2012 Election for CWPA Executive Board

In July 2012 the CWPA Executive Board will say goodbye to members Darsie Bowden, DePaul University; Doug Downs, Montana State University; and Chuck Paine, University of New Mexico. We therefore will elect three new Executive Board members.

Voting tokens for the election will be distributed electronically to current WPA members on January 24. Only current members are eligible to vote. Voting will take place for two weeks, and results will be announced in early to mid-February.

The Executive Board oversees the CWPA, its events activities; forms 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 2012.

Continuing Executive Board members are Duane Roen, President, Arizona State University (term ends 2013); Rita Malenczyk, Vice President, Eastern Connecticut State University (term ends 2013--will succeed to President); Linda Adler-Kassner, Immediate Past President, University of California, Santa Barbara (term ends 2013); Kelly Kinney, Binghamton University, State University of New York (term ends 2013); Barbara Lutz, University of Delaware (term ends 2013); Shelley Reid, George Mason University (term ends 2013); Peter Dow Adams, Community College of Baltimore County (term ends 2014); Mark McBeth, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (term ends 2014); Kate Ryan, University of Montana (term ends 2014). Ex-Officio members are Charles Lowe, Treasurer and Web Developer, Grand Valley State University; Keith Rhodes, Secretary, Grand Valley State University; Megan Schoen, WPA-GO (Graduate Student Organization) representative, Purdue University; Charles Schuster, Director, Consultant Evaluator Service, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee; Doug Hesse, Associate Director, Consultant Evaluator Service, University of Denver; Alice Horning, Journal Editor, Oakland University; Debra Dew, Journal Associate Editor, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Members will vote for one candidate in each of the three pairings below:


Executive Board Member #1: Vote for Kelly Ritter or Wendy Sharer

Kelly RitterKelly Ritter is Associate Professor of English and Director of First-Year Composition at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She was previously (2000-2008) an associate professor of English and the first-year composition director at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut. Kelly is completing her third and final year on the CCCC Executive Committee and is the chair of the 2011-2012 CCCCNominating Committee. She also serves on the CWPA Publications, Conference Site Selection, and Best Book Award Committees. Kelly is the author of Before Shaughnessy: Basic Writing at Yale and Harvard, 1920-1960 (Studies in Writing and Rhetoric/Southern Illinois UP, 2009), Who Owns School? Authority, Students, and Online Discourse (Hampton Press, 2010),and the forthcoming To Know Her Own History: Writing at the Woman’s College, 1943-1963 (University ofPittsburgh Press, 2012). She is also co-editor, with Stephanie Vanderslice, of Can It Really Be Taught? Resisting Lore in Creative Writing Pedagogy (Boynton Cook, 2007) and with Paul Matsuda, of Exploring Composition Studies: Sites, Issues, Perspectives (Utah State University Press, forthcoming 2012). Kelly’s articles and essays on writing pedagogy, history, and theory have appeared in College Composition and Communication,College English, Composition Studies, Pedagogy, Rhetoric Review, and WPA, among others. She is the incoming editor of College English (2012).

Statement: As I (theoretically) move into the "senior" phase of my career, I find myself more and more compelled to see service as a mainstay and key responsibility of my professional identity. Iseek out service opportunities on my own campus—through committees as well as departmental directorships-- but I find that even more rewarding is the service I can do for the discipline of rhetoric and composition studies, and for the profession at large. That is why, for example, I find myself currently serving as both a director of composition and a journal editor. Some people would say this is over-commitment; they might very well be right. But unless I am constantly at work with individuals and groups outside my institution, doing projects that I think might advance our professional causes in some real and tangible way, I feelthat my time is not being well-spent.

It is because of this belief, fundamentally, that I seek election to the CWPA Board for 2012. I want to help lead an organization that in its construction sees service as so very integral to not just teaching but also scholarship, and that promotes leadership as worthy endeavor for both junior and senior faculty alike. I appreciate that CWPA has a variety of leadership roles for its members—from committees, such as the ones on which I have served, to the Executive Boarditself, to which I now aspire. I would bring to the EB, I hope, a particular perspective on service as it relates to scholarship, as I see these two areas of our professional responsibilities as particularly allied. The kind of work that the EB does in its oversight of CWPA events and initiatives seems endemic to the ways in which we think about scholarly work. It raises questions, considers counter-arguments, and posits new knowledge for the field to consider and act upon. It is public and dialogic, and it welcomes new voices mixing with old ones. Finally, it is dynamic—constantly shifting as the profession itself changes, rotating in and out of technologies, theories, and institutionally-(re)defined spaces. As an EB member, I would promote and support WPAs as scholar-teachers who serve using their intellectual curiosity, and encourage the organization tomake even greater connections between the intellectual work we do in our journals, books, and electronic spaces and the organizational work we do on our committees, task forces, and governing boards.

Wendy SharerWendy Sharer, an Associate Professor at East Carolina University, has recently been named Director of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) at ECU. The QEP, a requirement for institutional reaccreditation, is a multi-year plan to improve writing instruction across the university. In the decade prior to this appointment, she served as Director of Composition and as Associate Director of Composition at ECU. As Director of Composition, she regularly taught a “Teaching Composition: Theory and Practice” course for future GTAs, led weekly staff meetings, chaired the department’s composition committee, and organized professional development events for composition instructors. In her earlier role as Associate Director of Composition, she trained personnel in ECU’s “First-Year Writing Studio,” a writing center dedicated to helping students in first-year composition courses.

At the regional level, she has served as the President of the Carolinas WPA affiliate for the past two years. Nationally, she has recently served on the CCCC Best Book Award Committee and currently serves on the Executive Board of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition. She is the author of Vote and Voice: Women’s Organizations and Political Literacy, 1915-1930 (SIUP 2004); co-author with Jack Selzer and Brent Henze of 1977: A Cultural Moment in Composition (Parlor 2008); co-editor with Alexis Ramsey, Lisa Mastrangelo, and Barbara L’Eplattenier of Working in the Archives (SIUP 2009); and co-editor with Cheryl Glenn and Margaret Lyday of Rhetorical Education in America (Alabama 2004). In addition, she has published numerous articles and book chapters on historical configurations and alternative sites of writing instruction.

Statement: As my credentials above indicate, I have been very active in the Carolinas WPA affiliate, serving as President of the group for the past two years and serving on its executive board for several years before that. I became involved in the Carolinas WPA after a colleague told me about this wonderful, supportive, yearly gathering of area WPAs in the mountains of western NC. In 2004, at my first Carolinas WPA meeting, I knew that I’d found an amazing resource: a group of intelligent, generous, like-minded professionals from whom I could, and would, draw countless ideas and abundant moral support. Today, the Carolinas WPA is one of the most active affiliate groups in the country: we host two meetings each year, both of which attract WAC Directors, Directors of Composition, Writing Center Directors, and graduate students from a variety of institutions across the Carolinas, and we are growing through outreach efforts. I would like the opportunity to help the national WPA develop strategies to expand the visibility and impact of regional WPA affiliates because I know from my experience how invaluable our WPA “neighbors” can be.

More recently, my work leading the development of ECU’s Quality Enhancement Plan has shown me that moments of institutional assessment can be extremely generative for WPAs. While budgets shrink around us, WPAs can use institutional assessment requirements, such as external accreditation, to grow more robust composition and WAC programs. What my colleagues and I at ECU are currently working on—setting up a “vertical” writing curriculum, drawn on insights about learning transfer from our field and from educational research more broadly—would not have been possible without the opportunity afforded by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Significant changes to writing programs at schools across the South have been similarly enabled by the SACS QEP requirement. I believe that the national WPA can serve as a vital resource for WPAs around the country who are looking for guidance in using institutional assessment and accreditation procedures to advance our common goal: helping students become better writers.

Executive Board Member #2: Vote for John Miles or Jill Gladstein

John D. MilesJohn D. Miles is assistant professor of English and the Writing Center director at Wofford College, where he teaches courses in first-year writing, rhetorical theory, political rhetoric, and Native American writers. Since coming to Wofford, John has helped implement writing across curriculum initiatives, systematized writing assessment, and begun a series of writing conversations throughout the year. For the past three years, he has worked on the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation report, aimed at improving writing in the first year. Recently, he has begun efforts to extend the aims of the QEP to upper-division courses in Art History, Finance, and Sociology. Currently, he is at work on a longitudinal study of student writing, and has recently published work in CCC. Last year, Utah State University Press released the collection, Teaching with Student Texts, he co-edited with Joseph Harris and Charles Paine.

Statement: As the lone rhetoric and composition specialist at a small liberal arts college, I have realized the importance of building relationships that foster productive dialogue about writing. Much of what I learned about forming these relationships was from my mentor Charles Paine and my years of attending the WPA conference. I continue to rely on the members of the larger professional organization to help me negotiate the sometimes-difficult conversations that happened in the beginning of these relationships at Wofford. As a member of the Executive Committee, I would support various ways we can extend the conversation about writing into places where it is currently ignored or underrepresented. Often, our field treats writing instruction as a singular activity that takes place within large writing programs. Recently, though, CWPA has reached out to many of those long underrepresented groups, not only two-year colleges, but also liberal arts colleges, high schools, and a variety of other places. As a former high school teacher, a student at a minority-majority institution like the University of New Mexico, and now a writing teacher at a small liberal arts college, I feel I can help strengthen the relationships among these various places, and seek ways to establish new ones. Conversations about writing across these communities are important, and I think WPAs at any place can benefit from the work of CWPA.

Jill GladsteinJill Gladstein is an associate professor of English and directs the Writing Associates Program at Swarthmore College, which received a CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence. In her hybrid position as a WAC coordinator and Writing Center Director she selects and mentors over 60 peer tutors and facilitates faculty writing education and writing fellow/faculty relationships. As co-founder and current chair of the Small Liberal Arts College Writing Program Administrators (SLAC-WPA) consortium, she works with WPAs from SLACs across the United States, planning a yearly conference and monitoring an electronic mailing list. She has served as a resource for other SLAC colleges by facilitating external reviews and faculty development seminars. As a trained practitioner-researcher in TESOL and literacy studies, Jill explores questions that derive from her experiences in the classroom and as director of a small college writing program. She has published and presented on writing centers, writing fellows programs, and writing program administration. Her articles have appeared in WPA Journal and Across the Disciplines. Her forthcoming book, Writing Program Administration at Small Liberal Arts Colleges coauthored with Dara Regaignon, presents a research study of the writing programs at 100 small, private liberal arts institutions. Using grounded theory’s mixed methods approach, the book presents a detailed picture of the structures that deliver, support, and lead writing instruction at these institutions.

Statement: I admire the on-going efforts of the CWPA executive board to increase institutional diversity amongst its membership. When I first became the WPA at a small college I was advised by the WPAs at peer institutions that the larger organizations including the CWPA weren’t addressing the needs and challenges of small colleges. Small private colleges pride themselves on their uniqueness, which can be a detriment, but also signals the often innovative work done in such contexts. While on the surface it appeared to SLAC colleges that CWPA served as support for the WPAs of large first-year writing programs, to the neglect of colleges in other contexts, from my experiences attending the summer workshop and annual conference I know that this perception is false. The CWPA has been attempting to address more diverse institutional sites for the past few years, to offer support, but also to tune into the innovation and strength of writing programs within such places. As someone who has been trained in literacy studies and who serves in a hybrid position of WAC coordinator and writing center director at a small college, I’d like to work with CWPA to diversify its support and interface with all its members. I have found CWPA to be a valuable organization as it provides a space for mutual learning about the intricacies of leading a writing program or writing center.

Executive Board Member #3: Vote for Libby Miles or Steve Lamos

Libby MilesLibby Miles is an Associate Professor in the Writing & Rhetoric Department at the University of Rhode Island. She has served as both the Department Chair and as the Writing Center Director, and currently is the department’s Assessment Coordinator – heading up efforts for assessing writing at URI in General Education, for the Writing & Rhetoric major, and for the graduate specialization in Rhetoric & Composition. During her time as Chair she funded and created a Production Lab, increased majors, began the conversion to a 4-credit curriculum, and developed significant new experiential learning opportunities for Writing & Rhetoric majors. In 2010, she was honored with the URI Foundation’s Excellence in Teaching Award. She has also served on the CCCC Executive Committee, as well as the new Independent Writing Departments and Programs affiliate. A graduate of Williams College and Purdue University, her primary area of research is institutional change, variously construed. Her work on the composition textbook publishing industry received the very first WPA Best Article award, and her scholarship has also received the CCCC Berlin and Braddock awards. For the past several years, she has taken her scholarship into action in the form of departmental administration, and this move has – happily – brought her back to WPA.

Statement: Beyond my profound respect for this organization, several factors compel me to run for the WPA Executive Board. Most importantly, this is a good time for me to give back. Throughout my career, the CWPA has provided me with so many important forms of support – both through unofficial mechanisms like WPA-L, and through more formal venues like the conference, the journal, and position statements such as the Intellectual Work statement. Accordingly then, I would like to give back. To that end, there are four issues I would like to help the organization address. First, as more programs become departments, more WPAs become department chairs. Although many issues are the same, there are added layers of complexity when administering departments, and the Executive Board will need to respond to those changing demands – we are, after all, still WPAs. Second, hand in hand with the first, is a real need for a new iteration of the Intellectual Work statement reflecting this increased complexity and operationalizing degrees of innovation. Third, I am eager to work with CWPA’s current support of encouraging thoughtful assessment as a possible agent of positive change, knowing that it is imperative that we continue to set the terms and design the research – before it is done for us and to us. Fourth, and growing directly from the third, we need to create ways to use assessment research to improve the working conditions for our staffs. Together, we can build strategies that can work across institutions. Working with the CWPA Executive Board, I’d like to help make that happen.

Steve LamosSteve Lamos has been working as a WPA since 1999, serving in a number of different graduate-student, non-tenure-track, and tenure-track positions. Since 2005, he has been an Associate Director of the Program for Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) at the University of Colorado-Boulder as well as its Director of the campus Writing Center. In these various WPA roles, Lamos has been afforded extensive opportunities to work with the complex and often difficult programmatic, pedagogical, and personnel dynamics emerging within writing programs that rely largely on non-tenure-track teaching labor.

Lamos is the author of Interests and Opportunities: Race, Racism, and University Writing Instruction in the Post-Civil Rights Era (Pitt UP, 2011), in which he analyzes institutional and programmatic relationships among issues of race and racism, writing instruction, and university administration since the late-1960s. He has also written articles for CCC, CE, JBW, and WPA dealing with issues of race and racism, writing program history, research methodology, and contingent labor within composition programs. Finally, Lamos currently serves as a member of the Executive Board of the Council on Basic Writing (CBW), and he has helped to craft its recent mission statement.

Statement: I am relatively new to the CWPA organization, having attended my first conference in Baton Rouge last summer. However, I have long been interested in WPA issues as a function of my 13 years of WPA-oriented administration, scholarship, and teaching. I am extremely excited, therefore, about the possibility of serving the needs of the CWPA Executive Board in at least three ways:

First, I would like to help develop a national CWPA task force aimed at critically investigating possibilities for “credentialing”—that is, explicitly training, certifying, and hiring—professional college writing teachers. I have begun to outline my thoughts regarding credentialing and its potential value for addressing labor inequalities within composition in a recent WPA article titled “Credentialing College Writing Teachers: WPAs and Labor Reform.” But I would also like to help develop other, more interactive CWPA forums for discussing regional and national credentialing activities, and I would like to investigate ways that credentialing might be aligned with the CWPA’s existing “WPA Consultant-Evaluator Service for Writing Programs.”

Second, I would like to help promote continued CWPA partnership with institutions and programs explicitly dedicated to cultivating racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity. Specifically, I would like to develop and / or contribute to efforts to reach out to administrators working in two-year and four-year Minority-Serving Institutions (e.g., Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges, and others) in the effort both to learn from and contribute to their important work. As well, I would be interested in trying to imagine new partnerships with WPAs working in diversity programs that operate within “mainstream” two-year and four-year colleges and universities (e.g., ESL programs, BW programs, TRIO and other federally sponsored literacy support programs, literacy support programs for student-athletes, and others).

Third, I would like to help continue promoting national awareness of and support for current CWPA initiatives. Given the extensive mentoring that I have received from colleagues throughout my career, I would be especially interested in helping to further the work of the WPA mentoring program and / or the WPA-GO program.