Academic, Creative Writer, Editorial Consultant, Journalist

About

Matthew Frye Castillo is a tenure-track/CCE Lecturer in Professional and Creative Writing at Lehman College, City University of New York. He is faculty advisor to The Meridian student newspaper, co-advisor to the LGBTQI+ student club with Dr. Benjamin Holtzman (History); and co-directs the Lehman chapter of the LGBTQI+ Consortium along with MX Cooper (Dance).

He is at work on a novel about reality TV, a comedic screenplay about climate change, critical essays on the politics of victimhood, and the first book-length study on the relationship between artists Jasper Johns Robert Rauschenberg.

Frye Castillo has published fiction, essays, and poetry in popular and literary journals, including Best Gay Stories, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Epiphany, and Newtown Literary. His story on jockstraps and moving to NYC was featured in the Netflix docuseries, Worn Stories. He is the author of One Headlight (Cirque Press), which Chelsea News called an “inspirational story of resilience and fortitude,” and that The Anchorage Daily News praised for “depictions of working-class, poverty-level Alaska [that] counterbalance the usual tropes of Alaska as a sublime wilderness.” One Headlight also received positive mentions from Lambda Literary, Kirkus Reviews, Pine Hills Review, and NPR’s Hometown Alaska.

Raised in California and Alaska, Frye Castillo doubled majored in English literature and psychology at The University of Alaska, Anchorage, and has studied at Clark University and Columbia University. He holds an Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Hunter College, CUNY, where he was a Hertog Fellow and started a reading series at Shakespeare & Co. that featured Jeannie Vanasco, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Amy Jo Burns, Krystal Sital, Liz Moore, and Alex Gilvarry.

He lives in New York City.

Course history

Fall 2022 — Lehman college, City University of New York
  • ENW 399: Reading, Writing, and Rhetoric
  • ENW 365: Writing for the Social Good: Communication for Non-profits, ESG, and Philanthropy
  • ENW 201: Writing Essentials
Spring 2022 – Lehman college, City University of New York
  • ENW 364: Writing Queer Literature
  • ENW 310: Intermediate Creative Writing
  • ENW 305: Principles of Professional Writing
Fall 2021 – Lehman college, City University of New York
  • ENW 201: Writing Essentials
  • ENW 303: Workshop in Creative Nonfiction
  • ENW 305: Principles of Professional Writing
  • ENW 484: Honors Tutorial in Writing
Summer 2021 – Columbia University, School of Journalism
  • Workshops in Publishing
Spring 2021 – Lehman college, City University of New York
  • ENG 121: English Composition II
  • ENW 217: Editing and Proofreading
  • ENG 307: The Novel
  • ENW 303: Workshop in Creative Nonfiction
Fall 2020 – Lehman college, City University of New York
  • ENG 111: English Composition I
  • ENG 121: English Composition II
  • ENW 217: Editing and Proofreading
  • ENW 3200: Professional Presentations
Spring 2017 – Hunter College, City University of New York
  • HUM: 150: Distinguished Living Writers
Fall 2016 – Hunter College, City University of New York
  • HUM: 150: Distinguished Living Writers

teaching Philosophy


I believe everyone has profound abilities that require an encouraging force to realize. As an educator, my goal is to model the learning process with humility, curiosity, rigor, intellectual honesty, and a dash of hubris. I aim to inspire students to challenge themselves and constantly learn from failure. I actively listen to students and trust that they have as much to teach me on a topic as I can teach them.

bell hooks has inspired my pedagogical vision of the collegiate classroom as an at of social change, and Patricia Hill Collins remains a powerful reminder to not just theorize, but to act in ways that uplift all people. I value Siri Hustvedt’s writings on consilience and the cross-pollination between science and art, business and the humanities. Following the sociologist Andrew Ross, I am to avoid “arm-chair theorizing” and remain active in the holistic lives of those I work with.

Learning happens best when people are alert, safe, and feel that their time is valued. This space is created by instructors who consider their audience’s culture, background, and history of formal education, then offer opportunities for students to identify and overcome obvious or subtle challenges. Instructors should integrate research on human learning into their course development, lectures, and classroom guidance. This includes concepts from cognitive development such as chunking, nesting, and Howard Gardner’s eight intelligences; and social psychology such as stereotype threat, social facilitation, and unconditional positive regard. Great teachers also intuitively or deliberately apply pedagogical frameworks and strategies, such as Bloom’s taxonomy, ACUE’s 10 Inclusive Learning Practices, and UNLV’s Transparent Assignment Checklist.

My formal efforts to improve my teaching skills include training from ACUE on effective online teaching and DEI education through Every Learner Everywhere. I have attended informative racism workshops and training from colleagues at Lehman, Professors Sophia Hsu, Sarah Omner, and Vani Kannan. I have also picked up numerous tips from works by Matthew Salesses, Christopher Emdin, and Gina Ann Garica.

Because of these trainings and readings, I have introduced techniques to meet students where they are, particular students at a Hispanic-Serving Institution/ Minority-Serving Institution, and to help them more effectively integrate to and feel welcome by the college campus. I have incorporated more campus partners into my syllabi, including guest lectures from other professors and visits from CUNY offices, including representatives from the Library, Athletics Center, Multimedia Department, and Office of Prestigious Awards. I have introduced student-friendly technologies like WhatsApp, Google Drive, and InQuizitive by Norton. I have also invited community leaders to lead discussion, established support groups for multi-lingual students in all of my courses, and applied the “no red-mark” approach to grading papers, which research suggests is more motivating than traditional grading processes.

My teaching philosophy has been informed by my background as a working-class, queer student from an ethnically-mixed household who was rarely encouraged to continue my studies. The professors and teachers who did change my life did so by holding me to a high standard, offering candid but insightful feedback, and modeling how to move through the world as a productive, kind, thoughtful, and compassionate thinker. My end goal as an educator is to assist my students’ professional and personal successes through a positive and rigorous classroom environment.

Curriculum Vitae

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