Winter 2019 Committee Updates

Winter 2019 Committee Updates

Pictured above: The 2018-2019 Curriculum Committee. Missing from the photo - Angela Becerra Vidergar & Arturo Heredia.

Over the last few months, the PWR committees have been hard at work to support the lecturers, students, and the program.   Read on below to see what they've been up to this year so far.

Committee for Professional and Intellectual Development (CPIC)

CPIC launched the fall quarter with a workshop to support lecturers in the reappointment process, sharing materials and insights. We also began two ongoing, cooperative structures that value our own writing processes. The first of these, a gathering for people working on writing projects of all kinds, meets regularly in person and keeps a virtual log for those who can’t participate on campus. The second group facilitates writing exchanges: those who want feedback on articles, talks, professional materials, or other writing projects can find insightful readers here. One of CPIC’s major undertakings in Fall 2018 was to design and lead an entire program meeting focused on the often under-recognized but very real work that PWR instructors are doing outside of the classroom. Through an intersectional feminist lens, we spotlighted valuable work being done in parenting, activism, elder care, scholarship across a variety of fields, and community engagement. This meeting included a rare chance for everyone in the program to talk about the work that they each do, creating a sense of community. As Winter Quarter begins, CPIC continues to highlight the importance of recognizing structural inequities and highlighting under-recognized work (including emotional labor): our first activity of the quarter was to host a “Course Evaluations and Self-Care” gathering that included a restorative walk to Windhover.

Curriculum Committee

This year the Curriculum Committee has supported the program’s work on integrating cultural rhetorics into our curriculum. We have reexamined the course learning objectives in order to answer the questions: What is the scope of student experience through PWR 1, PWR 2, and upper-division elective courses? How do our learning objectives frame student development as writers and communicators? In what ways can and do cultural rhetorics inform the objectives and the language we use to communicate them?  Out of those reexaminations we have developed several recommendations to clarify and align the learning objectives of PWR 1 and PWR 2. These recommendations will be presented to leadership for consideration. As a result of this inquiry, the committee plans to reexamine the required assignments, specifically the Rhetorical Analysis assignment and Genre/Modes assignment. We are also developing a framework for visualizing the progression of learning objectives through the required courses into the Advanced PWR Electives, as well as clarifying common goals of course development and instruction within the electives. To support this multifaceted work, the committee has also reexamined the role and expectations of the Undergraduate Advisory Board. We are developing a set of best practices to guide our approach to posing questions, recruiting participants, running focus groups, and collecting feedback from students.

Lecturer Advisory Committee

LAC has worked this year to finish projects from last year, respond to lecturer requests and begin new projects. In our second meeting, LAC finished up work that the committee began last year to suggest changes to the prompt for annual review. The goal of these changes was to give instructors more flexibility in crafting their narratives. These proposed changes were forwarded to PWR administration and incorporated into the 2019 prompt.

We have also taken a number of lecturer requests to Marvin and Adam. For example, lecturers asked for additional flexibility in scheduling earlier Hume hours.  We brought this issue to Zandra. In response, the Hume Center is working on a spring pilot for early hours one day per week. Recently, we have also fielded requests for more flexibility in using Skype/Zoom for conferencing with students. Marvin and Adam will be providing guidance on teleconferencing at an upcoming program meeting.

We have also started new projects, largely in response to the requests that you have submitted through your cohort representatives. We have two sub-committees working on projects. First, Tessa and Christine crafted a survey to gather data about the PWR community climate and discrimination. They will be providing this data to the administration and CPIC to guide future training.  Tessa and Valerie will be serving as LAC Reps to the CPIC sub-committee that will be developing this workshop. Our second sub-committee will be developing a proposal for Research Leave to submit to PWR administration.  Chris, Christine, Sarah Pittock, Valerie and Becky are on this committee. Our goal is to get a proposal of some kind to Marvin and Adam by the end of this year so that it might be considered for the next funding cycle.

Publications & Prizes Committee

This year, the Publications Committee has continued its work supporting the prize judging and administration process for the Boothe, Lunsford, and Hoefer Awards. We have also brought renewed attention to the newsletter, with a focus on making the newsletter more readable and enjoyable for wider audiences. Innovations have included moving to once a quarter; improving editing processes; redesigning how articles are teased in the e-mail announcement; and working with VPUE Communications specialists to better understand how newsletters function throughout the campus community. We are excited by the opportunity to update and refine PWR's central publishing voice! 

Teaching & Tutoring Practices Committee

This year the Teaching and Tutoring Practices committee has supported the development and implementation of PWR1 and PWR2 course evaluation revisions in the fall 2018 quarter and the PWR1 conferencing pilot in the winter 2019 quarter. TTP looks forward to learning from the experiences of the pilot participants before we implement the second round of the pilot in spring 2019. 

TTP continues to support the PWR newsletter’s “TeachingWriting” page by showcasing teaching activities from PWR instructors. In addition, we are currently working with PWR’s associate director to plan the April 5 program meeting focusing on conferencing practices. At this meeting, TTP will share preliminary findings from the conferencing pilot.