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  • Summer and Fall 2012 in the Center for Writing Studies

    Summer and Fall 2012 in the Center for Writing Studies has been an active time and we have much to celebrate. Between May and August, four students completed their graduate concentrations and headed off to new positions:  Jessica Bannon as Assistant Professor of English at the University of Indianapolis, Lauren Marshall Bowen as Assistant Professor of Humanities at Michigan Technological University, Amber Buck as Assistant Professor of English at CUNY-Staten Island, and Cory Holding as Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. We miss their many contributions here, but know that they are going on to contribute much to their new institutions and the field.

    In May, I led a three-day Faculty WAC Seminar and enjoyed working with a great group of 15 professors from five colleges. In August, Jon Stone and I led a two-day WAC seminar for a similarly diverse group of 26 graduate students.

    The University of Illinois Writing Project offered its fourth Summer Institute, summer writing camps for local elementary and secondary students, and a fall conference. The excellence of UIWP was also recognized as we obtained funding for the second year from the Office of Public Engagement.

    The Fall also featured two colloquia, with visits by Valerie Kinloch and Daniel Perrin, both of whom gave fascinating talks and also had meetings with a number of graduate students and professors. We also had three brownbag meetings, with talks by Robert McChesney and Lindsay Russell and an information session on our Writing across Media (WAM) courses, with the participation of our current instructors (Alexandra Cavallaro, Kaitlin Marks-Dubbs, and Melissa Larabee).

    The Writers Workshop also had an active Fall as can be seen from their newsletter.

    In Alumni news, please join me in congratulating Amy Wan, now Assistant Professor of English at Queens College, CUNY, as her 2011 article “In the Name of Citizenship: The Writing Classroom and the Promise of Citizenship” was selected for the Richard Ohmann Outstanding Article in College English Journal Award!

    In personnel news, Andrea Olinger has agreed to take up duties as an Assistant Director of CWS in the Spring, working with Jon Stone, and Alexandra Cavallaro has agreed to take an Assistant Director position starting in Fall, with Andrea and Allie then working together jointly in 2013-14. Julia Smith will begin teaching a WAM section in Spring. Welcome and thanks to all of them!

    This fall we also were also very happy to have Lindsay Russell (English) join CWS as a Core Faculty member and Safiya Umoja Noble (African American Studies) as an Affiliated Faculty member. Welcome to them both.

    Finally, the Spring will bring a colloquium by Mary Juzwik (Michigan State) in March and Xiaoye You (Penn State) in April, two graduate student research forums (the first in February featuring Rebecca Woodard and Sonia Kline), brownbags to be announced, and our third Gesa Kirsch Graduate Research Symposium with alumna Christa Olson (now at UW-Madison) as our keynote speaker. In the meantime, I wish everyone happy and peaceful holidays.

    Paul Prior, Director of the Center for Writing Studies

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