Rhetoric & Writing at BGSU
Rhetoric & Writing Notes - Fall 2005
As a traditional beginning to our fall issue of Rhetoric & Writing Notes, we asked new and continuing students in the program to write something about themselves, what their interests are, and the projects they may be working on. Below are new and continuing students to the program this semester, as well as information about other recent happenings within the program.
Beth Church is a first-year Ph.D. student from just up the road in Perrysburg. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from BGSU and an MA in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is currently the editor of a weekly newspaper in Rossford, which is part of a chain of suburban newspapers in the Toledo area. She also is a frequent contributor to the Catholic newspaper for the Diocese of Toledo. She has taught Technical Writing for the past three years as an adjunct instructor at Owens Community College. Her research interests at this time include rhetoric and apologetics, media and literacy, and grammar in the context of writing, which probably will have to be narrowed down at some point. In her free time (what's that?), she enjoys gardening, golfing, and is learning to ride motocross bikes.
Erin Dietel-McLaughlin is a first-year continuing Ph.D. student in the Rhetoric & Writing program. She completed her undergraduate study in English literature at Eastern Washington University, where she also worked for four years as a public relations aide, writer, and editor in EWU's Division of University Relations. As a McNair Scholar, Erin was pleased to serve as an academic assistant to the McNair Scholars Program before going to work for a newspaper in her hometown of Spokane, Washington. While she hopes to focus her research interests during the course of the next two years, she is particularly curious about such broad areas as social rhetoric and discourse, composition pedagogy, writing across the curriculum, and writing center administration. When she isn't studying or teaching, Erin enjoys writing, scrapbooking, games, playing with her two cats, and discovering new things to do in Bowling Green with her husband, Clint.
Elizabeth Fleitz , a first-year student in the Ph.D. program, recently graduated with her MA in Literature from BGSU. Her diverse research interests include the body and language, women's friendships, women and eating disorders, and trauma studies. Presentations include a paper at the MMLA conference on Art Spiegelman and his artistic response to 9/11 in November, and in spring a paper on Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman at the Twentieth-Century Literature Conference. If she ever has free time again, she likes to read mindless chick-lit novels and their film equivalent on DVDs.
Robert Christopher Graves is a first-year Ph.D. student from Wichita, KS. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a BA in English. His interests include Latin and the Romance languages, mythology, Jungian psychology, witchcraft, Taoist meditation, and the divine nature of Shakespeare's plays. He has recently had work published in the Chiron Review, Poetry Motel, and Mikrokosmos. Eartha Kitty, his cat, is three and a half years old, and she enjoys mousing, sleeping, and mewing her head off.
Yvonne Schultz is a first-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric & Writing, starting back as a student after 10 years'college teaching. Her day job--and also night, as she teaches in Adult and Graduate Studies as well--is as an assistant professor of journalism at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Her MA is from the University in Akron in English/Composition track, which she finished after doing half a master's in literature from Villanova University in Pennsylvania. She says she's from western Kansas because she graduated high school there, but she's lived in seven states, so home is where her husband Dennis and two college-age daughters are. Yvonne is enjoying being back in class right now, doing whatever research projects her profs will let her, but she'll focus eventually, maybe on journalism portfolio assessment, maybe on rhetoric in contemporary literature, maybe on some feminist stuff. Before entering academia, Yvonne was a free-lance writer and editor; newspaper, magazine, and newsletter editor; and staff copywriter. She loves to vegetable and flower garden; bike, walk, and cross-country ski with Den; and eat ethnic food with friends, followed by attending a concert or play.
Bethany Noelle Snyder-Morse is a first-year student in the Ph.D. program in Rhetoric & Writing. She received her BA/BS in Spanish and advertising from the University of Illinois-Urbana, and an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She taught basic English at orphanages in Ecuador and India, and she helped tutor students at an English college for the handicapped in China. She also taught composition and creative writing in Michigan. She has an interest in local history (mainly Midwest), John Deere tractors and genealogy. She is a volunteer CASA(Court Appointed Special Advocate) for foster children and is currently training for a foster parent license.
Jen Almjeld is a second-year Ph.D. student who hails from Kentucky. Jen received her MA in English from Eastern Kentucky University, where she also taught journalism for two years before coming to Bowling Green. This summer Jen again had the chance to teach journalism--this time to high school students as part of BGSU's summer Upward Bound Program. Jen serves as an assistant to the Director of the General Studies Writing program at BGSU. Her research interests include women's rhetorics, visual literacy and rhetoric, and computers and composition. She recently presented a paper on scrapbooking as a rhetorical practice at the Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) conference. In her spare time she is an avid shoe shopper, loves to watch movies, and travel whenever possible.
Florence Elizabeth Bacabac is a second-year Rhetoric & Writing Ph.D. student from the Philippines. She got her BA and MA in English Language from the University of the Philippines where she taught for seven years before moving to the U.S. for further studies. Her work on "Modifying Greimas' Structural Semantics for Poetry Analysis" was published in DANYAG (1997), the University of the Philippines' Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. In October, she presented her paper entitled "'Sizing Up' Conduct Book Rhetoric for Women: Conduct Rhetors as Instigators of Change or Transcribers of the Status Quo?"in a panel discussion at the Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) Conference in Michigan. She loves the arts of Pablo Neruda and Janis Joplin.
Mwangi (Alex) Chege is a third-year student in the Rhetoric & Writing Ph.D. program here at Bowling Green State University. He comes from Kenya. He graduated from Moi Unversity- Kenya with a Master of Philosophy with emphasis in linguistics. Alex is currently working on his dissertation and plans to graduate in the summer. Areas of interest are literacy, pedagogy, and postcolonial issues.
AnDrea Cleaves, a BGSU Presidential Scholar, is a third-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric & Composition. She received both her BA in Communication and her Master of Education from the University of Toledo. She has worked in radio - hosting her own one-hour show, Toledo Concerns, and served as the Off-Campus Program Coordinator for UT. If a TV viewer is particularly perceptive, AnDrea can be seen and heard in many local commercials. Her real joy, however, is teaching writing at Owens State Community College. AnDrea is still in the process of distilling her interests, but her current loves are Black British Rhetoric of Victorian England, New Woman writers of the fin-de-siecle - particularly Ella Hepworth Dixon.
Richard Colby comes to us from sunny southern California, home of traffic, smog, movies and Disneyland. Coupled with an unhealthy fascination with computers, his primary work includes composition theory and pedagogy, primarily relying on Deweyan and Rortyian philosophy to guide his way. His quirky research interests include humor, visual rhetoric, and the pedagogical significance of computer games. Richard is a fourth-year student in the Rhetoric & Writing Ph.D. program, and he is currently working on his dissertation.
Christine Cucciare is a doctoral candidate in Rhetoric & Writing. Her dissertation, Exploring Audience in Undergraduate Creative Writing Pedagogy, will be completed early next year. She is currently a full-time instructor in the General Studies Writing department, and her professional activities include upcoming presentations in November at the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Pittsburgh, and in March at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Chicago. Christine can be found holed up in her East Hall office writing her dissertation or grading papers early every morning. In her enormous amount of free time she runs, coaches gymnastics, and takes walks with her cat Jim, who has feline AIDS.
Chris Denecker is in her third year of the Rhetoric & Writing doctoral program. When she's not looking for a parking place on the BG campus or trading glorious insights and delightful banter with her BG counterparts, she can be found at the University of Findlay where she is a full-time assistant professor of English. Along with her teaching duties, Chris advises two on-campus clubs, serves on two university committees, and volunteers for several community organizations (and helps little old ladies across streets, and does macramé at the Senior Citizens Center---OK, she's not that much of a do-gooder). Chris's research interests include technological, grammar and pop culture pedagogies for high school students, as well as the works of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and Marietta Holley. She has presented at several Ohio tech conferences as well as at the CEA conference in Indianapolis (April 2005). She presented her most current Sor Juana work to the Feminism & Rhetoric(s) Conference at Michigan Tech in October. Chris and her husband Greg have two sons and live in Bluffton, Ohio. She can't wait to graduate so she can actually get re-acquainted with the three of them.
Justin Felix is currently in his fourth year of the Ph.D. program. He gave a presentation with Brennan Thomas and Thai Tran at the 2005 CCCC Convention in San Francisco and joined several other R&W students in a panel discussion chaired by Kris Blair at the 2005 Computers & Writing Conference at Stanford. He will have a short story published in the upcoming "It's That Time Again 3: Even More New Stories of Old Time Radio" from Bear Manor Media. He has also been published in the previous two volumes of the series. Justin is currently working on his dissertation and plans to finish in the summer of 2006.
Ann-Gee Lee is in her second year in the Ph.D. program and is teaching for GSW. A native of California, she chose BGSU simply because she was accepted. Her MA in English with a concentration of TESOL and Rhetoric-Composition comes from California State University Stanislaus, where she also received her BA in English with TESOL and minor in Spanish. After receiving her BA, Lee taught high school English for a year and then went back for her master’s degree at CSUS. The focus of her thesis/project was multi-genre writing with English language learners, which was also presented at a local conference. Lee has over ten years of experience as an on/off campus tutor, mentor, and instructor, working with students of all ages. At CSUS, she worked in an Intensive English Program, preparing students for the Test of English as a Foreign Language, reading, writing, listening and speaking, as well as English grammar. Lee also taught developmental writing and computer-assisted First-Year Composition. Lee's interests are teaching/learning languages, reading contemporary novels, writing, music, and design. In the next four years, she hopes to publish some professional and creative work and teach/train English language learners abroad. Her research interest lies in secret female rhetoric. Lee is also a representative of the Graduate Student Senate and is open to problems or concerns any students in the English department may have.
Robin Murphy, a third-year Ph.D. student from Oklahoma, recently presented at the Computers and Writing Conference on a panel with Dr. Kris Blair and some fellow Ph.D. students. She also presented her paper "Ain't I funny, too? Women's Humor as Social Agency" at the Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) Conference in October. Robin took her Preliminary Exams and will finish her coursework this semester, but could do without weathering another Ohio winter. Her research interests include Post-9/11 Rhetoric, culture and popular culture studies, composition pedagogy, technological literacy, and visual rhetoric. Robin lives in BG with her husband Kaleb, a software engineer, and her two dogs, Kara and Norman.
Sergey Rybas is in his second year of the doctoral program. He received his MA in Scientific and Technical Communication from BGSU and his BA in Teaching English and German from Taganrog State University in Russia. His research interests include use of technology in written communication, study of usability, as well as intercultural and interpersonal communication. He has a passion for traveling and has experience living and working in Russia and Thailand in addition to the U.S.
James Schirmer, a second-year student in Rhetoric & Writing, came to BGSU by way of Texas A&M in Corpus Christi, where he received a Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Composition. His current research interests include online learning spaces, multi-modality, visual rhetoric, and computers and writing.
After earning her undergraduate degree in Secondary English Education from Penn State University in 1985, Lucie Shetzer began her teaching career as a high school English teacher in California. Several years later, after moving to Ohio, Lucie earned an Associate in Applied Science from Owens Community College, becoming a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA). An MA in Scientific and Technical Communication at Bowling Green State University followed in 2001, and Lucie subsequently worked for two years as a full-time Writing Specialist in the BGSU Writing Center. While employed at the Writing Center, she tutored students enrolled in all levels of first-year composition, provided direct support for UPAS students, designed and maintained an online tutoring service, and maintained the Writing Center’s website. After leaving the Writing Center to pursue full-time doctoral studies in Rhetoric & Writing at BGSU, her interest in online pedagogy soon blended with her background in both technical writing and physical therapy, resulting in a temporary, grant funded position at Owens Community College as the project director for an upcoming web-based Physical Therapist Assistant degree program, for which she adapted traditional curricula to a web-based format. On a part-time basis, she has also been pursuing a Distance Learning Credential offered in a web-based format through the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Throughout, she has continually taught first-year composition courses as well as Technical and Business Communication courses at Owens Community College. As a graduate assistant at BGSU, in addition to first-year composition, she has taught an online portfolio-based English 207 course for non-traditional adult learners. Currently, Lucie has attained doctoral candidacy in the Rhetoric & Writing program and is completing a dissertation on journaling as therapeutic writing. She credits her husband Jeff for enabling her to devote so much attention to achieving her educational and professional goals with his limitless support that allows her to spend any free time enjoying her four children, Ashley (18), Molly (16), Melanie (15), and Timothy, Jr. (12).
Heather Speweik gave a presentation last year at Watson in the fall and one at CCCC in the spring, accepted a web editing position with http://www.rhetcomp.com for the "Organizations" and "Programs" pages, and had a short piece "Writing the Civic into the Curriculum" accepted for publication in _Quick Hits for Educating Citizens_, forthcoming 2006, Indiana University Press (edited by James Perry and Steven Jones). Heather also completed her preliminary examinations in the fall and graduate lecture for the approval of the dissertation topic in the spring. She is currently working on the first draft of the dissertation. under the guidance of her committee members: Drs. Richard Gebhardt (Chair), Kristine Blair, Sue Carter, and Cynthia Baron (outside member, Theater). Her current research interest is the intersections among civic discourse, higher education, and Rhetoric's disciplinary identity. Over the summer, Heather was married to Corey Speweik, who currently attends the University of Toledo College of Law.
Eric Stalions is in his third year in the program. In addition to teaching English 207: Intermediate Writing in the fall, he is an assistant to the Director of the General Studies Writing Program. He is also the Book Reviews Editor for Computers and Composition Online. His principle research interest is writing assessment. Eric and his wife, Annette, have three children: Eric Jr., Philip, and Caroline. Eric Jr. and Philip are one-year-old twins, and Caroline is two.
Brennan Thomas is a fourth-year Rhetoric & Writing Ph.D. student.
Thai Tran came all the way from a remote but not unfamiliar land to the United States: Vietnam. She taught English as a foreign language in high school and college in the Mekong Delta. With an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Canberra (Australia), she sought further studies at BGSU in a discipline new to most Asian countries: rhetoric and composition.Her current working experience at BGSU Writing Center tremendously enhances what she has learned in Rhet-Comp courses. Her research interests focus on visual rhetoric/culture, contrastive rhetoric, the writing process, and EFL literacy. For relaxation, she loves planting and taking care of flowers or cooking American-Vietnamese dishes.
Angela Zimmann is a second-year student in the Rhetoric & Writing Ph.D. program. She serves as a group leader for General Studies Writing at BG, along with teaching English 111. As an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Angela's research interests in the field of rhetoric are related to preaching and the uses of rhetoric within the congregation and the churchwide structure. Angela serves at Trinity Lutheran Church in Riga, Michigan, as a part-time pastor. She has been married for ten years to Rev. Marty Zimmann, and together they have two children: Seth, age 6, and Chelsea, who is two-and-a-half. In her spare time, Angela enjoys reading, walking, shopping on eBay, and volunteering at the local elementary school.
Major revision of the Prelim Exam process
Every few years the faculty reviews and updates the reading list and procedures for the Rhetoric & Writing Ph.D. Program's Preliminary Exam. The most recent review led to a major change in the Specialized Exam, as well as to an updating of the General Exam Reading List. Starting this year, the Specialized Preliminary Exam is a portfolio--developed in a web environment or on paper--emphasizing professional ability and preparation for the dissertation. There are four sections to the Specialized Exam Portfolio:
Professional Revising Project . This section will include (1) the original of a R&W Program seminar paper; (2) a revision of that paper intended for conference delivery or for submission to a journal or book editor, and (3) an Afterword that discusses and illustrates the nature of the revision--and the reasons for changes during revision.
Professional Curriculum Project . This section will include the syllabus for a writing course (either taught or anticipated) and an Afterword that discusses (in light of General Prelim List readings and other sources) principles behind the syllabus.
Preliminary Dissertation Reading List . A list of about 40 works (not duplicating any on the General Prelim List) selected with an eye toward future dissertation research.
Bibliographic Essay . Working with the Initial Reading List, the student will develop a bibliographic essay showing understanding of individual works, key relationships and differences among works, and important issues, questions, and needed research in the area of the future dissertation.
Changes in the General Exam included trimming some works and adding quite a few others to an expanded General List organized around these topics: Major Works, Approaches for Viewing and Studying the Field, Audience/Context, History of Rhetoric/Composition, Composing Processes, Assessment, and Technology. Students will work with their Advisors and Prelim Committees to develop a list of about 70 sources drawn from all the sections of General List. This will serve as the specific General List upon which your General Preliminary Exam will be based.
Fuller information about the new Specialized Portfolio Examination is available in the Rhetoric & Writing Program website at the Preliminary Readings button at the department homepage or at http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/english/rcweb/prelim.htm A semifinal version of the new General List is being reviewed and will be available in the program website soon.
Six graduate students joined faculty members Dr. Kris Blair and Dr. Sue Carter in presenting papers at the Feminism(s) & Rhetoric(s) Conference in Houghton, Michigan in early October. The three-day event was held Oct. 5-8 and featured papers and panel discussions covering topics related to technology, women's studies, literary genres, and rhetorical artifacts.
AnDrea Cleaves, a third-year Ph.D. student, presented "Pleading Protestations: The Analysis of Letitia Wigington's 'Confession"on Thursday, the first day of the conference.
On Friday, Dr. Kris Blair, Interim Chair of the English department, presented a piece she worked on with recent Rhetoric & Writing alum Lanette Cadle entitled "Computers and Composition Online: Feminist Community and the Politics of Digital Scholarship." In the same panel second-year Ph.D. student Sergey Rybas and his wife Natalia, a second-year communication studies doctoral student, presented "Professional Online Portfolios: A Feminist Promise."Chris Denecker, a third-year Ph.D. student, also presented on Friday with her piece "Spaces of Silence: The Rhetorical Humility of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz."
Robin Murphy, a third-year student, started off BGSU's Saturday presentation with her piece "Ain't I funny, too? Women's Humor as Social Agency." Also on Saturday, second-year students Florence Bacabac and Jen Almjeld presented in a women's rhetorics panel. Bacabac presented "'Sizing Up' Conduct Book Rhetoric for Women: Conduct Rhetors as Instigators of Change or Transcribers of the Status Quo?" and Almjeld presented "Collecting Culture: Scrapbooking Pieces Together from the Past to Shape Society and Individuals." Finally, Saturday afternoon Dr. Sue Carter and recent Rhetoric & Writing alum Inez Schaechterle presented "Ritual, Public Display, and Enthymemes: The Construction of Frances Willard's Christianity."
Kris Blair appointed Interim Chair
Early this Fall semester, Rhetoric & Writing Program faculty member Dr. Kris Blair was appointed Interim Chair of the English Department. Following the appointment of Department Chair Simon Morgan-Russell as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Dean consulted with the Department and appointed Kris to chair the English Department.
In his announcement of the appointment, Dean Donald Nieman thanked Kris for her willingness to serve on such short notice and for her enthusiasm for this important leadership position. In describing Kris in his announcement, he wrote that "Dr. Blair has had an array of experiences at BGSU including membership on the College Promotion and Tenure Review Committee. Additionally, she has been a key scholar in several interdisciplinary and inter-college programs and initiatives that have provided her with global perspectives. These experiences and her many talents as a researcher and educator provide her with the credentials to lead a large and diverse department."
This semester third- and fourth-year doctoral students found a new source of information, encouragement, and camaraderie. The Post-Prelim Group is designed to provide Rhetoric & Writing doctoral students at Bowling Green who have completed the preliminary exams with peer support and motivation via external deadlines and incentives for making progress on their dissertations. Group members meet once every three weeks along with faculty.
Members regularly give reports on research, pose questions, and share common concerns. This semester they addressed job search and interview questions from members of the group, workshopped small pieces of their dissertations, discussed complications in explaining research, and prepared themselves for submitting dissertations electronically. The group met four times during the fall semester –convening from 3-4 p.m. in 206 East Hall.
Future meeting topics for the spring include how to talk about research findings with others and additional areas of interest.
The Rhetoric & Writing program's monthly Third Friday program is tackling several topics pertaining to academics, career, and research. Fall meetings covered the changes from the specialized prelim exam to a specialized portfolio and a discussion of the tenuous relationship between teaching and research in the life of an academic. Meeting organizers hope to address issues and concerns for students at various stages of the program--for beginning students still scheduling coursework to those preparing for graduation.
Future topics for the spring include conference and publication opportunities, important professional organizations to join, job opportunities for new grads, guidelines for building CVs, and tips for juggling teaching and coursework responsibilities. During the fall the group meets from 11:30-12:30 in 206 East Hall on the third Friday of each month.
Alumni updates and suggestions invited
Compliments continue to come in from users of Journals in Rhetoric and Composition--the extensive listing of journals developed by students in the Scholarly Publishing class and available in the program website (at the Journals List button or at http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/english/rcweb/journallist/journals.htm).
Journals in Rhetoric and Composition was developed by Richard Colby, Heather Fester, Brennan Thomas, Alex Chege, Justin Felix, Alec Fleschner, Robin Murphy, Rebekah Shultz, Eric Stalions, and Thai Tran. Their approach was to list journal titles as live web links, and to group journals in several broad categories: Journals of Rhetoric and Composition; Related Journals in Education, Language, and Literacy; Related Journals in Communication and Technical Writing; Related Journals in Cultural and Literary Studies; and NCTE State and Regional Journals.
Updating of Journals in Rhetoric and Composition will take place this Spring. Students in this year's Scholarly Publishing seminar would be delighted to get suggestions and updates from Rhetoric & Writing Ph.D. alumni. If you know of dead links, new URLs, missing journals and the like, please let us know by sending e-mail to both Jen Amjeld and Rick Gebhardt.
Spring issue to feature alumni news
The Spring 2006 issue of Rhetoric & Writing Notes will feature news from and short pieces by alumni of the Rhetoric & Writing Ph.D. Program. Alumni across the country would like to know about what has been going on in your professional life over the past year--new positions or leadership roles, professional activities, recent publications, awards or grants, and the like. You could send a quick e-mail noting an item or two, or you could send a 50- to 150-word story blending several things together. Either way, please send e-mail to both Rick Gebhardt and Jen Almjeld.
As you can see by browsing earlier issues, Rhetoric & Writing Notes carries longer alumni-update articles as well as short news items. Please let Rick know if you would like to write a longer piece about how your career has evolved over time, about the transition from grad school to faculty member, or similar topics.
Rhetoric & Writing Notes Issue 12, Fall Semester 2005
Rhetoric & Writing Notes is an occasional web-based newsletter of the Rhetoric & Writing Ph.D. Program at Bowling Green State University. Alumni news and ideas for future stories should be sent to the Program Director, Richard Gebhardt, at firstname.lastname@example.org (or at the English Department, BGSU, Bowling Green, OH 43403).
The Fall Semester issue was compiled and edited by Jen Almjeld.