Nicole Gonzales Howell

Nicole Howell

Associate Professor

Full-Time Faculty


Nicole Gonzales Howell received her MA from California State University, Fresno and earned her PhD from Syracuse University in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric. In 2014 Nicole was selected as one of the Ethnic Minority Dissertation Fellows at the University of San Francisco (now the Gerardo Marin Dissertation Fellows). Currently, Nicole is a full-time associate professor in the Rhetoric and Language department and teaches several Written Communication and Public Speaking courses. Additionally, as the Mellon Scholar Coordinator, Nicole works with Mellon Scholars from Foothill and De Anza Community Colleges to support their transfer to USF. Much of Nicole's research has focused on the importance of considering social location (race, gender, class, ability, and sexuality) of both students and teachers and how it relates to many aspects of writing instruction, teacher affect, program administration, and in particular writing assessment.


  • Rhetoric and Writing Studies
  • Cultural Studies

Research Areas

  • Writing assessment
  • Linguistic justice
  • Anti-racist pedagogy


  • USF Mellon Scholar Coordinator, 2016 - Present


  • Syracuse University, PhD in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric, 2016
  • California State University, Fresno, MA English with a certificate in Composition, 2009
  • University of Southern California, BA in English Language and Literature, 1996

Prior Experience

  • Teaching Associate, Syracuse University
  • Writing Center Consultant, Syracuse University
  • Adjunct Faculty, California State University, Fresno
  • Adjunct Faculty, Fresno Community College

Selected Publications

  • “Embracing the Perpetual ‘But’ in Raciolinguistic Justice Work: When Idealism Meets Practice.” With Kate Navickas, Rachael Shapiro, Shawna Shapiro, and Missy Watson. Composition Forum. August 2020. 44
  • Howell, Nicole Gonzales. "Rev. of Rethinking Ethos: A Feminist Ecological Approach to Rhetoric edited by Kathleen J. Ryan, Nancy Meyers, and Rebecca Jones." Peitho 20.2 (2018): 420-27.
  • “Speaking from and About Brown Bodies: Sharing Identities, Changing Identities.” Composition Studies. Fall 2017 45.2