Deborah Barrett is a professor in the practice of writing and communication at Rice University where she teaches graduate courses in creative writing and literature. She was awarded the John Freeman Faculty Teaching Award in 2019 for her work in the GLS Program, which she joined as faculty in 2009. She served as the director of MBA communication at the Jones School and director of the Program for Communication Excellence for Rice undergraduates after joining the Rice faculty in 1998. She has a Ph.D. in English from Rice and has published scholarly articles on literature, communication, and leadership and a textbook, Leadership Communication (McGraw-Hill). She has participated in several major writing conferences, including the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences for creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. She has published several creative nonfiction essays as Deborah Burch-Lavis and published a chapbook of poetry, The Desert Speaks to the Dreamer (Finishing Line Press, 2019). Currently, she participates in poetry workshops with the Circle of Wise Women at Stanford University, and is working on publishing her novel. You can read some of her creative writing and see her photography at https://www.mydeborahbarrett.com and see some of her academic publications and presentations at https://scholarship.rice.edu.