Graduate Student Research Assistants

photo_annaknutsonAnna Knutson is in her second year as a doctoral student in the Joint Program in English and Education, and her first year as a GSRA for Sweetland. Due to her interest in self-assessment, reflection, and eportfolios, Anna is particularly engaged with Sweetland’s Writing Development Study, as well as research on Directed Self-Placement. In her doctoral research, Anna is currently exploring whether/how students transfer literacy and rhetorical knowledge obtained in extracurricular contexts into the postsecondary composition classroom.

photo_benkeatingBen Keating, a second year GSRA and third year in the Joint Program in English and Education, spent the summer and early fall working on multiple projects at Sweetland, including Directed Self-Placement and the coding of interview data for a longitudinal study on undergraduate writing development. Ben’s own research is focused on issues of equity in college writing classrooms. Over the summer, he completed a paper that used critical discourse analysis to examine how high school-to-college bridge programs position students. He also had some fun preparing for a language exam in Old and Middle English. This meant brushing up on Beowulf and Gawain and the Green Knight, respectively.

photo_lizziehuttonThis marks Lizzie Hutton’s third year as a Sweetland GSRA and fourth year in the Joint Program for English and Education. With Ben and Sarah, Lizzie presented at the Council of Writing Program Administrators conference last summer, reporting on Sweetland’s continuing research into both our First-Year Directed Self-Placement and our newly implemented Directed Self-Placement for Transfer Students, two projects she worked on closely over the winter. Lizzie also continues to contribute to Sweetland’s longitudinal Writing Development Study data collection and analysis, with a particular focus on qualitative coding. Now a PhD candidate, Lizzie has additionally transitioned into dissertation writing. Her research focuses on a moment of interdisciplinary energy in the 1920s and 30s consolidated by the reading theorist Louise Rosenblatt; it traces the overlaps between modernism and progressivism and between literary studies, the social sciences, composition and education studies; and examines the shared conceptualization of literacy emerging from these fields for the making of critically minded citizen-students.

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