Welcome to the 2016 Newsletter

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Sweetland’s goal, as a comprehensive center for writing, is to support student writing at all levels and in all forms and modes. To do this, we oversee all first-year  and upper-level writing requirement courses; we provide support for multilingual/international students with several courses and Chat Café, which gives students who are still learning English a chance to talk informally with native speakers; we offer dissertation writing groups and a dissertation writing institute for graduate students; we offer a Seminar  to support faculty who integrate writing into their upper-level courses; and our Minor in Writing enables students from across the campus to improve their writing regardless of their field of study.

At the same time we undertake special initiatives to address current concerns. The entire university is giving special focus to diversity, equity and inclusion this year, and Sweetland is taking a leadership role in this area, with a record number faculty participating in diversity institutes. The launch of M-Write and a new course for its Writing Fellows; programs and reflections on Inclusive Teaching; website activities and new books from the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative; a Lloyd Hall Scholars Program course that addresses race and ethnicity; and a retreat for Peer Writing Consultants —these are some of the current activities you can learn about in this newsletter.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Sweetland

Writing centers and writing programs have long understood social justice and inclusive teaching to be a part of their educational mission, as they seek to empower writers from all backgrounds to find their own voices and take ownership of their writing. In keeping with that mission, and in concert with the University’s increased emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion, the faculty and staff of the Sweetland Center for Writing have taken several steps over this past year to create conversation about and action for inclusivity with each other and with our students.

Almost half of our faculty have participated in the three-day Diversity Institutes or the two-day Faculty Dialogue Institutes offered by the College of LSA in conjunction with the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), and faculty and staff have attended seminars and workshops on Inclusive Teaching @ U-M, sponsored by CRLT, and on LGBTQ+ Allyhood, sponsored by the Spectrum Center.

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Photo credit: University of Michigan | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

This past August, we devoted our day-long faculty and staff retreat to discussions and activities designed to help us address difficult conversations about social identity in our classrooms and peer consulting spaces, examine our course syllabi for ways to enhance their diversity and inclusivity, and devise other concrete steps to move this work forward in our center. You can read about the fruits of some of these conversations in the articles that follow – a personal reflection on inclusive teaching, an overview of a faculty-student learning community on diversity and inclusion in the writing center, and an announcement of a new course that meets the LSA Race and Ethnicity Requirement. We have also brought best practices for inclusive teaching into our training and mentorship of new writing instructors, as you can learn about in the article on our First-Year Writing Requirement website. We have plans in the works for other initiatives, as well, in order to continue strengthening Sweetland’s commitment to serving and teaching the full range of the University’s diverse community of writers.

Faculty Communities for Inclusive Teaching

A group of twelve faculty and peer writing consultants explored diversity and inclusion in the writing center, thanks to a Faculty Communities for Inclusive Teaching grant from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. Faculty members Simone Sessolo, Christine Modey, and Louis Cicciarelli wrote the grant proposal.

The grant supported a reading group comprised of both faculty and peer writing consultants who committed themselves to reading a variety of recent articles on the issue of diversity in writing centers and to meeting together three times during the winter semester to discuss these works.

The goals of the reading group were to explore diversity and inclusion, particularly in interactions among writers and consultants, to position peer consultants as central agents in discussions of diversity and inclusion on campus, and to develop a greater sense of community and collaboration between Sweetland faculty and peer consultants.

The topics explored by the reading group included exploring the diversity of U-M students’ backgrounds and experiences, understanding race talk and why it’s so difficult, addressing microaggressions in the writing center, identifying concrete and actionable responses to everyday and systemic racism, and understanding what it means to be an anti-racist writing center. Personal experiences and reflection were also an important part of the discussions, as was the opportunity for faculty and peer consultants to learn from each other in a seminar-style setting. Those who participated appreciated the opportunity to talk about this important issue, hear each other’s perspectives, and imagine concrete, local change in the writing center.

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Christine Modey and Simone Sessolo presented a poster (below) that describes the activities and results of the reading group at the CRLT Inclusive Communities Grant poster session, on Monday November 14, 2016, in the Rackham Assembly Hall.

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LHSP 228: Telling Stories

Students of the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program (LHSP) have a new course option in winter ’17. In line with the mission of LHSP to provide an inclusive and creative living-learning community for students interested in writing and the arts, interim director Paul Barron, and director-on-leave Carol Tell, secured a CRLT Faculty Development Fund grant to research and design a writing course to fulfill the Race & Ethnicity requirement.

The working group, joined by Stamps School of Art and Design writing coordinator (and former Sweetland faculty) Jennifer Metsker, and LHSP art director Mark Tucker, researched similar first-year writing courses and drilled down into best practices for teaching race and writing. One such practice is showing students historical examples of the ways in which racism is produced and acted out, disconnecting the mechanisms of racism from the identities of victimized groups. Historical examples also provide shared perspectives by which to view contemporary racism—helping students to learn from the “there and then” to understand the “here and now.”

Students will employ this grounding to examine the “stories” told in a variety of texts, from political speeches, to novels, poems, and films, to better assess the veracity of these stories, and to discover the affordances of different genres to reveal, conceal, or resist narratives about race and ethnicity. We look forward to interesting and productive discussions.

Reflection on Inclusive Teaching

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Dana Nichols – Sweetland Lecturer

Two Chinese students sat down in my office and put a copy of Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” on the table in front of them. I imagined that in Writing 100: Transition to College Writing, I’d spend most of my time talking about essays. These students, however, wanted to talk about the reading, not the upcoming essay assignment. Actually, they didn’t want to talk about the reading either. They wanted to ask me one question: what is King talking about?

My stomach dropped as I realized what I’d done. They didn’t know anything about Dr. King, the civil rights movement, or Christianity. The entire letter was incomprehensible to them. What bothered me most was that their problem was entirely predictable. These students had been in the US for a grand total of three weeks. If I’d given thought to their experience at U-M thus far, I would have been prepared with appropriate resources to support them as they completed their work. Instead, I created an assignment that put them at a disadvantage because they hadn’t had a lifetime to soak up American culture.

This is the question at the heart of inclusive teaching—what barriers are there in this learning environment that could negatively impact student success? What can we do to remove those barriers? Many of those barriers are built when we hold unexamined assumptions about our students and their academic experiences. I carry my mistake with me as a reminder that I need to slough off another layer or two of my own assumptions.

Guide to Teaching FYWR Courses

Teaching first-year writing is often a challenge for new instructors, especially when their academic discipline is not writing. Sweetland has a new website to help with all aspects of course planning. The site (“Guide to Teaching First-Year Requirement Courses”) offers a variety of modules, each of which addresses a different aspect of teaching first-year writing, from helping students develop an argument to creating good writing prompts to evaluating writing. Each module contains summaries, links to resources and essays, sample strategies, and exercises to help instructors understand and effectively teach aspects of academic writing.

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In addition to modules focused on the writing process, the site also contains pertinent topics for teaching first-year writing at U-M. One of the first modules on the site, “Teaching Inclusively,” discusses how to ensure that a writing class includes all students; as the module reminds us, “practices for teaching inclusively align with practices for teaching well.” This module discusses not only how to choose course content that values diversity, but also how to consider and reflect on problematic assumptions that instructors, or their students, may bring to the classroom. The website also has a module on academic integrity and plagiarism, which references Sweetland’s “Beyond Plagiarism” website, and a module on how to use Directed Self-Placement (DSP) writing in a classroom.

Along with the modules, the website offers both relevant writing-related resources and links to university resources that may prove helpful for first-year students (such as links related to “Health and Wellness” and a variety of academic support services). Integrated into the modules are occasional tips for using Canvas in a writing classroom.

Our goal is to make this a useful resource for U-M instructors when planning their FYWR courses and for revisiting pressing topics over the semester, such as grading or peer review. We are hopeful the site helps all new instructors feel supported and ready to teach first-year writing.

Peer Writing Consultant Retreat

About twenty-five peer writing consultants gathered on Sunday, September 18, to celebrate and reimagine the peer writing center and the work we do here.

The retreat was planned by a committee of peer writing consultants who worked throughout the summer to develop activities that would provide us all with the opportunity to think creatively and collaboratively about the mission of the peer writing center. These dedicated consultants are Emily Gorman, Areeba Haider, Sonalee Joshi, Clint Rooker, Sarah Tsung, Brooke White, and Brie Winnega.

The day opened with an icebreaker to learn about the origins of each others’ names, followed by a team art activity: design the ideal writing center, using repurposed materials. We broke for lunch, then reconvened with another icebreaker, this time an improv game. We followed up on the “ideal writing center” activity by answering the following questions in small groups, then doing a gallery walk of responses:

  • What are your obligations and responsibilities to yourself?
  • What are your obligations and responsibilities to writers who visit the SPWC?
  • What are the values you’d most like to see the SPWC embody?

Following the gallery walk, small groups drafted one-sentence mission statements for the peer writing center, based on what they saw.

We broke for some theater games with Sara Armstrong from CRLT Players, to get our energy up for the rest of the afternoon. Our afternoon drew to a close working in small groups to plan various projects for the year, including another installment in the Sweetland-Skyline collaboration, the all-campus Peer Tutor Summit, social events for consultants, and outreach to the wider campus. Our last activity was to create envelopes for each consultant, to give us a chance to express gratitude to each other.

This day was a great way to start the semester with our colleagues in the writing center and to focus our hearts and minds on becoming the community we want to be.

Peer Writing Consultant Videos

Sweetland’s summer interns, peer writing consultant Aaron Pelo and minor in writing Rachel Hutchings, created a great resource for faculty mentors of peer writing tutors.

Filming in the peer writing center this summer, Hutchings and Pelo created five live videos of writing center tutorials depicting a variety of students, consultants, and writing assignments. The videos are coded for the various tutoring moves depicted within them, so that faculty can select the sections they want to use more easily to fit particular classroom objectives.

Once all five videos have been fully captioned, they will be made available, along with supporting materials, on the Sweetland YouTube channel, for use by members of the national writing center community.

New Faculty – Shuwen Li

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Shuwen Li joined the Sweetland faculty in September, after receiving her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Scientific & Technical Communication from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her research interests include rhetoric (especially ethos), technical and professional communication, multimodality, and composition studies. Her dissertation focuses on the construction of corporate ethos in an IPO.

Prior to coming to Sweetland, Shuwen taught University Writing and Technical and Professional Writing at University of Minnesota, where she worked closely with students from diverse backgrounds. Shuwen accumulated experience teaching in a cross-cultural context and has presented her pedagogical approaches at conferences such as IEEE ProComm. In terms of teaching, she is interested in building a learning community for multilingual writers, facilitating individualized student-instructor relationships, and helping students construct their ethos as writers.

At Sweetland, Shuwen takes primary responsibility for helping multilingual writers, an endeavor extended from her teaching experiences at University of Minnesota. In addition to teaching, she has been offering workshops about teaching writing to multilingual students for University of Michigan faculty and interested graduate students. She is grateful to witness the rising interest in helping multilingual writers.

In the future, Shuwen hopes to keep building a learning community for multilingual writers at University of Michigan and connecting these writers to other communities. She believes that with more frequent exchanges among language communities, students will learn more about the world and open their minds to expanded possibilities for their own learning.

New Instructor Resources

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This summer the Resources Working Group (Shelley Manis, Julie Babcock, and Naomi Silver) created several new faculty and student resources to address challenges raised by people across the university.

One common faculty request was help integrating written argumentation into their disciplinary courses without drawing attention away from learning course content. In response, the working group created two new comprehensive resources: “Teaching Argumentation” and “Teaching Project-Based Assignments.”

“Teaching Argumentation” offers strategies for leveraging writing to deepen content-based learning. It includes an overview of argument’s basic elements, sketches of the most common types of arguments, consideration of how argumentation is used to forward academic knowledge across disciplines, and concrete strategies for practicing argument building in the classroom.

“Teaching Project-Based Assignments” provides insight into designing writing assignments that encourage students to pursue answers to authentic, real-world questions in which they have both an educational and a personal stake. Based on recent research pointing to the crucial role of problem solving in student learning, it offers an overview of general principles of effective practice across disciplines as well as scaffolded classroom strategies to help faculty design and cultivate effective assignments. Like the “Teaching Argumentation” Resource, “Teaching Project-Based Assignments” guides instructors in integrating meaningful writing-to-learn into their content-based courses.

In addition to these fully developed resources, the working group updated existing resources in response to campus climate issues and shifts in pedagogical practices. A new section in “Giving Feedback on Student Writing” offers advice on “Responding to Student Self-Disclosure of Trauma” that makes suggestions for ethical response to the person’s experience as well as to the student’s writing. A new section has been added to “Using Blogs in the Classroom” on “Generating and Facilitating Effective Blog Conversations.”

Finally, the group created three new student resources and combined and updated some existing resources to account for evolving scholarship. The new resources are “How Can I Create a Strong Thesis?,” “How Can I Write More Descriptively?,” and “How Do I Incorporate a Counterargument?” The updated/combined resource is “How Do I Incorporate Quotes?,” which addresses both integration of research and citation practices.

The Launch of M-Write

Students in Organic Chemistry, Economics 101 and Statistics 250 all found something new in their classes this fall–regular writing about the big ideas these courses present. They have been writing about concepts such as aromaticity and resonance, opportunity cost and trade, along with standard deviation and histograms. During the summer, instructors in these courses identified key concepts, focusing on the ones that students typically find most difficult, and M-Write staff, in consultation with the course faculty, developed writing prompts that address these concepts. Ginger Shultz from chemistry, Mitchell Dudley from economics, and Brenda Gunderson from statistics are the faculty members leading these innovations.

M-Write, a project funded by the University’s Third Century Fund, aims to transform the teaching and learning in large enrollment gateway courses so that there is more opportunity for student engagement and transformative learning. Project directors Ginger Shultz and Anne Gere have also received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Keck Foundation for closely related projects. All of these projects follow the same pattern of developing writing prompts based on key concepts to which students respond with a draft, participate in automated peer review, and write a revision to solidify their learning.

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L to R: Solaire Finkenstaedt-Quinn, Dave Harlan, Anne Ruggles Gere, Raymond Pugh, Larissa Sano, Alena Moon, and Ginger Shultz

As part of the preparation for this fall’s implementation, M-Write’s new software developer, Dave Harlan, improved upon the automated peer review that is already part of Canvas, the University’s course management system, so students are able to write in response to a given prompt, upload it, and receive drafts from several other students to review and comment upon. In turn, they receive comments from other students, and these, along with what students glean from reading the drafts of others, enable them to revise their own drafts. In other words, M-Write makes it possible for students in very large gateway classes, of several hundred or even a couple thousand students, to write and receive feedback on their work.

Of course the technology is only part of the story. Every M-Write course has a cadre of advanced undergraduates who support and monitor the writing of students in the class. These Writing Fellows, as the advanced undergraduates are called, have already completed the gateway course and have been nominated by their professors. New Writing Fellows take a Sweetland course that prepares them to help students with everything from the technology of the peer review system to strategies for using feedback to revise a draft. (See the M-Write Fellows article for more information about the Writing Fellows practicum course.)

This fall’s implementation was preceded by a pilot course in Materials Science Engineering (MSE) where all the elements of M-Write were employed for the first time. That course made the limitations of Canvas’s peer review system visible and led to the development of the modified system. In addition, the MSE course provided an opportunity to learn more about how students experience M-Write. Overall, student response was very positive. Comments such as: “The writing helped me understand difficult concepts,” “I didn’t realize what I didn’t know until I started writing the prompt about phase diagrams,” and “I learned a lot from reading what other students wrote about polymers,” were typical, and they validate the M-Write premise that writing fosters learning.

During Winter Semester M-Write will add courses in biology and take on expanded versions of Economics 101 and Materials Science Engineering. Plans are in place to add additional courses in the fall and to initiate a Sweetland Seminar for Engaged Learning that will bring together experienced and new faculty interested in incorporating M-Write into their courses. For further information about M-Write, visit the M-Write section of our website.

International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference

From June 23-25, Sweetland hosted the 13th International Writing across the Curriculum (IWAC) conference. 473 scholars came from all over the world to discuss how writing across the curriculum programs and initiatives can give greater attention to the wide variety of complicated issues surrounding the term difference. The conference call invited proposals that situated the cross-disciplinarity of Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) and Writing in the Disciplines (WID) programs “within a pedagogy of inclusivity by asking how our pedagogy can broaden ideas of difference within and beyond the classroom to include social, cultural, linguistic, modal, and media differences, among others.” The planning team—Anne Ruggles Gere, Raymond McDaniel, Shelley Manis, Christine Modey, Simone Sessolo, and Naomi Silver—made some deliberate choices to create a conference program that would be as diverse as possible across a range of areas. For instance, each plenary event included three speakers, one of whom was a graduate student or an emerging scholar; scholarships were provided for several international participants, as well as for graduate students; and those proposing sessions were encouraged to emphasize the theme of difference in their program descriptions.

In keeping with the conference theme, pre-conference workshops addressed topics like creating inclusive writing assignments and creating partnerships across differences. The first plenary event focused on the history and new directions for theory and research in WAC; the second took a global perspective on encountering difference across places, languages, and technologies; and the third reflected on the implications of lessons learned from the conference. Individual sessions featured titles like “Inclusivity, Disciplinary Reciprocity and Disability,” “Designing a WAC Institute for Modal Diversity,” and “Narrating across Differences: Identities, Institutions, and Instruction,” all of which generated lively conversations throughout the three days of the conference.

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Passing the IWAC torch to Margaret Marshall, Director of University Writing at Auburn University, for the 2018 conference.

M-Write Undergrad Writing Fellows

This Fall, Sweetland welcomed twenty-four undergraduate students to participate in a new Writing Fellows Program. This effort is part of the larger MWrite Project, which is working to integrate writing-to-learn pedagogies into several U-M Gateway courses. The current Writing Fellows are helping implement MWrite into several large courses this semester including Stats 250, Econ 101, and Chem 216. Each of these courses has at least seven Writing Fellows who are assigned to work with a subset of students on their writing assignments. Most of these assignments involve a rigorous three-step process that includes drafting, peer-review, and revision. The Writing Fellows help with the different stages of this process, by working with students to understand the assignment question and to develop robust and detailed responses. An important step in developing strong responses is the use of peer feedback and revision. Fellows play an important role in this too, as they oversee the submission process for assignments as well as track the peer review process and assess the strength of revision of final submissions. Fellows thus help ensure that the students in their courses are gaining as much as possible from the writing assignments as well as the writing process.

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To help prepare them for these responsibilities, Writing Fellows enroll in a practicum course that both covers the elements of the writing process as well as considers ways that writing can strengthen learning. Through this practicum, Fellows explore the ways in which they can help students more rigorously answer the assignment questions, both in terms of understanding the nature of the question, as well as by helping students consider the feedback they receive about their answers and how they can revise them to make their responses stronger.

To be eligible for the Writing Fellows program, students must have successfully completed the course to which they are assigned. They must also be nominated by a faculty member and have an interest in working with STEM students.

This first cohort of Writing Fellows is proving instrumental to the MWrite Project. Not only are the Fellows helping students in their courses engage more rigorously in the writing-to-learn process, they are also providing valuable feedback about ways to enhance and improve writing-to-learn opportunities at the University of Michigan.

2015-2016 Writing Prize Winners

Thanks to a very generous gift from the Granader Family, Sweetland’s prizes for outstanding writing in First-Year and Upper-Level Writing Requirement courses receive a significant monetary award along with having their work published in a series that collects the prize-winning writing in two volumes, Excellence in First-Year Writing and Excellence in Upper-Level Writing. Writing Prize winners were recognized at a ceremony in April 2016.

First-Year Writing Prizes

Matt Kelley/Granader Family Prize for Excellence in First-Year Writing

Thomas Aiello “Challenging Media Representations of the Global Refugee Crisis” nominated by Robyn D’Avignon, History 195

Caroline Rothrock “Walking into Eternity along Sandymount Strand: Regarding the Importance of Walking in the Works of James Joyce” nominated by Karein Goertz, RC 100

Granader Family Prize for Excellence in Multilingual Writing

Hyunju Lee “What Can You Do on Your Own?” nominated by Scott Beal, Writing 120

Ran Ming “Females in STEM Need a Stronger Voice” nominated by Jing Xia, Writing 120

Granader Family Prize for Outstanding Writing Portfolio

Jaelyn Jennings https://jaejenn.wordpress.com/ nominated by Gina Brandolino, Writing 100

Alexis Low https://alexisclow.wordpress.com/ nominated by Julie Babcock, Writing 100

First-Year Writing Prizebook (pdf) | Amazon

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Upper-Level Writing Prizes

Granader Family Prize for Excellence in Upper-Level Writing (Sciences)

Ryan Levy “A Survey of Radioactivity Experiments” nominated by Hui Deng, Physics 441

Alexandra Peirce “How Universities are Trying to Prevent LGBTQ Sexual Assault” nominated by Julie Halpert, Environ 320

Granader Family Prize for Excellence in Upper-Level Writing (Social Sciences)

Sonia Tagari “Drought in California as a Continuation of High Modernism,Utilitarianism and Social Inequality” nominated by Omolade Adunbi, AAS322/Environ 335

Nicole Vozar “A Comparison of Elite Egyptian and Roman Tombs” nominated by Robin Beck (Travis Williams GSI), ANTHRARC 386

Granader Family Prize for Excellence in Upper-Level Writing (Humanities)

Bethany Canning “Dying in America” nominated by Paul Barron, Writing 420

Wake Coulter “Freeway in the Garden” nominated by Jennifer Metsker, ARTDES 399

Upper-Level Writing Prizebook (pdf) | Amazon

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National Day on Writing | Writer to Writer

It’s easy enough to imagine writing as a fundamentally solitary activity, but it gains its greatest meaning when it is shared – when it enters, creates or expands community. As the University of Michigan begins to implement its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan, we aim to make our initiatives serve those goals.

In collaboration with Literati Bookstore and WCBN, the Sweetland Center for Writing’s “Writer to Writer” program hosted Philip Deloria, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor of American Culture and History, at Literati’s event space on November 15th. These Writer to Writer conversations invite students and community members to engage with some of our most accomplished faculty members as equal partners in the enterprise of thinking about writing and using writing itself to think. As a scholar who writes about Native Americans, the American West, and the environment, Professor Deloria is well-positioned to discuss how personal, social and scholarly writing overlap. The diversity and variety of Professor Deloria’s interests, responsibilities and writing guaranteed a dynamic and rich conversation.

In the same spirit, on October 20th Sweetland responded to the National Council of Teachers of English National Day on Writing by asking out students to modify the #whyIwrite challenge. We invited them to tweet their answers to the question of “What’s the best possible future for the University of Michigan?” as a way of imagining the scope and scale of writing to and for a more inclusive Michigan.

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Meet the 2016-2017 Digital Rhetoric Collaborative Graduate Fellows

Hosted by the Sweetland Center for Writing, the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative (DRC) is an online, community webspace by and for scholars and teachers working in computers and writing and digital rhetoric, and a digital book series with the U-M Press.

This summer, the DRC welcomed its fourth cohort of graduate student Fellows! The program aims to recognize graduate students around the country currently working in digital rhetoric who want practical experience in online publishing and website development. Fellows are selected on a yearly basis by the editors and board of the DRC, and receive an annual stipend of $500 as well as recognition on the DRC website.

DRC Fellows commit to attending monthly online team meetings to plan projects that extend the DRC website and its contributions to the community of computers and writing. They work independently and collaboratively to complete two projects within the year of their term. Last year’s Fellows [LINK to Previous Fellows page] hosted robust blog carnivals on “Digital Writing in K-12 Communities,” “Makerspaces and Writing,” and “Cripping Digital Rhetoric and Technology,” as well as publishing Webtext of the Month reviews covering topics from Pinterest to crafting to digital annotation tools. Our new fellows have already jumped into the mix with a webtext review of Pokémon Go and a selection of session reviews from the 2016 Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition. Look for posts in their current blog carnival on “The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Publishing,” featuring DRC authors and other digital publishers and editors, taking place now!

This year’s fellows are:

david-coadDavid Coad, University of California, Davis
David T. Coad is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Davis, studying Education with a designated emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies. He uses qualitative methods to research social media as rhetoric, as literate practice, and as a means of community and identity building in contexts such as FYC courses and academic culture. For more info: davidcoad.com, Twitter: @dcoad.

 

brandydeiterlyBrandy Deiterle, University of Central Florida
Brandy Dieterle is a doctoral student in the Texts & Technology program at the University of Central Florida (UCF). At UCF, Brandy has been a graduate student tutor in the University Writing Center and has taught first-year composition courses. As a teacher, Brandy encourages students to think of writing and literacy as both self representation and identity forming. Her research is focused on identity and self representation, gender identity and representation, multimodality and new media, and digital rhetoric

 

easter-1Brandee Easter, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Brandee Easter is a doctoral student in the Composition and Rhetoric program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on intersections of gender and digital rhetoric. She also enjoys talking about videogames, graphic design, and her dogs.

 

 

 

jason-lutherJason Luther, Syracuse University
Jason Luther is a PhD candidate in the Composition and Cultural Rhetoric Program at Syracuse University. His work focuses on self-publishing histories, DIY culture, and multimodal, writing (counter)publics. As a former writing center director, Jason is influenced by pedagogies beyond the classroom, incorporating differentiated learning models that make use of a variety of technologies, both old and new, in the classroom and out. His dissertation examines how the last 20 years have affected authorial desire and rhetorical agency for DIY publishers in the United States and Canada and what those changes mean for the teaching of writing and rhetoric. Sometimes he talks about this and more at taxomania.org and @jwluther.

kristin-ravelKristin Ravel, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Kristin Ravel is pursuing her PhD in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). Kristin’s dissertation explores ethics and digital multimodality in the composition classroom through, what she is calling, a pedagogy of techno-social relationality. More specifically, a pedagogy of techno-social relationality, motivated by feminist theory on ethics, explores how relationality ought to be understood as taking place online in an inseparable blend of the technical and social. She tweets at @kristin_ravel.

 

sara-westSara West, University of Arkansas
Sara West is a PhD candidate specializing in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Arkansas. Her research addresses how student-users compose in anonymous and/or ephemeral social media spaces, and how composition and technical communication researchers can begin to navigate these spaces as well. At the University of Arkansas, Sara has taught courses in first-year writing, advanced composition, and technical writing; she has also designed and taught first-year composition courses focusing on writing for the web and writing for social media. She’s also a semi-competent yogi and runner, a cat enthusiast, a lover of lists and plans, and an avid TV fan. Her website is saraofthewest.com, and she tweets at @saraofthewest.

New Books from the DRC Book Series!

Last fall, the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative Book Series, part of the Digital Culture Books imprint of the U-M Press, had the pleasure of publishing its first book, Digital Samaritans  by Jim Ridolfo of the University of Kentucky. This summer, it welcomed a second, Making Space: Writing Instruction, Infrastructure, and Multiliteracies, edited by James P. Purdy and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss of Duquesne University and Michigan State University, respectively. The editors write in their Introduction that “Over the past ten years or so, the infrastructures of writing have captured the attention of writing studies scholars, researchers, and teachers. This is not particularly surprising given the spaces in which most writing happens today: on screens, within interfaces, under proprietary (and, more and more, local and/or open source) programs, and across networks.” Purdy and DeVoss’s volume builds on these conversations by offering the first collection of work addressing issues of space design meant to inform decisions by the stakeholders teaching and administering in these writing center and writing program spaces. Chapters in the collection “address how architectural and technological needs […] are met and how they are rationalized within specific institutional contexts.”

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Making Space is also the first DRC book to be simultaneously published in two forms – as an interactive webtext on the DRC site and an enhanced PDF on the U-M Press site. As the editors note in their Preface, this is a “rhetorical and strategic” decision on the part of the Press and the DRC to maximize sustainability and accessibility as well as interactivity. Stay tuned in January for our next dual-platform digital book, Rhizcomics: Rhetoric, Technology, and New Media Composition by Jason Helms of Texas Christian University.