A Semester in Review: Mia

I am so thankful for the experience to have served as a CUPID Associate this past semester. Serving in this role has taught me so much about myself as a writer, rhetorician and professional. I have gained such a great perspective on what it means to develop rhetorical strategies to reach others, as well as communication and collaboration. I have found this experience to be one that has contributed so much to my experience as a Professional Writing and Rhetoric student. What I love so much about being a PWR student is the fact that I am able to put what I am learning about into practice. In learning about PWR, it is essential to have hands on experience, and this experience as a CUPID Associate unquestionably provided that essential experience.

One of the first projects that Chelsea, Dr. Pope-Ruark and I worked on this semester was revamping the CUPID board outside of the lab. It is a great visual space that undoubtedly needed to be better used, and I think that we were very effective in reorganizing that space into a forum for students to see what CUPID is doing. Chelsea came up with a great design incorporating the CUPID logo, and I think we were very effective in displaying to viewers what CUPID is all about, and what sorts of projects PWR students were working on. I think visual rhetoric really came into play when determining what to include in the board and, and how to organize the board. Chelsea and I each created an introduction blurb about us, and I think this was a very effective way for us to build our credibility. By discussing what PWR courses we have taken, and what experiences we have had outside of the classroom that relate to PWR, we were informing students that they could rely on us to provide as resources when it came to PWR assignments and projects. After speaking to students in ENG 311: Publishing that worked on the Family Abuse Services brochure, I wrote up a post about the project based on their responses and included that along with color print out of each of the pages of the actual brochure. As the students created the brochure effectively through their knowledge and expertise on rhetorical strategies, there is no question that it was the perfect way to express the importance of visual communication to students. Overall, creating the board was a very interesting task, as it allowed for us to think about effectives ways to reach students, and grab their interest about CUPID and to explain what exactly CUPID is all about visually.

Before I started as an associate, I was unsure of just how time consuming this position would be, and I was a little hesitant about the time commitment. But little did I know that my time spent in the CUPID lab on Wednesday, as well as the time I spent outside of the lab interviewing and writing, would be some of the most productive time I spent all semester. As an upcoming PWR senior, I am starting to think about my portfolio and what I want to include in my portfolio. Taking time to write blog posts was such an effective way for me to keep writing, and create some great components that I could potentially include in my portfolio.

Another component that I found so beneficial about this experience was the fact that I was able to connect with and speak to many, many PWR students and professors. To me, asking questions and writing about my peers’ and professors’ very impressive work and accomplishments is the perfect way to learn more about what it is PWR students and faculty are doing. I got hands on experience in terms of speaking with people and connecting to people. For example, I was able to interview Dr. Moore and speak with her about her sabbatical, something that I never would have known about in as much detail, and am so happy and honored to have spoken to her about. Early on in the semester, I was also able to speak to students in ENG 311: Publishing and learn about the client based project that they worked on all of the previous semester for FAS. I was honored to be able to spread awareness about the amazing things that are students and faculty are doing in the Elon community and around the world. In terms of communication, conducting interviews, speaking with students and faculty, as well as attending the PWR SURF day presentations gave me practice in communication in the sense that I was able to interpret what I spoke to students and faculty about, and observed as the SURF Day presentations, and deliver it in an understandable manner for students on the blog.

Blogging is something that I started first when I was abroad in Florence and would blog about my experiences. I used it as a way to share my experiences with my family, friends and loved ones. Something I really enjoyed about blogging in Florence was the very relaxed tone of the blogosphere. I found this correlated to my experience blogging for CUPID in a way as well. I liked that my tone could be relaxed, and that I could be honest and somewhat lighthearted in many of my posts. I loved that I was able to practice my skills blogging (something that I know I will undoubtedly use in the future, whether professionally or for pleasure) for a cause that I care about. I care about the PWR department and CUPID and want Elon students, potential and current, to learn about our program. I only hope that readers enjoyed my tone and felt that I related to and appealed to them. Along with the content of the blog, this experience also allowed for me to learn more about the forum of WordPress, which is undoubtedly significant knowledge for anyone interested in writing in a digital format.

I loved working with Dr. Pope-Ruark and Chelsea, and found that we worked so well together. At no point in the semester was I overwhelmed, and I felt like we worked very well collaboratively. We all split the work quite evenly, as well as worked on work together, and played off each other’s strengths in order to benefit our readers. Dr. Pope-Ruark served as a wonderful resource for both Chelsea and myself. Chelsea, Dr. Pope-Ruark and I worked independently many times, but also collaboratively on many projects. Realistically, when we leave Elon and join the professional world, we will find ourselves in many situations where we work both collaborative and individually, and I thought this was great preparation for the real world.

I was honored to serve as a CUPID Associate this semester, and have found that it has really opened my eyes to the effectiveness of rhetorical strategies and the power of professional writing even more so than I could have imagined.

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