Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
FYW Faculty Opportunities
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FYW Faculty Opportunities


The First-Year Writing Symposium (fall) and Conference (spring)

Held near the end of each term, these writing celebrations provide an opportunity for FYW instructors to have their students share their work with an audience outside of class. 

Presentations consist of the students’ multi-modal projects (e.g., videos, posters, infomercials, web sites, game board, poems) that are actually remixed versions of prior course papers; the student presenters also discuss their writing processes—how they came to make their papers/projects, what they learned, and what the corresponding challenges and opportunities were.

In fall, their audience consists of other FYW students and their instructors, while spring’s conference also includes local high school students and teachers, who come to dialogue with the FYW contingent about writing, university life, and the transition from high school to college.  

Held on December 1, the fall 2015 Symposium involved some 380 First-Year Writing students and 20 instructors.  This academic year’s Spring Conference will take place on Friday, April 22, 2016.

Interested instructors can get involved by integrating these events into their teaching— for example, nominating and preparing their students for the symposium or conference, then supplementing with pre- and post- reflective writings and discussion in class.  

Instructors can also serve on the faculty-led First-Year Writing Event Planning Committee, which takes major responsibility for conceiving, organizing, and facilitating both events.

High school students and their instructors are most welcome at the upcoming spring conference; for more information, please contact Dr. Joyce Meier, Assistant Director, FYW Program.

The Anderson Awards

The David D. Anderson Award for the Best Essay in First-Year Writing at MSU was established in honor of Professor Anderson’s lifelong commitment to education and excellence as a teacher.  This award gives several Honorable Mentions as well as a first-place designation to two student essays per year (one from each semester). Each first-place winner receives a $200 scholarship and recognition at the annual College of Arts and Letters spring convocation.

The deadline for spring and fall term essays is January 15th of the following year.  Instructors may nominate one student per course section for this award, and they may also serve on the faculty-led Anderson Award Committee that evaluates the entries.  For more information, contact Dr. Joyce Meier, Assistant Director, FYW Program.

FYW Program Example Workshops*

  • Scaffolding Pre-flection, Reflection, and Goal-Setting
  • Integrating the FYW Conference into your teaching
  • Learning more about where our international students come from
  • Integrating Career Services Network resources into your teaching, especially the disciplinary literacies project (Guest: Career Services staff)
  • Reflective activities with international students
  • Incorporating the Broad Art Museum into your teaching
  • Using improvisation and other theater moves in your classroom
  • Accessibility teaching practices, & teaching accessibility as part of the Writing Process
  • Invisible practices: learning from the international student
  • On practicing classroom observation: What we learned
  • Intercultural scenes and dialogue

* Note: Unless otherwise indicated, all workshop presenters/facilitators are FYW instructors.

Other teacher/scholar groups (most meet monthly)

  • Preparation for College Writing instructors
  • Women’s writing group
  • Proleptic Pedagogues
  • Writing, Rhetoric & Praxis graduate instructor workshops
  • Graduate instructor peer mentor groups
  • ELI (on-line peer review) research / teaching group

Instructors also participate in University-Wide Faculty Organizational Development workshops, a Digital Humanities discussion group, Faculty Learning Communities, and special events.

Please consult the WRAC calendar for upcoming FYW events.