Lisa Del Torto Assistant Professor of Instruction, The Cook Family Writing Program

Lisa M. Del Torto is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in Northwestern University’s Cook Family Writing Program in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. She teaches Expository Writing (Eng 105-0), First-Year Seminars (Eng 105-6), and Writing in Special Contexts (Eng 106), known generally as Design Thinking and Communication, or DTC, and taught collaboratively with faculty from Weinberg and the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. In all of her courses, Dr. Del Torto uses ethnographic methods, theoretical frameworks from sociolinguistics, and her own background in bilingualism to explore the linguistic behavior and other phenomena students observe. Her current first-year seminar, This Linguistic Life: Language and Everyday Experience, introduces topics in sociolinguistics that we encounter in our daily lives and provides students opportunities to explore the spoken and written language they use and observe in a variety of everyday contexts. In addition to teaching DTC, Del Torto has taken an active role in DTC coordination and planning and has offered the first DTC sections that emphasize entrepreneurship (eDTC) and work closely with faculty from the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

As Assistant Director for Northwestern’s International Summer Institute (ISI), Del Torto works with a team of linguists and English language instructors to provide NU’s incoming international PhD students with linguistic, emotional, academic, and practical support as they adjust to life in the US. Her service to the university includes training workshops for other Northwestern programs and departments on topics such as intercultural interaction, writing pedagogy, and writing science proposals, and working with students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds through the Master of Project Management program in the McCormick School, the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, and the Writing Place. Del Torto is a member of the Segal Educational Council, the DTC Core Faculty committee, the Writing Program DTC committee, and the Segal Staff committee; and has served as one of the coordinators on the DTC Murphy Grant project.

One of Del Torto’s favorite roles is research that focuses on student life and work at Northwestern. Together with Prof. Penny Hirsch and a team of undergraduate research assistants, Del Torto is currently conducting research on students’ concepts of community and identity at Northwestern. In a separate research project, Del Torto is exploring students’ experiences with interdisciplinary design projects sourced from entrepreneurs and start-ups with faculty from McCormick and the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Del Torto is a faculty fellow at the Slivka Residential College of Science and Engineering and the faculty adviser for NU’s Quidditch Team.