Ramona TikTok

Dr. Ramona Maile Cutri is not your average professor. The Teacher Education professor has a following of more than 38,000 individuals (about twice the seating capacity of the Marriott Center) on TikTok and is known as the Writing and Tenure Coach to a multitude of students online.

Cutri was first introduced to TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic when her daughter showed her some funny videos on the platform. Curious, she wanted to learn more about the app and its algorithms. For Cutri, she saw this media platform as an opportunity.

“During the pandemic I was very lonely. I like to interact with people. I could see my undergrad students via zoom, but my graduate students were just cut off. I wanted to reach out,” Cutri says. So, she started her own TikTok channel as a way to connect with her students.

On her channel, Cutri shares succinct writing advice geared towards graduate academic writing.

Being exposed to this field, she explained, “It quickly became apparent this was a niche not being filled.” Leading Cutri to continue creating content on TikTok.

Students benefit greatly from the writing advice she gives them. With her 1-3-minute-long videos, students learn a new writing skill they can apply into their own academic writing. It also allows Curti to express her true self through her videos.

“I think the notion of authenticity resonates with people,” she explains. Because TikTok is a platform with minimal editing and short succinct videos, Cutri’s viewers see her everyday life either in her office or car. When an idea of a video comes to her, she whips out her phone and films a short video.

She believes TikTok is a huge blessing for people with a desire to learn. This new technology increases individuals’ access to knowledge by letting users gain information for free. Some professors are even teaching their entire class content on platforms like TikTok.

Cutri has conducted research entitled “Academics on TikTok?!” about other academics who make TikTok videos. Her research includes three projects focusing on a typology of academics on TikTok, an integrated literature review theorizing academics’ TikTok use, and a survey about why and how academics create TikTok content.

Cutri is greatly touched whenever she receives comments from students sharing how “meaningful and helpful” her writing advice on TikTok. For Cutri, it is clear being a professor is what God needs her to do.

Writer: Abigail Haven
Contact: Andrew Devey