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Meet the Faculty Advisory Editor: Michael Rifenburg


Michael Rifenburg (he/him) is an Associate Professor of English at the University of North Georgia. Outside of teaching, Rifenburg is one of the Faculty Advisory Editors for Young Scholars in Writing, working with Emily Lawrence to edit her article, “First Year-Writing Student Attitudes and Beliefs: The Potential for Writing-Related Transfer.”

Lawrence’s piece focused on transfer within first-year writing (FYW) courses, with her study gathering student opinions of the course before and after taking an FYW class. Rifenburg explains how his previous experiences “informed how [he] worked with [Emily Lawrence].” Previously a high school teacher, Rifenburg now works at the college level and has gained experience working with faculty and graduate students. “Most of my day is spent talking [and] writing with people from different backgrounds, different education levels, all around the world,” he explains. This experience in his career and the approach he’d gained from it allowed him to work similarly with Lawrence, as he explains how he’s always tried to “shut up, listen, and offer concrete steps forward for all the people I have the chance to work with.”

When working on her article, technology was a big challenge for Rifenburg and Lawrence. Rifenburg explains that he does his best work “off the screen and sitting side by side with someone.” When working with Lawrence, however, the two mostly communicated over e-mail and held one Zoom meeting. “Navigating Zoom” and “balancing all these apps,” such as the Google Suite applications, was challenging without that in-person experience.

Reflecting on the experience of being an FAE, Rifenburg says what he enjoys most about the experience is “watching writing click for another person.” Even if he wasn’t the one responsible for an “a-ha!” moment, he explains that being able to witness those moments “was rad.” Continuing, Rifenburg states that “it was a wonderful experience” and that “Emily is a focused and dedicated writer who pushed me with insightful questions about building academic arguments for publication.” He gives his thanks to Steve Price, a former FAE who passed Rifenburg’s name to the editors of YSW, leading to Rifenburg gaining this experience.

If you are interested in becoming an FAE for Young Scholars in Writing, please reach out to us at for more information.

Written by: Lexi Stewart, Professional Writing major at York College of Pennsylvania