Writing Intensive Award Winners!

Congratulations to all of our 2023-2024 Writing Intensive award winners. We had so many wonderful submissions for these awards this year. It was a pleasure to read about the innovative and incredible teaching of WI courses being done. Click this block to read more about each of our winners!

Win Horner Award for
Innovative Writing Intensive Teaching
Dr. Amanda Durbak,

Associate Teaching Professor of Biological Sciences

Dr. Durbak earned her PhD from the University of Arizona in 2010. Her research experience has been in plant molecular genetics and development, which led to her interest in teaching genetics and cell biology.

Dr. Bethany Stone, who recommended Dr. Durbak for the Win Horner Award, said this about her, “Dr. Amanda Durbak has leveraged writing in her Science in Society course to both 1) impress on students the complexity of science in society and 2) provide training on how to communicate about it to a diversity of audiences. A special feature of this WI course is the use of innovative writing assignments throughout the semester that leverage the students’ curiosity and competitive spirits and motivate them to go above and beyond in their writing.”

Writing Intensive Teaching Excellence Award
Dr. Alba Argerich
Assistant Professor and Natural Resources Graduate Coordinator – Water Resources

Dr. Argerich’s research and work in water quality and the functioning of aquatic ecosystems contributes to our knowledge of how human actions influence these ecosystems and informs strategies for their protection and management.

She developed Environmental Science 4002W as a new writing intensive course offering. One of her students who took the course said this about Dr. Argerich, ““Overall, I think this course has helped me develop a lot of skills related to writing. After comparing drafts with a small group, I am confident in my proofreading and editing abilities. The drafting process also helped me learn how to give good feedback to my peers and how to incorporate their feedback into my work. Historically having been someone who does not enjoy writing, this has been a positive experience for me.”

Writing Intensive Teaching Excellence Award
Dr. Christina Carney

Assistant Professor, Department of Women’s & Gender Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies

As a scholar, Dr. Carney’s thinking is guided by a strong commitment to advancing the intersectional and interdisciplinary study of race, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, and culture through research, teaching, and service with areas of research specialization including black feminisms and global black sexualities along with sex work, critical trafficking and carceral studies. She is currently working on a project examining the impact of U.S. anti-prostitution foreign policy on the migration of black women in the US, Brazil and South America.

Professor Carney invests her energy in students as people, who leave her courses with deepened knowledge and clarity of purpose—an impact nicely rendered in one student’s remark, “I feel more educated on what is going on in the world today, and I’ve never felt more confident in my ability to make a change.”

Writing Intensive Teaching Excellence Award
Dr. Judith Mabary

Associate Professor, Musicology
Director of Graduate Studies
Coordinator; Music History and Ethnomusicology

Dr. Mabary’s research interests center on Czech music of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The re­sults of her research in these areas have appeared in publications by Cambridge University Press, Duke University Press, Pendragon Press, Routledge Press, Chronos Verlag (Zürich), and Lexington Books. As a historical musicologist, Dr. Mabary teaches courses in music history and literature at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Rawlings, Director of the School of Music, nominated Dr. Mabary for a Writing Intensive award. He says, “Judith’s philosophy on writing intensive instruction reflects a deep understanding of the importance of writing skills for music students as they navigate their careers. She recognizes that writing effectively is a valuable asset in various professional pathways, whether in teaching, performance, composition, or research. Her commitment to guiding students from their current writing abilities to the proficiency needed for their future endeavors is evident in her instructional practices. Her commitment to fostering meaningful learning experiences through writing sets a high standard for excellence in teaching, and her innovative approach serves as a model for instructors across our institution.”

Writing Intensive Teaching Excellence Award
Dr. Ritcha Mehra-Chaudhary

Assistant Teaching Professor, Biochemistry-CAFNR

Dr. Mehra-Chaudhary obtained her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree in plant physiology from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India. After moving to the U.S., she trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Tennessee. She trained in the field of protein structural biology and worked as a senior research specialist for eight years at the Structural Biology Core facility at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She is currently involved in undergraduate education and work as an assistant professor of teaching at the Department of Biochemistry at MU.

Dr. Mehra-Chaudhary brought her innate curiosity as a researcher to her teaching, and she strives to improve it through application of new pedagogical approaches and practices followed by reflection and analysis of their effectiveness. she teaches two undergraduate laboratory courses for biochemistry majors- a freshman/sophomore level “introduction to biochemistry laboratory” and a senior “writing intensive capstone biochemistry laboratory.” In the WI laboratory course, she instructs students on structured scientific writing in the form of a scientific research article based on the experimental data collected by them.

Writing Intensive Teaching Assistant
Excellence Award
Ms. Gabrielle Rivera Kroenke

Graduate Administrative Fellow in the Writing Center, Teaching Assistant and Master’s Student in the School of Counseling

Ms. Rivera Kroenke has been a Teaching Assistant for two semesters of English 2015HW, “Theory and Practice of Tutoring Writing.” She was nominated by Dr. Aaron Harms, MU’s Writing Center Director, and Dr. Bailey Boyd, Assistant Writing Center Director. Here is a small part of what they said in their recommendation:
“Part of the joy of working with Gabby during the past year has been watching her translate the ideas of a WI course—both large and small—into practice. Our primary assignments
cover that gamut of personal statements, single-source close-readings, vocationally-based Online Writery responses, and argument-based, evidence-supported work. Meanwhile, across the semester, the students are observing and reflecting on their shadowing experiences with current tutors as well as submitting Discussion Board posts. In short, they write a lot for this course, and while Gabby did that work as an undergraduate, her work in supporting new students has been nothing short of breath-taking. As we gathered student letters of support for this nomination the themes were immediate and clear: she responds to each student with their processes and progress at the forefront of her mind. In every comment, conference, and in-class discussion, she’s preparing them for both their potential jobs with us and—more importantly—their ongoing journeys as writers and learners.”
They went on to share something Ms. Rivera Kroenke said when she took the course she is the Teaching Assistant in. She said, ““Overall, it bewildered me that—unless I missed something, which feels very possible—no one suggested that tutors can produce better writers and
better writing simultaneously. It feels possible to me that, with practice, we can tutor in a way that strengthens students’ skills and grades.”