June 2020 Announcements

The Composition Program has the following announcements, upcoming events, and updates to share for June.

Composition Program Meeting – Tuesday, June 23
As we continue to prepare for the fall semester, we on the Composition Leadership team will convene a meeting on Tuesday, June 23, at 11 a.m. EDT (via Zoom [link redacted from online announcements posting]) to provide an update and to respond to questions and concerns you may have. The meeting is optional.

Preparing for Fall 2020
Julie Mengert, Steve Oakey, and Derek Mueller are preparing online course materials for ENGL1105 and ENGL1106. Allowing for a wide variety of contingencies, we’re preparing for fall with a baseline (“blueprint”) Canvas shell that will support your teaching fully online, while also aspiring to synchronous and in-person sessions, if possible and only when appropriate. All sections of composition will be listed the same way in the timetable, appearing as “synchronous, online,” with the notes field showing, “Synchronous sessions held at teacher’s discretion.” Our leadership team is developing the baseline (“blueprint”) Canvas shell to relieve instructional faculty and GTAs from spending excessive personal time on preparations for fall under these atypical circumstances. We expect to have Canvas materials iterated/populated and in everyone’s hands no later than the end of July.

August 2020 Composition Program Workshop and Community Day
The August Workshop for 2020-2021 will be held August 10-14, 2020, entirely online via Zoom. Attendance and participation in the week-long August Workshop is expected of all GTAs who will be teaching composition at Virginia Tech for the first time. Attendance and participation in the Community Day event is expected of all GTAs and encouraged for everyone else. Dr. Jonathan Alexander, Chancellor’s Professor of English, Informatics, Education, and Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of California-Irvine, will spend Thursday, August 13th with us as the program-wide Community Day presenter and teaching workshop leader. A more detailed schedule for the day will circulate in mid-late July; the abbreviated schedule is available online at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xbIFY9kHnEwqeb2qD-LScNCgY3ZnmfE4ObiHK-Opsqo/edit?usp=sharing.

2020-2021 Composition Program Textbook – Understanding Rhetoric VT Custom Edition
The Composition Program textbook for 2020-2021 has gone digital. It will be available online to all instructors and GTAs in early-mid July, via VitalSource. Additional information about pricing (48 USD) and more is on HokiesWrite at http://www.hokieswrite.com/textbook/.

2020 Corridors Conference: Making Rhetorics – Acceptances Sent
The organizing team for the 2020 Corridors Conference has extended invitations to 29 presenters from ten colleges and universities. This fall’s event will be fully online, with sessions happening via Zoom. Jody Shipka of U Maryland-Baltimore County will be the featured plenary speaker, and Jason Luther of Rowan University will lead a featured workshop on zines. Titles and descriptions will be posted on the Corridors website by mid-July. The free, one-day conference will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2020. For more information, visit http://corridors.hokieswrite.com/.

VT Daily Projects New First-year Students as Most Diverse, Second Largest Class
The May 21, 2020 edition of the Virginia Tech Daily reported that 6,675 first-year students are expected to enroll in classes this fall, noting that the group is the most diverse and second largest in the university’s history (read more).

Consider Joining Writing Across Virginia (WAVA) (It’s free!)

On Monday, May 4, 2020, Writing Across Virginia (WAVA) was formally, officially approved as an affiliate by the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) Executive Board. CWPA President Mark Blaauw-Hara announced the approval of the organization’s newest regional affiliate, which was supported unanimously by members of the executive board. WAVA supports the work of writing programs, instructors, administrators, and students in post-secondary institutions, undertaking initiatives designed to support these and other higher education stakeholders across the Commonwealth of Virginia. As an affiliate, we consider writing programs–and the interests of writing programs–broadly to include first-year writing, writing centers, undergraduate majors and minors, writing across the curriculum, writing in the disciplines, and graduate programs. For more information about WAVA or to be added to the organization’s membership roster and listserv, please contact Cheri Lemieux Spiegel (cheri.lemieux@gmail.com) and Kristi Murray Costello (kcostell@odu.edu).