Rhetoric & Writing at BGSU
Rhetoric & Writing Notes - Fall 2009
Entering Class of 2009
Seven new students joined the Rhetoric and Writing PhD program this fall semester. Students in the Rhetoric & Writing program are an intriguingly diverse group, coming to BGSU from all over the country and beyond. Their interests, research and otherwise, are equally diverse, revealed as much by the short biographies below.
Anna Katherine Amacker
Anna Katherine Amacker, originally from Northeast Louisiana, earned her AB in English and music (vocal performance) from Wesleyan College and her MA in English from the College of Charleston. Before coming to Bowling Green and after a stint as a barista, she taught composition at Trident Technical College, as well as worked in Graduate Admissions at the College of Charleston. While her research background includes things from Old English poetry to antifeminism in James Bond, she is particularly interested in new media, feminist rhetoric, and cultural studies with a focus on femslash fanfiction. AnnaKatherine enjoys spending her free time with her partner and their three cats, as well as reading sundry things and watching anything from soap operas to sci fi. She drinks much too much coffee and has a tremendous shoe collection.
Kerri Elise Hauman
Kerri recently earned an MA in Composition and Rhetoric and a certificate in Women’s Studies from Wright State University. While at WSU, she also earned her BA in English with an emphasis on professional writing, worked in the University’s writing center for five years, and taught first-year composition for two years. In particular, her experiences as writing center tutor, women’s studies student, and FYC teacher have influenced her interest in collaboration, feminist rhetoric, new media, pedagogy and what occurs at their intersections. When given the chance to pursue activities outside of academia, she most often chooses live music, dancing, and traveling to visit her friends who are now spread all around the country.
Em Hurford, who hails from southern Indiana, has a BA in English and Latin from Indiana University. She came to Bowling Green State University after spending a few years working in a cubicle farm, and recently completed her MA in English Literature. She has a diverse range of theoretical and research interests, from fandom studies to the intersection of feminist and queer theory with popular culture texts. She has a growing interest in new media, technology in the writing classroom, and culture studies. When she isn’t working, she can generally be found surfing the internet, teasing her cats, reading schlocky manga and scifi, or indulging in her latest guilty pleasure—Regency romances.
Stacy completed her BA and MA in English Literature at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. She taught freshman writing throughout her MA and spent an additional year at Bonaventure to continue teaching. Now at Bowling Green, Stacy is pleased with her dual role as dedicated teacher and student and is interested in performance pedagogies, the role of technology in the classroom and in student writing, and the rhetoric of authenticity. Outside of school, she enjoys live music, new cities, old friends, and good conversation.
Jeff received his BA (Creative Writing and Film) and MA (English) from St. Cloud State University in MN. Before entering the Rhetoric and Writing PhD program at BGSU, he worked as the Writing Center Director at the University of WI-Fox Valley, where he also taught a variety of composition courses. Jeff’s current research interests include 21st century literacies, remediation, and the intersections of comic book, film and new media theories. In his spare moments, Jeff can be found spending time with his wife Stephanie, disc golfing, playing basketball, racquetball, and baseball, spending too much money at comic book stores, and updating his various fantasy sports teams.
Kate Spike holds a BA in Literature (1993) and a MA TESL (1995) and has spent the years since these degrees living and teaching in locales as diverse as the Czech Republic, Vermont, and Japan before settling to work here in Bowling Green, Ohio in August, 2005. Kate serves as the Director of BGSU’s English as a Second Language Program, and so her research interests reflect her administrative and teaching duties. Current favorites include the intersection of reading and writing proficiency, linguistics (especially phonology), second and foreign language acquisition, teaching grammar within the context of writing, and WAC/WID approaches to the teaching of writing. When not buried under work and studies, Kate enjoys relaxing with her husband, two young children, and her cat and dog.
Alison C. Witte
Alison comes to Bowling Green by way of New Hampshire, Chicago, South Dakota and Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has a BA in English Literature and Theological Languages from Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. After spending a year doing accounting for a fuel company, Alison decided the corporate world was not for her and returned to school at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. There, she earned her MA in Rhetoric and Composition and American Literature. Her current research interests include electronic pedagogies; e-books; and technology and religious rhetoric. When she is not studying or teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Keith, and son, Nathaniel, baking, and watching lots of baseball, football and hockey.
New Developments for monthly "Third Friday" meetings
Since I began the R & W program two years ago, I have always found the program's monthly Third Friday meetings very informational and helpful. During my first couple semesters, I attended each meeting trying to gather all the information given so I might acclimate myself to my new surroundings and the new academic demands I was now facing. My second year, I became a member of the Third Friday Steering Committee and helped generate and manage monthly topics and discussions, along with several of my colleagues in the program. Now, as a third year student, leader of the Third Friday Steering Committee and R & W Program Assistant, the committee and I strive to provide a forum for students to discuss issues in the field and in the program. A recurring theme of professionalism and collegiality was introduced fall semester 2009 and has been a prominent discussion each month, extending into Spring semester 2010.
September's meeting, we offered discussion and information on submitting conference proposals, up and coming conference deadlines, conference funding opportunities, and an overview of professionalism and collegiality. October provided a brief question and answer session about the Preliminary Exam process, as well as fourth year student, Brittany Cottrill's, outlook on what collegiality and professionalism means to her, as she is making her transition from graduate student to the job market. Faculty Member, Dr. Lance Massey, also spoke on his experiences and his thoughts on professionalism and collegiality. Examples of professional development activities on campus were provided. November's meeting, our last official Third Friday meeting of fall semester, Dr. Lee Nickoson-Massey, offered her insights on professionalism and collegiality, extending the conversation to include a student's developing identity as teacher/researcher vs. researcher/teacher. We were also fortunate enough to Skype with a recent graduate of the program, Dr. Elizabeth Fleitz, who recently began teaching at Southeast Missouri State University. She shared her experiences and insight on the transition from graduate student to new faculty member. December not only brought the close of the semester, but also our Potluck lunch, where R & W students can enjoy good food, compelling conversation and friendly company. -- Emily J. Beard, 3rd year Rhetoric and Writing PhD Student
New Developments with “Post-Prelim Group"
Fall 2009 brought lots of change for the Rhetoric & Writing PhD Program’s student-faculty support group for third- and fourth-year students who are working with their committees on their dissertations. The two main agendas of Post-Prelim Group--dissertation writing and the job search--have been separated to allow more emphasis on these critical endeavors of advanced doctoral students.
PPG-1 gives third-year students a place to discuss approaches and share ideas and drafts as they develop dissertation proposals and start their dissertation writing. PPG-1 is co-facilitated by third-year students Vanessa Cozza and Bobby Kuechenmeister and advised by Rick Gebhardt and Lance Massey. PPG-2 lets fourth-year students share information on the job search and get feedback on application approaches and materials. PPG-2 is facilitated by Jeremy Schnieder and advised by Kris Blair and Lee Nickoson-Massey.
PPG-1 and PPG-2 meet in alternate weeks and provide their members with web-available resources, such as successful dissertation proposals, resources on dissertation writing and time management, job-search and interviewing resources, and sample CVs and teaching narratives. The groups also organized special events during fall semester. PPG-1 arranged a research-review workshop led by a reference and instruction librarian and invited first- and second-year students to participate. PPG-2 organized a series of mock interviews with faculty members to help job seekers prepare for MLA and on-campus interviews.
New “Alumni Mentor Group” for Rhetoric & Writing PhD Students
Rhetoric & Writing PhD students have a new way to develop a sense of faculty life and work--teaching load, courses taught, committee work, tenure criteria and expectations, etc.--before they start looking for faculty positions. The “Alumni Mentor Group” reinforces and enriches other beyond-the-classroom efforts that reflect the program’s commitment to preparing women and men for faculty careers in rhetoric and composition. Eighteen graduates volunteered to be founding members of the group, which can, of course, expand over time. “Alumni Mentor Group” information can be found on the Students and Alumni page of the website or at this link http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/english/rcweb/page73956.html.
Recent “Engagement” Emphases in the Rhetoric & Writing PhD Program
Every few years, the faculty revises the Core Prelim List. In spring 2009, a section on “Composition Studies and Engagement” was added to reflect the importance across American higher education of civic engagement, service learning, scholarship of engagement, and related aspects of faculty work. The new section includes Ellen Cushman’s “The Rhetorician as an Agent of Social Change,” Thomas Deans’ Writing Partnerships: Service Learning in Composition, Linda Flower’s Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Public Engagement, Jeffrey Grabill’s Writing Community Change: Designing Technologies for Citizen Action, Christian Weisser’s Moving Beyond Academic Discourse: Composition Studies and the Public Sphere; and Nancy Welch’s Living Room: Teaching Public Writing in a Privatized World.
Another place the program has added an engagement emphasis--Service Learning, specifically--is in an advising sheet students use to keep track of work they do relevant to the program’s goals and learning outcomes. The goal that “graduates are prepared to teach a range of rhetoric and composition courses” is followed on the worksheet by a list of examples (e.g., intermediate writing, writing-center teaching, technical writing), each with a few suggested ways of demonstrating background in that area (teaching ENG 2070, for instance, or serving as a Writing Center consultant). In spring 2009, Service Learning was added to the list to encourage students to gain background and experience through such means as BGSU service-learning workshops, their own teaching assignments, or dissertation research.