Stories at Work


Stories at Work is a set of projects that pair graduate students in DePaul University’s BA and MA programs in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse with Chicago-area nonprofit organizations, to develop and deploy new media storytelling and digital writing projects together. These partnerships also inform scholarly research that explores how organizations build new media production capacity and use new media texts in their work.

Current Projects

In the winter of 2018, my graduate-level WRD 532: Content Strategy course will partner with three or four local nonprofit organizations to help these organizations develop a content strategy. This is the first time that I will be using the learning platform Gather to share learning materials with our nonprofit partners. See the announcement for this partnership.

In spring 2019, I will run a second iteration of WRD 288: Digital Storytelling. Last year, the WRD 288 students ran a digital storytelling workshop for parent leaders from Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) and Enlace Chicago. In the workshop, parents made personal, digital stories about how and why they have advocated for their own children and educational equity in the Chicago Public Schools. The workshop was part of the ongoing Chicago Families for Equity in Education project and was funded by a Vincentian Endowment Fund Grant at DePaul.

On the back burner, but still getting some of my attention is the online tool that I’ve been working on for a few years now, Stories That Work. The site features a unique searchable database of collections of digital personal experience narratives made by nonprofits and cause initiatives. The database is intended to be a tool for the students and nonprofit practitioners that I work with, helping both to conceive of ideas for storytelling projects and providing space for them to reflect on the story-making process.

Past Projects

Student Opportunities

Stories at Work, with the assistance of the Irwin W. Steans Center for Community-Based Service Learning and Community Service Studies, has funded several graduate students from the MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse to assist partner organizations with follow-up after service-learning courses are complete. These positions are competitive, and are awarded through an application process. Announcements for upcoming opportunities will be publicized to all students in DePaul’s MA in WRD.