Category Archives: CUPID News

Meet the CUPID Associates: Alexa Dysch

Hello everyone!

20140214_121250 (2)For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Alexa Dysch and I’m so excited to be back for my second semester as a CUPID Associate. I am a senior (ahhh) pursuing an English major, with a double concentration in Professional Writing & Rhetoric (PWR) and Literature, as well as a double minor in Psychology and French. I hope that as a CUPID Associate, I can share my experiences and impart some of skills that I have gathered in my time at Elon and within our program. I will be in Alamance 318 (CUPID) and would love to help you with anything from resume building to portfolio design! Please stop by!

After discovering my love for editorial work with my high school’s literary magazine, I was eager to find a university-level program that would provide the next step toward my dreams. Once I stepped into the CUPID studio, I could feel that there was no turning back. Yet, I underestimated how much I could have learned from the program. I perceived rhetoric as an outdated concept, until I took Understanding Rhetoric and was proven extremely wrong. What I thought I knew about professional writing was quickly adapted and altered, and I found myself applying the knowledge to workplace settings and seeing results in a newfound manner. Even my poor technological skills were enhanced by taking Writing Technologies. Most importantly, I was coming to understand how to analyze and shape my own online and professional identity. As a result of experiences within classes and client projects, I’ve even noticed a change in my professional aspirations: a desire to become a professional brander and document designer.

Rather than a means to an end, I discovered that PWR was going to teach me much more than what I would need for a single editorial or branding career. Between client projects with LIFESPAN, the Elon Challenge Course and the Association for Business Communication, I learned how important one’s audience is and the extent to which one must collaborate with others to complete a truly successful project. Being able to apply such skills at an internship with Alamance Magazine was a rewarding demonstration of how much I learned through the PWR program. Further, I’ve seen through our program that being a professional writer, a collaborator, an intellectual, etc., is a role that never ceases to grow, as we are constantly studying our audience at hand and the world around us that never stops changing. As a PWR major, I’ve learned that we never stop growing, as students, as rhetors, or as people.

I can’t wait to see you all in the CUPID lab, whether in classes, during open hours or at workshops!

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Meet the CUPID associates: Rebecca Porter

Hey, there!

My name is Rebecca Porter and I am ecstatic to be a CUPID associate for the Fall 2014 semester! I am currently a junior majoring in Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) and Creative Writing. I am also minoring in Theatre Arts. I am excited to begin my work as a CUPID Associate by also by helping many of you in the process. I will be in Alamance 318 (CUPID lab) on Tuesdays at 4-6, so feel free to swing by to chat about any group projects, or any documents that you may need advice on.1229825_10201941464328433_621532959_n

I was always that kid that would hide under blankets with a flashlight well past any bedtime just to read another chapter of a book. Now, I voluntarily get to do the same thing. I love being a writing major because it allows me to do what I enjoy; string together different words to form ideas and thoughts that can potentially bring a collective group of people to feel a certain way, or do a certain thing. My Understanding Rhetoric class has allowed me to see what a powerful tool writing can be, but one that must be perfected over time. Writing can adapt and evolve over time, and I hope that I can help all of you down that path.

I hope to see all of you during my or my associates’ hours; we would love to help. Happy writing!

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They’re Not All That Bad Sometimes: A Personal Reflection of a Successful Group Project, Part Two

Hi readers! Today, we will continue with Cadence Dingler’s guest post about collaboration and her tips on how to successfully navigate group projects. 

guest4“The Steps We Took…

First, we settled on the idea of creating an incentive program, called ‘Write Stuff, Win Stuff’, hosted by the Writing Center. The idea behind ‘Write Stuff, Win Stuff’ was that a student would come into the Writing Center, take a selfie with their consultant after they had worked on a paper or an assignment, and then post the picture to Facebook, tagging the Writing Center in the picture. In the post, the student who came in would have to say what they worked on with their consultant. In early May, they would then be entered in a drawing to win one of five $25 gift cards to their choice of The Root, Pandora’s, or Barnes and Noble.

For this incentive program, we had to boost awareness through various posters, hung in all of the academic buildings, and digital boards, displayed in Moseley and the Writing Center area. We even decided to create a Facebook event. Through the Facebook event, we invited hundreds of Elon students to participate in our ‘Write Stuff, Win Stuff’. We received several ‘accepted’ invitations to the event, and soon enough, the Writing Center was being tagged in pictures of students taking a selfie with their Writing Center consultant.


The second element for the client project was an infographic. Using InDesign, Sarah put together three incredible infographics that perfectly depicted what the Writing Center was all about. With the infographics and ‘Write Stuff, Win Stuff’, it was clear that we had put together a suitable project that had met all of Paula’s needs for the Writing Center client project.ex2

Having Met Our Final Goals…

By the end of the project, Sarah, Kelley, and I, were very successful in meeting our goals and requirements. We managed to increase the likes on the Writing Center’s Facebook page from 170 to 251, in a matter of a few short weeks. We provided an amazing opportunity to students by hosting an event where, all they had to was come into the Writing Center, work on a paper with a consultant, and then take a picture with their consultant. After doing this, they would be entered to win one of five $25 gift cards to The Root, Pandora’s, or Barnes and Noble. Through our info graphics, we showed that anyone can come to the Writing Center. We proved that it’s not just a place for freshman students who are remedial in their writing abilities; it’s a place for collaboration, where one can expect their writing to be enhanced for the long run.

As with most group projects, the client project was, at first, an intimidating feat. However, in the end, the Writing Center group was successful making our client happy and getting done what was asked to get done.  We made beautiful posters, digital boards, and worked collaboratively to come up with the idea for the incentive program.


What You Can Do…

While not all group projects go as smoothly as mine did, there are certain things one can do to make the process less painful. First, take a breather. Remember to communicate openly with your group. There were many times where the Writing Center project could have gone in the wrong direction, if Sarah, Kelley, and I had not been completely open and honest with one another. Keep your nose to the grindstone, and never get discouraged. At the beginning of the semester, I was stressed out with other classes, and just mere thought of a group project sent my heart racing with anxiety. After about a week into the project, I realized that I was overreacting, and that I had nothing to feel anxious about; I was in good hands. Look on the bright side, and try to see the good in every group project. You might not be as lucky as I was, but hold onto the hope that you might be one day!”

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They’re Not All That Bad Sometimes: A Personal Reflection of a Successful Group Project, Part One

guest4Hello everyone! Before we return to classes, Cadence Dingler will reflect upon her successful experience with a particular group project, as our summers come to an end and we look forward to starting new classes with potential collaborative work! This post will be split into two parts, so be sure to check back soon for the second section in which Cadence goes further in depth about the experience and what her group did to successfully collaborate.

“We all know it: group projects generally have a bad reputation. In my 2 years at college so far, few people I know actually enjoy working as part of a group. Sure, the work load is sometimes lessened, but the cons outweigh the pros the in most cases. Most people can remember an instance where they were just part of the worst group known to mankind. There’s almost always inevitably the kid student who sleeps in and doesn’t come to your meetings. Or there’s the one who pretends like he is doing something on the Google Doc, but is actually just typing nonsense. Or there’s sometimes even the one who decides to put in a ton of effort at the very end, and begs you to help her out. It’s not a pretty sight, and it makes the stresses of college double in a matter of seconds.

But every once in a while, you’ll find yourself with a good group, a small group of people who are all motivated and care enough about their grade in the class not to slack off. You’ll find yourself excited with the prospect of being with these amazing individuals and putting together a product that perfectly showcases how much of a team player you are.


For Cupid Studio This Year…  

For a client project in CUPID Studio this semester, it was a once in a blue moon kind of group project. I trusted my two other group members, and had faith in anything that we could do. It especially didn’t hurt that our assigned client was Paula Rosinski, the director of the Writing Center, and our boss at the Writing Center.

Yes, my team members, Sarah, Kelley, and I are currently consultants at the Writing Center. We were tasked with this client project to market the Writing Center in such a way that would attract more students to stop by, and bring papers and assignments in to work on.

The Writing Center at Elon University…

The Writing Center at Elon University has always prided itself in providing an area for students to collaborate on their work. However, many students, and faculty as well, may not understand the purpose of the Writing Center. Be it bad word of mouth or a major miscommunication, students and faculty, for the most part, have the wrong idea about the Writing Center. That’s where our CUPID Studio group stepped in. We were given a vast amount of information about the Writing Center, though we were almost completely informed about the Writing Center before beginning, seeing as we all worked there. For our client project, Sarah, Kelley and I were given instructions to get the point across, in a unique and effective way, that:

1.) The WC does not only serve first-year students

2.) Strong writers can and should bring in work to the WC

3.) The WC does not just “edit” papers.

New to Client Projects…?

If you have never before worked on a client project, it is, truthfully, a little different than a regular group project. You have to keep in mind that, you’re not just working for yourselves; you’re working for your client. Whatever they say goes. This can sometimes limit the directions you want to go in. Nonetheless, Sarah, Kelley and I were determined to do everything in our power to make our client, Paula, happy with the end result.

So Sarah, Kelley and I were tasked with dispelling rumors and myths concerning the Writing Center and boosting students and faculty’s overall awareness of what the Writing Center is all about. We were encouraged to develop a better marketing plan for the Writing Center, and perhaps create professional posters and ads. After some time spent brainstorming, we decided on two main elements that would be in place for the Writing Center client project.”

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Client Projects: Academia Easing the Transition from College to the Professional World

Hello readers! To continue our summer of CUPID blogging, guest1Nicole Petrosino will reflect upon her experiences with client projects and how they developed her professional skills and will ease her transition from college to the professional world. 

“What is undergraduate education if not a catalyst to success in the cut-throat real world? Hundreds of thousands of college graduates enter the professional realm every single year, all wielding the same coveted $120,000 piece of paper intended to provide them with a career that leads to not only financial, but personal satisfaction and an overall increase in quality-of-life. Unfortunately, because of a struggling economy, this is not the case for many graduates.

In order to be more effective at preparing students for future careers and eliminate this gap between academia and professional life, colleges like Elon University assign client projects to students, calling on actual clients from local or on-campus organizations to pose as acting bosses or work supervisors, taking coursework out of the classroom and into a realistic, workshop setting.

In my CUPID Studio course, we have been working on a client project for just about half the semester. For The Writing Center, the Professional Writing Studies minor, the Multimedia Authoring minor, and The Back Cover, small groups of students have been collaborating with one and other to create professional quality work for their clients.

In my group, we have been working on marketing the Professional Writing Studies minor to students across the disciplines, not just in the English Department. Throughout this project I have learned a lot about group work, professionalism, and time-management. Our client, our professor and PWS coordinator RPR, has been communicating guidelines/deadlines to us and specifying what she wants for the PWS minor from the point-of-view of a supervisor, not a professor. Being treated as employees instead of students has sparked a different dynamic in our group, and has almost forced us to become more invested in the project since it serves a higher purpose than just a grade.

Below is an example of an image we created for distribution to communications students who could potentially be interested in pursuing the PWS minor.


Personally, I feel a very different connection to this project than to other assignments I have gotten in the past because I feel it is work that actually matters for more than just a GPA. I also believe that this project is preparing me for the real world where project guidelines aren’t so black and white, and communication is absolutely integral to a successful outcome.

The client project requires us not only to work together to achieve a goal, but also to reach out to other contacts that we have made over our semesters at Elon and see how they can help us cast a wider reach for the PWS minor. This type of assignment taught us to communicate professionally and think strategically.

Below is an article from Business Communication Quarterly that discusses benefits of merging the professional world with the college classroom, and applying technique and theory to actual, tangible products. Overall, I think that this was an enriching experience for my group and myself, and helped to develop our skills professionally, personally, and academically. Client projects give students a window into the career world before they are actually there, and help them identify strengths and weaknesses to work on I the future.”

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My Time As A CUPID Associate: Alexa

Hello everyone,20140214_121250 (2)

What a semester this has been, by having the opportunity to be a CUPID Associate. I have learned so much and am thankful to have had the chance to work with the program and with those involved.

Foremost, working with fellow associates Dannie and Rachel has been an exceptional collaboration experience, in which we were all able to share our unique skills and aid in the development of others. Subjects and software that were previously a mystery were illuminated by learning from the both of them. Without the two of them, the program could not have progressed as it did.infographic 313

Additionally, my time as a CUPID Associate provided clarity about my professional identity and goals for the future. Many of the client projects that we completed illuminated what I liked creating, and what I did not. Also, through the blog, I kept myself updated about the PWR field inside and out of Elon. I was able to explore areas of interest through the program and field that I had not previously. It was so much fun to learn about infographics, and now I can’t stop making them!

Further, I immensely enjoyed meeting many of you, fellow PWR students, within workshops, open hours, or simply by being in CUPID. Working together to improve one’s portfolio or resume was exciting, in seeing what I could bring to the program to help other students produce more professional and personal documents.

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My Time as a CUPID Associate: Dannie

After a very busy and eventful four months, my time as a CUPID Associate has come to an end. In my final post, I’m going to reflect on my work and experiences as an associate.

One of my favorite parts of being an associate was working with my fellow associates, Rachel and Alexa. I had worked with both of them before and was familiar with their skills and writing styles. From day one, we established our vision of how CUPID should run and created a week-by-week plan for the blog and workshops. We created themed weeks, which helped us organize when we held workshops, posted individual guest posts, and who would take charge of the blog every week. For any future associates, I cannot stress enough how well this worked. Our plan nixed any blog management stress, and we were able to be efficient and focus on other tasks.

CSS TITLEThe project that took up most of my focus was the CSS In Digication project, which consisted of a workshop and a video tutorial series. As a PWR student, I had created three Digication portfolios, and my background in coded languages (I know Java, C++, HTML, and CSS) had already led me to figure out how to modify Digication colors and border lines. Yet, at the request of RPR, I sat back down with the code and searched other Universities’ Digication webguides, such as Stony Brook and St. John’s, in order to learn some other ways to modify the portfolios. From the collection of this knowledge, I created a PowerPoint with Alexa and Rachel that outlined steps for modifying different portions of the Digication CSS. The workshop had four attendees and – while it was not as successful as our 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Microsoft Word workshop which had eight attendees – we were able to work closely with our attendees to teach them a variety of CSS design techniques that would help them personalize their Digication portfolios.

However, after our workshop when Alexa and I began discussing turning the workshop into a video tutorial series, I found myself unsatisfied with simply creating tutorials based off the information that was already out there on other University guides. One of the great things about CUPID is its dedication to creating great products for its clients and providing educational support for PWR students; I wanted to live up to this standard and I challenged myself to find new ways to personalize the Digication portfolio. After several weeks of playing with code and reading through the CSS reference guide, I was able to discover and create video content for six original topics: Adding Shadow to the Left Navigation Module, Adjusting the Section Title, Adding a Border Line Between the Left Navigation and Main Container, Centering the Gallery Module, Changing Cursors, and Making Left Navigation Button Links. In total, I worked collaboratively with Alexa to film and edit nineteen CSS In Digication tutorial videos. We even established a summer release schedule for the video series, so a new video tutorial (and sometimes two) will be available to PWR students every week of summer! Completing the CSS In Digication project was very exciting for me and I am proud to know that our videos will be useful to all of the incoming PWR seniors who will be completing their portfolios in September.

My time as a CUPID Associate taught me how to efficiently practice division of labor and integrated teams. While Alexa, Rachel, and I worked closely together during the creation of the Word Workshop, most of our projects consisted of a mix of independent work and receiving peer feedback. This allowed each of us to work on projects that fit our skill sets and matched the types of documents we needed for our individual portfolios. Our independent work also challenged me to think about our organizational voice as I created documents so that the CUPID ethos was maintained throughout our documents and workshops. Despite our divide-and-conquer method, we did make a point to keep in contact and met at least once a week to update each other and get feedback on what we were working on. This is another thing I’d recommend to all future associates; keeping in contact with your partner associates just makes life easier!

I am very grateful for my time as a CUPID Associate. I was able to work with wonderful people on some very exciting projects, and, ultimately, I believe we’ve founded some great organizational techniques for the program. I would recommend this experience to all PWR majors, and I am so excited to see what the next group of associates are able to do for the CUPID program.

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My Time as a CUPID Associate: Rachel

Rachel Lewis image

The semester has ended, and after several months as a CUPID Associate at Elon, it is time for me to reflect on what I’ve gained, what PWR skills I’ve put into practice, and how I believe that this experience has furthered my PWR identity and skill set.

As a CUPID Associate, I held open hours during which students could (and sometimes did!) come and get feedback on PWR and professional projects, such as resumes. I also worked with the other associates, Dannie and Alexa, to come up with, plan for, and lead workshops, with this semester’s being on visual branding, Microsoft Word, and Digication CSS.

One of the main tasks that I did this semester was working to get the CUPID blog to be more people-centered, as one of our overall goals was to draw people to the CUPID blog to increase knowledge about the role of CUPID Associates. I believed that we could achieve this by including more people in the blog, so I interviewed several incredible PWR students including Sarah PatersonKim Lilienthal, and Rachel Fishman. Working with these students gave me practice with interviewing, taught me to condense information, and gave me a better understanding of the truly wide-ranging work accomplished by students of PWR.

associatesflyerAs I mentioned in my first blog post for CUPID, as a PWR student I have worked and continue to work to build an understanding of design, branding, and online identity. I was able to employ these skills as one of the associates leading the Visual Branding lunch, where Alexa and I worked to help students create personal logos and banners for their resumes and portfolios to make themselves more marketable and memorable.

This was really enjoyable for me because, after giving a general presentation on visual branding, I worked one-on-one with a student to teach her the basics of InDesign and guide her creation of a banner for her resume header. This allowed me to practice my collaborative and visual rhetoric skills in tandem in a practical and productive manner.

Taking CUPID taught me to work independently, to know when to ask questions, and to come up with a concrete plan early on and stick with it. What really made this semester’s CUPID Associates so successful was that we spent our first 2-hour meeting planning with RPR, our advisor, and coming up with what we wanted to do and when. By the time we met the following week, we had a running schedule and were able to begin working on specifics. We used technology to our advantage, using Google Docs and a calendar to keep each other updated and in the loop and to keep track of our goals and tasks. I made a transition document to assist future CUPID Associates with this planning process, and the document includes what we did well and what I think can be done better next year. Each set of associates will continue working to make the program stronger!

Overall, I am pleased and proud of what I accomplished with my fellow CUPID Associates, and I look forward to seeing what the associates do next semester to further the success of CUPID.

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New Class for Fall 2014: Data & Information Visualization

This week, as we all know, is Preregistration week!  To help you with your class selection, I’ll be discussing the PWR Special Topics Course for this fall: Data & Information Visualization.

infographic 313Topics: Data & Information Visualization will be taught by Dr. Li, a new professor to our PWR department, and will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:40-3:20.  This course will focus on the rhetoric of visualized data – that is information in charts, graphs, maps, etc. – and they ways in which visualized data is displayed and understood.  One of the major focuses in this course is the historical development and the emergence of new forms of data visualization.

Projects in this course will include graphic analyses and the creation of contextual data displays, both individually and in groups.  Students will learn a variety of software through tutorial readings and exercises, including Excel, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and Google Charts, which they will use in the creation of their data displays.

If you’re interested in learning about visual rhetorics and the development of data and information visual displays, register to ENG 313-A Topics: Data & Information Visualization, and be sure to check back Wednesday for a post about our new PWR professor, Dr. Li!

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An Upcoming Fun and Informative Class! Check it Out!

Hi everyone! Looking for a great class to take this upcoming Fall semester that will hone your professional design skills AND count towards your major and/or minor? Want to learn how to create an awesome infographic like the one shown below? Look no further! ENG 313: Data and Information Visualization is coming for Fall 2014 and will focus on teaching students how to develop data-based visual arguments (like infographics) with technology while studying the impact of culture, ethics and audience on how we process visual data! You won’t want to miss it!


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