2016-17 Vice Chair Statements: Mandy Macklin and Sarah Snyder
Candidate 1: Mandy Macklin (University of Washington)
The presence of WPA-GO has played a significant role in my professionalization as a graduate student and I am grateful for the opportunity to appear on the ballot for Vice Chair this year. My enthusiasm for the position is motivated by my teaching and research experience in diverse institutional contexts and interest in issues of diversity, access and reform in the context of WPA scholarship. I developed these interests as a grad WPA and former adjunct for the Cal State system where I was trained to address issues of social justice, access, and inclusion in the classroom, across the university and on a larger scale. I’m most committed to WPA scholarship for social justice and would be especially eager to contribute to our organization’s goals in supporting the wider efforts of the CWPA.
As I mentioned in one of my previous statements, it is my belief that dialogue among a diverse community of writing scholars, teachers, graduate students and professional WPAs is necessary to foster a culture that invites fresh perspectives and new ways of envisioning WPA practice and scholarship. In addition, I think that a focus on race and inclusion necessitates explicit, targeted efforts. Thus, my contributions as Vice Chair would not only focus on advocating for opportunities that establish and maintain such dialogue but also ways we can equip graduate students with a range of opportunities and tools to address diversity responsibly and strategically.
My ideas for my tenure as Vice Chair would be to suggest we design new special projects and initiatives geared toward diversity and inclusion while expanding mentoring and outreach opportunities. What ways can we address race and inclusion in our organization and how can we enact that vision *now*? We might target our efforts by brainstorming projects that explicitly focus on race and inclusion in the context of demographic, institutional, and intellectual difference. What initiatives can we, as the Graduate Committee, do to respond to this need? What projects might we envision for the Task Forces? How might we expand the objectives of the Diversity Committee to be foregrounded in all of our current sub-committees?
As Vice Chair I would advocate for a collective effort where we, as an organization, can collaborate on projects aimed toward not only recognizing the pressing need to address diversity and inclusion but also ways to manifest these ideas. My service in this capacity would be informed by my experience as current graduate student, former adjunct instructor, and two years as a grad WPA. I am confident that my personality, strengths, and contributions demonstrate my ability to lead and collaborate and it would be my pleasure to serve as Vice Chair for the WPA-GO.
Candidate 2: Sarah Snyder (Arizona State University)
WPA-GO has given me SO much. It’s my turn, and my pleasure, to give back.
What WPA-GO Has Given Me:
Mentoring and Professional Development Committee (2012-present)
The opportunity to create and organize Breakfast Buddies and inspire Mentors @ C’s
Bruffee Award Committee (2014-present)
Distinguished Service Award for Breakfast Buddies (2014)
Inclusiveness Award and travel grant for my research (2016)
WPA-GO’s main purpose is to create opportunities, and creating opportunities is something that I truly enjoy. I have taken on many administration and leadership roles such as being the Breakfast Buddies creator and organizer, Assistant and Associate Director of Second Language Writing for the past three years at ASU, as well as Co-Associate Chair of the Symposium on Second Language Writing. If you elect me as Vice Chair, I would strive to create as many opportunities as possible. Currently, the focus of CWPA initiatives are on diversity and inclusion, particularly in regard to race. My research on the retention and persistence rates of basic, L2, and mainstreamed students has this concept at its core, and as I specialize in L2 and basic writing, as well as linguistic factors of composition students (often closely tied to race), I am especially perceptive to diversity. Diversity, however, is not just about race, so I would strive to facets of diversity such as gender, ability/disability, socioeconomic status, family status, and others.
In many of my past leadership positions, I have been asked to take leadership personality quizzes that try to identify my leadership “style.” Because I am equally situated in many of the “parts” of leadership (i.e., energy and motivation, analytical skill, optimism/pessimism, and endurance), I have most often been nominated to run and voted in as the president or chair of past organizations. I have a very democratic style of leadership, and as many WPAs, I try to see my leadership as service. With all good teams, such as the one that we have currently in WPA-GO, I am a firm believer of what my Grandma would always say, “Many hands make light work.” This adage is especially important for volunteer work and service, as I realize that our extra time is valuable and scarce. I love to make our work enjoyable, to create a space for people to bond over mutual goals, and to have fun with colleagues as well.
I understand that I am one of the newest members of the WPA-GO Graduate Committee, and that there may be running mates for this position who have been on the Graduate Committee longer, but I would like to emphasize my involvement with WPA-GO since 2012 as proof of my dedication to our organization, and my dedication to diversity through my research with retention and persistence of L2, basic and mainstream composition students. I would very much appreciate your vote for the Vice Chair position, but I’ll be honored to serve WPA-GO in whichever capacity is called of me. I wish the best of luck to all running mates!