Michigan State University
Michigan State University
College of Arts and Letters Logo
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Department of Writing
Rhetoric & American Cultures

WRAC FACULTY: What did you do this summer?


Stuart Blythe

Blythe photo.jpg

“Summer was exciting and busy. There was the London Internship Study Abroad through WRAC; we took 10 Professional Writing and Experience Architecture students there for seven weeks. I helped run the program for the first three of those weeks. When in London, I spent the mornings in the University of London library doing research for the book I’m writing. I got my own library card. Then in the afternoons I went and checked on the students.”


Kate Birdsall


“I taught 2 online classes this summer, one Professional Writing class and an IAH course.  I had to learn how to use d2l. [PW faculty member] Kate Fedewa and I were in a writing group and we published some of our short stories. I was also preparing to take over the ing class from [PW faculty member] Kathryn Houghton. I was doing this all simultaneously. I didn’t take a big vacation. I went on small vacations on the weekends, though.”


Nancy DeJoy


“My summer was interesting. I got final page proofs ready for my book with the University of Michigan Press. [It’s] called ‘Cross-Unit Collaborations and Curricular Innovations That Support Multilingual Writers.’ I went up north to Sleeping Bear Dunes for a poetry retreat called Writing in the Woods. I wrote another poem to add to my chapbook called ‘Backwards and Forwards.’ I also went to Rochester, New York for my niece’s wedding in August. I had to leave my 16-year-old cat, Lily, at home with friends. She got bit by a snake right before we left and it was very stressful, but thankfully my friends volunteered to stay with her and take care of her. My summer was an explosion of interesting things, but I had a fun time.”


Diana Baldwin

“The Writing Center is open year-round, so what we do in the summer is not only consultations but also a lot of projects, so that’s usually how our summers end up--going by really fast. I feel like we got a lot done this summer, that’s for sure. I was also in charge of Grandparent’s University, a program MSU runs each summer, and worked with Spartan Writing Camps with the Red Cedar Writing Project.”



Dànielle DeVoss


“This summer I kept working on projects I launched during my sabbatical, including two book projects, a couple of book chapters, and a couple of manuscripts. I also worked with grad students, did some transition work to prep for taking over as director of the graduate programs in WRAC in the fall, and taught an IAH course. I didn't take any vacation this summer. My boyfriend and I usually talk every year about taking a trip in the summer, but then we both get so busy [and] suddenly it's mid-August and we never get around to it. So, as boring as it sounds, no big adventures. Just writing and reading and work.”


Casey McArdle

“I taught an online course called ‘Fundamentals of Professional Writing,’ and I conducted a summer-long research project on distance education and instructional design. It went well.

I also brick-and-mortared my house, so I used my hands to build things. Other than that I spent time with the family.”


Jonathan Ritz

“My summer was a mix of expected and unexpected things. I taught the PW online internship course and met with incoming PW students during academic orientation sessions, as usual. On the unexpected side, I got assigned to jury duty on a civil trial that ran three weeks, a complex and pretty heart-wrenching medical malpractice case. There was a lot of information to keep track of. I came away pretty exhausted but with a better understanding of the legal system. There were three other MSU faculty members on the jury, so I made some new friends on campus as well.”


Cheryl Caesar

“I did a few things for the first time: a session of Grandparents' University with Dr. Joyce Meier and Dr. Kathy Hadley, in which children and grandparents interviewed each other for family histories, and made a memory book. I also did a sample writing class for high-school seniors with various disabilities: vision, hearing, mobility, learning disorders. It was enlightening for me, and I would do it again. I also met several times with [MSU colleagues] to discuss our writing classes for the new College of Arts and Letters Citizen Scholars program. We are all excited about these classes: small groups of liberal-arts majors who love reading, writing and learning.”



Joyce Meier


"I'm the assistant director for the first year writing program, and over the summer I worked. We hired about 15 new teachers this year, and we spent the summer planning the fall orientation for them. I also worked on a couple of articles for publication and I presented at the Counsel of Writing Program Administrators in North Carolina. I'm teaching grant writing, which I haven't done in awhile, so I spent the summer planning for that. I spent a lot of time reshaping it and thinking about it."


Written for WRAC by Veronica Finniss and Allie Wilson