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A lone tree in a flat field during the North Dakota winter
Professor Kelly Sassi in a suit coat with a Sami drum pin on the lapel.

Kelly Sassi

Professor of English and Education


Professor Kelly Sassi specializes in teaching Young Adult Literature, Methods of Teaching Writing, Methods of Teaching Literature, and History of Writing Instruction. She is a qualitative researcher and publishes in Indigenous studies, writing assessment, and antiracist education. She directed the Red River Valley Writing Project from 2014-2021.






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Hello! I'm Kelly


I'm an Associate Professor at North Dakota State University in Fargo. I also serve as Director of the Red River Valley Writing Project. 




Associate Professor

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North Dakota State University

I have a joint appointment in English  and Teacher Education, which means I help prepare future English teachers. I also teach Young Adult Literature and graduate courses in writing research.


Graduate Teaching Assistant

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University of Michigan

I taught the following courses:   College Writing, Writing and Literature, Professional Writing, Directed Teaching in the Secondary School, Seminar: Problems and Principles of Secondary Education, Practicum in Teaching Methods, Teaching of English


High School English Teacher

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West Valley High School, Fairbanks, Alaska

Taught AP English Language, British Literature, American Literature, Creative Writing, Composition, Advanced Composition;
Adviser for Literary Magazine and Amnesty International.




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University of Michigan

I studied with Anne Gere, who directs the Joint Program of English and Education. 

Teaching certification

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University of Alaska

I earned my teaching certification through the Teachers for Alaska Program, which included a field experience in an Athabaskan Village.

M.A. English Literature

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University of Alaska

I had a fellowship, which allowed me to teach First Year Writing and work in the campus writing center.

B.A. English

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University of Alaska

I was in the honors program and wrote an undergraduate thesis about my 5,000-mile bike tour of Europe. 


Logo of the Red River Valley Writing Project


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Microsoft ExCel - Advanced

Microsoft Word - Advanced

Power Point - Proficient

Adobe - Proficient

English - Mother Tongue

Spanish - Advanced



English Education

I teach methods courses for the School of Education at NDSU: Methods of Teaching Writing and Methods of Teaching Literature. I also teach Young Adult Literature in a Multicultural World. I serve as chair of NCTE's Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusivity. 

Rhetoric and Composition

I teach a graduate course on the History of Writing Instruction as well as Composition Research. I study writing assessment and have published in this area. I'm concerned with social justice in writing assessment. 

Indigenous Pedagogy

I read indigenous literatures, study how they are taught in schools, and serve as an ally to indigenous people speaking back to the forces of settler colonization in schools.

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