Campus Writing Program Honors Outstanding Writing Intensive Teaching

Published on April 28, 2014

On April 18, 2014, the Campus Writing Program was honored to present eight MU faculty members with a 2014 Writing Intensive Excellence Award in recognition of their efforts in promoting writing across the curriculum.  This year’s awardees were Goodie Bhullar (MU Libraries), Deborah Huelsbergen, Ric Wilson and Jean Brueggenjohann (Art), Mary Jo Muratore (Romance Languages & Literatures), Carolyn Orbann (Health Sciences), Cynthia Reeser (Human Development & Family Studies) and Stacy Wagovich (Communication Sciences & Disorders).

“We have very committed faculty in our writing intensive courses,” says Amy Lannin, director of the Campus Writing Program. “The WI Teaching Excellence Awards are one way to celebrate and recognize that commitment. “

In Stacy Wagovich’s course, CSD 4020, she works with the students to continually refine their writing skills.  “To promote continued development of writing skills, my teaching assistants and I have developed a set of writing tips.  I share one of these per class period.  The tips focus on a range of topics, including minor grammar and style suggestions, organizational ideas, the importance of outlining and editing work, and the importance of continuing to seek feedback from others throughout our development as writers.  In our last class, we discuss the fact that even professional writers seek feedback from others, and that development as a writer is a lifelong process.  We also discuss the importance of being generous with one’s time in providing feedback to others. “

Mary Jo Muratore has been teaching Writing Intensive courses since the early 1990’s.  Muratore says of her course, French 3430, “to write well in a second language commands a re-exploration and significant engagement with the first.  Toward such ends, the instructor must positively exploit best practices which entail, among others, the in-context (reasoned) editing of errors, while, at the same time, foregrounding open-endedness: the latter is incorporated aggressively through multiple drafts in which students are led to crystallize thought, the product of which is calibrated by its potent formulation on the page.”

Cynthia Reeser teaches HDFS 2400, one of the largest WI courses on campus.  “Rather than use writing assignments that speak only to the textbook and lecture material”, Reeser says, “I opted for the narrative in order for students to ‘tell me a story.’ This approach allowed students to tie important course content to ‘real life’ situations.”

Art 4976 has been team taught by Jean Bruggenjohann, Deborah Huelsbergen and Ric Wilson since 2009.  They wanted to offer a capstone course specifically geared toward the graphic design students.  Huelsbergen writes, “In order for the art faculty to support the proposal we needed to agree to teach the course as an overload.  We decided it would be in the best interest of our students to team-teach the class.”  Student comments are overwhelmingly positive for this course.  “The guest speakers allowed us an inside look to our future career which I really appreciated. I also liked being responsible for telling/planning what I want to do in the future via papers we wrote.”  Another student writes, “I thought the assignments were helpful and relevant to what we are about to experience after college.”

HS 3900 is a required WI course for Health Science majors and Carolyn Orbann introduces her students to research methods and scientific writing.  Orbann says, “When they leave this class, students are better prepared to find, evaluate, and communicate research that matters to them and their patients.”  “Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, peer review, group work, and learning to write for a variety of audiences. HS 3900 incorporates all of these emphasis areas through the use of a diverse set of assignments completed by the students throughout the semester.”

Goodie Bhullar, coordinator of Library Instruction is a “dedicated, enthusiastic and talented teacher”, says Anne Barker, Interim Head of Ellis Library Reference Services.   “Although Goodie does not teach writing intensive classes in the usual sense, she has contributed to hundreds of these classes through her coordination of Ellis Library’s instruction program.”  Goodie has been on the Campus Writing Board in an ex-officio role representing the library since 2004 and Goodie’s work with MU libraries helps to achieve the common goal of equipping students to be informed, independent thinkers, able to critically evaluate and effectively use information.

The Campus Writing Program congratulates each one of these award winners and we thank you for your contribution to helping to achieve our mission of educating MU students through principles of “writing-to-learn” and “learning-to-write”.