A Semester in Review: Emily

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be a CUPID Associate this past semester. This role has given me so much in such a short time. I was able to develop my skills as a writer, professional, and rhetorician, and I now feel like I will be comfortable moving into a professional atmosphere. I think this experience allowed me to really refine skills that I have learned in Professional Writing & Rhetoric courses at Elon thus far and also allowed me to apply myself by creating blog posts, managing the CUPID board, and working collaboratively with Christine, Maggie, and Dr. Pope-Ruark.

It was great being able to use what I have learned and put it into practice. Being a CUPID Associate allowed me to experience what an internship would be like. However, I feel like I was able to be more involved and actively contribute to the tasks needed to be completed as well as have more responsibilities because Christine, Maggie, Dr. Pope-Ruark, and I supplied the content.

One of the main tasks I focused on over the semester was the CUPID board outside the classroom. I had been learning about the increasing importance of visual rhetoric in my classes and realized that the board needed to look clean and inviting so that passing students would want to stop and read it. So, one of the first things I did was gather content to go on the board and keep the look cohesive.

I decided to have a picture of the current Associates, the open hours, and then the blurbs about each individual in the left hand panel because these were the students that would be there to help others with content or technology help. I thought it was important for other students to be able to recognize these individuals so that, if they needed help, they would know who to find. I also thought that keeping those pictures up for the whole semester would be a constant reminder to passing students about when hours are open and what kind of knowledge each Associate has based off of the classes they have taken.

I also thought rotating the board often, but not too often, was important so that it would keep readers up to date on what was happening in the Professional Writing & Rhetoric world at Elon. For example, having PWR class options up before registration was important so that students knew what opportunities were out there for them. Also, recently having The Back Cover on the board was important to all disciplines because it highlighted student accomplishments, visiting writers, and other events that are happening/ happened in the English Department.

I really enjoyed updating the board. I have an affinity for organization and display of documents, images, and other important information in public spaces. With my recent addition of a marketing minor, I think this task I handled throughout the semester allowed me to plan and prepare for future classes.

Another assignment I really enjoyed was going to visiting writers prsentations and writing a blurb about it for The Back Cover. I was even fortunate enough to have one visiting writer, A. Van Jordan, in my Intermediate Poetry class. He spoke about his new collection called The Cineaste, which is coming out in the spring. In the collection he uses films as the premise for his poems like “Run Lola Run” and “Do the Right Thing.” He was insightful in class, willing to answer questions and give feedback to students poems. Thought I may not have gone to his reading initially, I’m glad I did. There is always something to learn from published poets, writers, etc.

Blog posts were another task that the Associates and I were supposed to create throughout the semester that would point to interesting topics related to Professional Writing & Rhetoric, teacher conferences, and student accolades. Originally I thought blog posts were just ways for individuals to purge their emotions on a page where others could comment.

However, I realized that the CUPID blog should probably be more professional than an emotional purge, however, not as formal. I thought, after reading previous blog posts by other associates, teachers, and guest writers, that the tone needed to be somewhere in between an emotional purge and a formal professional document.

The blog was a place for students, teachers, and others in the Professional Writing & Rhetoric field, to post interesting events, ideas, and other topics relating back to the subject. As a student in the field, I thought it got easier to generate posts that were related to PWR. I also found the research interesting because it opened my eyes to other programs that had also developed websites where their students could post information about the discipline.

With that being said, I think that the CUPID website and blog could be more used as a resource for PWR students, faculty, and staff. While looking for ways to update the blog I came across Texas A&M’s professional writing center. I thought they used a good variety of images, text, audio, and visual throughout theirsite. They were able to create a thorough site that had useful tools as well as helpful information about professional writing strategies. As we have talked about over the semester, the Associates and Dr. Pope-Ruark believe that this integration of all of these things is important to make this blog more inviting and interesting.

One of the final things we worked on throughout the semester was the proposal for proposed workshops next semester. My sophomore year, I believe there was one workshop that taught students how to use InDesign. However, after that there were no other workshops available to attend. Dr. Pope-Ruak, along with the other Associates and I, believe that these workshops would be useful tools for students in the English Department. We believe that having one of these per month would be a great way for the Associates, teachers, and outside staff to help students develop knowledge about these writing technologies.

I think the proposal taught me the most about what could be done to to increase students’ knowledge of the tools that are at their disposal. The CUPID suite has so many programs that are useful to the professional world. I alone, this past semester, have learned how to use most of them, and I only look forward to developing my skills and becoming a more dynamic professional.

Again, I am so thankful and grateful for the opportunity I had this past semester to be a CUPID Associate. It is a honor, and I got so much out of it. I learned how to produce a blog, create a newsletter, and write a proposal for what the next Associates could do. I hope these ideas are put into place, and I will definitely attend some, if not all, of them!

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