At the annual Conference on College Composition and Communication in Houston, TX, Alice Myatt, Jeanine Rauch and Rachel Johnson hosted a panel presentation entitled “Inspiring Action by Enabling Agency in Interdisciplinary Advanced Writing Courses.” The presentation specifically explored the challenge faculty teaching advanced writing courses face of developing and delivering curriculum designed to prepare diverse, interdisciplinary groups of students for writing in upper-level courses for their majors while addressing writing concerns that are common to the academy as a whole — or writing outside the disciplines. Jeanine Rauch, the chair of the panel, presented on strategies for building student confidence through unexpected or unconventional writing activities. These approaches combine to inspire, motivate, and move students to take action, giving student writers the skills necessary to express their thoughts in clear, understandable language. Alice Myatt addressed the experiences of transfer students as well as strategies to encourage students to explore issues in their disciplines that would be served by action-oriented research, thus motivating students to become/think of themselves as active researchers. Rachel Johnson focused on a recent faculty/writing center research partnership on the regional campus, sharing how the results of this collaboration are used to customize/inform course instruction and inspire connections between students’ chosen fields of study and writing produced during the course.
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Jane Meek has been selected as the winner of the 2015 Paragon Award for Excellence in Distance Teaching. The Paragon is awarded annual by Online Design & eLearning. The award is set up, “to recognize faculty who use online learning technology effectively through good practices in course design, innovative use of technologies that transcend traditional classroom instruction and engage students, and commitment to providing a quality education to students.” Jane will be receiving a trophy, a $1000 cash prize, and her name on the plaque for the award in J.D. Williams Library.
The Department of Writing and Rhetoric and Southern Foodways Alliance have once again partnered together to bring an outstanding food writer to campus. This year’s selection of a common read for our food themed courses was The Tastemakers by David Sax. “From fondue in Florida to food trucks in DC, Sax goes in search of the farmers, chefs, and even data analysts who help decide what you’re having for dinner.