Rhonda Claridge


Rhonda Claridge received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism and classical writing from New York University and went on to earn her Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado. Currently an instructor of English at Colorado Mesa University-Montrose Campus, Claridge teaches English Composition, Writing Studio, Reading Studio and Mythology.

Originally from the Bahamas, Claridge moved to the high country of the Southern Rocky Mountains in 1992. She began reporting for a local newspaper in 1995, and she continues to publish articles as a freelance writer. Fiction, personal essays and researched non-fiction relating to human and natural history are her favored genres.

Claridge’s goal as an instructor is to instill a love of learning and language. Citing a recent Association of American Colleges and Universities study, she pointed out that strong communication skills are a priority among today’s employers. Thus, she emphasizes to students the importance of learning how to communicate effectively in order to succeed both professionally and personally. She challenges students to think independently, and teaches them to write in various forms in preparation for their future academic and career demands. Students are encouraged to work together and autonomously to learn more about their community and to explore their own identities. Assignments may require them to interview regional experts on an issue or event, or to research a myth from their ancestral heritage.

She has been teaching English Composition and Literature for 14 years at the Montrose campus. She engages students in the learning process by giving them free rein to explore topics of their own interest, by encouraging their progress and by helping them discover their particular strengths.

Eight years ago, Claridge founded the Black Canyon Review, an annual publication of student essays from the Montrose Campus, which she continues to edit and produce for the benefit of students and the larger reading community. This publication grants students an opportunity to showcase their scholarly and creative achievements.

Rhonda is a careful and caring teacher, with skill, knowledge, and excellent pedagogical tools.

Professor Claridge so successfully conveyed her subject matter that it occurred to me I had acquired an overview for story telling that had not been provided to me in the past.

I was so impressed with Rhonda’s¬†communication skills and personality that I’d love to have another class with her!