Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, I was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School and Brother Martin High School. I received both my BA and MA from the University of New Orleans and my Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. I taught at Mercer County Community College, Rider University, the College of New Jersey, and Texas A & M University at Commerce. In 1988, I joined the Department of Humanities at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). My programs of research and teaching cluster in the following areas: History, Theory, Practice, and Fairness in Writing Assessment; Theory and Practice of Technical Communication; Biography; Educational Measurement; Technology and Education.
A specialist in writing assessment, I retired as Professor Emeritus of English at NJIT. In 2016, I was appointed Research Professor in the Department of English at University of South Florida. With that appointment ending on June 30, 2021, I retired from the profession.
Here are my last academic books: With Richard Haswell, I am co-author of Early Holistic Scoring of Writing: A Theory, A History, A Reflection (Utah State University Press, 2019). With Alice Horning, I am co-editor of Talking Back: Senior Scholars and Their Colleagues Deliberate the Past, Present, and Future of Writing Studies (Utah State University Press, 2020). With Diane Kelly-Riley, I am is co-editor of Improving Outcomes: Disciplinary Writing, Local Assessment, and the Aim of Fairness (Modern Language Association, 2021).
I am married to Frances Ward, Ph.D., retired David R. Devereaux Chair of Nursing at Temple University and founding dean of the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Nursing. Our Florida retirement home is graced with the company of our children (Kathryn, James, Luke, Sarah, Jesse, Nicholas, Sophia) grandchildren (Freya, Hazel, Raegan), and spouses (Kine, Vineeta, Anthony, and Patrick).