WRAC’s Maria Novotny Receives Gloria Anzaldua Graduate Rhetorician Travel Award!


Maria Novotny,  a doctoral student in the WRAC department here at Michigan State University, is one of three recipients of the Gloria Anzaldua Graduate Rhetorician Travel Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)! The three winners will receive $750 for travel costs to present their work at the CCCC Convention, as well as a one-year membership in CCCC/NCTE.

Gloria Anzaldua was a scholar who had a “profound impact on the studies of both rhetoric and queer theory,” and as such, the award is used to support scholars whose work participates in the making of meaning out of sexual and gender minority experiences, and the award in her name intends to support scholars with a similar mission. As CCCC’s website says of Anzaldua:

“In the legacy of her work as a writer, Anzaldúa reminds us that we have a duty to strike out oppression, build alliances, and fundamentally transform cultures. She underscores that we may achieve these goals through the act of writing.”

The award is quite the honor, not only because of whom the award is associated with, but also because those who were to be considered were to meet a myriad of credentials, including: “originality of research; critical engagement with and contribution to current scholarship in queer studies and rhetoric/composition; and potential for lasting projects.”

Congratulations, Maria, on all of your intelligent, hard, wonderful work. Good luck at the conference!

Dànielle DeVoss’s Latest Book: Cultures of Copyright

Professional Writing Professor Dànielle DeVoss is a familiar face around the halls of Bessey. Many have worked with her on projects in CAL’s Creativity Exploratory, but many more have had her as a professor. Now, even more will come to know and learn from Dànielle with the publication of her and Martine Rife’s latest book Cultures of Copyright.

“We have to look at copyright and intellectual property through legal, historical, technological, and cultural perspectives,” said Dànielle.

Cultures of Copyright is book 4 in Peter Lang Publishing Inc’s Communication Law series that discusses the concept of intellectual property and its influences on different cultures. This subject has been the center of many issues of copyright throughout the world.

“It is a part of the ongoing interdisciplinary and international conversations about cultural rhetoric. There are multidisciplinary perspectives on copyright and we are just adding to the conversation,” said Dànielle about the book.

She also excitedly noted it’s underlying connections to the PW community in the form of numerous chapters being written by a PW faculty member or alum (check out the list below!). Pdubs from all over the world responded to Dànielle and Martine’s call for proposals in 2011. Talk about PW power! Because of which, the book covers a wide variety of cultures and copyright topics from sampling and Grandmaster Flash’s stolen identity to Native Americans having their tribal symbols taken, trademarked, and turned against them.

Here is Dànielle’s list of PW contributors in her new book:

  • Martine Courant Rife, the other editor, graduated with her PhD from MSU in Rhetoric and Writing.
  • Nicole Nguyen (chapter 9) is a PW alum who graduated from MSU and went to DePaul for law school. She has her JD and works for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Liza Potts, Dean Holden, and Katie Dobruse (chapter 10) are all MSU folks — Liza is, of course, faculty in WRAC and Director of the Experience Architecture program. Dean and Katie were both graduate students in the Rhetoric and Writing program.
  • Gabriela Raquel Ríos and Donnie Johnson Sackey (chapter 15) both finished their PhDs at MSU in the Rhetoric and Writing program. Donnie is faculty at Wayne State, and Gabriela is faculty at University of Central Florida.
  • Jennifer Sano-Franchini, Robyn Tasaka, and Lehua Ledbetter (chapter 16) each finished their PhDs at MSU in the Rhetoric and Writing program. Jen is faculty at Virginia Tech, Robyn is faculty at Leeward Community College, and Lehua is faculty at the University of Rhode Island.
  • Angela M. Shetler (chapter 17) is a PW alum. She taught in Japan, then received her MA from the University of Sydney, and she currently writes for Epic.
  • Guiseppe Getto and Jessica Getto-Rivait (chapter 19) both received their PhDs from MSU from the Rhetoric and Writing program. Guiseppe is faculty at East Carolina University, and Jessica now works in healthcare.

Interested? Well, you can find her book on Amazon or you can just stop by Dànielle’s office and talk to her about it yourself. While you are at it, don’t forget to ask Dànielle about her upcoming writing projects. Who knows, perhaps you can be the next Pdub to be published in the latest Devoss publication.

10 Great Quotes From Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was a loved poet, author, and civil rights activist. In honor of Black History Month, I’ve compiled a list of ten of my favorite quotes from the late writer. Her wise words will bring guidance, comfort, and a smile to your face. Enjoy!

  1. I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.”
  2. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
  3. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
  4. “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”
  5. I got my own back.
  6. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
  7. “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
  8. “Nothing will work unless you do.”
  9. You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”
  10. Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Quotes courtesy of Brainy Quote

Multicultural Heroes Hall of Fame Case Competition


On Wednesday, February 18th at 6pm in room N100 Business College Complex, 19 teams will come together across 10 colleges and 26 academic majors to compete in the final round of the annual Black History Month Multicultural Heroes Hall of Fame Case Competition. Multicultural Business Programs and Altria Group Distribution Company sponsor the competition, and the afterglow reception.

Multicultural Business Programs will be celebrating 14 years of MSU students sharing the stories of multicultural heroes, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Paul Robeson. Audience members will be eligible for winning over $300 in prizes during the competition. Each team presenting will consist of three MSU undergraduates who have selected a multicultural hero, and will have 10 minutes to make a case about why their hero should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The winning team is selected by a panel of MSU faculty and will receive a $2000 cash grand prize. This year’s judges are Paulette Granberry Russell, Senior Advisor to the President for Diversity and Director of the Office for Inclusion & Intercultural Initiatives; Dr. Lee June, Vice President for Student Affairs and Services Emeritus and Professor, MSU Honors College; and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Acting Dean of the Eli Broad College of Business.

For more information, check out their webpage.