February 2021 Announcements

The Composition Program has the following announcements to share for February.

Spring Colloquium
On Friday, February 26, the Composition Program and University Writing Center are pleased to welcome Dr. Janine Morris and Dr. Kelly Concannon from Nova Southeastern University for our Spring Colloquium. Morris and Concannon will lead a workshop titled, “Mindfulness, Self-Care, and Fostering Well-Being in the Writing Center and Classroom,” from 12-1:30 p.m. (via Zoom). The event is open for everyone to attend. The Zoom link will be circulated via email to the department, or you can request the link by emailing composition -AT- vt.edu.

VT-UVA Writing Program Dialogues
Following a successful event in January, the Virginia Tech-University of Virginia Writing Program Dialogues will continue this semester with two more get-togethers on Friday, March 19, from 3-4 p.m., and on Friday, April 16, from 3-4 p.m. via Zoom. The dialogues are flexibly organized around emerging topics and interests. Program directors Victor Luftig (UVa) and Derek Mueller (VT) have created a Google Doc for collecting possible focuses for each dialogue (link shared internally, via email); please contribute a suggestion, if there is something you would like to discuss. The sessions are meant to foster connection, to share ideas, and to build upon the teaching expertise in our respective programs. The events are open for everyone to attend. The Zoom link will be circulated via email to the department, or you can request the link by emailing composition -AT- vt.edu.

Pathways Assessment – Mini-Grant, Workshop, and Data Collection in Spring 2021
Pathways Assessment has resumed data collection for Spring 2021; every section of ENGL1105 and ENGL1106 must complete the process and turn in assessment data. The overview of the process is up to date at http://www.hokieswrite.com/pathways/. On behalf of the entire program, Julie Mengert and Derek Mueller submitted a proposal for a Pathways mini-grant this spring, which was awarded for $6,700, to provide everyone teaching first-year writing with a $100 stipend in May. To receive the stipend, you must complete the Pathways assessment process and submit data for your section(s) no later than Wednesday, May 12, 2021. This deadline allows us to compile data from the 155 sections of first-year writing and to submit one report for the entire program (we must submit program-wide data the next day to honor the terms of the mini-grant). To offer a refresher on how the Pathways assessment process works for first-year writing classes, we will also hold an open workshop on Monday, March 22, from 12:15-1:10 p.m. via Zoom. Please remember that you can submit Pathways assessment data before the deadline (e.g., at the time you read and assign grades to the collection of writing). The focal assessment artifact will continue as it has in the past—the rhetorical analysis project in ENGL1105 and the sustained research project in ENGL1106.

Spring 2021 Program Calendar
The events detailed above are also listed on the Spring 2021 Composition Program calendar at http://www.hokieswrite.com/calendar/.

Inaugural CWPA Dissertation Award
We learned in late January that our English Department colleague, Dr. Megan Weaver, was selected as the winner of the inaugural Council of Writing Program Administrators Dissertation Award for her outstanding research and writing in “Critical Language Awareness Pedagogy in First-Year Composition: A Design-Based Research Study” (Old Dominion University, 2020). The letter accompanying the award, from committee chair, Dr. Jacob Babb, noted as especially distinguished the way the “project investigates a significant and profound area of writing studies: how iterations of deeply embedded, racially influenced language beliefs have been passed from instructors to students and, importantly, how students might be engaged via CLA [Critical Language Awareness] pedagogy to disrupt and challenge these normative beliefs.” The letter goes on to say, “This antiracist scholarship informs WPA [Writing Program Administration] work—and writing studies more broadly—by illuminating important themes and discussions surrounding how language functions in our classrooms and in turn how WPAs can direct their programs to ensure more equitable experiences.” 

Record of Speakers & Colloquia
In an effort to improve visibility and historical record-keeping related to the Composition Program at Virginia Tech, we have added to HokiesWrite.com a page for Colloquia & Speaker Series at http://www.hokieswrite.com/colloquia-speaker-series/. The record is a work-in-progress, and we are working with invaluable assistance from Holly Coombs to lookup earlier guest speakers, presenters, and workshop leaders in Banner. If you have details about any event not already listed, we would be grateful to hear from you with that information at composition -AT- vt.edu.

Submissions/Nominations for Distinguished Writing from ENGL1105 & ENGL1106
The Composition Program is continuing to collecting and publishing distinguished writing from ENGL1105 & ENGL1106. Submissions are published as part of the document gallery at http://www.hokieswrite.com/docgallery/. We appreciate the effort being made by so many of you already to encourage first-year students to submit their writing. For more information about the nomination process, visit the instructor guide module in the Canvas blueprint for ENGL1105 or ENGL1106.

2021 Teaching Portfolio Award
The call for submissions is posted for the 2021 Composition Teaching Portfolio Award–an annual award designed to encourage the development and collection of exemplary teaching materials from instructors and GTAs. Up to four $400 awards will be made this year. Submissions may be focused on either ENGL1105 or ENGL1106. The full description of the award is available online at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cqRGBmoLssjtMBZw_qliCKHRVQHMvPPbilp3Urc9DNg/edit?usp=sharing. To be considered for the award, submit materials by Friday, March 12, 2021.

Pandemic Bestiary Exhibit at Squires’ Perspective Flex Gallery, February 4-May 1
Interested in the juncture between composition, illustration, and correspondence? Thirteen illustrations from Derek Mueller’s Pandemic Bestiary are on display in the Perspectives Flex Gallery at Squires Student Center now through May 1. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For flex gallery hours and for more information about the exhibit, visit https://fb.me/e/19SuE6iUO.

Continue to let us on the program leadership team know if you have any questions we can help with.