Three Terms Old

Summer consultants at the Grand Canyon

Summer Consultants for the IWP, 2014. Dr. Kitalong, Michigan Technological University, and Dr. DeVoss, Michigan State University taking in the Canyon on a cloudy day.

The IWP is now three terms old! Well, three terms and one summer (I’m a 9-month contract academic who knows well enough that summer work is charity work).

After our first year in operation, I invited two consultants to provide their insights, questions, and observations about our program’s growth and direction that we are moving toward. Dr. Nicole DeVoss from Michigan State University, and Dr. Karla Kitalong from Michigan Technological University represented two very different campus climates, student populations, and experiences with available funding (they have and expect more than we can and do). I purposefully chose these two administrators because they came from universities with similar visions and a lot more opportunities to try new initiatives. They’re our well-to-do cousins from the midwest who have experiences trying new approaches to writing. Continue reading

Interns and Flagstaff/NAU’s Science and Engineering Day, 2014

Chinese Characters "carbonate"

IWP Intern brushing scientific words in Chinese characters for a grateful crowd at Flagstaff/NAU’s Science and Engineering Day, 2014.

The IWP was present at SED 2014 over at the local conference center in the Drury hotel. Our table was in a prominent location smack center between a table where we could make a meteor, a 3-D printer to check out, and in front was a photo station where we could take photos with Louie the Lumberjack. We commonly heard “What are you doing here?” Of course we heard this question as one of admiration and relief that the humanities was represented and part of SED’s party.

We offered 4 science-related quizzes, poetry with a scientific term or two that the public provided ,a scientific alphabet for kids to color, and scientific terms translated into Chinese characters! We had a continuous line for the for options with many families patiently waiting for their poem (the public offered a scientific word or two), their young one to color, their scientific word to be brushed, and they gave our quizzes a try! All winners of our quiz received a prize of organic fruit. Continue reading

Feedback for you and for me

Providing student feedback on their work is one way for faculty to assess their course curriculum. What do faculty focus on? What do faculty articulate in their course descriptions, assignments, exams, and in person?

What students see and hear from the professor about writing influences their understanding of the kind of writing that is necessary and expected. Why spend hours on a paper if the professor never said or implies that writing is secondary after the disciplinary content? Why spend a lot of time if the submitted writing got a decent grade? Continue reading

Student Motivation

By  Morgan Wentz, Intern with the IWP, First-Year College Student

As a first year student with my freshman year coming to an end, I have realized that being motivated is an important factor when it comes to being successful as a student at this university. For me, motivation is driven by more than the grade I will receive for my work. I want to produce the best work I possibly can and be satisfied that I did all I could do for that class and assignment. I haven’t always applied myself like this though. Before coming to college I didn’t have the urge to push myself. I always did what I had to do to get the assignment completed. I was a good student but I procrastinated often and put little thought into assignments, I just got them done. The reason that it changed when I got to the university level was because I was aware that I chose to be here. Yes, my parents always pushed me to do my best and not going to college was rarely discussed but I know that getting this education is on my time.

I am here to be an active participant in my education. Continue reading