Professional Development and Workshops

The Fall First-Year Writing Symposium and the Spring First-Year Writing Conference

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’ multimodal 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.  

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 Joyce Meier (meierjo@msu.edu, Associate Director, FYW Program.

The Anderson and Yoshimori Awards

The Anderson Award

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.

Each year, the deadline for both 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.

The Yoshimori Award

Named in honor of Dorothy Yoshimori, a former MSU graduate student who did outstanding work in American cultural studies, the annual Yoshimori Award is given to an undergraduate student whose multi-modal work in a first-year writing class has been superior. In honor of the award’s namesake, the winning entry must also be about American culture, loosely defined. One award is given each year, along with several Honorable Mentions.  As with the Anderson Award, Yoshimori contenders must be nominated by their First-Year Writing instructors. Each first-place winner receives a $200 award, though since group projects are eligible for this award, the prize money may be divided among each of the group members. 

Since there is only one Yoshimori award is given per year, the deadline is at the end of the spring semester. Instructors may nominate one student per course section for this award, and they may also serve on the faculty-led Yoshimori Award Committee that evaluates the entries.

For more information about the Anderson and Yoshimori Awards, contact Joyce Meier, Associate Director, FYW Program.

FYW Program Example Workshops*

  • Scaffolding Preflection, 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.

Please consult the WRAC calendar for upcoming FYW events. 

Readings on Preflection and Experiential-Learning Documentary (ELD)

Halbritter, Bump, and Julie Lindquist. “Collecting and Coding Synecdochic Selves: Identifying Learning across Life Writing Texts.” How Stories Teach Us: Composition, Life Writing, and Blended Scholarship, edited by Amy E. Robillard and D. Shane Combs, Peter Lang Press, 2019.

Halbritter, Bump, and Julie Lindquist. “It’s Never about What It’s About: Audio-Visual Writing, Experiential-Learning Documentary, and the Forensic Art of Assessment.” The Routledge Companion to Digital Writing and Rhetoric, edited by Jonathan Alexander and Jacqueline Rhodes, Routledge, 2018, pp. 317–27.

Halbritter, Bump, and Julie Lindquist. “Witness Learning: Building Relationships between Present, Future, and Former Selves.” Writing for Engagement: Responsive Practice for Social Action, edited by Mary Sheridan et al., Lexington P, 2018, pp. 43–59.

Lindquist, Julie, and Bump Halbritter. “Documenting and Discovering Learning: Reimagining the Work of the Literacy Narrative.” College Composition and Communication 70.3, 2019, pp. 413-445.