Born and raised in South Texas, Paige M. Hermansen specializes in rhetoric and composition and teaches courses in writing, rhetorical grammar, and rhetorical history and theory at Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts. Her research focuses on the rhetoric of education policy and the promotional discourse of colleges and universities. She is also interested in queer and feminist theory, LGBTQIA studies, literacy studies, discourse analysis, and sociolinguistics.
Outside the classroom, Paige is committed to diversity and inclusion efforts on campus and engaging with students on social justice issues. Her current research focuses on the design of developmental writing courses and the promotional discourse of community colleges. In her free time, she enjoys playing the guitar and drums, hiking with her partner and their beagle, and traveling.
1) Why have you decided to serve as a Trailblazer for the JLSA?
My sister Joy is the President of the JLSA, and her passion and enthusiasm for service in her community are such an inspiration to me. Though I live far away from South Texas (I relocated to Massachusetts a few years ago), the area is still near and dear to my heart, and I want to do all I can to support people in my beautiful home state.
2) Who and/or what inspires you to pave a path in our community?
As a college professor, I'm surrounded by students whose commitment to service is truly incredible. They volunteer for local charities, organize food and clothing drives on campus, and have the boundless energy necessary to envision a better community and work toward making it a reality. I had a teacher in middle school who said that she knew she couldn't make the whole world fair, but she could make her little corner of the world more fair. I'm so inspired by my students' dedication to making their corners of the world more fair, just, and generous.