|Ms. Leslie Jordan Clary has her M.A. in english and TESOL certificate. She teaches composition, creative writing and literature at Lassen College in Susanville, California. She has also worked as a freelance journalist and photographer, primarily covering travel, gemstone mining and environmental issues. Currently she is working on a book on "Buddhism in America" and the way it has adapted to Western culture. The creative nonfiction narrative is based on personal experiences and observations in China as well as in America. At Lassen College she has become interested in contextualized learning, a theory that is based on the assumption that when students are able to make cognitive connections between abstract ideas and their practical application to the real world they internalize the information in a deeper way than in a classroom only setting. Ms. Jordan has written curriculum at Lassen College that incorporates this philosophy into the classroom and has developed a summer bridge program for incoming freshmen where students study their local environment to help improve their skills in writing and math. As both a practitioner and supporter of the arts, Jordan is active with her local Arts Council and chair of their literary committee. She is a former recipient of a California Arts Council Artist-in-Residency grant in creative writing. She is also co-founder of Zephyr Forest Dharma Center for Buddhist study and practice in Susanville, California.
Ms. Clary's Fulbright-Nehru research "The Language of Place: Writing About Environment" looks at the way local landscape informs and defines us. Drawing on the philosophy of deep ecology, this eco-literary project will take a creative approach to exploring our interdependence with nature and the ways our behavior interweaves, sometimes harmoniously, sometimes discordantly, with our environment. Through writing, the project will compare and contrast environmental issues and concerns between the placement in India and the rural American west with the objective of creating a collaboration, perhaps in the form of an online journal, between the host institution and the scholar's home college.