other things took precedence; both of their lessons I tried to share with my students.  


  • Cinematic Virtual Reality (CVR)/360 film and how to use it to bring a little more peace, love, & understanding to the English curriculum

  • Graphic Novels - a new interest that has me conspiring to teach one

  • Media Literacy - new term for me though I was teaching it in my film unit decades before hearing it was thing - just didn't seem right to let students sit and watch a film without knowing how they were being manipulate.

  • Teacher Lore - who knew this was a thing? but I do love me a good story.

  • Emily Dickinson - fascinating for decades - brimming possibilities

  • Photography - amateur shutter bug since mid-80s

  • Writing Dining Reviews - a five year hobby slowly restarting

  • Travel - seeking new places and peoples since birth


  • Single Subject Clear Credential, Nevada (2003-present)

  • M.A. English (2001) California State University, Sacramento

  • Single Subject Clear Credential, English (1995-present) California State University, California

  • B.A. English, Latin Minor (1994) California State University, Sacramento


Curriculum Vitae