Published on June 3, 2013
Naomi Clark’s long-term professional goal is to get into an administrative role with a writing program. For now, she is focused on completing graduate school, which will be aided by a dissertation fellowship awarded to her by the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
A graduate research assistant for MU’s Campus Writing Program, Clark is one of 60 recipients of the fellowship this year.
AAUW fellowships support women scholars who are completing dissertations, planning research leave from accredited institutions, or preparing research for publication. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of scholarly excellence; quality and originality of project design; and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research.
The fellowship will give Clark the time and attention needed to research and write by relieving financial pressures.
“While research projects in the humanities generally don’t require expensive lab equipment, the extensive thinking, reading, processing and revision required to do it well is very time intensive,” she says.
Another benefit of the fellowship that Clark has identified is the opportunity to focus on publishing articles and preparing materials for the competitive job market.
“The fellowship will allow me to do ‘extras’ that actually are not optional in a tight academic job market,” she says.
Clark is a graduate student in rhetoric and composition at MU. She is researching how political arguments become persuasive in a digital age where speakers often lose or give up control of who hears their messages and when the messages are heard in the context of social media.
As a graduate research assistant for the Campus Writing Program, Clark assists in designing and implementing an assessment of MU’s nationally-recognized writing across the curriculum program. This assessment involves collaborating with faculty members, collecting student writing, interviewing faculty, students and alumni, and then analyzing and reporting the data.
“Participating in this renowned program is an exceptional learning experience for me both in terms of enriching my practical and theoretical knowledge of writing across the curriculum approaches and administrative life in higher education,” Clark says.
Clark’s duties with the Campus Writing Program also include serving as managing editor of Artifacts, an online journal of undergraduate writing at MU. The mission of Artifacts is to celebrate the work of MU students and—indirectly—the faculty who teach them.
“Typically the life cycle of a student paper begins and ends in a class, but Artifacts is an opportunity for students’ writing to reach a wider audience,” Clark says. “While technical correctness is important, we are particularly interested in writing that takes extra steps to be creative and original, especially when that writing takes advantage of the online format through images, videos and hyperlinks.”
Artifacts is a journal of undergraduate work produced in Writing Intensive and composition courses at Mizzou. The journal celebrates writing in all its forms by inviting student authors to submit projects composed across different genres and media. It promotes a public exchange of ideas by providing MU students with audiences outside their own classrooms.