2017 Election for CWPA Vice President & Executive Board
Voting tokens for the 2017 CWPA election will be distributed electronically to current CWPA members during the first week of February. Only current members are eligible to vote. Voting will take place for two weeks, and results will be announced shortly after voting closes.
This year, you will have the opportunity to vote for three candidates of your choice for Executive Board from among entire slate of seven nominees. The three candidates receiving the most votes from CWPA members will be offered seats on the Executive Board. In the event of a tie, a run-off election will be held.
You will also have the opportunity to vote for one candidate for Vice President from among the two candidates.
Again, the voting tokens will be distributed in early February.
Candidates for Vice President (vote for 1 of 2):
Mark Blaauw-Hara or Tracy Ann Morse
Mark Blaauw-Hara is a Professor of English at North Central Michigan College, where he has served as Writing Program Coordinator for 17 years. At the small, rural community college, he led the department’s efforts to reform placement and revise the developmental writing program, initiatives that have had major impacts on student success. Currently, Mark is leading an initiative to strengthen the connections between first-year writing and the disciplines, primarily through the development of discipline-themed FYW courses and writing-intensive courses in the disciplines. He has also headed up the program’s efforts to select, define, and integrate threshold concepts in first-year writing. Mark currently serves on the CWPA Executive Board and is slated to co-lead the WPA Workshop. Mark has also served on the CWPA Best Book Committee, Non-tenured Task Force, Diversity Task Force, and Research Awards Committee. He regularly reviews proposals for the CWPA conference. Mark’s writing has appeared in Teaching English in the Two-Year College, Currents in Electronic Communication, The Community College Journal of Research and Practice, and The Writing Center Journal, and is forthcoming in Composition Forum. Mark’s work has also appeared in the edited collections Teaching Composition at the Two-Year College and Taking Flight with OWLS, and is forthcoming in WPAs in Transition. Currently the reviews co-editor of Teaching English in the Two-Year College, Mark has also served as an associate editor of The Best of Independent Rhetoric and Composition Journals and a peer reviewer for The Journal of Veteran Studies and TETYC. He has also presented at a wide range of conferences and workshops, including CCCC, CWPA, the League for Innovation in the Community College, the Michigan Community Colleges Student Success Summit, Computers and Writing, and the Liberal Arts Network for Development. Mark earned his doctorate at Old Dominion University, his master’s at Arizona State University, and his bachelor’s at Michigan State University. Also, he’s the drummer in a honky-tonk band.
Statement: I was my school’s first WPA. For about a decade, although I was supported by wonderful colleagues at my small two-year college, I was only connected to the larger community of writing studies through journals and blogs. Additionally, like many new WPAs, although I had a degree in rhetoric and composition, I had vanishingly little background in the scholarship of writing-program administration. I made a great many mistakes.
In my doctoral program, which I started a decade into my professional career, I finally took a course on writing-program administration. One of my mentors encouraged me to attend CWPA, and I realized quite quickly that I had found my professional home. At CWPA, I saw how others took issues like social justice, liberatory pedagogy, and rhetorical theory and brought them to life in writing programs. I learned how to advocate for students and part-time faculty to the rest of the college, and how to use assessment to move writing programs in the right directions. The presentations walked the perfect line between theory and practice, and I took copious notes, full of exclamation points and underlines where I saw how these ideas could work at my school.
The people at CWPA were just as important as the ideas. In post-session conversations and down-time hang-outs, attendees were open and generous. I met WPAs from different types of institutions who hailed from all over the country, yet I had a sense that we were joined in a common purpose. Certainly, writing-program administration entails its share of frustration, but there is also the joy of solving problems, or fighting for change and seeing it improve the lives of our students and co-workers, or scaling up an innovation and watching it blossom over the years. Attending CWPA gave me a chance to commiserate about the frustrations of program administration, but it also gave me the tools and knowledge to make my home program better.
After several years of attending, I was thrilled when a colleague nominated me to serve on the Executive Board. Since being elected, I have tried to offer the perspective of a WPA at a small community college—a group that is under-represented in most national organizations, not just CWPA.
As the organization’s Vice President, I would strive to continue the traditions of intellectual excellence, advocacy, and openness that have been the hallmarks of CWPA. Notably, a recent initiative has been to work consciously to increase diversity at the conference and in the CWPA awards; I am committed to this work, not only as diversity manifests on a personal level, but on an institutional one as well. I would work to expand the organization’s reach to smaller schools, community colleges, and other under-represented constituencies, hopefully decreasing the isolation felt by many WPAs at such institutions and enriching the organization as a whole. I am honored by the nomination and excited to work on behalf of CWPA and its members.
Tracy Ann Morse, associate professor of English, serves as Director of Writing Foundations at East Carolina University. She is Immediate Past President for the Carolinas WPA affiliate. Tracy is currently completing a full term on the CWPA Executive Board. She also chairs the CWPA’s “Breakfast” Committee and serves on the Disability and Accessibility Committee. She has served as co-chair of the Disability and Accessibility Committee and served on the Exploratory Task Force on WPA Labor Policies. Tracy was a Co-Chair of the North Carolina Ready for Success Alignment Team for English. In this role, she represented the UNC system in discussions about public education (i.e., Common Core, high school to college transition, and community college to UNC transition) with K-12, community college, and other UNC educators. She co-coordinates the Biennial Eastern Carolina Writing Symposium hosted at ECU. She teaches courses in first- and second-year writing and undergraduate and graduate courses in rhetoric and composition. Her research interests include composition theory and practice; writing program administration theory and practice; religious rhetoric, especially in the American deaf community; and disability studies. Tracy’s work has appeared in Rhetoric Review, Disability Studies Quarterly, inventio, and Journal of Teaching Writing. “Failures to Accommodate: GTA Preparation as a Site for a Transformative Culture of Access” (co-authored with Casie Fedukovich) is forthcoming in a special issue of WPA: Writing Program Administration. She co-edited (with Wendy Sharer, Michelle F. Eble, and Will Banks) Reclaiming Accountability: Using the Work of Re/Accreditation to Improve Writing Programs (Utah State University Press, 2016). Her book Signs and Wonders: Religious Rhetoric and the Preservation of Sign Language was published by Gallaudet University Press (2014). She co-edited (with Michael Donnelly, Rebecca Ingalls, Joanna Castner Post, and Anne Stockdell-Giesler) Critical Conversations About Plagiarism (Parlor Press, 2013). She co-authored (with Teresa Grettano and Rebecca Ingalls) “The Perilous Vision of the Outcomes Statement,” a chapter in the award-winning The WPA Outcomes Statement: A Decade Later (Parlor Press, 2013).
Statement: Like many of you, CWPA is my professional “home.” I value our camaraderie and collaborations within this organization and am honored to be nominated to serve CWPA as the Vice President. I was first compelled to serve on the CWPA Executive Board, a term I am completing this year, because of our organization’s focus on collegiality, support, advocacy, and building of alliances. Through my participation in CWPA, I have gained even more appreciation for our organization and admiration for our members. As I consider the possibility of serving CWPA as the Vice President and then President, I place at the center of my motivation the students we serve at our respective institutions and my desire to perpetuate the advocacy for the work we do. Our students are diverse with different needs and skills, just like our membership. CWPA’s work to acknowledge our organization’s shortcomings and ability to collaborate to become a more diverse and accessible organization is a strength I want to continue to contribute to. In the role of Vice President, I hope I can continue to be proactive in helping address our regional and states’ concerns as they apply to our local contexts.
I bring to this position vast and different experiences from over twenty years of working as an instructor and WPA. Currently, I am the Director of Writing Foundations at East Carolina University where we have implemented university-wide changes to our writing program as part of our Quality Enhancement Plan (requirement of SACS for reaccreditation). In this collaborative work, I co-led revisions to our FYW curriculum and creation of a Writing Foundations program based on a vertical alignment of writing instruction. My past experience teaching in the two-year college; as a WPA in a private, liberal arts institution; and currently as a WPA in a large, public institution situates me well for this position in CWPA. I am familiar with working with and within situations that require both logical and creative responses that fully consider multiple perspectives.
I would like to help CWPA continue to address labor issues as they relate to WPA work as well as to faculty teaching in our programs. In addition, I will continue to help CWPA encourage WPAs to understand the impact of disability on practices inside and outside the classroom. For me, CWPA is in a position to invoke and provoke change both within our organization and within the work we do at our institutions. I am ready to lead this organization in this initiative.
Candidates for the Executive Board (vote for 3 of 7):
- Sheila Carter-Tod
- Brandon Fralix
- Dana C. Gierdowski
- Genevieve Garcia de Mueller
- Staci M. Perryman-Clark
- Patti Poblete
- Anthony Sovak
Sheila Carter-Tod, is an Associate Professor of English, at Virginia Tech where she was an associate director of composition for four years and the director of composition for five years. She is currently the Director of Curricular and Pedagogical Development for the College Access Collaborative (a newly formed unit, at the university, which aims to increase academic preparation, access and affordability for first-generation, low-income, underrepresented minorities (Black, Latino, and Native American), women and students from rural and inner city communities). She has published articles and/or reviews in Writing Program Administrators Journal, WLN, CCCs and Reflections as well as chapters in several edited collections and textbooks. She has served as an editorial reviewer for numerous publishers and journals. Additionally, she has been elected to a number of leadership roles within our leading professional organizations of NCTE, CCC and CWPA, including the NCTE’s Inclusivity Task Force, NCTE Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English; CCCC--Stage II and On-Site Selection Committees; Chair--NCTE College Selection Committee, CCC Executive Committee, and CWPA Membership/Newcomers Committee. In each of these positions, she has worked to create equitable, visible and accessible governance structures. She is also the current co-leader of the CWPA summer workshop.
Statement: I am excited to have the opportunity to run for the Executive Board. I have been active in the CWPA for years and have found the organizational mission and its members to be instrumental in my professional development. As a member of the executive board, I want to be a leader in continuing to create and maintain the established CWPA traditions of support and mentoring. Additionally, the current work that I am doing as Director, of Curricular and Pedagogical Development for the College Access Collaborative provides me with the opportunity to extend and expand the outreach that I began as a WPA at Virginia Tech by working with high schools across the state of Virginia on secondary-post secondary curricular alignment for writing skills, behavior and curricular outcomes. This professional development work, with high school writing teachers, has proven to be a critical form of outreach for many of the underserved school systems in the state furthering post-secondary school access for many students.
The most recent president’s message states that “[t]he Council of Writing Program Administrators is committed to ensuring a diverse, inclusive, and supportive environment in which WPAs, the instructors in the programs they direct, and the students in those programs can continue to thrive and learn.” All of my research, teaching, service and outreached has been focused on this exact commitment. By focusing my efforts and attentions on fostering the research on and addressing the concerns of WPAs who are new to the field, teaching in minority serving institutions and/or are part of minority or underrepresented groups, serving on the executive board of CWPA would allow me to be instrumental in helping the organizational realize these goals.
Brandon Fralix is an Associate Professor of English and Coordinator of the Writing and Analysis Program at Bloomfield College, a small, private Minority Serving Institution in northern New Jersey. He regularly teaches first-year composition, advanced grammar, and the occasional literature course. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Brandon administers a writing program taught almost entirely by contingent faculty, including holding monthly curricula and assessment meetings. He is also the vice-president of his local chapter of the American Association of University Professors. Brandon, with his research partner Jill Gladstein, created the National Census of Writing—an online searchable database providing responses to over 200 questions from 900 two-year and four-year institutions—which he has presented about on multiple occasions at CCCC and CWPA. For this work, he and Jill received the CWPA’s Extraordinary Service Award in 2016. He has served on the CCCC’s LGBTQ Awards Selection Committee, and he has been an active member of the CWPA, serving on the Diversity Taskforce from 2012-14 and currently chairing the organization’s Diversity Committee. He, along with Jill, is currently gearing up for the second round of the National Censes of Writing.
Statement: I have been a CPWA member since 2010, when I first attended the CWPA workshop shortly after being hired as an untenured WPA. I was hired because I had the temperament for the work and the personality to fit in at my small institution, but without the training for the job, I was a bit lost. That is until I joined CWPA and attended the workshop. Since then, CWPA has shaped me as an administrator and researcher, and in the process, it has become my professional home. It is an honor to be nominated for the Executive Board, and if I am selected, I hope to continue the great work of the organization.
My current path as a researcher began after attending and speaking up at a CWPA business meeting. In a discussion about the make up of the CWPA membership, I was introduced to Jill Gladstein and from that emerged the idea for what became the National Census of Writing. Working on this project introduced me to the incredible diversity of the writing programs across the country. I learned that approaches to writing program administration are wide-ranging and what might be the norm for one institutional type may be a completely rejected practice at another type. This diversity in administrative methods can create questions about belonging for potential members; if they do not see themselves reflected in what the organization does, why should they join? I am heartened to see CWPA recognizing these differences and working to broaden its appeal, and I would hope to contribute to this effort.
I have found the CWPA to be an open and welcoming organization that is serious about aiding its membership in all stages of their careers. I believe it is taking the right steps in pursuing this mission while also acknowledging and addressing issues that might limit its appeal to non-members. If elected, I hope to support these efforts at creating a more inclusive organization.
Dana C. Gierdowski is a Teaching Assistant Professor of Composition and Rhetoric at North Carolina State University, where she teaches first-year, advanced undergraduate, and graduate courses in Composition and provides administrative support to the First-Year Writing Program. In her current administrative role as the Assistant Director of Digital Learning and Faculty Development, she coordinates professional development programming for NTT faculty and manages instructor support for the program’s hybrid and online courses. She has also managed assessment projects, including the program’s most recent on smaller class sizes, and has served as managing editor of the program’s student anthology. Before taking her position at NC State, Dana served as the Senior Program Coordinator for the Writing Excellence Initiative at Elon University, where she directed projects for the Writing Center and the Writing Across the University program. She has also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Composition and Rhetoric at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and has been a contingent faculty member at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and Massachusetts Maritime Academy. As a doctoral student at NC State, she oversaw the design and implementation of the First-Year Writing Program’s “flexible” writing classrooms.
In her research Dana explores how innovative learning spaces impact student writers and instructors. Her work on writing space research has appeared in the edited collections Cases on Higher Education Spaces,Sustainable Learning Spaces, Making Space: Writing Instruction, Infrastructure, and Multiliteracies (co-authored with Susan Miller-Cochran) and in Computers and Composition (co-authored with Susan Miller-Cochran). She presents regularly at national and regional writing and teaching/learning conferences, and facilitates workshops on writing space research, the design of learning spaces, and active learning. Regionally, Dana has served as a North Carolina at-large representative for the Carolinas Writing Program Administrators. She is an active member of the CWPA and served as a lead member of the Local Planning Committee for the CWPA 2016 Conference in Raleigh. She has also served as a member of the Local Planning Committee for the 2012 Computers & Writing Conference hosted at NC State.
Statement: I am very excited to be nominated to run for a seat on the Executive Board. Throughout my career in higher education, I have had the opportunity to serve in WPA roles to support Writing Across the Curriculum, writing centers, and first-year writing programs. And as a non-tenure-track faculty member, I understand the challenges many NTT and contingent faculty, as well as those in staff positions, face as they do WPA work. With these ideas in mind, I believe I am able to offer the CWPA Executive Board perspectives from different programs and institutional contexts.
I have been doing WPA work in various capacities at several institutions over the years, and I consider my research and administrative work as a practice in advocacy for writing programs. For example, my work on the design of composition classrooms and lower class caps has helped emphasize the importance of having physical working environments that support our pedagogical goals while also meeting more of the diverse learning needs of our students. Results from these data-driven projects have benefitted instructors and students by way of more innovative classroom design and the maintenance of smaller class sizes in our First-Year Writing program at NC State.
I am an active member in our regional organization, the Carolinas Writing Program Administrators, which has been one of the greatest joys of my career. As an at-large member for North Carolina, I have worked to recruit new members and increase representation from other institutions in the Carolinas. As an NTT faculty member and through my research on writing spaces, I have become acutely aware of the political nature of space – of who is or is not granted space to occupy, to engage with their community, to listen, to speak, to be heard. It has been exciting to see the CWPA encourage more participation and include voices from more diverse backgrounds and experiences at the table, and for this reason I have been inspired to run for election to the Executive Board. It is important to those of us who hold NTT positions that we are included in the professional conversations in our field and are given the opportunity to shape policies that can impact us directly.
Genevieve Garcia de Mueller is an Assistant Professor in the Writing and Language Studies Department at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). She has a chapter in the anthology Linguistically Diverse Immigrant and Resident Writers (Routledge) titled “Digital DREAMS: The Rhetorical Power of Online Resources for DREAM Act Activists.” Her most current work, “Inviting Students to Determine for Themselves What It Means to Write Across the Disciplines” co-authored by Brian Hendrickson, is in The WAC Journal. Along with Dr. Iris Ruiz she was awarded a $10,000 grant from the CCCC Research Initiative for a three-phase study on race and writing program administration work. For this project, her and her colleague are administering surveys, conducting interviews, and doing archival research on the role of and perception of race in writing programs. The first phase has been completed and the findings will be in the spring issue of the WPA Journal. She is the founder and chair of the CWPA People of Color Caucus and has served on the CWPA Diversity Task Force. Along with several colleagues at UTRGV, she was recently awarded a $16,000 grant to conduct an ethnographic study about the multilingual writing practices of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty at the university. She is also currently working on a monograph on the deliberative rhetoric used to affirm practices of authority, constructions of race, and appeals to restriction in U.S. immigration policy when concerning Mexican migration. Her scholarship centers on intersections between race and writing program administration, critical pedagogy, the rhetoric of immigration policy, and the discursive practices of migrant civil rights activists.
Statement: I am honored for the nomination and excited for the opportunity to run for the Executive Board. I have been an active member of the CWPA since 2011 and have shown a commitment to its mission and goals. In 2014, I was on the Diversity Task Force (DTF). From my experiences on the DTF, attending the conferences, reading Staci Perryman-Clark’s and Collin Craig’s work, and conversations with other people of color in the field, I decided to try to create a space in the council for the kind of work myself and other colleagues were doing on race and writing. During the summer of 2014, I worked with the president of CWPA to develop a protocol to accomplish this task. The result was the People of Color Caucus which currently has a yearly strand in the annual conference for scholars of color to explore the intersections of race, linguistic diversity, and writing in WPA work. The POCC honors student linguistic histories and identities while acknowledging that people who feel honored and respected stay the course and graduate. One goal of the POCC is to increase representation of academics of color by mentoring graduate students, writing instructors, jWPAs, and early career tenure track faculty of color. Before I initiated the conversation about diverse identity caucuses in the CWPA there was no system in place to create them but the POCC paved the way for several identity caucuses including accessibility groups. I believe the work I do should always help to generate pathways for future work that addresses difference.
I’ve been teaching writing for eleven years in diverse contexts. I started as a high school teacher in a predominantly Latinx school. For the past six years, I’ve taught rhetoric and composition in its various forms and levels from freshmen to doctoral students. My graduate work was done at a HSI and I am currently at a university with 96% Latinx students, many of which are multilingual undocumented Dreamers. Through these experiences I’ve developed some core principles about writing and diversity. My philosophy is threefold: I want to find ways for writers (1) to care about their writing and feel their home languages are vital to how they write, (2) to feel like their writing is important and valued no matter their linguistic difference, and (3) to be able to articulate their thoughts about writing intertwined with their linguistic identities. I focus on these three principles in everything I do whether it’s mentoring a graduate student, creating a syllabus, administrative work, or writing a mission statement for the caucus. I hope to continue this work as a member of the Executive Board by cultivating active policies that support and promote racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity in the council, in writing programs, and in writing practices. I am well suited for this work because of my proven commitment in my scholarship, in the service I’ve done for the council, and in my personal dedication and experiences as a Latina in this field.
Staci M. Perryman-Clark is associate professor of English, Director of First-Year Writing, and Associate Director of the Office of Faculty Development at Western Michigan University. Her previously published scholarship reflects a commitment to alternative rhetorical and linguistic practices in rhetoric and composition. She has published and edited two books: Afrocentric Teacher-Research: Rethinking Appropriateness and Inclusion (Peter Lang, 2013), and (with David E. Kirkland and Austin Jackson) Students’ Right to Their Own Language: A Critical Sourcebook (Bedford/St. Martin’s and NCTE, 2014). She is the 2015 Recipient of the Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Achievement Award for excellence in research, scholarship and creative activities.
Statement: I am delighted to run for the CWPA Executive Board Election. My research interests and scholarship in African American Language and Rhetoric reflect my commitment to the recruitment, representation, and participation of members of historically underrepresented groups. I firmly believe that inclusion and representation should be central to how we understand the mission of postsecondary writing programs.
My current projects examine the intersections between writing program administration, Black feminist rhetorics, and language rights. My article, Feminism and Language Rights: Converging or Diverging?” appears in the special issue of Peitho, “The Next 25 Years: Scholarship in Celebration of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition." This article calls for scholars in the histories of rhetoric to consider language rights, and the women who have tirelessly forwarded the struggle for student rights, as central to discursive conversations about rhetorical theory in composition studies.
Much of my scholarship also positions narrative theory as an essential element of the Black women’s rhetorical tradition of intellectual work. Such scholarship aims to locate and speak to racial and gender microagressions at various institutional and disciplinary sites. In sharing these narratives, I identify opportunities for effective alliance building in order to transform future institutional and disciplinary practices. In 2011, I coauthored the article “Troubling the Boundaries: (De)Constructing WPA Identities at the Intersections of Race and Gender.” In this article, both Collin and I shared our experiences as graduate student research assistants training to become writing program administrators (WPAs). From our experiences we noted examples of micoaggressions that include racial profiling as African Americans and sexual harassment (both male and female) from both university professors and members of the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) while attending the CWPA conference for the first time. Based on our experiences and response to this article, CWPA established The CWPA Mentoring Project, and used our article as a framework for mentoring junior faculty and faculty of color who are WPAs (see http://wpacouncil.org/mentoring-project). In June 2016, Collin and I published a follow up to our 2011 article, “Troubling the Boundaries Revisited: The More Things Change the More They Still the Same.” In this narrative, Collin and I “share how our experiences with race and gender identity politics in relation to WPA work have followed us in the work force… [Our experiences also] demonstrate that, through rhetorical action, we can engage in the kinds of coalition building that bring awareness to inequities and racial microagressions in strategic ways” (20).
In November 2016, I also published a piece titled, “Who We Are(n’t) Assessing: Racializing Writing Assessment in Writing Program Administration” for College English. In this piece, I raise critical questions about resistance in relation to the pedagogical training of graduate students when assessing the writing of racial and linguistic minority writing groups. More directly, I question, “What happens when mostly white writing instructors resist the training provided by a female WPA of color?” In the conclusion of this piece, I argue that white allies are necessary when supporting faculty women and WPAs of color. More precisely, I argue that “those of us in … positions of power and authority must work more actively to become stronger allies of WPAs of color and WPAs charged with doing writing assessment on/with racially and linguistically diverse students.” In short, this piece moves from locating racial and gender microagressions toward building stronger alliances between white allies and faculty and women of color across institutional and disciplinary contexts.
Patti Poblete (poh-BLEH-teh) is the Assistant Director of the Writing and Media Center at Iowa State University, where she teaches first-year composition in addition to training new writing tutors. Since she began working at ISU in 2014, the Writing and Media Center has added tutoring services for graduate students, expanded into two new locations, and developed a year-long workshop series. Prior to her work at Iowa State, Patti completed her doctorate at Purdue University, where she served as Assistant Director of the Introductory Composition program. Patti has also acted as the Assistant Registrar of La Sierra University. Patti currently serves on the CWPA Digital Writing Program Administration committee, and previously was a part of CWPA’s graduate student committee, WPA-GO. In addition to her administrative work at Iowa State, Patti has been involved in planning committees for the Iowa State Conference of Race and Ethnicity, the Womyn of Colour Network retreat, and IMPAACT, a leadership retreat for Asian-American students. Patti also serves as the Digital Media Coordinator for the Asian/Asian American Caucus at CCCC. She has reviewed for and published in Composition Forum, and has a forthcoming review in WPA Writing Program Administration. Her current research focuses on institutional ecologies and university curricula, multilingual learners in writing center spaces, and discursive norms on digital media platforms.
Statement: CWPA has been an essential part of my growth and development as a scholar, teacher, and administrator. When I became a member of WPA-GO several years ago, I was astounded by the sincere welcome and generous mentoring offered to graduate students. As I’ve grown into my role as a new writing center administrator, I’ve relied upon the support and advice from you, and I’ve been glad to offer mentoring and co-mentoring in turn. The work of CWPA is essential to the field of Composition and Rhetoric, as well as to the academy as a whole.
That said, I am running for election to the Executive Board because, as an organization and body of scholars, we still struggle to talk openly and generatively about race and assessment, about the needs of international and multilingual students, and about the hierarchy inherent in our conversations about writing program administration. (Consider, for example, that CWPA membership is listed as for tenure track faculty, non-tenure track faculty, and graduate students—leaving out, conceptually, those of us who aren’t faculty or students at all.)
As a member of the Executive Board, I want to commit myself to amplifying the voices of CWPA members whose work doesn’t quite fit into the common narrative of writing program administrators, or whose profiles don’t quite match what we think about when we think about WPAs. I’m indebted to the membership of CWPA for giving me space and a voice; I’d like to return the favor.
Anthony Sovak is Writing Faculty and Department Head for Pima Community College’s English Department at Pima Online. As an instructor and administrator his research, pedagogical focus, and passion centers on improving the first-year writing sequence. As the Online Writing Program Administrator he has helped facilitate a round of redesign work on the shared curriculum in part by aligning the discipline’s course outcomes with the CWPA outcome statements. Currently he is assisting with the integration of open-educational resources (OER) into the department’s offerings in alignment with the college’s “Achieving the Dream” OER grant. That grant will create an online two-year general education degree pathway for students with zero textbook cost. As faculty co-chair of the Curriculum Discipline Advisory Committee (CDAC) for written communication he led a faculty driven initiative to lower caps (from 27 to 22) in composition courses and has documented a rise in student success (C or better) between 2 and 5 percent depending on course and modality. His research project brings data-based analysis to bear on curriculum design and development including the analysis of trends based on term-length, modality, and course level. This encourages questions not only about how, why, and when we schedule which kinds of composition classes but also considerations about which methods of student support might be necessary to ensure student success across our varied offerings. He has been an active presenter recently appearing at CCCC, CWPA, and TYCA West. In 2015 he was honored to receive the Outstanding Faculty Award from Pima Community College and in 2016 he received the Instructional Technology Council’s Excellence in eLearning Distinguished Educator Award.
Statement: It is a great honor for me to be nominated to the Council of Writing Program Administrators executive board. Over the past few years my work as a faculty member and administrator at a community college has been emboldened by the support, knowledge, and engagement of my colleagues at the CWPA. I believe in the mission and the spirit of the organization and relish the opportunity to serve. As an executive board member I want to represent and advocate for community college, non-tenure track, and part-time faculty. As well, I believe my experiences as an Online Writing Program Administrator would prove uniquely valuable. I have a long history of service to the community and my college. I am also known for being an outspoken critic in my service roles (famously interrupting the chancellor’s speech during faculty senate). These are two traditions I’d like to continue as an executive board member in the CWPA.
In addition to my published scholarship, I am interested in exploring opportunities for how teachers and scholars can use our knowledge as WPAs to do intellectual work across institutional contexts, and beyond postsecondary writing programs. As the associate director of my institution’s Office of Faculty Development, I am committed to using centralized teaching and learning centers to support faculty in how they approach the teaching of writing across academic disciplines. I am committed to fostering alliances that enable faculty to see how such centers can be the place for consultation on writing instruction, and I am firmly committed to presenting a case for writing faculty and experts to demonstrate leadership in these centers.