Student Profile

Sydney Sullivan

Ph.D. Candidate - Language, Literacy and Culture

Sydney is a current PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis. She is housed in Education with a focus in Language, Literacy, and Culture; and an emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies. Her research focus is on education and digital rhetoric with an emphasis on well-being. She spends her time in grad school developing skills teaching in the writing program and working in administration to create writing curricula that deal with digital rhetoric in conversation with well-being. As she continues to grow as an educator, Sydney has become increasingly more passionate about the education system and ways in which to engage students to help them succeed not only academically, but in life as well.

While social media, digital news articles, and general advances in technology have led some educators to feel students are disengaged or can’t pay attention in the classroom, Sydney sees this as an area of concentration that should be at the center of curricula. Getting students to engage with digital rhetoric and how the world around them is currently making arguments is critical to encourage them to stay informed in their day-to-day lives. Pairing this with well-being, to her, is the tricky part. However, Sydney also believes in order to encourage students to engage with social justice issues and be engaged with the world around them, they must also engage with themselves.


Ph.D. Education Expected: June 2025 
Emphasis Area: Language, Literacy, and Culture 
Designated Emphasis: Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies  University of California Davis, Davis, CA 

M.A. English Literature Conferred May 2020 
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 

B.A. English Literature Conferred May 2018
Minor: Writing 
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Research Interests 

Well-being, Critical Media Literacy, Social Networking Sites, Digital Literacy, Critical Pedagogy, Pedagogies of Care


Conference Proceedings

Sullivan, S. (2018) The Uses of Absence in Sappho’s Poetry. Scholars Archive Oregon State University: 


Sullivan, S. (2023). Rethinking Curriculums: How Critical Digital Literacy and Mandatory Composition Courses Collide. In S. Gennaro, N. Higdon, M. Hoechsmann, & J. Share (Eds.), Critical Media Literacy and Radical  Democracy in Higher Education  (Under Review) 

Sullivan, S. (2023) Digital Engagement in Undergraduates: A mixed-methods study of how students engage in a digital world and what that means for their well-being. In McGraw Hill-Aula Magna (Eds.), Critical Media Literacy – Literacidade Mediática Crítica – Literacidade Crítica da Mídia (Under Review) 

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Cochran, Silvers, Sullivan, Benson, and Halsey. (2020) “Authenticity, Self-Compassion, and Self-Determination Theory: A Response to Power Inequities within Higher Education.” Composition Studies 

Courses Taught 

University of Arizona 

ENGL 101: College Composition I 

ENGL 102: College Composition II

ENGL 109H : Honors English Composition

University of California, Davis 

UWP1: Introduction to Academic Literacies

UWP1Y: Introduction to Academic Literacies: Hyrbid 

UWP1V: Introduction to Academic Literacies: Fully Online

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