Mid-Term Report

Just as the mid-point of the semester seems like a good time to look back on the work we do with students, it seems like a useful moment to reflect on CWPA’s work this Fall 2009 term. There are a lot of opportunities for CWPA members (and friends) to be involved with the organization – and maybe a list of some of the initiatives will inspire others to join!

Based on input that we collected through WPA Directions at the 2009 summer conference, we’ve started or will start several new initiatives. These include:

Building connections with colleagues in the Two Year College Association (TYCA) and International Writing Centers Association (IWCA)

After the conference, several WPA members decided we needed to make a concerted effort to learn more from and with TYCA and IWCA colleagues. To that end, we developed a session that highlighted some of WPA’s resources and asked about what interests we might have, or might develop, in common with members of these other organizations. We’ve taken this on-the-road dialogue to TYCA West (Salt Lake City), TYCA Southwest (Little Rock), and the Northeastern Ohio Writing Center Association (Wooster, OH). We hope to take it to several other regional TYCA and IWCA meetings this spring. We’re learning a lot and hope to have several more initiatives stemming from this work soon!

Cuppa Coffee

Another initiative designed to foster communication with colleagues whom we haven’t yet gotten to know, Cuppa Coffee provides up to $25 for CWPA members to take someone to coffee. All folks will need to do to be reimbursed is write a brief narrative about their Cuppa experience. That’s it – it’s money to socialize and learn about one another’s programs. We currently have several pilot Cuppas happening so that we can make sure the pieces are working, and then we’ll open it up to everyone!

Mentoring Project

Building on the terrific work that Sheldon Walcher, Joe Janangelo, and Duane Roen started before WPA 2009, the Mentoring Project will soon announce some very exciting on-line mentoring initiatives – watch this space!

WPA Breakfast

Of course, the breakfast will take place (and more is coming soon), but we’ll also introduce some activities at the breakfast to introduce new breakfast eaters and facilitate some fun breakfast conversations. More coming soon on that, too!

Planning for WPA 2010

The 2010 conference, “Conversations Toward Action,” seems just around the corner (though it’s really not…). Local chair Eli Goldblatt and the Philadelphia PWPA have finished mourning the Phillies’ world series loss and returned to action on the conference. We’ll have several new and super exciting presentation formats for the event that are designed to facilitate lots of talk and action. Again, watch this space!

National Conversation on Writing - National Day on/Gallery of Writing

Following the spectacular National Day on Writing (NCTE's initiative), the National Conversation on Writing (WPA's initiative - a lot of "nationals" and "writings"!) opened a special section for folks to share information about their NDoW celebrations. CWPA also developed a short video, "Introducing the Council of Writing Program Administrators," which NCTE aired in its all-day streaming video cast for members. (The video can be accessed via a link in the rotating banner of wpacouncil.org's front page, too.)

Of course, in addition to these new initiatives, the “everyday” work of WPA continues. Duane Roen is ably chairing both the Nominating Committee for the 2010 elections and the Siting Committee, which is looking for conference sites beyond 2011 (mark your calendars and break out your sleeveless clothing for Baton Rouge, LA!). Barb L’Eplattenier and the Grants Committee are reviewing applications; Melissa Ianetta and the breakfast crew are working hard on that event; Joe Janangelo is chairing the Best Book award committee; Brian Huot and members of the Graduate Award Committee will ramp up their work in the spring. Chuck Paine and Susan Thomas, Co-Chairs of the Liaison Committee, have been working hard with their group on the regional conference initiatives, and Doug Downs has ably piloted the Cuppa group through its work. There’s a lot going on… and I’ve doubtless left something out, too.

All in all, it seems like a pretty good start for WPA Fall 2009. But we’d love to learn more about what CWPA members believe that we all should be doing – together – and have everyone involved! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – WPA is all of us. What can we do together? (A lot!)