Mary Jo Buff, M.Ed., M.A.

Academic Coordinator

Phone: (205) 665-6289


Master of Arts English, 2003

University of Montevallo

Concentrations: Medieval Literature, Grammar and Rhetoric, Adolescent Literature and Writing Composition

Bachelor of Arts in English, 2001

University of Montevallo

Master of Education Right to Read Program, 1979-1981

University of Alabama

Concentrations: Children’s and Adolescent Literature, Standardized Testing and Statistics, Language Arts Curriculum Development

Bachelor of Arts in Education, 1978

Concentrations: Reading and Language Arts; Adolescent Literature and Children’s Literature

Work Experience

2006–Present Upward Bound Tutor Coordinator

University of Montevallo

Provide tutoring in target schools, on campus, or local libraries based on student need. Coordinate tutoring (hire and train tutors); provide academic seminars and postsecondary seminars during weekly academic sessions and Super Saturday sessions; organize and teach sessions in study skills, test-taking skills, ACT Prep, graduation exam remediation, essay writing; assist seniors with the college application process and portfolio development. Monitor and document senior scholarship progress. Coordinate peer tutoring in target schools. Monitor and document the academic progress of each student. Develop computer-generated IEPs on each student. Interact with target school personnel. Provide monthly reports on program activities and professional development. Supervise the Bridge Program and publish The Grapevine. Assist in successful grant-writing process.

2003–2006 Adjunct English Instructor

University of Montevallo

Courses Taught: ENG 101: Composition I; ENG 102: Composition II; ENG 231: World Literature; ENG 455/555: Advanced Grammar and Rhetoric

Developed and implemented syllabi and lesson plans. Assisted students with all stages of the writing process. Created e-reserve resources with over 400 instructional documents posted. Conducted one-on-one tutoring in literature and writing with both undergraduate and graduate students. Integrated technology into classroom activities. Mentored and directed students in submission process to writing competitions, workshops, and undergraduate research projects.

1995–2006 Upward Bound English Instructor and ACCESS Coordinator / Tutor Coordinator (part time)

University of Montevallo

Taught academic classes in English literature, composition, grammar, and journalism; coordinated tutoring program; recruited, hired, and trained tutors. Evaluated and provided AHSGE remediation to students in all areas of academics; conducted ACT Prep Seminars in three counties. Surveyed educational materials and recommended additions to the program. Organized and supervised Think Tank Tutoring and Super Saturday Sessions during the academic year and coordinated the on-campus summer tutoring program at UM. Supervised the writing, editing, and publishing of quarterly newsletter, The Grapevine. Reviewed portfolios, selected representatives, and accompanied students to the UM Write Connection seminars. Developed a handbook for Pilot Work Study program. Contributed articles to the Upward Bound web site. Provided individual education plans (IEP’s) for subject deficits and enrichment curriculum. Reviewed advanced coursework, scholarship applications, and essays with students. Assisted in grant-writing projects. Coordinated with Harbert Writing Center and Student Support tutors to offer services as needed to Upward Bound students. Conducted Study Skills, Memory and Retention, as well as Time Management seminars to university and high school students. Served as a liaison between Bridge students and the Assistant Director concerning academics, professional, and transition issues between high school and college. Organized lesson plans for summer ACCESS instructors.

2002–2003 Harbert Writing Center Master Tutor

University of Montevallo

Worked individually with students, faculty, and the UM community in all stages of the writing process on various writing projects, including submissions for publication. Assisted the director in scheduling and management of the writing center. Gave tours and presentations to college classes about the purpose and mission of the Harbert Writing Center. Provided enrichment and remedial tutoring to education students before and after taking the Mather-Woodcock Writing Assessment test. Developed handouts of instruction and web site links for MLA documentation (with online sources and academic databases), APA documentation, and content writing.

2000–2003 Harbert Writing Center Tutor

University of Montevallo

Worked individually with students on various writing projects; tutored and edited drafts and writing projects. Developed handout of instruction “Transitions Are Bridges” for HWC use.

1996–1997 AmeriCorps Volunteer

Tutored youth in Shelby county rural areas in English, composition, math, and social studies. Developed an after school program at Vincent Middle/High school for students. Taught literature enrichment seminars at Vincent High School and Shelby County High School on Chaucer and Arthurian Literature. Served as a mentor to students, touring college campuses, offering cultural enrichment opportunities, and community service projects to a target group.

1994–2004 Lindz’s Manager

Riverchase Galleria, Birmingham, AL

Hired, trained, and scheduled full-time and part-time employees. Planned media events, including television interviews, Birmingham News special features, and special events for collectibles. Inventoried, ordered, and purchased materials for stores.

1989–1994 Shelby Academy Teacher

Montevallo, AL

Taught self-contained classroom. Incorporated technology, hands-on activities, in academics. Coordinated school-wide talent showcases, art exhibitions, and science fairs.

1985–1989 Alliance Day School Teacher

Vestavia, AL

Taught multi-leveled classes (grades 4–11) in reading, grammar, literature, creative writing, speech, and music. Incorporated technology, hands-on activities, and state testing standards in academics. Coordinated school-wide and state-wide talent showcases in oral interpretation, music, and art. Produced and directed musical dramas. Documented and assigned grades.

1982–1985 Flint Hill Christian School Teacher

Bessemer, AL

Taught junior high and high school classes in grammar, literature, creative writing, speech, and music. Mentored school-wide participation in state-wide talent showcases. Produced and directed musicals and school plays. Documented and assigned grades. Served as team leader, coordinating lesson plans, events, and testing schedules.

1978–1981 Vance Elementary School Teacher

Vance, AL

Taught in a 5th-6th grade open classroom learning environment with four teachers and 140 students. Documented and assigned grades. Introduced “Write Across the Curriculum” at Tuscaloosa County in-service activities. Served as leader of Textbook Review Committee, 1979–1981. Assumed duties of master teacher during the 1980–81 school year.

Professional Affiliations

  • Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (SAEOPP) and
  • Alabama Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (AAEOPP) 2006–present
  • Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA) 2004–present
  • American Association of University Women (AAUW), Montevallo Chapter 2002–present
  • Alabama Writers’ Forum 2002–present
  • Alabama Education Association (AEA) 1978–present
  • University of Montevallo National Alumni Association 1978–present

Honors and Awards

  • 2005 Children’s Advocate Award, Childcare Resources, Birmingham, AL
  • 2003, 2004, and 2005: English 101 and 102 students won President’s Writing Awards
  • Spring 2003 Graduate Honors Scholarship, University of Montevallo
  • 1994 Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) Teacher of the Year
  • 1980 Alabama Teacher in Space Finalist
  • 1979 Right to Read UA Graduate Scholarship
  • 1979 Tuscaloosa County Teacher of the Year

Professional Workshops Attended

  • SAEOPP Priority 3 Workshop. “Assessment of Student Needs; Proven Retention & Graduation Strategies; and the use of Educational Technology, in Order to Design and Operate a Model TRIO Project Workshop.” Mobile, AL, 28 February–3 March 2007.
  • Montevallo Literary Festival, University of Montevallo. April 2005, April 2006.
  • Alabama Writers Forum “Writing Our Stories: An Anti-Violence Curriculum for Creative Writing.” Training. Montgomery, AL, April 2006.
  • AAEOPP. Fall Training. Birmingham, AL. October 2004.
  • “Teaching, Assigning, and Responding to Student Writing.” Conducted by Dr. Glenda Conway, (University of Montevallo Writing Reinforcement course) August 2003; August 2005.
  • Write Connection (one day writing workshop on the UM campus for high school writers 1996–2006.
  • Computer Services Courses at the University of Montevallo E-Reserves, 2003; Front Page, 2004; Blackboard, 2005 and 2006.
  • “Understanding and Interpreting the ACT” Workshop. Birmingham, AL. October 1997–1998, 2000–2005


  • “The Pearl Poem: Efficacy of Grief Writing as Narrative Strains in Medieval Literature.” The Southeastern Medieval Association Conference:Beginnings and Endings. 14 October 2006. University of Mississippi. Oxford, Mississippi.
  • “Book Group Dialogue II: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Coping with Grief, Suffering and Loss : Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking .” AAUW, Montevallo Chapter !Adelante! 15 November 2006.
  • “Memory and Retention: Techniques to Achieve Academic Success.” University of Montevallo Student Support Services. 22 March 2006. Available .
  • “Time Management and Prioritization.” University of Montevallo Student Support Services. 8 March 2006. Available .
  • “Book Group Dialogue VI. Multicultural Learning and Exchange in Stories of Literature and Medicine: Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down .” AAUW, Montevallo Chapter !Adelante! 8 March 2006. Available .
  • “Budget Cuts Hurt At Risk Students.” Editorial. The Birmingham News 27 June 1999, 03-C. Fall 2006. Available: .
  • “Elements of an Essay.” Jefferson State Community College and University of Montevallo ENG 101/102 Classes. Spring 2004, Fall 2004, Spring 2005, Summer 2005, Fall 2005, Spring 2006. Available .
  • Conscar Bar Bith : The Fury of Battle Destroys the World.” The Southeastern Medieval Association Conference: The Rules Are Different Here . 1 October 2005. Stetson University Daytona Beach, Florida.
  • “A True Knight in the Real World.” Third Annual Teaching Medieval Literature Conference. Kennesaw State University. Kennesaw, GA. 28 March 2003. Published online at ARTHURIANA Pedagogy Page , Southern Methodist University . Ed. Bonnie Wheeler. .
  • “Help With Transitions.” University of Montevallo Harbert Writing Center Handout. Fall 2002. Available Web Page format: ; Document: .
  • “A Visual Stimulus for Teaching Chaucer.” Second Annual Teaching Medieval Literature Conference. Kennesaw State University. Kennesaw, GA. 30 March 2002.
  • “This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen Again.”Editorial. The Birmingham News 27 June 1999, 03-C. Fall 2006. Available: .
  • “Planbooks, Creative Thinking, and the Active Classroom. AISA Statewide Teachers’ Inservice. Huntington College. Montgomery, AL October 1993.
  • “Incorporating Art and Creative Writing in the Language Arts Curriculum.” Faulkner State University, Montgomery, AL October 1994.
  • “Creative Composition and Publication of Student-written Tales.” Tuscaloosa County Teachers’ Inservice. University of Alabama. Tuscaloosa, AL . August 1979.
  • “Write Across the Curriculum.” Tuscaloosa County Teachers’ Inservice. University of Alabama. Tuscaloosa, AL. October 1979, 1980.