Winter 2017 Committee Updates

Winter 2017 Committee Updates

The PWR committees have been hard at work over the last few months, sometimes in very visible ways, but also often working behind the scenes on projects and initiatives that support our program.  Read on below to get a sense of what they've been up to.

Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee has focused on three projects so far this year: surveying the learning goals of Advanced PWR courses, re-imagining the Undergraduate Advisory Board, and researching the structure of minors. Jenne Stonaker and Russ Carpenter spearheaded dialogue around advanced PWR courses’ learning goals: in the fall they gathered leadership and lecturers who have taught advanced courses for a discussion, and then Russ interviewed and surveyed over the fall and winter quarters. The Undergraduate Advisory Board “sub-committee” has sought out other models on campus and spoken to Justine about how best to motivate students to give us the sort of constructive feedback we’re looking for. And, finally, the entire committee met in winter quarter to start pulling common threads out of our research on writing minors—our first step toward a report on common structures, best practices, and how these will fit with the PWR vision.

Events and Activities Committee

It’s winter, but the Events and Activities Committee is in bloom! We hope lecturers are enjoying our bonanza season of pop-up readings featuring lecturer work, happy hours that pair imbibing cocktails with writing political postcards, and several new writing groups that meet weekly and monthly. Our new “Writing Futures” initiative has begun by spotlighting innovative lecturer publications—including recent work by Erik Ellis, Kathleen Tarr, and Emily Polk and Donna Hunter (forthcoming in March)—and is gearing up for events focusing on narrative science writing, cultural rhetorics, and the intersection of disability studies and composition. On February 10th, we welcomed our invited quest speaker, Dr. Asao Inoue, to discuss his book, Anti-Racist Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future. Please stay tuned for upcoming event details and additional opportunities to connect, share, and reflect in professional community. Finally, please email Meg or Clara  if you would like to propose a pop-up!

Lecturer Advisory Committee

The Lecturer Advisory Committee has developed a varied agenda, so far, this year:  after establishing cohort representatives, we surveyed our faculty to learn what the primary concerns are at this time.  Cohort representatives reported that there are still serious concerns around salary, child care costs and access to housing.  Other issues raised were the need to define the role of Advanced Lecturer; understanding the role of the newly named “Lecturer Advisory Committee;” how to continue training around microaggressions and develop a protocol around reporting such concerns; reexamining the balance between teaching load and research; and how to mobilize our program towards posting an official Sanctuary Statement.  In subsequent LAC meetings, Marvin and Adam were present, to discuss what “shared governance” could mean, and to talk about the Sanctuary Statement. Adam and Marvin encouraged LAC to imagine leadership and LAC as a partnership and offered their support for the Sanctuary Statement.  Thanks to Selby Schwartz, and others, PWR’s Sanctuary Statement came out in the Daily and has been influential both on and off campus. Recently, LAC was asked by leadership to survey our faculty on the issue of “term limits” for Writing Specialists and other special appointments. LAC held a meeting to discuss this issue, where arguments were made for and against strict term limits for the Writing Specialists.  In the near future, LAC has plans to write a more definitive description of the role of the Advanced Lecturer and to learn more about what can be accomplished in the way of raising salaries and addressing related financial concerns.

Publications Committee

Over the last two quarters, the Publications and Prizes Committee has continued evolving and supporting the Lunsford Awards for Oral Presentation of Research, Boothe Prize for Excellence in First-Year Writing, Hoefer Prize for Writing in the Major, and PWR Newsletter. Ruth also maintained PWR’s presence on social media with expansion of duties to Jenae and Justine. The Committee has worked with Stanford Libraries to establish a process to archive Boothe and Hoefer Essays in the Stanford Digital Repository and collaborated with the Associate Director to integrate pedagogical materials related to the prize publications into the Teaching Writing website. The Committee has also centralized its resources on Canvas and increased the efficiency of its processes by curating much of it through electronic forms.

Teaching and Tutoring Practices Committee

The Teaching and Tutoring Practices Committee is delighted that Adam, Marvin, and Christine approved our proposal to pilot a variety of conferencing methods in some PWR 1 and PWR 2 classes this coming fall quarter. Now we're refining our plans for the pilot and will let you know when we're ready to recruit pilot instructors. We hope that this pilot will also yield insight into peer review, which is another focus of our committee. In January, Jenae Cohn brought Professor Joe Moxley to campus to demo the online peer-review tool MyReviewers. Currently we're drafting a survey for PWR students to try to get a stronger sense--beyond the numbers--of why students don't always love doing peer review in our classes. In other news, Jennifer Johnson and Norah Fahim of the Multilingual Learners subcommittee presented a workshop on "Working with Multilingual Students: Pedagogical Approaches to Peer Feedback"; "I Wish I Knew" is thriving thanks to Jenae; and the Essay subcommittee is brainstorming ways to help our students write more creative, innovative essays. Stay tuned. ...