2013 Election for CWPA Executive Board

In July 2013 the CWPA Executive Board will say goodbye to members Kelly Kinney, Binghamton University; Barbara Lutz, University of Delaware; and Shelley Reid, George Mason University.  Additionally, Linda Adler-Kassner, Immediate Past President, University of California-Santa Barbara, will leave the Executive Board; Duane Roen will succeed her as Immediate Past President; and Rita Malenczyk will become CWPA President.

We are, therefore, electing three new Executive Board members and a Vice President.

The Executive Board oversees the CWPA, its events, and its 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 2013. The new Vice President will have a six-year commitment, two years in each of the following positions: Vice President, President, and Immediate Past President.

Voting tokens for the election will be distributed electronically to current WPA members on February 1. Only current members are eligible to vote. Voting will take place for two weeks, and results will be announced shortly after voting closes.

Continuing Executive Board members will be Rita Malenczyk, President, Eastern Connecticut State University (term ends 2015);  Duane Roen, Immediate Past President, Arizona State University (term ends 2015); 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); Jill Gladstein, Swarthmore College (term ends 2015); Libby Miles, University of Rhode Island (term ends 2015); and Kelly Ritter, University of North Carolina-Greensboro (term ends 2015). Ex-Officio members are Charles Lowe, Treasurer and Web Developer, Grand Valley State University; Keith Rhodes, Secretary, Grand Valley State University; Laurie Pinkert, 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.


Vice President (vote for Susan Miller-Cochran or Chuck Paine):

Susan Miller-CochranSusan Miller-Cochran is an Associate Professor of English at North Carolina State University, where she has directed the First-Year Writing Program since 2007. Her research focuses on the intersections of technology, second language writing, and writing program administration. Her work has appeared in College Composition and Communication, Composition Studies, Computers and Composition, and Teaching English in the Two-Year College, and she is also an editor of Rhetorically Rethinking Usability (Hampton Press, 2009) and Strategies for Teaching First-Year Composition (NCTE, 2002). Additionally, she is a co-author of The Wadsworth Guide to Research (with Shelley Rodrigo) and Keys for Writers (with Ann Raimes). Before joining the faculty at NC State, she was a faculty member in the Maricopa Community College District. She has served on the Executive Committee of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), the CCCC Nominating Committee, and the Executive Board of the Council of Writing Program Administrators. She has also chaired the CCCC Committee on Second Language Writing, the CCCC Committee on Childcare Initiatives, and was a member of the CCCC Committee on Online Writing Instruction and the selection committees for the Braddock Award and the CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence. She currently serves as Secretary of the Carolinas Writing Program Administrators, a regional affiliate of CWPA.

Statement: CWPA is my professional home. I discovered the organization in graduate school, and it has remained the professional space (both physical and virtual) where I know I can consistently find like-minded academics, pragmatic scholars, reflective teachers, and dynamic leaders who are interested in both tackling complex questions with and providing meaningful support for each other. I have been honored to serve CWPA as an Executive Board member (2005-2007); co-leader of the summer workshop in 2007 and 2008; a member of the CWPA Task Force on Dual Enrollment (2012) and the Liaison Committee (2010-2011); chair of the Research Grants committee (2006-2007); and interim chair of the Liaison Committee (2013). I am also active with our affiliate organization in North and South Carolina, the Carolinas WPA, where I have served as the Secretary of the organization since 2008.

When I was elected to the CWPA Executive Board in 2005, I was a full-time faculty member in the Maricopa Community College District. One of my primary goals for CWPA is to continue to broaden our relevance to a diverse range of institutions in higher education and to seek even more active opportunities for inclusivity. As a co-leader of the summer workshop, I longed to see more participation from community colleges, HBCUs, tribal colleges, and Hispanic-serving institutions. I have also been a long-time member of the second language writing community (serving as co-chair of the CCCC SIG on Second Language Writing from 2003-2007 and co-chair of the Committee on Second Language Writing from 2005-2010), and I wish to help CWPA continue to strengthen connections with other organizations focused on supporting a linguistically diverse student population.


Chuck PaineChuck Paine is Professor of English at the University of New Mexico, the only minority-majority flagship university in the United States. He joined the UNM English faculty in 1994, and since 1998 he has administered the writing program for nine of the last fourteen years (with time out as Associate Dean of University College and Assessment Coordinator for Arts & Sciences). Currently, he directs the Rhetoric and Writing Program, serves as the Associate Chair of English for Core Writing, and teaches courses across the rhet-comp curriculum—first-year composition (at least once yearly), the TA practicum, rhetorical/composition history and theory, and others. Elected to the CWPA Executive Board for a 2009-2012 term, he has served on the Liaison Committee, continues to serve on the Task Force on Diversity and the WPA Journal editorial board, and continues to chair the Research Grants Committee. His work has appeared in College English, Rhetoric Review, WPA: Writing Program Administration, and other journals and collections. He authored The Resistant Writer: Rhetoric as Immunity, 1850 to the Present (a history of American composition), co-edited Teaching with Student Texts: Essays Toward an Informed Practice, and co-authored Writing Today (a FYC textbook). He co-founded and coordinates the Partnership for the Study of Writing in College, a joint collaboration between the National Survey of Student Engagement and CWPA. This past summer, he was the local host for the WPA Summer Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, attended by over 360 participants.

Statement: CWPA is in excellent shape. We are positioned well for addressing some daunting national and global challenges and for helping our members address the local challenges and opportunities they face. We’re in great shape largely because our resourceful presidents and vice presidents have presided over important initiatives and guided the organization into a position of strength and potential. We owe our success also to an enthusiastic, talented, and diverse membership and to our collective ethos of caring and service. CWPA’s mission does not focus on professional advancement (though we do that very well). Instead, as our mission statement says, “We advocate and help members advocate for effective writing programs.” We succeed because we offer members the connections, mentoring, and tools they need to address the local and unique challenges they face in running their writing programs and helping their students succeed.

I was honored to receive this nomination because I have received so much from CWPA and because I believe in the organization and the people in it. I gladly accepted because the needs of organization, I think, match my leadership style, which is captured well by Nelson Mandela’s “leading from behind”: “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger.” The colleague who nominated me wrote in her letter that I make people feel welcome and supported and that I enact CWPA’s values nationally and locally. Those qualities, I believe, are needed to allow our talented and generous members to do the work of the organization.

Here are two initiatives I would hope to focus on and elaborate further. First, we must continue enhancing the diversity of our membership so that we can extend CWPA’s reach into areas where its presence has been scarce, such as community colleges and liberal arts colleges. As the WPA of a minority-majority public university in one of the nation’s poorest states, I find this issue important and familiar. I have worked on these issues at national and local levels, nationally as a member of the Task Force on Diversity and as participant in TYCA meetings in my region and others, and locally by meeting and allying with WPAs and teachers from nearby community colleges.

Second, we need to continue developing resources that help our members advocate at the grassroots level for their writers and writing programs. For instance, CWPA and other groups were unsuccessful in opposing the money and resources that pushed standardized testing. Now we need to develop resources for helping WPAs across the country work within that system. The national concern with student success—specifically “the college completion agenda”—has filtered down quickly to the state and institutional level, presenting an opportunity: We WPAs can show politicians, university leaders, and other stakeholders how good writing programs lead to student success. With colleagues from UNM and across the state, I have used CWPA resources (e.g., Framework for Success, the NSSE/CWPA findings) to do just this. And like so many other members, we have learned to develop local evidence by using the scholarship supported by CWPA and by attending the Summer Conference and Institutes.

I want to give back to this organization that continues to give so much to me and to colleagues across the country. I think I could lead our talented and generous members to extend and deepen the work that needs to get done at the national and local level.  


Executive Board: vote for one candidate in each of the following pairings:

Executive Board Member #1: Vote for Beth Brunk-Chavez or Amy Kimme Hea

Beth Brunk-ChavezBeth Brunk-Chavez is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies in the Department of English at the University of Texas at El Paso. She serves as the Writing Program Administrator for the First-Year Composition Program which won the CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence in 2012. In 2008, she led the program in a significant redesign that included changes in curriculum, delivery, evaluation/assessment, and professional development. She also serves as an Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts. Her major responsibilities in this role include facilitating online course development and teaching in the college as well as directing the Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies Program and the related Finish@UT online program. In 2009, she was honored with a University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. A graduate of New Mexico State University, the University of Texas at El Paso, and the University of Texas at Arlington, her recent scholarship has focused on writing program administration, digital writing and assessment, professional development, online writing instruction, and the writing lives of students. Beth serves on the College Section Steering Committee for NCTE and is the past Assistant Chair. She is also serving on a WPA Outcomes Statement task force.

Statement: I joke that my preparation to be a WPA started with being handed a milk crate of files. Luckily, I was fortunate to attend the WPA workshop that July in Denver. Without the support of this workshop, I’d still be fruitlessly searching through that milk crate for answers! The point is that WPA was essential to my start as the FYC director; its conferences, networks, and journal have continued to support me every step of the way. To that end, I’d like to give back to WPA by serving on its Executive Board. There are several issues I’d like to assist the organization in addressing. First is thoughtful innovation in the field. As a member of the committee considering whether to and how to adapt digital literacies into the WPA Outcomes Statement, I’ve seen that there are a number of issues to be addressed with this complex task: thoughtful adaptations as well as preparation of instructors to teach multimodal literacies. Another is the professionalization of WPAs. While the Summer Workshop makes a huge contribution, WPAs need continued mentoring related to directing a program and all the various personalities and issues that arise within it. I’m also invested in working with WPA-GO as it seeks to mentor graduate students for future WPA positions. Finally, as a faculty member at an HSI institution, I’d like to continue thinking about the diverse contexts of writing programs (L2 writers and returning students, for example) and how WPAs can adapt their writing programs to best prepare students for a diverse writing world.  


Amy C. Kimme HeaAmy C. Kimme Hea currently serves as the Writing Program Director at the University of Arizona. She works with a collaborative team of administrators, faculty, teachers, and staff, all of whom serve the growing student population of the University of Arizona campus, which is slated to top more than 13,000 this academic year. Her primary focus is to develop research on writing that has both local applicability and national reach. Striving to address both the local needs of the program and the larger conversations in the field about core competencies, Dr. Kimme Hea, at the behest of the Vice Provost of Instruction, took on a Faculty Fellow position to lead an interdisciplinary faculty team in a Faculty Learning Community on Program Assessment. Her commitment to serving her institution also led to her selection as one of only twenty faculty members to participate in the 2010 Academic Leadership Institute at the University of Arizona—a program designed to recognize and develop leaders through a year-long program of training and support. Dr. Kimme Hea has published in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections in our field on writing program administration and issues of technology and gender, teacher development, and electronic teacher presence. Her book, Going Wireless: A Critical Exploration of Wireless and Mobile Technologies for Composition Teachers and Researchers (2009), was nominated for the Computers and Composition best book award. Before coming to the University of Arizona in 2001, she held WPA positions as a graduate student at Purdue University where she had the benefit of working with a cohort of faculty and graduate student leaders on writing program administration as praxis.

Statement: As a WPA, I feel my most important responsibility is to advocate for student writers. I believe to do so effectively, I must understand students’ own interest in writing, their literacy pursuits, and their struggles and triumphant as writers.  There is no means to separate writing, reading, technology, media, and other literate acts from the political and cultural milieu, and thus, it is imperative for a WPA to be attentive to local and transnational discourses on and practices of literacy and the forces that often lead to uneven support for student writers. Support for student writers also means support for teachers of writing. Teachers must be encouraged to develop praxis through reflection, reading, writing, and dialogue. Leading a writing program necessarily means understanding the needs of student writers, teachers, staff, and administrators as well as addressing stakeholders at multiple levels from the community to the administration. In recent years, it seems as if writing rograms have faced many different complications from reduced budgets to political climates that exert new pressures while positing old essentialist notions of writing as merely a skill. Acting against these forces to define writing as a means to learn, a means to advocate, a means to enact change in the world, WPAs have built strong coalitions, but there is much still to be accomplished in our community, and we must strive for collective action. For my part, I believe CWPA should pursue, or continue to pursue, the following issues: 1) expanding diversity in the field (being attentive to differential resources and local practices related to writing and literacy), 2) addressing multimodal and multilingual experiences as imperative to our work as teachers and administrators , 3)encouraging better working conditions for teachers at all levels, and 4) drawing on our research strengths to combat reductive assumptions about literacy, learning, and democracy. I have had the benefit of working with the Council of Writing Program Administrators toward these aims in small, but hopefully thoughtful ways, through my work as a reviewer of research proposals for the CWPA funding projects that have local and national impacts, a conference organizer helping to host CWPA (at Purdue), and a conference presenter promoting dialogue and learning from one another. Some future contributions at the executive level should be to identify and recruit diverse membership, create opportunities for regional WPA conversations and bring those local discussions to the larger membership through our conference and publications, and build an online resource inventory that draws upon writing program data that could assist WPAs in garnering more support from their home institutions. If elected, I would be honored to continue to pursue this agenda and to serve our community as a member of the executive board of the Council of Writing Program Administrators.


Executive Board Member #2: Vote for Nicholas Behm or Brandon Fralix

Nicholas BehmNicholas Behm, an Assistant Professor at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois, studies composition pedagogy and theory, postmodern rhetorical theory, and critical race theory. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in composition theory and rhetoric, and he frequently leads workshops on writing assessment, writing-in-the-disciplines, and graduate education. With Greg Glau, Deborah Holdstein, Duane Roen, and Ed White, he is co-editor of The WPA Outcomes Statement—A Decade Later.

Statement: Since serving as Assistant Director of Writing Programs at Arizona State University during my doctoral work, I have been fascinated by the work and scholarship of writing program administration. The changes, the movements, and the propagation of knowledge that WPAs individually and collectively initiate and influence through their diligence and perseverance not only demonstrate how WPAs contribute positively to the lives of students and colleagues within institutions but also reflect how we conduct ourselves as socially aware citizen-academics who willingly assume the responsibility of encouraging a more learned society.

As an organization, the Council of Writing Program Administrators is a change agent, a characteristic that I have had the privilege of experiencing first-hand during my service on the liaison, nominating, and graduate award committees. It has been a profound honor and privilege to serve CWPA by working on these committees, and I would like to continue that service as a member of the Executive Board. In that capacity, there are three issues in particular that I could help CWPA address: (1) given the current historical context of draconian budget cuts and unfounded, politically driven attacks on colleges and universities and the writing programs within them, CWPA needs to avail itself of every opportunity and medium to increase its national presence, becoming an even stronger advocate for writing programs, faculty, and students, an advocate nationally recognized as authoritative not just by writing enthusiasts and faculty but also by politicians, administrators, students, and parents. For instance, if feasible, members of CWPA might consider initiating a political action committee, soliciting contributions from members that could then be used to invest into education-friendly candidates and initiatives. (2) As an additional component of that advocacy, CWPA might update the “Portland Resolution” to reflect the challenges and complexities that WPAs negotiate in the current economic, political, and institutional realities. (3) A third plank of a revised “Portland Resolution,” for instance, might emphasize the correlation between the success and effectiveness of WPA work and the number of full-time writing instructors in a program. Having once served as an adjunct faculty member at a community college, I understand how the exploitation of contingent writing instructors is a seemingly incorrigible problem, but it is imperative that CWPA marshal its collective resources, knowledge, energy, empathy, and goodwill to address concertedly the inequalities experienced by contingent faculty.  This issue is not only about the equitable treatment of colleagues, but also the perpetuation of the discipline and tenure-line jobs. Universities are balancing budgets partly on the backs of contingent faculty, especially those who teach first-year and sophomore courses. It is not an exaggeration to note that such a trend, if continued, might eliminate tenure-track jobs in writing almost entirely.  

The challenges that CWPA and its members face are not insurmountable if we work concertedly and diligently. I am excited to be part of that work for years to come in any capacity.


Brandon FralixBrandon Fralix is an Assistant Professor of English and the Coordinator of the Writing and Analysis Program at Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, NJ. There he manages a first-year writing program taught almost exclusively by contingent faculty and spends much of his time mentoring them and keeping them abreast of the developments in the field. As the chair of the college’s general education committee, Brandon has been instrumental in spearheading a revision to the gen ed program, which has expanded to include a WAC requirement. He has served on the CWPA’s Breakfast Committee and is currently serving on the Diversity Task Force. For the past few years, his research interests and administrative attention have been focused on how basic writing courses are taught and administered, especially at small liberal arts colleges.

 Statement: When I first became the WPA at Bloomfield College, I was ecstatic to have a job, but terrified at doing that job poorly, especially since I did not have a strong background in rhetoric and composition. Through its position statements, white papers, and other electronic resources, the CWPA helped ease that terror and gave me a starting point from which to work. Those electronic resources led me to attend the CWPA workshop and conference, where I discovered the pleasure and usefulness of engaging WPA colleagues about the problems and issues we all face, especially those of us who are at institutions with few (or no) other rhet/comp colleagues.

Because I think service is an integral part of what we do and who I am, I have begun to serve the organization and would like to continue that service on the Executive Board. There, I would like to encourage and develop the work that the organization has already done in making itself more relevant to small colleges. In particular, I am interested in helping the organization develop its usefulness and express its relevance to small institutions that have been largely absent from the CWPA conversations, like non-elite small colleges and Minority-Serving Institutions.


Executive Board Member #3: Vote for Peter Gray or Joseph Jones

Peter M. GrayPeter M. Gray is associate professor of English at Queensborough Community College, The City University of New York where he teaches first year and advanced essay writing courses, and poetry writing workshops.  He will be teaching a graduate seminar at the CUNY Graduate Center in the spring of 2013. He co-founded the Queensborough Writing Across the Curriculum Program in 1999 and spent over a decade working both on his campus and across CUNY on WID/WAC issues, including designing and running professional development for interdisciplinary graduate students in the CUNY Graduate Writing Fellow program. He designed and taught an Interdisciplinary Pedagogy Seminar for CUNY graduate students that was located at QCC to explore pedagogical issues across disciplines for new graduate teaching assistants. He lead a college wide inquiry into General Education at Queensborough and was a CUNY Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Leadership Program Fellow as part of a CUNY-wide effort to revise general education curricula.  He has worked at the juncture of CUNY and the NYC schools in the Looking Both Ways, a collaborative effort housed in the NYC Writing Project that examined literacy practice transfer from the schools to college.  He is currently working on a manuscript about teacher change and pedagogy in WID classes, as well as a collection of poems (inspired, in part, by the OULIPO). He is a member of the WPA MetroAffiliate.

Statement: I have spent my professional career so far at the intersections between secondary and post secondary institutions, between undergraduate and graduate curricula, between 2 year and 4 year institutions, and I would like bring those experiences and understandings to contribute to the future of the CWPA. As well, in working at an open admissions institution in a major metropolitan university I’m interested in extending the conversations we have at the CWPA to more non-traditional spaces where writing and writing instruction happens --  writing centers, centers for worker education, community tutoring centers and the like where educators, whether they claim the title of a WPA or not, can benefit from the community of our CWPA.


Joseph JonesJoseph Jones is an associate professor of English and Director of First-Year Writing at the University of Memphis, where he has also served as Assessment Coordinator for the Department of English. In addition to overseeing the curricular revisions and development of assessments for the program’s two-semester course sequence, he initiated the CAP (Collaborative Academic Professionalization) program, a comprehensive approach to improving undergraduate teaching and faculty development. He is the author of several essays historicizing English teaching and curricula, including chapters in Christine Farris and Kristine Hansen’s College Credit for Writing in High School: The “Taking Care of” Business and Shane Borrowman’s On the Blunt Edge: Technology in Composition’s History and Pedagogy as well as articles for The Writing Instructor and College English (with Thomas P. Miller).

Statement: I had the good fortune in graduate school to enroll in Tilly Warnock’s Rhetoric of WPA seminar. I had no idea what a writing program administrator did, though I was teaching high school seniors and keenly interested––as I continue to be––in the relations and tensions between secondary school English teachers and first-year writing programs. Seminar participants paired with WPAs at other institutions to gather information so that we could compile collectively a portfolio of the range of WPA responsibilities and duties. Of course, we discovered that duties varied greatly and responsibilities were determined most by the challenges encountered in local contexts. I had the further good fortune of pairing with Ed White, who, as he has done for so many others, helped me understand how assessment initiatives could be used to both improve a program as well as protect it. Thus, my introduction to WPA occurred through two exemplars; moreover, the colleagues I meet each summer at the WPA conference impress and inspire me for the different ways they demonstrate effective writing program administration.

Despite the range of institutions and their administrative configurations, those committed to this work seem to share a sense of common enterprise founded upon some key principles––principles that can guide the work of CWPA. First, not only does writing matter but how writing is represented to students, colleagues, administrators, and the varied communities that affect our programs matters. Second, while there may not be one best way to teach writing, there are better ways and we should endeavor to find ways of encouraging better practices among those teaching in our programs and those whose students enroll in our programs. Third, we must not only resist those administrative imperatives that devalue writing and its humanistic possibilities, we must demonstrate those possibilities through our own administrative and curricular practices.