Lifelong Connections: Jessie Moore 

Learn more about Professor of English Jessie L. Moore, who is passionate about engaged learning, teaching and mentoring.

The director of the Center for Engaged Learning, Professor of English Jessie L. Moore has researched the writing lives of students and alumni for more than a decade to better understand how writing courses and programs can support the development of students as writers. In recognition of her work, she received Elon’s Distinguished Scholar Award in 2021.

By Garrett Turner ’08 

Jessie L. Moore has been one of Elon’s most influential faculty members in the study of scholarship, specifically as it relates to teaching methodologies. She also played an instrumental role in my success as a student.

As a sophomore, selecting a major seemed like one of those fork-in-the-road moments, when turning back or making the wrong decision at the beginning of the journey would haunt me later. Even more challenging was the fact that I didn’t truly understand what “professional writing and rhetoric” meant and why I needed a thesaurus to decipher the ins and outs of this “situated art.” The only certainty I had at the time was this major seemed creatively different, broadening academic approaches through design theory, writing technologies and workplace heuristics.

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My first exposure to Dr. Moore and PWR took place during a summer course titled “Around the World in 22 Days.” The course highlighted diverse world cultures and teaching theories for students learning English as a second language, something that played into my interest in working overseas upon graduation. The course was highly innovative and ahead of its time — it was taught predominantly online through recorded lectures, allowing students to engage with each other remotely.

Over the next two years, I expanded my rhetorical worldview under Dr. Moore’s tutelage, learning how to transfer writing knowledge and mentor peers across multidisciplinary subjects while working at Elon’s Writing Center. This experience was influential to my career as it helped me develop skills like understanding clients’ needs and developing a roadmap for executing a strategic plan, something I continue to practice in my current professional role.

As an alumnus, my lifelong connection with Dr. Moore has evolved into engagement through the Center for Engaged Learning. This partnership has given way to a three-year mentoring opportunity for potential students to collaborate with Elon faculty on the center’s research. Recently, we have begun initial discussions on a future project to continue offering unique opportunities for students interested in mentorship programs.

If I have learned anything from my interactions with Dr. Moore, it is that oftentimes you never know the impact your work will have on others. That’s certainly the case when you work with students. You don’t really know the impact you have on their present or future path, but putting forward the effort through mentorship and teaching is definitely worth it because it can lead to a breakthrough. Dr. Moore’s work demonstrates that.

Garrett Turner graduated from Elon in 2008 with a degree in English with a concentration in professional writing and rhetoric. He serves as vice president of global strategy for telecommunications firm Liberty Port LLC.