Conference Chair:
Joseph Janangelo

For program, workshop, or institute questions:
Linda-Adler Kassner

For local arrangements questions:
Tim Gustafson

For more information about the WPA:
WPA Home

2009 WPA Local Hosts:

U of M - Twin Cities
Dept. of Writing Studies
MnSCU -
Minnesota State
Colleges & Universities
College of Liberal Arts Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

WPA 2009: The Institutes

Thursday, July 16th: 9:00am-4:00pm

WPA is delighted to offer two new day-long Institutes at our 2009 Conference.

We have commissioned these Institutes, and invited these stellar leaders, to help WPAs work on vital, but often deferred areas of our work.

WPAs are adept at helping students and colleagues write often and well. Yet, we too often defer our own writing projects, thus silencing the stories we need to tell and the arguments we need to make. Perhaps, too, we find "writing time" hard to come by? Writing Program Administrators as Writers, led by Nancy Sommers, offers a day-long writing workshop that will help WPAs pursue their writing projects in community, and make plans for moving their work toward publication.

CWPA and many graduate programs work hard to mentor aspiring and new WPAs. But how can we address the concerns (e.g. rust out, building a career trajectory) that experienced WPAs often face? The WPA Renewal Institute, led by Susanmarie Harrington, Doug Hesse, and Duane Roen, serves the needs of experienced, mid-career WPAs looking to galvanize their teaching, administrative, and research interests in order to build future career possibilities.

Please click on the Institute titles or scroll down for more information, and direct your questions to the Institute leaders.

I hope you enjoy these fine Institutes!

Joe Janangelo, Conference Chair
WPA 2009

The WPA Renewal Institute

Join with other mid-career WPAs for a day-long investigation of the joys and challenges of sustaining administrative leadership and professional development. Participants will have the opportunity to explore ways to generate greater investment in program administration, highlight connections to research and teaching activities, and explore future career possibilities. We'll talk about increasing institutional demands and how to juggle them, as well as how to keep personal and programmatic development moving forward.

Who is a mid-career WPA? Anyone who's been in the position long enough to stop feeling new! We assume most people in attendance will have 5 or more years of administrative experience.

Institute leaders Susanmarie Harrington, Doug Hesse, and Duane Roen bring to bear their experiences in varied administrative roles:  first year writing programs director (freestanding and English-department based); director of a centers for teaching and learning;  department chair; and dean. In addition, they have held professional positions in WPA, NCTE, and CCCC.

Susanmarie HarringtonDoug HesseDuane Roen

Institute: Writing Program Administrators as Writers

All Writing Program Administrators (WPAs) have stories to tell about the details and particulars, evocative images, and day-to-day pleasures and challenges of directing a writing program. The demands of the academic year offer little time for reflection and contemplation, let alone writing, and it is often difficult to find a quiet moment to compose these stories. What if one had the opportunity to spend an entire day with fellow WPAs in a writing community—writing, listening, reading one another’s drafts, and participating in a community of readers and writers?

In this day-long Institute, we will spend the morning writing; and in the afternoon, we will break into workshop groups to offer and receive responses to our work. The Institute is designed both for WPAs who want to spend the morning brainstorming to find an idea for an essay, as well as for those who have a draft waiting to be developed. One goal of the Institute is to create a community of WPAs as Writers who will read and respond across the drafts, from workshop through publication. Our hope is to publish a collection of essays that emerge from the Institute.

Join us for a day of writing fellowship and collaboration, even fun, as we compose our WPA stories.

Nancy Sommers: For twenty years, Nancy Sommers led Harvard’s Expository Writing Program, where she directed both the first-year writing program and the Harvard Writing Project, and held an endowed directorship, the Sosland Chair in Expository Writing. Under her leadership, over 30,000 Harvard freshmen received instruction in the Writing Program. She also directed the Harvard Study of Undergraduate Writing, tracking the college writing experiences of 400 students to understand the role writing plays in college education. Prior to teaching at Harvard, she taught in the Rutgers English Department and directed the University of Oklahoma Writing Program. Currently, she teaches at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, where she teaches writing courses and mentors new writing teachers. Her articles “Revision Strategies of Student and Experienced Writers” and “Responding to Student Writing” are two of the most widely-read and anthologized articles in the field. She has received numerous awards for her teaching, research, and writing, including the Braddock Award, which she has received twice. She has also created two films—Shaped by Writing and Across the Drafts—as ways to bring the voices of student writers into a larger discussion about writing instruction.