WPA is holding elections for three Executive Board members. We will say thank you and goodbye to Executive Board members Steve Wilhoit, Dominic Delli Carpini, and Carrie Leverenz, whose terms end in June 2008.
The Executive Board oversees WPA's events and activities, creates policies and procedures for its management, and engages in special projects and initiatives. The new Board members will serve for three years, with terms beginning in July of 2008 and ending in June 2011.
Continuing Executive Board members are Shirley Rose (Past President); Joe Janangelo (President); Linda Adler-Kassner (Vice President); Linda Bergmann (Secretary); Rick Johnson-Sheehan (Treasurer); Joe Marshall Hardin; Rita Malenczyk; Carol Rutz; Jeff Andelora; Eli Goldblatt; Barbara L'Eplattenier; Deborah Holdstein and Charles Schuster (ex-officio, Consultant Evaluator Service); Deirdre Pettipiece, Timothy Ray, and William McCauley (ex-officio, WPA Journal Editors); and Dave Blakesley (ex officio, Digital WPA).
Please vote for one candidate in each of the three pairings below .
Board member #1: Vote for Brian Huot or David Schwalm
BRIAN HUOT is in his fourth year as Writing Program Coordinator at Kent State University. Before his present WPA position, he had been Director of Composition and Writing Across the Curriculum Corrordinator at the University of Louisville as well as Writing Center Director at Lane College and the University of Northern Iowa. He is a long time member of the Council of Writing Program Administrators and a three-time contributor to WPA: Writing Program Administration. He has published essays in College Composition and Communication, College English, Computers and Composition and other journals and collections devoted to the teaching and learning of writing at the postsecondary level. He is co-editor of four collections and author of the monograph (Re) Articulating Writing Assessment for Teaching and Learning. He co-founded Assessing Writing and The Journal of Writing Assessment, which he continues to edit. He has been active in The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) as a member and chair of the College Section and as a member of the executive committee from 2005-2007. He is currently a member of the WPA/NCTE Joint Ad Hoc Task Force on Assessment.
Statement: Current Writing Program Administrators (WPAs) live in interesting times. While college administrators and public policy makers heartily acknowledge the importance and centrality of a strong literacy education for all college students, many WPAs still administer under-funded programs that continue to exploit contingent faculty who often teach the majority of first-year courses (FYC), while these same WPAs face increasing demands for standardized accountability that ignores important educational goals and student outcomes. The Council of Writing Program Administrators has and continues to provide support for individual WPAs and the profession of WPAs to harness the potential and meet the challenges of these "interesting times." Projects like the WPA Network for Media Action and the Joint Ad Hoc Task Force on Assessment highlight the importance of basing WPA practice upon recognized and established principles in literacy learning that are the corner stones of recognized professional practice. While individual WPAs can have a difficult time making a case for better working conditions and contextualized forms of assessment (among other issues), I believe that the Council of WPAs allows these individuals and their concerns to be heard and listened to. I am honored to be considered for the executive board of this vital organization.
DAVID E. SCHWALM
Background and Statement: I would enjoy having the opportunity to serve as a member of the WPA executive committee, and I would bring to the position a wide range of relevant and useful experience as a faculty member, as a WPA, and as a college and university administrator. I was directly engaged in teaching writing and/or administering writing programs in various roles for the first 24 years of my professional life. I taught writing as an adjunct in colleges and community colleges in the Chicago area and subsequently as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Rhetoric at Berkeley and in English departments at Ohio State, UTEP, and Arizona State (Tempe). I started a National Writing Project site at UTEP, and this gave me a close-up view of the challenges faced by K-12 teachers. I was a WPA at both UTEP and at ASU for a total of about 8 years. Since 1992, I have been an academic vice provost first at ASU West and then at ASU Polytechnic, also serving a college dean at ASU Polytechnic—where I am now Dean of the School of Applied Arts and Sciences. During my entire time at ASU, I have been deeply engaged in community college-university transfer articulation issues, both at the local, state, national level, dealing not only with transfer of composition courses but generally with policy and structural issues. And, while I have not been exclusively involved in rhetoric and composition since I assumed my general administrative roles, I have kept watch over the WPA-L listserv since establishing it in 1991 (my colleague Barry Maid and I now serve as co-listowners) and have thus been able to stay in touch with the major issues of our profession and discipline. As a result of these experiences, I am knowledgeable about issues of writing instruction from kindergarten through college at many different kinds of institution. I have seen writing programs from different points of view as a faculty member, as a program director, and as a central administrator. With this knowledge and these different perspectives, I believe I can help us to work our way through some of the challenges ahead, such as the call for K-16 curriculum alignment, more accountability, seamless transfer, and greater effectiveness and efficiency in instruction.
Board Member #2: Vote for Darsie Bowden or Melissa Ianetta
DARSIE BOWDEN began her WPA work in the late 1980s as a graduate student at the University of Southern California’s First-Year Writing Program where she served as a program coordinator. In 1992, one year after taking her first job at DePaul University, she became director of DePaul’s Writing Center, then subsequently worked as co-director of DePaul’s first WAC program (with David Jolliffe) and Director of the MA in Writing at DePaul. She is currently director of First-Year Writing, a post she has held intermittently since 1994. She also served as Director of Composition at Western Washington University (2000-1). She is a member of the steering committee for the WPA’s Network for Media Action, served on the local arrangements committee for CCCC in Chicago in 2006 and also on the WPA breakfast committee that same year. She collaborated on two video projects, Writing as Writing Program Administrators (with Peter Vandenberg, 2006) about the WPA conference in Anchorage and Who is a Writer? What Writers Tell Us (2007), produced with Peter Vandenberg, Linda Adler-Kassner and Dominic Delli Carpini, as part of the WPA’s National Conversation on Writing initiative (NCoW). She received an MFA in cinema, worked for eight years as a screenwriter, then obtained a PhD from the University of Southern California in Rhetoric, Linguistics and Literature. She currently specializes in the teaching of composition, composition theory and literacy with articles published in WPA, CCC, Rhetoric Review, and WCJ. She has completed two books, The Mythology of Voice (1999, Heinemann), a critique of the voice metaphor, and Writing for Film (2006, Erlbaum), a screenwriting textbook.
Statement: Like most writing teachers and WPAs, I have struggled to do my job in the face of institutionalized lack of funding, status, and power. As most of us are all too aware, many of the challenges we face stem from a general and often profound lack of knowledge about writing, writers, and the teaching of writing among people outside our field. Public ignorance, compounded by myth and misinformation, contribute, I believe, to the enactment of such dubious projects as NCLB and the popularity of commercial models of assessment that assess very little. The WPA, working in conjunction with CCCC and NCTE, has done much to call into question the development of these programs and practices. My work with the Network for Media Action has provided ways for me to contribute to this project. I believe that WPA needs to continue our nascent media campaign—compellingly making the case for the connection between writing, power, and democracy through the diverse media at our disposal. Over the past few years, I have found a professional home in the WPA and have benefited enormously from support, advice, and professional development that mark this organization. I would be honored to be given the chance to give back.
MELISSA IANETTA is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing at the University of Delaware where she teaches writing and administers the writing center, composition program and writing-across-the-curriculum program. With Doug Downs, she co-founded APA-SIG, a cross-organization special interest group for assistant professor administrators in CWPA and the International Writing Center Association. She has twice chaired a CCCC pre-convention workshop focused on working as a tenure-track WPA. Melissa also served as an IWCA executive board member, and she and Lauren Fitzgerald are the incoming editors of The Writing Center Journal. Melissa’s scholarship focuses on the political and intellectual impact of disciplinary-based thinking in both our practices of writing program administration and our conceptualizations of the history of rhetoric. Her research has appeared in College English, Composition Studies, PMLA, Rhetoric Review, Writing Center Journal, Writing Lab Newsletter and WPA. Her current administrative research concerns the impact of continuing non-tenure track faculty positions on the evolution of English department culture.
Statement: Being the first in my family to attend college has meant my path into the professorate has been a winding one. After being a student at a range of institutions, including an urban community college, a suburban state college and an urban research university, I’ve had the opportunity to occupy a variety of teaching and administrative roles: graduate student TA, graduate student WPA, adjunct faculty member and non-tenure track WAC consultant. Further, as a tenure-track assistant professor, I’ve administered the full gamut of writing programs -- writing center, WAC and a composition program that ranges from basic writing to technical communication. This combination of experiences, I think, have prepared me well to speak with the diversity of writing program professionals who comprise WPA.
As I’ve moved into ever-expanding roles of administrative responsibility, CWPA has been foundational to my continued success, and I would consider it an honor to serve the organization that has served me so well. If elected, I would work on the executive board by drawing upon my scholarly interest in and practical experiences with crossing departmental/institutional/disciplinary borders. More specifically, I envision continuing my active participation in the International Writing Center Association, thus contributing to cross-organizational conversation with WPA. Likewise, I would continue my support of the Assistant Professor Administrator’s SIG and workshops that support the individuals in these often-challenging roles. Finally, I would continue my research on writing program employment conditions and hope to contribute to WPA through this work.
Board Member #3: Vote for Asao B. Inoue or Susan Thomas
ASAO B. INOUE is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition, the Assessment Expert for the College of Arts and Humanities, and the English 5A Coordinator at California State University, Fresno. He was a member of the NCTE and WPA Ad Hoc Task Force on Writing Assessment (2007-08), and is a current member of the CCCC’s Committee on Diversity. He teaches graduate courses in composition pedagogy and theory, writing assessment, and racism studies. He has published scholarship in both Assessing Writing and The Journal of Writing Assessment.
Statement: I bring to the WPA Executive Board a sensitivity to issues of race and racism in writing assessment, as well as a sensitivity to historically marginalized bodies in the academy generally. As a first-generation college graduate, a former remedial English student in public schools, and an academic of color who at times still finds his voice strange and uncomfortable in the academy, I know how many FYC students feel when they bring their own seemingly strange discourses to that foreign space. I’ll strive to represent the voices and bodies that often are not represented enough, are usually at the margins, but always help define the mainstream.
My priorities are first concerned with teachers and students who are not always well-represented, including TAs and part-time instructional faculty. I often advocate institutional change, not simply for its critiques to be heard (although critique is important), but because the structures that make some lives and working conditions more comfortable and profitable often make many others’ lives and work considerably less so. And these arrangements often seem to hurt students, and hurt students of color and poor students more than others. I believe that coalitions across multiple borders (racial, social, disciplinary, etc.) are crucial to improving the quality of education and lives of our students and the WPAs and teachers who serve and work alongside those students. And finally, I believe writing assessment is one important node in the network for making institutional changes in writing programs, in constructing more meaningful education and pedagogies, and more equitable material lives for all. There should be few gates or guarded towers in WPA work; instead, I prefer to think of literacy and writing instruction as pastures that we invite all to cultivate with us, nurturing and encouraging the work done, endeavors that expand, complicate, and problematize the academy, its discourses, and even the bodies that constitute it.
SUSAN THOMAS is Senior Lecturer (equivalent of US Associate Professor) at the University of Sydney, Australia, where she directs writing and WAC programs based on American models—the first such programs in the University’s 158-year history. Susan’s work focuses on strengthening the relationship between the University and the communities it serves, in order to promote ‘real world’ writing pedagogies and develop meaningful service learning, research, and internship opportunities for students—and a writing center informed by ‘real world’ practices and needs. Her duties include assessing courses and online delivery models across four faculties, and mentoring teachers. For the past two years, Susan has served as Associate Dean for the Faculty of Arts, where she chairs the Teaching and Learning Committee and advises working groups on assessment and student diversity. Due to Susan’s work, ‘proficiency in academic writing’ and ‘social citizenship’ are now named as expected outcomes for all University of Sydney graduates. Susan has recently been appointed Director of Teaching Development for the Faculties of Arts, Music, Education, and the Sydney College of the Arts.
Susan’s research brings her home to the US, where she presents at WPA, MLA, and 4Cs. She is the editor of What is the New Rhetoric? (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007), which focuses on contemporary applications of rhetoric to technology, pedagogy, and WAC. Susan has published articles and chapters on teaching and learning, assessment, and academic writing, and is completing a monograph entitled Teaching Writing Beyond US Borders, which traces the development of the writing and WAC programs, comparing them with North American programs. Susan serves on the editorial board of Young Scholars in Writing and is treasurer of the Australian Association of Writing Programs. She has received national teaching grants and is the winner of the 2007 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, Sydney University’s most prestigious award.
Susan’s work with the WPA includes collaborating with officers, the Executive Board, and committee members to develop internationalization initiatives, including generating a cross-national dialogue among WPAs, identifying cross-cultural teaching and research opportunities, and investigating the possibility of hosting international WPA conferences in ways that offer access to all members.
Statement: “As a WPA a long way from home, I have relied on our organization’s expertise and mentoring. It would be a pleasure to serve WPA in a more formalized way and repay its generosity. My primary goal would be to share what I have learned in Australia in order to help WPA broaden its international scope. Specifically, I would like to:
- Build a research database of theoretical and practical wisdom, including the ‘transferability’ of WPA work to broader university administration;
- Use new technologies to facilitate cross-cultural conferences, mentoring programs, and ‘virtual exchange’ opportunities for faculty and students;
- Create additional professional opportunities for graduate students;
- Create venues for WPA members to participate in cross-cultural research projects and publish their work in international journals, which would further develop WPA’s capacity for mentoring and supporting international WPAs and American WPAs working in international contexts;
- Facilitate further collaborations on cross-cultural approaches to WAC and writing program assessment.