Dr. Krystia Nora

Assistant Professor

Department of Culture, Media, and Performance


Dr. Nora has been teaching college writing classes since spring 2001 at various state and local colleges. In the fall of 2008, she joined PennWest California's English Department. Teaching college students how to write better is her passion, and it is the main source of her writing and research. She has presented at numerous national conferences on her work and has been published in Writing on the Edge.


  • English Language Skills
  • English Composition I and II

Research Interests

Dr. Nora is currently researching how helpful research writing students find her reader project - an assignment in which students compile and analyze sources for their main writing project.

Service Learning Projects

In 2009, she sang and acted in "Steel Valleys: 1919," a play educating the public about the harsh conditions that led to one of the major Pittsburgh steel strikes. She also has run a writing group with older adult writers in public housing facilities.

In The Classroom

"This isn't like your high school English class. Your work throughout the term will result in a self-published small book. Years after completing my class, I've had students stop me on a public bus or on the street and tell me they still have the book they completed in my class, explaining that the work they did in my course (even if they didn't appreciate it while doing it) helped them grow as writers. Also, students comment on how they leave my courses with a lot of friends who they often stay in touch with for the remainder of college. This is because my courses are designed to be very interactive: Everyone becomes involved with the writing of all of the other students in the class. Your readings, for the most part, are what other students write. You learn to critically engage text by providing commentary on fellow student writing in order to offer alternatives and solutions, as well as specific praise. Because I have students write on what they are ‘burning to share with the world,' everything students write is important to themselves and to others. Once in a while, students even publish a portion of what they composed in my class in an outside publication."

  • B.M.: Music Education, Youngstown State University
  • M.A.: English, Youngstown State University
  • Ph.D.: English Composition and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Email: nora@pennwest.edu

Phone: 724-938-4717

Office: Azorsky Hall Room 239