Guest Speakers


Mya Poe from Northeastern University

My Poe

Mya Poe’s research focuses on the complex factors that constitute the assessment of writing and the development of academic writing expertise. She is particularly interested in ways that classroom and program instruction and assessment can be used to advance opportunity for linguistically and culturally diverse writers. Poe’s articles have appeared in College Composition and Communication, the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, the Journal of Writing Assessment, and Across the Disciplines. She has guest edited two special journal issues—a 2014 issue of Research in the Teaching of English on diversity and international writing assessment and a 2016 issue of College English on writing assessment and social justice. As a series editor of the Oxford Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines, Poe and her co-editor work with faculty in the disciplines to develop accessible, savvy writing guides that detail the rhetorical expertise that novices in the field need to learn. Poe’s co-authored book Learning to Communicate in Science and Engineering: Case Studies from MIT won the CCCC 2012 Advancement of Knowledge Award for the publication that most advances research in writing studies. Her co-edited collection, Race and Writing Assessment, won the 2014 CCCC Outstanding Book of the Year. Her most recent projects include Writing Assessment, Social Justice, and the Advancement of Opportunity, a co-edited collection dedicated to historical and programmatic perspectives on writing assessment and justice, and Intended Consequences: Stories and Statistics of Writing Assessment, an empirical study of student writing development through the lens of writing assessment.

Poe’s teaching excellence has been recognized with the Northeastern University Teaching Excellence Award in 2016 and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities Outstanding Teaching Award in 2015. She is a board member of the Journal of Writing Analytics, Assessing Writing, Research in the Teaching of English, and The WAC Journal.


Rebecca Pope-Ruark from Elon University

Coordinates the Professional Writing & Rhetoric (concentration of the English major, the interdisciplinary Professional Writing Studies minor, and the Design Thinking Studio in Social Innovation pilot program. She teaches courses in professional writing and rhetorical theory, publishing, grant writing, and qualitative research methods, often using large-scale service learning projects so students can apply what they are learning to support the work of important local organizations. Her work focuses on student collaboration, Agile project management processes, design thinking and social innovation pedagogies, and the role of metis in rhetoric and pedagogy. Agile Faculty: Practical Strategies for Managing Research, Service, and Teaching, 2017, University of Chicago Press.


Photo Credit Clemson University

November Event: Special Guest DAVID BLAKESLEY  from Clemson University.

Thursday, November 9th, 5:00 p.m., Kemp Malone, Callaway N, 3rd Floor

2016 Rhetoric Society of America Fellow Award and, in the same year, winner of the George E. Yoos Distinguished Service Award. Blakesley has a distinguished record in research and publication, and he has made huge contributions to the field of Rhetoric and Composition through his work at Parlor Press, a key publisher in the field, where he is founder and publisher. He has also edited KB Journal as well as the Rhetorical Philosophy and Theory series at Southern Illinois University Press. At Clemson, he is Professor of English and holds the endowed Campbell Chair in Technical Communication. His most recent book publication is a second edition of Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age, published by Cengage/Wadsworth in 2012. His new book, Illuminating Rhetoric: A Guide to Seeing, Reading, and Writing, is under contract with McGraw-Hill.

Blakesley will be speaking about founding a top-rated scholarly publishing company and field questions from faculty and graduate students regarding publishing, writing toward journal publication, and other related topics.

May Event:  Special Guest RICHARD CHESS from the University of North Carolina Asheville

Richard Chess is an award-winning professor and well-known poet. His books of poetry include Love Nailed to the Doorpost (University of Tampa Press 2017, forthcoming), Tekiah (University of Georgia Press 1996; republished by University of Tampa Press 2000); Chair in the Desert (University of Tampa Press 2000); and Third Temple (University of Tampa Press 2006). His poems have appeared in Best American Spiritual Writing 2005Telling and Remembering: A Century of American Jewish Poetry, and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary American Jewish Poetry.

In recent years, he has become active in the national movement exploring the use of contemplative pedagogy in higher education. He has served on the faculty of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE) Summer Seminar in Contemplative Pedagogy Development (2015. At UNC Asheville, he has played a leading role in the contemplative pedagogy and practice initiative which began there in 2011.

Chess will be leading a workshop for teachers in the area of Contemplative Pedagogy as a culminating event for the year-long Academic Learning Community through CFDE on Teaching and Contemplation: Nurturing the Teaching Self. You do not have to be a member of the ALC to join in this workshop.

PATRICK BAHLS— University of North Carolina, Asheville

Professor of Mathematics and Director of the University Honors Program. He has served as the Chair of UNC Asheville’s committee on writing-intensive courses, as the university’s writing coordinator, and as a member of the university’s first-year writing committee. The author of several research articles on writing and writing instruction, Bahls’ research has included studying math majors’ development as members of the mathematical discourse community, as well as effect of technical typesetting software on STEM students’ composition processes. His text, Student Writing in the Quantitative Disciplines: A Guide for College Faculty, was published by Jossey-Bass in 2012.


CHRIS THAISS—Eminent Writing and Rhetoric Professor at University of California Davis

Thaiss has made a significant mark at Davis and in writing-across-the-disciplines nationally. He is known for his work with the National Writing Project, for his work in developing innovative general education, and for his inter-disciplinary work in graduate education. He has served as the Coordinator of the International Network of Writing-across-the-Curriculum Programs (INWAC) for a decade and as a Consultant-Evaluator for the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA). He has also served as the Director of Davis’ Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. In addition to numerous articles in books and journals, Dr. Thaiss’ books (both singularly and co-written) include Writing Programs Worldwide: Profiles of Academic Writing in Many Places; Engaged Writers and Dynamic Disciplines: Research on the Academic Writing Life; The Harcourt Brace Guide to Writing Across the Curriculum; WAC for the New Millennium: Strategies for Continuing Writing-across-the-Curriculum Programs; Writing to Learn: Essays and ReflectionsSpeaking and Writing, K-12Language Across the Curriculum in the Elementary Grades; Writing about TheatreWriting for Law Enforcement; and Writing for Psychology.