The abhorrent white supremacist killing of ten people in Buffalo, NY, sadly and urgently reminds all of us who teach writing, yet again, about the importance of anti-racist teaching. AWAC mourns the victims and condemns the perpetrator and the white supremacist beliefs that motivated him and that are fueling increases in racial violence across our country. We reaffirm our statement on anti-racist teaching linked here.
Save the date! The upcoming AWAC Business Meeting is open to the entire membership. Join us for updates from the AWAC Executive Committee and all of the AWAC committees and help us set priorities for the coming year.
The meeting will be Tuesday, June 7, 3:30pm to 5pm EDT.
The Zoom link will be sent out/publicized closer to the meeting.
We would love to see you there!
Congratulations to all of our new AWAC board members!
Dear AWAC Members:
The AWAC Executive Committee is very pleased to announce the results of the 2022 AWAC Election.
AWAC welcomes these individuals to the AWAC Executive Board in the following roles:
- Incoming Chair: Justin Rademaekers, Associate Professor of English, West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Justin has been serving as AWAC secretary for the past three years.
- Secretary: Karen Moroski-Rigney, Associate Director of the Writing Center, Michigan State University. Karen is new to AWAC leadership, and we welcome her to the AWAC Executive Committee. She will serve a three-year term.
- Treasurer: Laurie Britt-Smith, Director of the Center for Writing, College of Holy Cross. Laurie will serve a second three-year term as AWAC treasurer.
- Communication Committee Chair: Chrystal Fodrey, Director of the Writing Program at Moravian University. Chrystal has served on the AWAC Communication Committee since 2020 and will serve a two-year term as Chair.
- WAC Graduate Organization Chair: Barbara Green, Assistant Chair of Composition and Writing Across the Curriculum at Purdue University Global. Barbara is new to the AWAC Executive Board and will serve a one-year term.
We look forward to working with all of our new AWAC board members. The new terms begin July 1, 2022. Congratulations to all!
The AWAC Executive Committee
Ann Blakeslee, Chair
Doug Hesse, Incoming Chair
Stacey Sheriff, Outgoing Chair
Justin Rademaekers, Secretary
Laurie Britt-Smith, Treasurer
Sherri Craig, Member-at-large
Paula Rosinski, Member-at-larger
On behalf of our respective editorial boards, we share the news that the WAC Clearinghouse and the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum have issued the following statement of support for Ukraine.
The WAC Clearinghouse Editorial Board and the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum (AWAC) Executive Board stand with the board of the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing (EATAW) in expressing solidarity with our colleagues who are affected by the Russian government’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which we recognize as a violation of international laws, an attack on human rights, and a threat to civilized society. We also stand in solidarity with our colleagues at institutions of higher education in Russia whose rights and freedom have been threatened by their government for speaking out against this unjust war.
The boards of the WAC Clearinghouse and AWAC also join EATAW in pledging our help and support to our Ukrainian colleagues who are directly impacted by this unprovoked violence. This may include virtual consulting and class visits, scholarly resources, and support for the development and publication of anthologies as work is undertaken to rebuild and strengthen educational programs and institutions. Together, we express our strong collective desire for an end to this conflict and the preservation of Ukraine’s independence.
We encourage other professional organizations in writing studies to join us in extending support for our colleagues in Ukraine and Russia and seeking a peaceful resolution to this conflict.
Mike Palmquist, Publisher, The WAC Clearinghouse
Professor of English
Colorado State University
Ann Blakeslee, Chair, Association for Writing Across the Curriculum – on behalf of the AWAC Executive Board
Professor of English
Eastern Michigan University
A new website has been launched for the Exemplary WAC Program Awards!
Purpose and Overview of Awards
Three Exemplary WAC Program awards will be issued each award cycle, corresponding with the years dedicated to program building as specified below. This structure affirms that excellence occurs at all levels and honoring this excellence at different stages is important to advance writing across the curriculum at individual institutions as well as more generally as a field. Accordingly, the Exemplary WAC Program Awards series recognizes the extraordinary achievements of WAC directors and/or administrative teams to establish, maintain, and sustain programs that foster and facilitate exemplary engagement with writing across the curriculum at their institution, as well as institutional commitments to support these achievements. Such recognition can help programs build their reputations within their institutions, maintain and enhance their funding, and create momentum for writing across the curriculum. Award-winning programs will be recognized at IWAC, profiled on the WAC Clearinghouse and AWAC websites, and invited to host an AWAC workshop during the upcoming academic year. In this way, the Awards series also aims to support fledgling and future programs by identifying models and establishing a new venue for mentorship. The Awards series is sponsored by the WAC Clearinghouse and the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum.
Award for Exemplary Emerging WAC Program (1-5 years)
Award for Exemplary Established WAC Program (6-10 years)
Award for Exemplary Enduring WAC Program (11+ years)
Access more information at the website here:
The official call for nominations is expected within the next few days.
AWAC has been granted a sponsored session at the European Writing Centers Association conference to take place in person in Graz, Austria, from July 6-9, 2022. The theme of the conference is “Writing Centers as Spaces of Empowerment” (the conference website is at https://europeanwritingcenters-2022.uni-graz.at/en/). For this panel, we solicit proposals based on the following CPF:
Writing Centers and WAC: Relationships Between Students and Faculty/Academic Staff
The mission of writing centers typically supports both the improvement of students’ writing projects and the more general enhancement of their writing abilities through face-to-face and online tutorial consultations, workshops and seminars, and visits to classes for brief presentations on tailored topics. Indirectly, faculty/academic staff learn about students’ writing challenges from these consultations and visits, and may adjust their own assignment design or other aspects of their pedagogy from this knowledge. But it is not usually in the main purview of writing centers to work systematically and transformationally with faculty/academic staff across the curriculum on deeper areas of writing support, such as the creation of learning-based writing activities; support for the development of larger projects such as the inclusion of student peer review or the scaffolding of writing episodes; or the development of clear, principled evaluation criteria. Such faculty-development work is normally in the province of writing-across-the-curriculum (WAC) or writing-in-the-disciplines (WID) programs, which are designed to enhance writing pedagogy through the support and intervention of the instructors themselves.
This panel, sponsored by the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum (https://www.wacassociation.org/), will bring together scholar-educators to discuss current and potential interconnections between writing centers and WAC/WID programs, or potential expansions of student-facing writing centers to include significant work with faculty/academic staff for their increased and enhanced involvement in the development of their students’ discipline- or course/module-specific writing abilities. In particular, we seek presentations that might address the following questions, but these are by no means exhaustive:
- What role do writing centers play in the enhancement of discipline-based faculty/academic staff to intervene in and support their own students’ writing processes, activities, and development?
- How might or do existing WAC/WID programs partner effectively with writing centers to help an institution develop a “culture” of writing rather than locating writing support in specific programs or units?
- How can writing centers create a more equitable balance between their own student support and the support needed from instructors within specific courses/modules?
- What theoretical and practical challenges do leaders of writing centers and those who work in them face when they identify shortcomings in the way that faculty/academic staff assign, support, or evaluate their students’ writing? What programmatic efforts might work effectively between the writing center and the instructors to help reduce these challenges?
Proposals can be theoretically or empirically driven and should:
- Be approximately 300 words
- Include a title for the presentation
- Clearly address the focus of the session
- Be grounded in existing literature relevant to the topic
- State potential or demonstrated significance for the field
- Be inquiry- and evidence-based
- Identify the speaker(s) and their affiliations
- Include contact information (email, phone, address) for the lead or solo proposer
- Include 3-5 keywords
Please note that the preferred language of the conference is English but that in the interest of inclusivity, the EWCA welcomes those would feel more comfortable presenting in another language, in which case, please provide an English translation of your proposal.
Please submit proposals as attached Word files via email, with the subject line “AWAC-Sponsored Panel EWCA 2020,” NO LATER THAN MAR. 1, 2022, to:
Chris Anson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Federico Navarro: email@example.com
Upon acceptance, panelists must be members of AWAC or become members.
Please join us for the AWAC Annual Business Meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, June 15th from 3:30-5:00 PM EST.
Read on for the meeting invitation and agenda, below. Note: to avoid Zoom bombing, the meeting password is omitted below. Please check your email for the June 11 message from “AWAC <firstname.lastname@example.org>” with the subject “AWAC Business Meeting Zoom Link” for the password or email the Secretary directly.
It has been a tumultuous year for many, and our annual business meeting is an important moment for all of us to reflect not only on what AWAC has been able to do (and not do) during the 2020-21 academic year, but also on what we would like to become as an organization. How can AWAC best fulfill its mission to “bring together the intellectual, human, political, and economic capital of the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) community to better support and grow WAC as a global intellectual and pedagogical movement”? Just as importantly, as a young organization, we must also ask: How can we bring antiracist practices to all aspects of AWAC and, by extension, WAC work?
To this end, this year’s meeting will have two elements:
- A report on the work of AWAC from June 2020 to July 2021, including reports on committee accomplishments from the chairs.
- A conversation about racism and antiracist practices with the concrete goal of brainstorming answers to the question, How can we bring antiracist practices to all aspects of AWAC and WAC work?
In preparation for the June 15th meeting, we encourage you to reflect on this question with respect to the full range of AWAC’s work, including the way AWAC is organized and how we function procedurally as an organization; the IWAC conference and WACSI events; our sponsored workshops and panels; our publications, research, and scholarship in WAC journals, the WAC Clearinghouse, and through other venues; our pedagogy and work in WAC classrooms; and our WAC faculty development.
As you reflect, you might find it helpful to view this video of our most recent virtual WAC pedagogy workshop, “WAC Pedagogy, Equity, and Antiracism.” Drs. Teresa Redd, Zhaozhe Wang, and Kate Drezek McConnell talk about the many challenges to achieving equity in WAC programs and solutions for developing antiracist practices in WAC courses.
Please take some time to reflect on antiracism and AWAC and please JOIN US for our June 15th 3:30pm EST meeting.
Zoom link: https://wcupa.zoom.us/j/
The AWAC Executive Committee
Congratulations to the following new members of the AWAC Executive Board:
Incoming Chair, Executive Committee
Doug Hesse, University of Denver
(chairs rotate through 1-year terms as Incoming, Current, and Outgoing chair)
Members-at-Large (2-year term)
Sherri Craig, Westchester University
Paula Rosinski, Elon University
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Chair (2-year term)
Co-Chairs Swan Kim | LaKeisha McClary (Confirmed)
International Collaborations Committee Chair (2-year term)
Co-Chairs Chris Anson | Federico Navarro (Confirmed)
Mentoring Committee Chair (2-year term)
Co-Chairs Amy Cicchino | Lindsay Clark (Confirmed)
Research and Publications Committee Chair (2-year term)
Co-Chairs Heather Falconer |Chris Basgier (Confirmed)
WAC Graduate Organization AWAC Committee Chair (1-year term)
Mandy Olejnik, Miami University of Ohio (Confirmed)
WAC Summer Institute Committee Chair (2-year term)
Alisa Russell, Wake Forest University (Confirmed)
Partnerships Committee Chair (2-year term)
Brad Jacobsen, University of Texas El Paso (Confirmed)
Note: Board Members assume their roles on July 1, 2021.
Ballot Question #1: Approved.
The following italicized text shall be added to bylaw 5.03 Terms:
4. Chairs of standing committees shall serve two-year terms. The WAC-GO AWAC Committee chair is an exception; this chair shall serve a one-year term.
WAC Pedagogy, Equity, and Anti-Racism
AWAC members are invited to attend a virtual workshop on WAC pedagogy, equity, and anti-racism on Thursday, April 1st, 3:30-5:00 ET on Zoom. Register for the event here. Please register by 5:00 ET on March 30th.
Conformity or Equity?: Designing WAC Assignments to Promote Equity in the Curriculum
Presenter: Teresa Redd, former director of Writing Across the Curriculum and the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Assessment at Howard University
Description: Drawing upon Critical Language Pedagogy, the presenter will examine how WAC assignments can promote conformity or equity in the curriculum. First, she will demonstrate how WAC privileges the canons and conventions of the dominant group in a discipline. Then she will expose the consequences: how WAC assignments marginalize people of color by requiring students to conform to canons and conventions that often do not include their perspectives or address their needs. Finally, by sharing excerpts from WAC assignments from Howard University, she will illustrate how some Howard faculty have designed WAC assignments to create an equitable curriculum that can benefit all students.
Presenter Bio: Teresa Redd directed Howard University’s Writing Across the Curriculum Program for 24 years as well as the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Assessment for nearly 13. She also served on the Board of Consultants of the International Network of Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Programs for 19 years. She is best known for co-authoring A Teacher’s Introduction to African American English: What a Writing Teacher Should Know, published by the National Council of Teachers of English (2005). Since retiring, she has served as a WAC consultant and published “Breaking Out of the Box: Expanding the WAC Program at Howard University” in Shirley Logan and Wayne Slater’s volume Academic and Professional Writing in an Age of Accountability (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018).
Autoethnography as a Site of Negotiation for Linguistic Justice
Presenter: Zhaozhe Wang, doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Purdue University
Description: This presentation will draw our attention to international multilingual students who are victims of tacit or explicit linguistic racism on campus. The presenter will begin with a call for meaningful advocacy work in the disciplines, then introduce an autoethnography assignment designed to cultivate linguistic equity and combat linguistic racism. The description of the assignment will be illustrated with a student case. The presenter will conclude by offering suggestions on how to appropriate the assignment for WAC/WID contexts.
Presenter Bio: Zhaozhe Wang is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Purdue University, where he teaches writing and communication. His work, broadly exploring multilingual literacy and transnational digital/public rhetorics, has appeared in journals such as College Composition and Communication, Composition Forum, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. He is also co-editor of Reconciling Translingualism and Second Language Writing.
What the Written Communication ‘Landscape of Learning’ Reveals about Equity in Undergraduate Learning
Presenter: Kate Drezek McConnell, Assistant Vice President for Research & Assessment and Director of the VALUE Institute, AAC&U
Description: AAC&U’s inaugural Landscape of Learning report spans five years (2014-2019) of findings on student learning outcomes gathered from samples of student work submitted by campuses and evaluated by national panels of scorers using the VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) rubrics. For written communication, the most frequently subscribed outcome, results are based on over 20,000 scored pieces of student work. This presentation will share aggregate results for Written Communication focused on equity, diversity across higher education sectors, and quality of learning within the undergraduate curriculum.
Presenter Bio: Kate Drezek McConnell, PhD, is Assistant Vice President for Research & Assessment and Director of the VALUE Institute, AAC&U’s nationwide assessment system that enables any higher education provider (institution, PCE program, academic department, state, consortium, etc.) to collect and upload samples of student work to a digital repository and have the work scored by certified VALUE Institute scorers for external validation of institutional learning assessment. An educational psychologist by training, Dr. McConnell has written extensively on the reliability and validity of the VALUE approach to assessment. Her other research and campus consultations focus on using course-embedded assessment to improve teaching and learning while also addressing accountability and accreditation requirements; course-embedded assessment; aligning pedagogy with assessment efforts; faculty development; and leveraging the learning sciences in teaching, assessment, and evaluation. Before joining AAC&U, Dr. McConnell spent ten years at Virginia Tech working in assessment and evaluation as well as serving as affiliate faculty in Virginia Tech’s graduate program in educational psychology, teaching courses on cognitive processes and effective college teaching. She received a BA from the University of Virginia, an MA in history from Providence College (Rhode Island), and a PhD in educational psychology from Virginia Tech.