An Interview with Rylee Rucker


Rylee Rucker is a first-year graduate student in the English department and is working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She is studying English with a concentration in literature and is working towards getting her professional writing certificate. As part of the program, Rylee teaches one section of CORE 101 twice a week and will teach one section of CORE 102 twice a week next semester. We recently had a chance to sit down with Rylee for an interview where she shared some information on her background and her experience with the GTA program as well as her teaching style.

We asked Rylee about her time before coming to Radford University for her undergraduate degree where she studied English with a concentration in professional and business writing and she said, “Where I’m from is always a difficult question because my family moved around constantly… they just liked to move [laughs]. I had been living in Maryland for about nine years when I graduated high school and I was looking at college and thought ‘Radford’s not too far’. It’s beautiful up here. I kind of fell in love with the college.”

We asked Rylee to discuss her teaching style a little bit. She said, “We do a lot of presenting and then try to get the students to engage with the material. It’s not all lecturing and notes, we usually have some kind of activity. Freewrites are popular but we have a lot of different writing activities to help [students] really get to use the material and make sure that everything we’re learning they’re getting to put into their toolbox to use later in their classes.”

Elaborating on her teaching style, Rylee described her greatest strength as a teacher by saying, “I am really good at going the full amount of time. If I do finish up a presentation early, I’ll usually give students a chance to work on an assignment and they can come up and ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.”

When asked what would set her CORE classes apart from other options offered at the university, Rylee said, “We do a lot of digital stuff. Pretty much everything we have is submitted digitally instead of print outs. So, for students who prefer to do things digitally instead of on paper, this would be a pretty good course to take.”

Finally, we asked Rylee to tell us an interesting fact that she wanted her students to know about her. Her answer played into her teaching style and philosophy and addressed a concern that many freshmen students in CORE have. “I really love writing. I’ve always wanted to help other people to love writing as much as I do. I think anyone can be a good writer they just need to practice. I try and encourage people to write and grow their skills and be the best students they can be.”