PW Senior Maude Campbell accepted to NYU Summer Publishing Institute

We are proud to announce that Professional Writing senior, Maude Campbell, has been accepted to the prestigious New York University Summer Publishing Institute. While in a conference about her future for WRA 493 with Jon Ritz, he encouraged her to apply for the program. Associate Professor Stuart Blythe, who has known Campbell since she started in PW, expressed his excitement for her: “I’m happy that she’s representing MSU at NYU. She’ll be a terrific ambassador for our program.”

Maude_Campbell

Over the course of the six-week program, Campbell will learn the ins and outs of book, magazine, and digital publishing. Along the way, faculty members of the Institute and guest speakers will discuss various aspects of the publishing industry including the marketing, business, and creative sides of projects. “I hope to learn more about magazine publishing and the industry from professionals working in publications that are world renowned,” Campbell said. Lucky for her, she will be working closely with prominent publishing companies that will act as industry advisors throughout the program.

During the first three weeks, she will be expected to produce launch plans for new magazine brands and for the last three weeks, she will be focusing on creating imprints for book publishing houses. Throughout the entire program, emphasis will also be placed on publishing in digital formats including web, tablet, and mobile platforms. Final projects will be judged by a panel of senior publishing executives from publications such as Condé Nast and publishers such as HarperCollins.

At the very end of the program, a Career Fair will take place where students will interview with leading publishing companies in the book, magazine, and digital publishing industries. Campbell conveyed her worries about this, “I’m nervous about meeting with professionals I have admired for years through reading their publications.  It will be intimidating but through them I can gain further insight into my growing passion.” Since Campbell is in the Editing and Publishing track of PW, this program will provide a perfect opportunity to learn, grow, and network within the industry. “I am hoping we can invite Maude back and she’ll share the fruits of what will be an amazing experience,” Professor Dànielle DeVoss said.

For more information on this program, check out their brochure here.

Why Digital Writing Matters in Education

Writing teachers (like me and perhaps like you) have been caught in a tight spot for some time now. On the one hand, computing technologies have radically transformed the meaning of “writing.” On the other hand, high stakes assessments and their impact on teaching have limited what counts as writing in school.

As a teacher, I feel pulled in different directions. Thankfully, there are some good educational resources available. The National Writing Project recently published Because Digital Writing Matters: Improving Student Writing in Online and Multimedia Environments by Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, and Troy Hicks. In the spirit of their book, I am going to take up the issue of why digital writing matters, focusing on two issues:

  1. Digital writing challenges what counts as writing and reveals the gap between how writing works in the world and how we teach it in schools
  2. Digital writing platforms and services are ways to innovate instruction and learning (more…)

Recent Book on Intellectual Property Features WRAC Talent

Photo courtesy of G.L. Kohuth

Cutting-edge resources such as Copy(write): Intellectual Property in the Writing Classroom are instrumental for teaching students how to navigate copyright issues. Published in October 2010, it is a collection of articles edited by WRAC Professor Danielle DeVoss, R&W alum Martine Courant Rife, and includes an inter-chapter by PW alum Nicole Nguyen.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com

The creation of Copy(write)connected multiple perspectives of the WRAC program, increasing its value as an accessible collection of information. Nicole Nguyen, now a law student at DePaul University, spent her senior year as a PW major doing research and writing her own piece for the book under the DeVoss’s mentorship. Nguyen says that her interest began with a question: “I began to think more about whether there is a disconnect between what we are taught in our writing classes and the way intellectual property law functions overall.”

Photo courtesy of martinecourantrife.com

Martine Courant Rife and Danielle DeVoss wrote the introduction together. Rife became involved with the discipline of intellectual property as a natural extension from her legal background while DeVoss clearly understands the complexities of teaching writing. “More and more, we’re having students write not just with words, but with images, with transitions, with movement, with sound – and sometimes they use the sound and images of others.” DeVoss says. As long as multimodal work continues to flourish in education and the workplace, Copy(write) will have a place on writers’ shelves.

Learn more about this book and Danielle DeVoss’s upcoming book projects here.

Many thanks to Lauren Tuski for her contributions to this article. 

PW Field Trip to Founders

Thomas Gregovich also contributed to this story.

One of the strengths of the Professional Writing Program is its alumni. So many have gone on to do such interesting work. “While at Beer Rhetorics one night, Laura Julier was discussing the fact that PW students never get to see the alumni. I decided to take initiative and organize a field trip to go see alumna Sarah Aldrich,” said PW senior and Beer Rhetorics evangelist Ali White. Sarah Aldrich, currently the marketing coordinator at Founder’s Brewing Company, graduated from PW in May 2010.

It took Ali forever to find a date agreeable to all, but they finally settled on September 23rd, sign-up began, and as the date drew nearer, White approached Professor Danielle DeVoss about joining the field trip. She hopped right on board and offered to sponsor vans to take the students and faculty to Grand Rapids.

Founder’s Brewing Company is an award-winning craft brewery that began in the dreams of Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers. To accompish this dream, they quit their jobs and took out huge loans; a huge risk. After getting off to a shaky start, Engbers and Stevens decided to change up their strategy. Instead of brewing unremarkable beers that catered to all crowds, said Engbers, they decided to craft “complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, bigger body, and tons of flavor,” says the Founders website. “[We] are brewing beer for a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits.”

After arriving at downtown Grand Rapids, students and faculty met their tour leader and Founders creator, Dave Engvers. Along the tour, the group learned of the founding of the company, the brewing process, and the expansion of the brewery.

After the tour, they admired Sarah’s office, the really cool meeting room, and headed off to dinner in the taproom, courtesy of DeVoss, while enjoying delicious samples of beer. After dinner, some of the PWers headed into downtown Grand Rapids to check out ArtPrize, an annual art festival that hosts local artists.

“It was wonderful to tour the brewery and to see all of the art spread around the city. I can see why they call Grand Rapids the ‘shining star of Michigan’,” said resident mentor and TechSmith social media intern Ali White.

“As a senior, I was looking for a way to give back to the major beyond the supporting the established student groups,” said White. While at Beer Rhetorics one night, White decided to take on (another) title as PW Field Trip Coordinator and began organizing the first trip. This was about more than a field trip, though. “PW is a great program, but it only gives you the skills. We cannot expand our roles and knowledge without the help of others. We must rely on one another for networking and connections. We have the opportunity to be a powerful force in the information industry,” said White.

Although she has started work on the second PW field trip, Ali is looking for somebody to take over the position of PW Field Trip Coordinator after she graduates in December. If interested, contact Ali or Laura Julier for more details.

WRAC Faculty and Students Honored

Spring brings a whole slew of teaching and faculty awards to WRAC.

Phill Alexander (pictured right), a graduate teaching assistant for WRAC and a PhD student in the Rhetoric & Writing program, received the 2011 AT&T Faculty Award in Instructional Technology. He won the award for creating a content management system for his WRA 210: Introduction to Web Authoring course.

According to the awards committee, the award is a response “to the growing use of online technologies for instruction at Michigan State University,” and is meant “to both recognize and encourage best practices in the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.”

Alexander received one of the awards this year because he eliminated ANGEL from his classroom. While he agrees that ANGEL is an impressive content management system, he felt that a more editable and personal system would be conducive to his teaching style–so he created one. Using WordPress, Alexander developed a content management system that allows his students to review course materials, link to pertinent information, and share personal blogs and social media accounts (though the last feature is optional).

Using this system Alexander taught a course that was “100% in person, 90% online,” as he describes it.

Professor Jeff Charnley (pictured left) won the 2011 Fintz Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts and Humanities for his extensive and innovative coverage of wartime literature, memoirs, paintings, sculpture, and music in his IAH 231B: War, Moral Issues and Efforts to Limit or End Wars course.

In using his military experience and vast historical knowledge of war-time art and human responses, Professor Charnley is not only able to make topical connections to societal war response, to the experiences of the artists, and to the necessity for this art. Professor Charnley received raving reviews from many of his students, who were deeply interested and moved by the course curriculum.

The Fintz Award is a prestigious award; it intends to “honor teachers for distinguished practice and to encourage others to follow their examples,” according to Kirk S. Kidwell, director of the awards committee.

According to the committee, “In a field of very distinguished candidates for the Fintz award for IAH 211-241 courses, Professor Jeffrey Charnley impressed [us] with the innovation, creativity and rigor of his course, as well as the extraordinary responses of students to his teaching.”

Dr. Danielle DeVoss (pictured right) received the 2011 College of Arts and Letters Faculty Leadership Award for her consistently excellent service to the college.

The award, initiated in 2007, recognizes a CAL faculty member who has provided exemplary service to the college, and who has served as a leader in thinking, doing, and making across college initiatives.

DeVoss helped to launch the Digital Humanities Specialization in CAL; she has coordinated and run website focus groups for the college in 2007; she has served as a CAL URI mentor for several semesters. She also coordinated a CAL Faculty Community on Experiential Learning in 2009, and she has offered more than a dozen workshops for faculty and students in the past year, reaching an MSU audience of more than 2,000 people.

According to the awards committee, “this award seeks to recognize, honor and reward the kind of leadership that embraces collaboration and joint deliberation, facilitates active and deliberate problem-solving, and engages in goal-setting, and consensus development.”

While the pool of submissions was extremely competitive–a testament to the excellence the College of Arts and Letters contributes to higher education–DeVoss’s “nomination was the most deserving of this recognition.”

Special congratulations go to Alexander, Charnley, and DeVoss for their outstanding work.

WRAC Faculty and Students Honored

Spring brings a whole slew of teaching and faculty awards to WRAC.

Phill Alexander (pictured right), a graduate teaching assistant for WRAC and a PhD student in the Rhetoric & Writing program, received the 2011 AT&T Faculty Award in Instructional Technology. He won the award for creating a content management system for his WRA 210: Introduction to Web Authoring course.

According to the awards committee, the award is a response “to the growing use of online technologies for instruction at Michigan State University,” and is meant “to both recognize and encourage best practices in the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.”

Alexander received one of the awards this year because he eliminated ANGEL from his classroom. While he agrees that ANGEL is an impressive content management system, he felt that a more editable and personal system would be conducive to his teaching style–so he created one. Using WordPress, Alexander developed a content management system that allows his students to review course materials, link to pertinent information, and share personal blogs and social media accounts (though the last feature is optional).

Using this system Alexander taught a course that was “100% in person, 90% online,” as he describes it.

Professor Jeff Charnley (pictured left) won the 2011 Fintz Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts and Humanities for his extensive and innovative coverage of wartime literature, memoirs, paintings, sculpture, and music in his IAH 231B: War, Moral Issues and Efforts to Limit or End Wars course.

In using his military experience and vast historical knowledge of war-time art and human responses, Professor Charnley is not only able to make topical connections to societal war response, to the experiences of the artists, and to the necessity for this art. Professor Charnley received raving reviews from many of his students, who were deeply interested and moved by the course curriculum.

The Fintz Award is a prestigious award; it intends to “honor teachers for distinguished practice and to encourage others to follow their examples,” according to Kirk S. Kidwell, director of the awards committee.

According to the committee, “In a field of very distinguished candidates for the Fintz award for IAH 211-241 courses, Professor Jeffrey Charnley impressed [us] with the innovation, creativity and rigor of his course, as well as the extraordinary responses of students to his teaching.”

Dr. Danielle DeVoss (pictured right) received the 2011 College of Arts and Letters Faculty Leadership Award for her consistently excellent service to the college.

The award, initiated in 2007, recognizes a CAL faculty member who has provided exemplary service to the college, and who has served as a leader in thinking, doing, and making across college initiatives.

DeVoss helped to launch the Digital Humanities Specialization in CAL; she has coordinated and run website focus groups for the college in 2007; she has served as a CAL URI mentor for several semesters. She also coordinated a CAL Faculty Community on Experiential Learning in 2009, and she has offered more than a dozen workshops for faculty and students in the past year, reaching an MSU audience of more than 2,000 people.

According to the awards committee, “this award seeks to recognize, honor and reward the kind of leadership that embraces collaboration and joint deliberation, facilitates active and deliberate problem-solving, and engages in goal-setting, and consensus development.”

While the pool of submissions was extremely competitive–a testament to the excellence the College of Arts and Letters contributes to higher education–DeVoss’s “nomination was the most deserving of this recognition.”

Special congratulations go to Alexander, Charnley, and DeVoss for their outstanding work.

VIM: A Spartan Fashion First

For the first time on MSU’s campus, student volunteers have worked together to launch MSU’s first fashion magazine by and for Spartans. VIM covers fashion, health, college living, and advice on college life for MSU students.  WRAC sat down with Lauren Montemurri, Professional Writing undergraduate and VIM‘s layout designer and web editor, to learn more about the newly launched magazine.

VIM was founded by Kerry Chereskin, Julie Christopherson, and Lauren Christopherson in February of 2010 after they noticed a fashion community on campus without a voice.  They decided to remedy this by creating a magazine that would not only feature the latest style, but be tailored to the needs of the MSU community.  The team received faculty advising from WRAC professor Dànielle DeVoss and employs another PW student, Emily Drake, as the web editor. The founders invested a lot of money into the project, but wanted VIM to be free for anyone who wanted a copy. In order to make that possible, they sold ad space in the magazine to ASMSU, stores and boutiques around campus, and other local hot spots.

Originally called “The Vogue Project,” the team wanted to think of names that were short, easy to remember, and MSU-inspired.  The name VIM came from the eleventh line of the MSU fight song, and means “vigour” and “energetic.”  ”We thought it was perfect for our magazine because we want it to be fun for the whole MSU campus to enjoy,” says Montemurri.  The passion of all of those involved is abundant, with a team now exceeding 80 volunteers. This includes writers, directors, photographers, models, web designers, and bloggers.  Even with this team in place, VIM is still looking for anyone who is interested to get involved.  Several professional models approached the directors to ask if they could be involved in this issue, but most of the models were friends of the team.

VIM is not focused solely on women’s fashion. There is also a men’s fashion section, which they hope to grow and expand in each issue.  Gathering pictures for women’s fashion wasn’t nearly as difficult as it was for men’s fashion, with big support from American Apparel and Jeanologie. The store owners let models borrow the clothes and go on photo shoots for the magazine.  When shown VIM‘s media kit, store managers seemed very impressed by what had been created so far.

“The very first issue is the hardest, definitely the hardest. We kind of were feeling in the dark. It was hard to get people, like advertisers, interested [...] but I think that now we have something to show them, it will be a lot easier to get people involved,” Montemurri says. “A lot of people have been really great about spreading the word.  I’ve had a lot of people contact me saying ‘You’re working on VIM! That’s so cool!’.”

The first issue was released on October 25th; pick up a hard copy in shops on Grand River, at the Union, or at the library. It was also recently published online and can be accessed on the VIM blog.  Look forward to the winter issue coming out either in mid-December or early January. Congratulations to everyone who helped make VIM possible!