Jason S. Todd, Ph.D.

I've been teaching both students and faculty how to create portfolios and eportfolios for many years, but it has been a while since I created one for myself. The process, as it should, has challenged me to think about my growth as a teacher over the years and to consider the direction I want to go in the future. My most specific goal for the next few years is to begin working more closely with students on research. This has been a goal in the back of my head for a while now, but as I am working through the P-MAX Online Course, that goal is becoming more prominent. As I continue to refine my existing classes and to develop new ones, I want to make research with the students, not just by the students, a significant focus.

The Short Story ( words)

Jason S. Todd is Associate Professor of English, Director of the Digital Humanities Program, and Faculty Director of the Core Curriculum at Xavier University of Louisiana. Until 2022, he served as Associate Director of Programming for Xavier's Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development. Todd completed his Ph.D. at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2006 and his undergraduate studies at Webster University in 1996. His short stories and articles have appeared in journals such as Southern Literary Journal, Southern California Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Fiction Weekly, and Xavier Review. Todd teaches courses on American literature, comics and graphic novels, and genre fiction. He is the instructor of the popular transdisciplinary course Dystopias, Real & Imagined. He also serves as contributing editor for the Xavier Review, Assessment Co-coordinator for the POD Network's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and troop leader and merit badge counselor for Scouting BSA.

The Less-Short Story

At Xavier's 2023 commencement ceremony, I was awarded the Norman C. Francis Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.

Jason S. Todd grew up in Pittsburgh and Chicago. He attended college at Webster University in St. Louis, studying creative writing with T. M. McNally. After college, he spent several years working for the fund-raising arm of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod as an "Electronic Media Specialist," even though no one really knew what that label meant.

After surviving the non-event of Y2K, he changed course and moved south to study creative writing with Frederick Barthelme, Steven Barthelme, and Mary Robison at the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi, whence he received his master's degree in 2003 and his doctorate in 2006. He became a husband and a step-father one day after he became a doctor.

Following graduate school, he taught first-year composition at Southeastern Louisiana University for a year before being hired as Writing Center Director at Xavier University of Louisiana. As the Writing Center Director, he managed both professional, full-time writing tutors and part-time student tutors. He also oversaw a system that required over one-hundred first-year students to attend weekly tutoring sessions each semester.

Three years later, he accepted a position as Xavier's first Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Director, even though no one really knew what that label meant. As QEP Director, he oversaw the implementation, maintenance, and assessment of Read Today, Lead Tomorrow, a five-year program designed to improve the reading skills of Xavier's students by embedding active reading instruction in classes across the curriculum and by elevating reading as a form of campus engagement. Read Today, Lead Tomorrow ultimately had a significant impact on the curriculum and the culture at Xavier by effectively restructuring the Developmental Reading Program to better meet the needs of under-served first-year students, by enabling faculty to teach students how to read within their unique disciplines, by refocusing and enhancing the Shared Reading component of the Freshman Seminars, and by significantly altering the literary culture to demonstrate the importance and popularity of bringing authors to campus.

Close up of me, wearing sunglasses

Photo Credit:
Connor Elsea, 2022

In 2015, Todd was asked to serve as the Associate Director for Programming in Xavier's Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development and served in that position through 2021. Over the course of those six-and-a-half years, he reorganized the way faculty development workshops were planned, scheduled, and delivered. He also streamlined the Course Portfolio Working Group initiative and the Mid-Course Review process, arguably the most important service offered by the Center. During the COVID–19 pandemic, he helped develop the #LearnEverywhereXULA (#LEX) training, which taught all of Xavier's faculty effective and student-centered methods for teaching online.

In 2021, he was asked to serve as the director of Xavier's Digital Humanities program, and in 2022, he was asked to serve as the Faculty Director of the Core Curriculum. As Faculty Director of the Core Curriculum, he manages the scheduling and assessment of the non-discipline-specific core classes: College Experience (XCOR 1000), Xavier Experience (XCOR 1011), New Orleans Experience (XCOR 1012), Engaging the Mission (XCOR 3010), and Engaging Global Issues (XCOR 3020), and the assessment of all other discipline-specific core classes. He also chairs the Core Governance Council, charged with approving new classes for the core and reviewing existing classes.

He has been publishing fiction since 2002, when he became hooked on the submission-rejection-acceptance cycle after receiving a brief hand-written rejection letter from C. Michael Curtis, fiction editor for the Atlantic Monthly, that said he was a good writer. Since then, his fiction has appeared in print in literary journals like Phantasmagoria, Chicago Quarterly Review, Southern California Review, and the Xavier Review, and in online journals like Fiction Weekly, 971 Menu, Paradigm, and Red Savina Review. His current work-in-progress is a novel about a private investigator hired by an ex-girlfriend to find her missing father.

Todd lives on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, about an hour north of New Orleans, with his wife, two children, two dogs, one cat, six three five four chickens, and one turtle on land originally inhabited by members of the Bayougoula and Choctaw peoples.

The content on this page was last modified on Sat 13 Jul 2024.