UNH Writing Across the Curriculum Program

UNH to Promote Writing Across the Curriculum Program with New Speakers' Series

By Erika Mantz
UNH News Bureau

July 30, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- The Writing Across the Curriculum Program and the University Writing Committee at the University of New Hampshire have received grant money from the classes of 1954 and 1964 to fund a speakers' series during the 2001-2002 academic year aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of writing in all disciplines.

"We want to foster a conversation both within and across the colleges," says Cinthia Gannett, director of Writing Across the Curriculum. "This series will bring distinguished speakers to campus who can discuss writing issues particular to each of the schools and to the whole university community."

The series will kick off Friday, Sept. 21, with Jonathan Monroe, professor of comparative literature and director of the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines at Cornell University. He has served as a consultant on writing in the disciplines and curricular reform at colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad.

Monroe is currently editing two books in the disciplines, "Writing and Revising the Disciplines" and "Local Knowledges, Local Practices: Cultures of Writing at Cornell," and he will use these works as prompts to encourage faculty reflection on the changing nature of the writing cultures of their respective fields.

Each speaker will give two presentations, one focused on the "writing culture" of a specific school or college and the other for a university-wide audience. For example, Toby Fulwiler, professor of English at the University of Vermont, will focus on group writing when he comes to the Whittemore School of Business and Economics in October, because it is a task that is common to today's high-performing teams in business and industry. Other speakers include Steve Youra, head of the Engineering Communications Program at Cornell University and an expert on writing issues linked to engineering programs, and John Bean, professor of English at Seattle University and author of "Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking and Active Learning in the Classroom." Dr. Bean directs the writing program and chairs Seattle University's Task Force on Teaching and Learning.

The current Writing Across the Curriculum Program at UNH is part of a national educational reform movement to promote writing and all the language arts both as tools for teaching and learning, as well as for communicating effectively in different academic, disciplinary or workplace settings. Created by the Academic Senate in 1995, the program is founded on the principle that "academic and disciplinary literacy is the concern of the entire faculty and the whole university community." Writing Across the Curriculum at UNH has developed into a strong university-wide program, including the following:

  • A new writing requirement of four writing-intensive courses for all students across the curriculum and more than 500 courses to support that requirement,

  • A writing center open to all members of the university, offering more than 2,500 conferences to undergraduates, graduate students and faculty last year,

  • A writing fellows program for discipline-based peer writing consulting in courses in most schools and colleges of the university,

  • Outreach and service-learning partnerships with several New Hampshire schools,

  • A variety of faculty development initiatives, such as individual and departmental consulting, workshops, seminars and speaker' series.
  • A complete schedule will be announced in the fall.

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