April 2009
Faculty Edition

Editor: Quentin Vieregge 

Table of Contents 

Andrea Lunsford Visit | Orientation Dates | The Everyday Writer | Bullitzer Faculty | Podcasts | 2009/10 Mentors

 

 Andrea Lunsford Will Speak to USF English Faculty

Andrea Lunsford will give a talk and answer questions for the USF composition faculty during our Fall Orientation in August 2009. The English Department will use her handbook, The Everyday Writer, for the upcoming school year. Dr. Lunsford is a well-respected rhetorician who teaches at Stanford University. She has served as Director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric since 2000 and has written numerous books on a range of topics. A few of these topics include literacy, composition, collaboration, and feminism. All English Department and USF faculty are encouraged to attend, especially First-Year Composition faculty. Specific times and places for the Lunsford visit on 8/18 are still to be determined.

 

 

Schedule of Events

Orientation Events (Save the Dates)

Dates

New GTAs / Adjuncts

8/10 - 8/14

Returning GTA/Adjuncts/Professors

8/17- 8/19

Andrea Lunsford's Visit

     8/18

Help Us Redesign the Curriculum

In order to improve and update the curriculum, we invite all English instructors to help us redesign the ENC 1101 and 1102 traditional and online curricula. This summer we will redesign our 1101 reader and begin the process of creating an 1102 reader, which will be test-piloted by volunteer teachers in the Fall of 2009. We will also be planning for Fall Orientation, redesigning the website, working on the online rubric, and building lesson plans for each project option, among other activities. We would like to encourage all FYC & English instructors to share their curricular ideas, lesson plans, and especially alternative project options with us, so that we can include them in the handbook, orientation, and on the collegewriting.us website. All meetings during the summer are open to the public, and every FYC instructor who would like to participate is encouraged to do so. Please e-mail Quentin Vieregge at qvieregg@mail.usf.edu or Taylor Mitchell at tmitche2@mail.usf.edu to share ideas, find out meeting times, or ask questions.  

We've Picked The Everyday Writer

The textbook selection process has been completed, and the ENC 1101 & 1102 handbook selected for Fall/Spring 2009-10 is The Everyday Writer, written by Andera Lunsford and published by Bedford/St. Martin's. The selection process involved five publishing companies, over 50 voting instructors, a special FYC Handbook Adoption Subcommittee, and the general FYC Committee. The FYC Handbook Adoption Committee was charged with ranking the most popular five handbooks, and the process is explained below.

 

 

by Dr. Mary Madden (Handbook Adoption Committee member) 

We, the FYC Handbook Adoption Subcommittee (Marian Conklin, Micheal Taber, Kendra Bryant, and Mary Madden), have reached a unanimous decision to recommend adoption of The Everyday Writer by Andrea A. Lunsford (Bedford/St. Martin's) for ENC 1101 and 1102 for Fall 2009. We have reached this decision after many hours of careful consideration, including attending presentations by each of the four publishers who won the top votes for their handbooks in the recent voting by 50+ instructors in the FYC program. Subsequent to announcing our decision, Taylor Mitchell informed our subcommittee that the Lunsford text was also the #1 vote-getter of the 50+ instructors who had helped to select the top contenders. We are pleased that this choice thus also represents the desire of the majority of our composition instructors.

 Below is a list of features that led us to choose The Everyday Writer:

We are excited about the new handbook selection and hope you will be as well. Copies are available for your inspection in the office of Nancy Morriss. We would like to thank all of the instructors who provided their valuable input during the voting process. Together, we believe we’ve made an excellent choice and a wonderful addition to our curriculum.

Respectfully submitted,

FYC Handbook Adoption Commitee (Kendra Bryant, Marian Conklin, Mary Madden, and Micheal Taber) 

 

Bullitzer Faculty  

 

Voices of the Bullitzer: A Podcast with Benjamin Gerdts, Melissa Jones,  and Kim Murray

A Close Look at a Bullitzer Student Winner: A Podcast with Mary Madden

 
Click on the titles above to listen to two podcast narratives of Bullitzer Prize faculty.

 



Last month we featured the winners of the Bullitzer Prize in this newsletter, but this month we would like to especially honor the instructors whose guidance and encouragement so obviously impacted this year's student writers. They can take enormous pride that their students' work was found impressive by a variety of fellow graduate students, adjuncts, and administrators. Furthermore, the winning essays provide a valuable resource for students in subsequent semesters who seek exemplary models of writing, especially for the composition projects they are completing.

These instructors include Brandon Pettit, Shawn Alff, Kendra Lee, Adam Pridemore, Mary Madden, Benjamin Gerdts, and Quincey Upshaw.

The Bullitzer Committee also donated an enormous amount of their time evaluating scores of nominated essays by reading selections, making comments, and discussing the relative merit of each essay. Below are a few observations by some of the faculty involved in this year's Bullitzers. Some of the faculty below discuss why they joined the committee, what their experiences were like on the committee, and how they use the Bullitzers in their own classroom as well.

The committee members include Kathleen Blackwell, Steve Cooper, Brenda Grau, Melissa Jones, Kendra Lee, Lauren Oetinger, Adam Pridemore, Paul Quigley, Robert Ryan, Lindsay Sloan, and Megan Weber; Kim Murray and Mike Shuman served as co-chairs.

Kathleen Blackwell (committee member)

"I was on the Bullitzer committee last year (2007-2008) and decided to participate again this year. I know that graduate students are very busy with the classes they are taking as well as with teaching. I was kind of surprised to see some graduate students on the committee this year -- over-achievers :). It was just a small way I could help out the FYC program. This year's procedure was very expedient for us readers, although Kim & Mike probably still had too much of a load. They (Mike & Kim) kept our reading down from last year's reading, which made the process less tedious for us. It was unnecessary for us to have many meetings, and the whole procedure went smoothly, at least on our end.  I've only used a couple of the essays as a pedagogical resource because they were the ones that fit the project option my classes were doing."

 

 

Steve Cooper (committee member)

"Joining the Bullitzer committee seemed (and was!) a really fantastic way to honor the students who put a lot of work into, and who got a lot out of, their experience with the course. I really enjoyed sitting on the committee--there was a real sense of fellowship and camraderie that developed over the course of our meetings. I've dabbled with using the Bullitzers in the classroom with generally good results. The selections tend generally to be very good sample student papers. It's great for students to have a model to follow."

 

 

Paul Quigley (committee member)

Paul has served on committees like the Bullitzer before. When he was in the military in Colorado Springs he was a committee member that edited Icarus a student writing publication of the Air Force Academy. He chose to join because he wanted to do something to help encouage students to try to do their very best work in the composition classroom. He found his experience, like many others, very enjoyable; it was great working with others, sharing opinions, learning about teaching by listening to others explain how they constructed writing assignments.

 

  

Lindsay Sloan (committee member)

"I decided to be a part of the Bullitzer committee because I value the program and how it rewards the efforts of our exceptional students at USF. I also wanted to take the opportunity to further collaborate with fellow colleagues. The experience was invaluable! I read some truly moving and inspiring student work. Being a part of the committee certainly gave me an even greater respect for our hard-working students and helped me realize the amount of talent we have here at our university. The Bullitzers serve as a powerful teaching tool, especially since this is my first semester teaching 1102. Having never taught these projects, it helps to pull from experienced and quality student writing. I also encourage my top students to submit their work to the Bullitzer, and hope to see some of their submissions this year."

 

 

Robert Ryan (committee member)

Robert Ryan has been an adjunct here on campus for several decades and decided to become a more active member of the teaching community, partly by becoming involved in the Bullitzers. While there were some deserving essays, Ryan felt that the general submissions were not as impressive as they should be. Robert believes the reason for this lack of excellent essays has less to do with the quality of writing than with the obvious differences in the way instructors teach each project. Consequently, he suggests we rethink how we individualize the general project descriptions or rethink the purpose behind the Bullitzers. Robert felt that being on the Bullitzer Committee was very enjoyable. Moreover, he met a lot of people who he did not know personally, though he had seen their names. The meetings were dynamic; everyone had a opinion and was able to share it. 

  

 

Megan Weber (committee member)

"I chose to be on the committee because as an undergraduate, I was the editor of an undergraduate publication and I learned a lot from it, and it was just fun. The committee was really informative, to see how to put together a publication from one type of writing instead of an interdisciplinary publication."

 

 

 

Adam Pridemore (committee member; teacher of winning student)

"Due to the fact that I tend to grade strictly (some might say harshly), and also because the end of the semester is filled with so much chaos, I don't nominate individual students. Instead, I tell my entire class how amazingly easy submitting an essay is, and how the reward (potential money and fame/noteriety) far outweigh the risks. I then suggest that anyone who has received a high B or A on any project should submit, because they will probably have a fighting chance of winning. To head off the possibility of students submitting essays that have no chance of winning, I then tell the students to email me for the uploading instructions, which normally weeds out anyone who hasn't recieved the grade, and who isn't rightly confident in their ability as a writer. I have found that for me, as an instructor, critiquing sample essays offers the most effective teaching tool available in the composition classroom, and the Bullitzer Prize winners (and non-winners) offer a great place to turn to for essays to critique."

 Adam was also a commitee member . . .

"I wanted to become more involved with the department, and also to know that I had helped choose the best representative essays for the award. Although, as a commuter from Orlando, I wasn't able to attend any of the meetings in person, I did end up being able to help by reading through two final essays for one of the categories, in order to determine the winner." 

Shawn Alff (teacher of winning student)

 "Brittany's piece was great because it was one of the few essays that kept and held my interest. I even passed it on to a few friends to read. How can you not fall in love with a ferret named Mr. Tangerine Speedo? Her paper also did something that many of the other students attempted but failed to do. She wrote about death in a way that was not melodramatic and which had a very specific message. It did take some encouraging to convince Brittany to submit her piece. Her essay is about being shy and how her ferret gave her a way to overcome this issue. She did not necessarily want to submit a work for review by her peers that explored the very personal issue of having a hard time connecting with people. In the end, I basically forced her to submit this work because I knew she would win and I wanted to take some of the credit."

 

 

 

Brandon Pettit (teacher of winning student) 

"His memoir was well written in structure and form, but most importantly carried the thought and reflection needed for the assignment.  It probably didn't hurt that he had an amazing metaphor and situation to describe, which he did wonderfully.  I did use the Bullitzer as a pedagogical resourse.  In a way, it is easy to excite students to revise at their best, and to keep revising even after the project is completed and graded if they have a personal stake." 

Quincey Upshaw (teacher of winning student)

"Sara entered my class an eager learner who already had a natural ear for language and great interest in crafting a solid piece of writing. I was very impressed with each and every draft she turned in, and I was intrigued by the fact that while she wanted to write an "A"--level paper, she also wanted her own sense of humor and personality, all those things we call "voice," to shine through. She was sucessful at both goals. I nominated her because I want young writers at USF to see that getting good grades and expressing a personal style are not mutually exclusive goals. Sara read the information, and it seemed that she realized it was a "big deal." She graciously received my nomination as a compliment and was eager to submit her essay."

Mentors for Fall 2009 / 2010

by Taylor Mitchell

Many FYC instructors applied for the Fall 2009 Mentoring Program, and while they were all deserving of a position, the budget only allowed for one Mentoring Coordinator, seven Mentors, and a Facilitator. Erin Trauth, the new Mentoring Coordinator, selected with the aid of the FYC Staff those instructors who will make up next year’s Mentoring Program. Kendra Bryant, Kendra Lee, Jessica McKee, and Jessica Trant were selected because of their dedicated work with last year’s incoming GTAs, and Lauren Oetinger, Micheal Taber, and Megan Weber were chosen based on responses to the Mentoring Program Survey, teaching evaluations, and participation in FYC. Beyond working with incoming GTAs during orientation and the fall, new Mentors will work with facilitator Kyle Stedman to improve student writing, develop teaching strategies, create new projects, redesign the FYC course webpages, and report on more efficient ways of using course texts.  

Beyond selecting Mentors, Erin’s new position as Mentoring Coordinator involves managing the program, communicating progress with FYC Staff, sharing mentee accomplishments and struggles, deciding where Mentors can best offer their services, and writing Mentoring Program reports.  Our previous Mentoring Program provided effective professional development experience, and improved our teaching community through serving the department and fellow instructors. The upcoming Mentoring Program will be no different; with Erin’s leadership the program will continue to develop community by working with instructors to improve student learning. Future Mentors and Facilitators will have the opportunity to build on this foundation. Remember to look for notices to apply in Appeals if you're interested!

Erin Trauth (Mentoring Coordinator)

"As the mentoring coordinator for 2009-2010, I'm extremely excited to work with such an accomplished, dynamic group of mentors in our quest to assist the incoming teaching assistants. I've seen firsthand how much this program can help us grow as FYC teachers (both for the mentors and mentees), and I'm proud to be a part of it once more. During our time together next year, I hope the mentors, as well as the new mentees, are able to grow together as a community, both in teaching abilities and overall camaraderie. When we work together, I know that we can improve FYC student writing, as well as our overall effectiveness as guides in the writing process."

 

 

 

Kendra Bryant

"Through the mentoring program, I hope to build relationships with new graduate students, as well as improve my ability to communicate, teach, and organize.  I look forward to learning new classroom skills and strategies."

 

 

Kendra Lee

"I hope to create a reliable group of people (mentors) that the new FYC instructors feel like they can approach with any question.  I would also like to add to the resources available on the FYC database."  

  

 

Lauren Oetinger 

"I think I'd like them to take away from it similar things I did: that I wasn't a fraud, that I had viable and important things to teach my students. I also learned that I wasn't just a single teacher out in the cosmos, but I was one person of many in a tangible community that was ready to support me in any way possible. This went a long way towards my confidence level as an instructor. I hope my mentees learn to trust themselves (if they haven't already), I hope they learn the 'ropes' so to speak, and I hope they accept the English Department as their new home because we're kind of awesome here."   

Micheal Taber

 

"Like most of us, I came to teaching because I want to learn. I see mentoring as continuing that process; I want to learn about and from the incoming graduates and about myself. Creating a sense of community is such a great thing, and so different from an undergraduate program, that I hope as a group we can achieve that."

 

 

 Megan Weber

"I just want to get a better understanding of the program and help other people acclimate to the university and program. Personally, to get better at working with other people. As a group, just working together well and helping each other where necessary."


 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents 

Andrea Lunsford Visit | Orientation Dates | The Everyday Writer | Bullitzer Faculty | Podcast | 2009/10 Mentors