“Ballots for the CWPA election will be distributed electronically to current CPWA members near the end 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 the entire slate of six 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.
Again, ballots will be distributed in late February.
Candidates for the Executive Board (vote for 3 of 6):
- Beth Brunk-Chavez
- Lucía Durá
- Lilian Mina
- Meagan Newberry
- Pamela Simmons
- Courtney Adams Wooten
Beth Brunk-Chavez is Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies and Dean of Extended University at the University of Texas at El Paso. She has also served as an Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and as the Director of First-Year Composition. In her current role, she oversees UTEP's initiative to develop and sustain 100% online degree programs, online course development and instructor support, as well as continuing education programs. While she was director of the FYC program, the faculty engaged in an extensive redesign of the curriculum, delivery, assessment, and professional development. The program's efforts resulted in a CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence.
Her research has been largely focused on student writers and writing programs. More specifically, she's published on writing and teaching with technology, multilingual writers, writing program assessment, and student persistence and retention. Her work has been published in Composition Studies, WPA, Kairos, Written Communication, and Computers and Composition, as well as many edited collections. She was co-editor of Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs published in 2017. Brunk-Chavez has served on several CCCC, NCTE, and CWPA committees including the CWPA committee charged with the revision of the WPA Outcomes Statement. She regularly reviews proposals for the CWPA conference.
Brunk-Chavez received a University of Texas Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award in 2009 and was named to the University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2013. She is currently serving as the president of the Academy, which has the mission of promoting excellent undergraduate teaching across the UT System.
Brunk-Chavez received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Arlington, her M.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso, and her B.A. from New Mexico State University.
Statement: I am honored to be nominated for election to the CWPA Executive Board. When I became the WPA for the First-Year Composition program at UTEP, I was, of course, overwhelmed and concerned about how to assume this leadership position. A colleague encouraged me to attend the WPA workshop and conference in Denver. That experience not only set me on solid footing for the WPA position, but my continued engagement with the organization has been significant to my professional development as an administrator for the last 10 years.
As a member of the CWPA Executive Board, I look forward to giving back to the organization that has provided so many and such meaningful professional development opportunities. My position as an Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts (while simultaneously working as WPA) helped me to understand better the positionality and significance of first-year composition in students’ academic experiences. Additionally, the work that I’ve done to promote strategic, student and faculty-centered online growth reflects WPA principles and actions; at the center of this work is student success and faculty preparedness. Simultaneously, I can bring what I’ve learned in these administrative roles to the CWPA Executive Board to build upon the great resources and mentoring it has provided for decades.
My research remains active in the areas of multilingual writers and writing programs as well as the role of writing programs in student persistence and retention. My mind is consistently focused on how we make strategic student-centered decisions to not only help open access, regional, commuter institutions such as mine meet the demand of growing enrollments with limited capacity, but also how administrators can plan for an equitable, fair, and teaching-focused work place. My hope is that this research and work contributes to our collective and continuous evolution toward colleges and universities that fully support and promote the success of a diverse student population.
Lucía Durá is Program Director and Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies in the English Department at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). At UTEP she oversees RWS as a whole, which includes undergraduate and graduate programs: FYC, Bilingual Writing Certificate, Graduate Technical and Professional Writing Certificate, MA, and PhD. She also is specifically in charge of the MA and PhD and handles all aspects of student life from recruitment and advising, to curriculum and professional development. Dr. Durá has been teaching at the college level for 14 years. She received her department’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017 and was a UTEP nominee for the UT System Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016. She has also received more than $100,000 in extramural funding.
In her research, Lucía focuses on understanding and leveraging community assets to solve complex problems. She works largely in the areas of technical and professional writing as well as in community-based writing. Lucía collaborates with local and global organizations including the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, Creative Kids, the YWCA, Project Vida, Save the Children, and Minga Perú. She uses participatory, constructivist methodologies to facilitate productive dialogues about all kinds of risks—from health to educational to environmental. And she works with communities and organizations to design sustainable social change. Lucía brings this research lens into her work as a WPA. AT UTEP, where 80% of students are Hispanics of Mexican origin and first-in-the-family college students, she is especially committed to building on grassroots inquiries to foreground cultural wealth and bilingual literacies. Her recent publications include a chapter on “Leveraging assets through Appreciative Interviews in classrooms and communities” for an edited collection on high-impact practices in higher education, and a chapter titled, “Expanding the solution space: How asset-based inquiry can support advocacy in technical communication” for an edited collection in the ATTW book series on social justice and advocacy.
Statement: I am honored to have been nominated to run for the Executive Board. As someone relatively new to WPA work, I have benefitted greatly from my participation in the annual conference and in the People of Color Caucus (POCC). At the Town Hall meeting of last year’s CWPA, I commented that the sessions and featured speakers were excellent, but that a highlight for me was in the moments in between—at the lunches and fun field trips. Never did I imagine I would be networking with so many supportive colleagues. I would like to serve in an organization where community and collaboration are at the center.
I would also like to help further the Executive Board’s goal to go further and wider to reach new and underrepresented voices. Mentorship is crucial to this work, and as a Latina WPA I would like to play an active role preparing, recruiting, and retaining WPAs of color. To do this I plan to work closely on the POCC initiatives. I would also like to be an active participant in creative problem-solving with the organization as a whole. As a scholar committed to and experienced with amplifying student strengths, I can contribute to ongoing conversations about access, difference, and student success. One of the areas that interests me the most is the development of bilingual curricula that can be adequately assessed—one that considers students’ right to their own language and traditional notions of proficiency through rhetorical awareness and reflexivity. I am also interested in creating coalitions with international writing programs that exist because our international graduate students are going back to their home countries and applying what they learn in the U.S. to WPA. I believe in the excellent work of this organization and want to help create new spaces and stronger ties for collaboration.
Lilian Mina is an Assistant Professor of English and the Director of Composition at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) where she teaches in the Master of Teaching Writing (MTW) program, upper-division writing, and the first-year composition sequence courses. During her first year at AUM, Lilian proposed and taught a new course in the MTW program on Multilingual Composition and Teaching Diverse Populations of Students. The course aims at preparing graduate students to efficiently teach the growing population of multilingual students in the college writing classroom. Grounded in rhetoric and composition scholarship, the course is the first of its kind in the State of Alabama universities, thus narrowing a great gap in graduate education in the Deep South of the United States. Her interest in multilingual students extends to extensive research of this rich and diverse population of students. Her research in multilingual composition is centered around multilingual writers’ use of digital technologies and examining their prior (digital)writing experiences. She published a chapter on “Enacting Identity through Multimodal Narratives: A Study of Multilingual Students,” and has a forthcoming co-authored chapter with Tony Cimasko on “Expectations, Mismatches, and the Teaching of Second Language Writing: A Program-Wide Survey.” Lilian also researches digital rhetoric with focus on multimodal composing, writing teachers’ use of digital technologies, and the use of social media platforms in the writing classroom. She very recently published a chapter entitled “Social Media in the FYC Class: The New Digital Divide.” Lilian is also interested in (technology)professional development of writing teachers, the focus of her current three-phase research project examining technology professional development of writing teachers between the guidelines outlined in CWPA, CCCC, and NCTE’s professional statements and local realities. The project focuses on the role expected from and played by WPAs in initiating, organizing, and/or overseeing technology professional development opportunities for writing faculty in their programs.
Statement: As a new graduate student in 2010, my adviser introduced me to the WPA-L where I learned about CWPA. I became a member and attended my first CWPA breakfast at CCCC in Atlanta in 2011, and I joined WPA-GO shortly after. Right after my graduation, I volunteered to serve on the Graduate Research Award Committee and have been an active member for three years (2015 – present). Working with Cristyn Elder, the current committee chair, and other members from across the US, I contributed to redesigning the rubric used to evaluate submissions for the award, especially by adding parameters and language suitable for multimodal submissions as the committee receives a growing number of them every year. Not only does this effort reflect my commitment to digital writing and multimodality, it demonstrates my engrained interest in diversity and creating more equal opportunities for graduate students researching increasingly diverse topics in a variety of modalities. As a committee member, I also participated in “The What, the How, and Feedback for the CWPA Graduate Student Research Award in WPA Studies: A Mentoring Workshop” the committee chair and members offered at CWPA 2017 conference in Knoxville, TN. During that workshop, we mentored graduate students and offered extensive feedback on their writing projects. Mentoring graduate students is grounded in my belief in and commitment to the professionalization of graduate students and writing faculty, especially those who don’t have access to regular professional development opportunities. This commitment has materialized in my constant participation in WPA-GO’s mentoring activities at CCCC and CWPA conferences for more than three years.
As a newly appointed WPA in my school, my vision includes three major stages: integrating the Teaching-for-Transfer (TfT) principles into the composition curriculum, updating the program learning outcomes to be in accord with the WPA OS 3.0, and to redesign the composition-sequence course projects accordingly. As we prepare for the implementation of this vision, there will be a program-wide discussion of how the mission and local context of our university informs and shapes the objectives and pedagogical practices of each stage. There will also be a rigorous professional development initiative to accompany each stage that aims to build consensus among faculty in the program and to provide them with the theoretical and pedagogical support they need as the new changes take effect. The PD plan includes the discussion of a common-reading textbook and other recent scholarship, workshops on implementing new curriculum changes, and establishing long-term mentoring relationships among instructors adequately trained in rhetoric and composition and those who are not. This three-year plan will be concluded with conducting program-wide assessment the results of which will direct the next steps of the program.
Although I attended my first CWPA conference in 2017, I immediately realized that CWPA is my professional home and organization. Attending this conference gave me the opportunity to communicate with many scholars in my areas of interest and to exchange ideas and suggestions on various WPA-related research projects and activities. I sat in sessions on the hurdles and frustrations both WPAs and writing faculty experience on daily basis; I engaged in conversations about our increasingly challenging circumstances; I learned about material, intellectual, and digital resources for WPAs and writing programs. I left my first CWPA conference with much confidence that good things can happen and with determination to immerse myself more in that interactive and supportive community.
My decision to run for the election of CWPA Executive Board is inspired by my desire to increase the organization diversity, attention to underrepresented groups, and investment in technology professional development. As an Egyptian teacher-scholar, and the first WPA from the Middle East in a US university, I’ll bring more diversity to CWPA and the EB. Not only do I represent the severely underrepresented women writing faculty from the Middle East, I also work in a Southern regional university that serves non-traditional, black, and military students while hosting a growing graduate program that prepares qualified writing teachers for two-year and small four-year colleges. Furthermore, I’d like to collaborate with EB members to find ways to expand CWPA’s investment in technology professional development of college writing faculty, one of the most neglected areas in research and in WPA work as represented in the WPA Journal and CWPA annual convention program. Initiating conversations that result in theoretically-informed, non-traditional forms of technology professional development is a pressing need as technology evolves by the minute and our budgets shrink by the second. Such a need should be acknowledged and addressed by the CWPA EB members and discussed by the membership of the organization. I believe my background, my professional and cultural identity, and my research interests make me well suited to represent diverse groups on the EB, encourage more minority women in writing studies to pursue WPA positions, and to expand CWPA work to neglected territories.
Meagan Newberry is an Assistant Professor of English at the College of Western Idaho, a community college. She began as an adjunct, served as the developmental English program chair, has been in the school’s first WPA role for three years. She is chair of the Composition Resource Committee, which identifies professional development needs, develops writing assessments, analyzes assessment data, reflects on teaching, and participates in shared readings. The committee is currently reading Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies by Asao Inoue, and is currently devoted to identifying and addressing race and gender inequities in CWI’s writing assessment data, especially for Latinx students.
Meagan co-led the Writing Plus Project, a grant-funded cross-institutional collaborative project designed to prepare faculty to teach a co-requisite model of first-year writing that replaced all developmental courses at CWI. The resulting research was shared at a state-wide institute of WPAs and FYW faculty which focused on logistics to classroom practice. This project also led to the creation of Idaho Educators Networking about College-Composition Transitions, dedicated to increasing communication between high school and college writing/English faculty. Meagan was on the planning team for the statewide institute to kick off ENACT, which continues in the form of local meetings.
Meagan has presented on the Writing Plus Project at CWPA and the Conference on Acceleration in Developmental Education. She also presented at CCCC on her school’s encouraging data on retention and persistence after implementing the co-requisite model. Students who would have previously taken up to seven (non-credit) basic writing courses are proficient in English 101 outcomes at a rate comparable to students placed directly into 101, and persist to English 102 at the same rate. She is also her college’s Written Communication representative on the State of Idaho General Education Committee, which was responsible for general education reform and ongoing assessment. She serves on her school’s General Education Subcommittee, helped implement multiple-measures writing placement, co-advises the honor society, and serves on the WAC workgroup and proposal committee.
Meagan earned her bachelor’s at Florida State University and her master’s at the University of Montana, where she was also a fellow of the Montana Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project. She originally taught middle- and high-school English, and then taught developmental writing online for a community college. The open-access mission of the community college inspires her, and she aims to focus her professional energy on community college faculty preparation and development, especially in terms of addressing racial and linguistic diversity.
Her current projects include evangelizing labor-based contract grading and peer feedback via Eli Review’s platform, finding money to pay adjunct faculty for professional development, devise a way to expand National Writing Project sites to community colleges, fly-fishing as often as possible, and joining the Subaru 300K club.
Statement: I came by WPA work unexpectedly. I discovered a high concentration of compassionate, energized faculty at my community college, and at CWPA workshop in 2015, I found another congregation of educator-administrators who thrive on challenge, use positions of power for good, and value student writers and their professors. Ever since my first job in a school setting 15 years ago as a special education paraprofessional, I have been driven to improve education K-20. At the time, I was oblivious to the world of writing programs outside my own college student perspective. Now, I am serving as my school’s first WPA, a position that entrusts me with the responsibility and opportunity to influence first-year writing faculty and students at my college.
Before joining CWPA or attending a conference, I was influenced by colleagues saturated in its values of collaboration, support, and equity. I felt grateful that an organization with the word “administrators” in its name was so innovative, “wily,” creative, and thoughtful. In CWPA, I have found fiery, responsive, progressive colleagues who push and inspire me to continue my professional goals of shifting the culture of writing classrooms (and others) toward equity, valuing growth and risk-taking over “correctness,” and fostering respect and collaboration between teachers, students, and WPAs.
I was honored when a colleague nominated me to serve on the executive board. I am eager to give back to an organization that has actively supported me and is committed to including more non-tenure-track and two-year college faculty. CWPA’s mentorship program provided me with clear vision for a new, undefined WPA role, knowing support was a phone call or e-mail away. As a member of the executive board, I will provide the voice of a WPA at a new community college in the most isolated urban area in America, an area with a unique population of students: many first-generation college students, Latinx students, and refugee students. Idaho is also a “right-to-work” state, which results in tenuous employment and non-tenure track positions for all full-time faculty at my college. As in many other places, we rely heavily on adjunct faculty, who teach around 65 percent of our first-year writing sections each semester.
At such a new college, we have the autonomy and freedom to ask, as the current conference call posits, “What if we tried this?” and make those “what if’s” reality, as there’s no “we’ve always done it this way” at a young college. My department has avoided piloting new ideas when possible, since when data and research clearly point to a benefit for students and/or faculty, we feel the ethical choice is to make the shift for everyone. I would be honored to represent other WPAs in similar positions, and hopefully inspire others to move more confidently from “what if?” to “now what?”
Pamela Simmons has been teaching in higher education the duration of her career since 1993. Currently, she serves in the administrative roles at Winston-Salem State University, NC HBC as Director of the Writing in the Major Program, former Director of the Writing Center, and Associate Professor of English. Her education credentials include: BA in Speech and Theater, Albany State University, GA; MA in English, Northwestern State University of LA; and Ph. D. Walden University. Her interests include Writing Center Theory, First-Year Writers, Basic Writers, Writing Program Sustainability and African American Women Writers in Religious Narratives/Rhetoric.
Statement: I am excited about my name appearing on the list of professionals nominated for the Executive Board for the CWPA. I work with colleagues across Winston-Salem State University to enhance the culture of writing. My position as director of the Writing in the Major Program affords me the privilege of interacting with faculty, students, and administration across a wide spectrum.
I spend long hours cultivating written communication skills at both levels - undergraduate and graduate students. My experience in this role affords me visiting rights in all departments and programs. I am able to view data which determines the needs assessment in each department.
I believe my membership and purpose on the CWPA Executive Board is to engage with writing directors and specialists who share common interests in writing center theory. I can devote my talents to recruit minority professionals to become members in the organization. Currently, I co-direct the NC HBCU Writing Center Consortium an organization devoted to collaborative partnerships between minority institutions in NC to promote literacy and Writing Center leadership.
Additional goals of the NC HBCU Consortium include implementing best practices in writing for first-year, first-generation, and marginalized students. Extending the collaboration outside of NC is a charge I am capable of initiating; I have vision to reach program directors at minority institutions to discover best practices in writing program leadership. The time is right, just right, for those of us employed as HBCU writing program professionals. Our leadership stories are rich, rigorous, and rewarding! We must tell our stories. One amazing testimony about the WIM Program at WSSU is the strong number of former peer student consultants who graduated and currently lead as writing program directors across the state. I would like to establish training sites to facilitate a hands-on workshops to improve minority writing program managers at HBCUs across the nation.
Courtney Adams Wooten is an Assistant Professor of English and First-Year Writing Program Administrator at Stephen F. Austin State University, a regional state university in East Texas. She regularly teaches first-year composition, upper-level writing and rhetoric courses, and graduate-level writing pedagogy courses. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Courtney leads curricular revision, assessment, and professional development for the first-year writing program. She is also a member of several related university committees, including the Core Curriculum Assessment Committee. Her research includes co-written work on student evaluations of teaching that has appeared in WPA: Writing Program Administration and is forthcoming in Composition Studies as well as a co-written chapter in the collection Contingency, Exploitation, and Solidarity about using portfolio assessment to integrate contingent faculty into curriculum development. She is the co-editor of the edited collection WPAs in Transition, a collection highlighting the challenges and joys of transitioning into and out of WPA positions, that is forthcoming from Utah State University Press in February 2018. In addition, she is a co-editor of The Things We Carry: Strategies for Recognizing and Negotiating Emotional Labor in Writing Program Administration, an edited collection currently in progress that provides strategies for WPAs to negotiate the emotional labor they experience in their positions. Courtney has served on the WPA-GO graduate committee and the CWPA Nominating Committee, and she has chaired the CWPA Outstanding Scholarship Committee for the past two years. She is also currently the book review editor for WPA: Writing Program Administration.
Statement: I first became a member of CWPA in 2011 as a graduate student at UNC Greensboro. As soon as I attended my first conference, I knew that I had found a group that I wanted to be a part of and contribute to, in part because of CWPA’s commitment to helping WPAs serve diverse populations of writing instructors and students. I have been encouraged by all of the mentoring and learning opportunities I have experienced at CWPA, and I am excited and humbled by the opportunity to become part of the leadership on the Executive Board.
I am running for this position because I want to contribute to CWPA’s mission to serve as many WPAs as possible, promoting focused attention to sustainable work practices for WPAs no matter their individual context or situation. Having worked as an assistant director at a writing center, a gWPA in a first-year writing program, and now a WPA in a first-year writing program, I bring a variety of experiences to bear in my thinking about how WPAs articulate their positions and struggle to provide the best opportunities for student learning in their institutions, sometimes to their own personal detriment. My mission is to help re-define narratives of WPA work – and even faculty work in general – so that we create sustainable work practices that also serve our students. Often, what is best for a program is not what is best for us personally and vice versa, and we are surrounded with damaging accounts of austerity that reinforce the need for all faculty to buckle down and do more with less. Although determining how to balance professional and personal needs is difficult – especially for WPAs who serve not only their own students but instructors, TAs, departments, and institutions – it is a goal that CWPA as a whole needs to consider.
Thus, I hope to bring to the Executive Board a commitment to understanding all of CWPA’s members and expanding our membership to the broadest reach possible while addressing the political and institutional concerns that necessarily (con)strain our work. I will especially advocate that we create narratives that help WPAs at any career stage navigate their professional work without sacrificing their personal lives, whether that means setting limits on how much we can do with less, creating organizational documents about these constraints, or mentoring gWPAs in particular about the need to set reasonable boundaries between their personal and professional lives. I will also advocate for CWPA to push against those forces of austerity that seek to chip away at individuals’ lives without offering adequate compensation, especially part-time writing instructors who are inadequately compensated for their work. My hope is that I can be a part of CWPA’s role in helping WPAs navigate this complex and shifting landscape.