Alyssa J. O'Brien is a Lecturer at Stanford University in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, where she teaches courses in visual culture and leadership to first and second year students. She has weekly hours as a writing and digital media tutor in the Hume Center for Speaking and Writing. She also teaches a graduate course in Writing for Policy Audiences and serves as Writing Specialist in Stanford's Public Policy Program.
Since arriving at Stanford in 2001, she has published numerous articles and co-authored multiple textbooks on writing, public speaking, intercultural communication competencies, digital technologies for education, and visual argumentation in film and public activism. Alyssa also published a collection of her mother's writing, The Quilt of My Life, in which poetry, photography, and story convey her mother's courageous 14-year battle against breast cancer. Alyssa's current research focuses on affect, cross-cultural communication, and leadership.
Prior to Stanford, Alyssa taught literature, creative writing, multimedia literacy, and business communication at Cornell University, the University of Rochester, the Eastman School of Music, and the Simon School of Business. In 2006, she was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa Award for outstanding teaching at Stanford, and what she enjoys most is helping writers find their voices. She admires her students for their enthusiasm, hard work, and risk-taking over the years, and she is grateful that so many former students keep in close touch.
In her free time, Alyssa writes, reads, surfs, travels, and spends quality time with family and friends.