The Scroll

Faculty Friday: Professor Paula Patch

Professor Paula Patch is the College Writing/English 110 program coordinator, a senior lecturer in the English major and ENG 110 program and the newly elected Vice President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, a national organization composed of writing teachers and writing program administrators. Additionally, Professor Patch recently co-authored an article based on the takeaways from teaching high school students: “What College Faculty Can Learn From Teaching High School Students,” with Professor Greg Hlavaty.

 

Professor Patch and Professor Hlavaty have been teaching Alamance County high school juniors for eight consecutive years for the College Writing for High School Juniors program, which is co-administered by the Elon University English Department and Collegiate Start @ Elon in the Office of Education Outreach in the Elon University School of Education.“We find that we really love teaching the class because there is something about the energy that high school students bring to a classroom that college students either hide or put elsewhere,” Professor Patch said, “You’re just getting like the real, raw person in a high school class.”

 

The first part of the class focuses on college essays and other materials for college admissions and the second half on college writing preparation, such as rhetorical skills, process skills and argumentation skills. “We want to give them a preview and some preliminary work into developing those rhetorical skills, process skills and argumentation skills that we know everybody can use constant, repeated practice with,” said Professor Patch, “It’s been fun because we’re teaching similar things [as English 110], but with different purposes.”
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Faculty Friday: Dr. Paula Rosinski

In addition to being a professor in the English Department who teaches Professional Writing and Rhetoric classes, Dr. Paula Rosinski is the Director of Writing Across the University in the Center for Writing Excellence. Dr.  Rosinski explains that the Professional Writing and Rhetoric major is a “traditional rhetorical education, updated for the 21stcentury” and that the WAU program supports the teaching and learning of writing on Elon’s campus.

Dr. Rosinski specializes in multimedia rhetoric and writing technologies. She said that “in the writing technologies class I teach, we examine the biases, affordances, and limitations of different writing software and technologies that are common to professional writers, because they impact everything about the rhetorical situation: the audiences you can reach, the genres you can produce, and how texts are delivered and consumed.

This semester, she is teaching PWR 212, Multimedia/Visual Rhetoric I, in which students revise traditional rhetorical strategies and apply them to produce their own multimedia and visual texts. These two classes go hand-in-hand, because “To be able to produce emerging genres and multimedia and visual texts, you need to have an understanding of the software and hardware. Analyzing isn’t enough. Students should practice how to produce these kinds of texts, too.”

Dr. Rosinski’s role as Director of Writing Across the University involves developing programming to enhance the teaching of writing on campus, for example by offering workshops herself or inviting faculty to present on their own areas of expertise. Dr. Rosinski also coordinates writing pedagogy grants and scholarship grants, meant to support faculty as they teach and study writing, and she also organizes writing groups and writing “boot camps” for faculty and staff, which give them time to focus on their own writing.  “What’s rewarding is that the work I do with faculty directly impacts students,” Dr. Rosinski said, “I hear back from faculty saying not only did they learn to teach writing more effectively, but that their students are learning content better too.”
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Major Monday: Nicole Galante

Nicole Galante ’19 is an accomplished English major concentrating in literature and PWR and minoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Galante is a Provost Scholar and a Betty Gerow Scholarship Award recipient, among other titles.

GalanteSUREpresentation

Nicole Galante ’19 presents her research on young adult power in young adult literature at SURE day 2018.

An Elon College Fellow and Summer Undergraduate Research Experience participant, Galante is also the recipient of the Rawls Endowed Research Grant. She combines her expertise in literature, PWR and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies to conduct research and formulate theories about young adult power, or lack thereof, in the young adult genre. Throughout her two and a half year long research initiative, Galante has read and analyzed 20 contemporary young adult novels.

According to Galante, the inspiration for this research topic stemmed from her discussions with Dr. Cahill, Galante’s professor of Sex, Gender, and Power during the spring of Galante’s freshman year. Dr. Cahill introduced Galante to the idea researching the connection between childhood and oppression. “The idea blew my mind,” said Galante, “I’d always understood that children don’t have the same power as adults, but I’d never thought about it in the context of privilege and oppression.”
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An Interview with Mark Jay Brewin Jr. ’08

Mark Jay Brewin Jr.’s book, “Scrap Iron,” published in 2013, features poems about his childhood home in South Jersey, landscape, science and relationships.

Author and alum Mark Jay Brewin Jr. ’08 visited Elon on Tuesday, Feb. 24 to share his poems with students and faculty at the First Annual Alumni Poetry Reading in 2019. The event took place in Sankey Hall, where Brewin read a combination of original poems that he wrote during his time at Elon and poems from his award-winning book, “Scrap Iron.”

Brewin read a slew of poems pertaining to his childhood home in South Jersey, human relationships and scientific concepts. He says, “I come from a long line of talkers and storytellers, which is exciting because that’s sort of half the battle [of writing].”

At Elon, Brewin majored in both creative writing and photography. Brewin attributes his success as a poet and artist to the complimentary combination of these majors and the self-reflective nature of his education. “The art classes taught me how to write about my poetry and what it meant,” he says, “It all tied together.”

Brewin says, “the faculty were just tremendously giving of their time and really helpful in figuring out what was going to be the best for me.” In particular, Professor Drew Perry helped Brewin to jumpstart his career. Brewin says, “He basically just said to me that ‘no matter what you do, if poetry and writing is what you like, then you have to go to grad school and you have to learn that craft further.’”
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Major Monday: Hayden McConnell

Hayden McConnell is a junior at Elon, as well as one of the first people to switch to the recently added PWR major. In addition to that, she minors in digital art and multimedia authoring, creates some pretty cool designs, like the new PWR sticker, and has her own stellar blog! This past summer, she stayed at Elon to manage the social media for the PWR Department, and has been taking major-related classes this semester, such as PWR 313 Feminism in Rhetoric and PWR 217 Writing Technologies. Taking time out of her busy week, we chatted about her experiences within the PWR Department over hot cider at Oak House.

 

  • Why did you choose to be an English/now PWR major?

I chose English because I’ve always enjoyed writing and it has never felt like a daunting task to me. I’ve always used it as a way to organize my thoughts and as an outlet for my ideas. When I found out about the PWR major, I thought it would be a perfect balance of both writing and communication to find a job I’d love.

  • Do you know what you would like to do after graduation with your degree in English? If so, please elaborate.
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Faculty Spotlight: Professor Heather Lindenman

Our Faculty Spotlight for the month of October is shining on Professor Heather Lindenman. She is an Assistant Professor to the English department and teaches classes that span from Multimedia Rhetorics to a Teaching and Learning Apprenticeship. If you haven’t seen her on campus for the last few months, it’s because she’s been on maternity leave spending time with her newborn baby boy! That being said, Professor Lindenman is keeping busy and has accomplished quite a lot in the past year, with three published articles and another one set to come out in November. I managed to catch up with her during a brief visit to campus and got the scoop on what she’s been up to lately.

Last spring you said you were doing research regarding the outcomes of your community-engaged writing classes and the consequences of a community writing partnership that link college and high school students. Are you still working on that or have you started something new?

I’m still working on them! My research is based on different types of community-engaged classes and what students take away from them. I just wrapped up studies on a high school-college partnership where college students went to high schools and advocated for the writing center. I’m also conducting research on Elon student’s non-academic writing, such as what students do outside of school and what they learn from that. A third project I’m working on concerns Elon alumni and explores what types of writing they do, which turns out to be a lot of emailing. I’ve also found a skill that they feel is really important is the ability to write things concisely and quickly. Overall, we’re hoping to learn how to better writing instruction here based on what alumni are actually using in their actual careers.
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Major Monday: Amanda McMahon

For most people, an English major equates to the good old “Oh, so you want to be a teacher huh?” For some the answer is no, but for Amanda McMahon it’s a “Yes, yes I am.”

Amanda is a senior, majoring in English with a concentration in teaching licensure. While the concentration can be strenuous and time consuming, Amanda still manages to work in the Writing Center, act as the treasurer for EFFECT‑ Elon’s women’ club, and be an active member in the English Honor Society. She also stayed at Elon this past summer working as a counselor for Elon Academy, and is now a Teaching Assistant at a local high school.

Although she’s a busy gal, I finally managed to sit down with Amanda and ask how she does what she does and why, from her teaching licensure concentration to her research to her involvement with Elon Academy.

So, why an English major?

“Well, to be honest I didn’t always want to study English. Growing up I went through so many career phases like being an architect or a psychologist. However, I really enjoyed English classes in high school and always had a love for reading and writing, so once I got to college it just seemed like a natural fit.”
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Art Feeds: An Artistic View of Learning

In a brand new, interdisciplinary approach for The Scroll, I got the opportunity to see Elon’s innovative education at work in one of my very own classes. Approaches to Arts Administration, taught by new professor Dr. David McGraw, I have been exposed to the inner workings of various arts organizations, how they are created, and what they do to help their community.

To facilitate this discussion, we were asked to give group presentations based on case studies of different art organizations. The most interesting presentation, in my opinion, was about an organization called Art Feeds. Art Feeds is designed to provide therapeutic aid to children- especially those affected by recent tragedies or natural disasters- through multiple forms of artistic expression. The group of girls presenting the case where well prepared, but that was not the interesting part. What I found fascinating was that the group handed the rest of the class coloring pages and crayons, and instructed us to color while they gave their presentation.

Shockingly enough, this made it easier for the class to focus on the presentation.

I know that this may not seem directly related to the English department, but it poses an interesting discussion. Are there other ways in which we as students can “occupy our minds” while in the classroom in order to focus on the content of the class? For example, doodling in our notebooks, or absentmindedly coloring can potentially increase our focus. The conflict, however, comes from finding the line. It is *probably* unreasonable to break out a coloring book, but a simple distraction to focus your mind could be seen as reasonable by most professors.
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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Barbra Gordon

This week the Faculty Spotlight is on Dr. Barbra Gordon. Of her 43 years as an educator, we have been fortunate enough to have her here at Elon for 31 years! One of our most Zen professors here in the English department, Dr. Gordon also advises Iron Tree Blooming, an on-campus meditation group.

Dr. Gordon teaches a variety of classes in writing and debate, and says that she cannot choose a favorite!

“Each course offers different delights,” she says, which allows her students to learn and develop in brand new ways. This is what she loves about the Elon community; she gets the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of young people, and encourages us to create a better future for everyone.

In her free time, Dr. Gordon bounces between meetings, research, tennis, and Italian! Her current research focuses on the differences between “composing with words, and composing with sound and images,” (super interesting). How she has time for everything? We may never know. As someone who is very passionate, however, Dr. Gordon encourages students to take courses that you are passionate about, and shadow professionals in the work world who are doing what you aspire to do.

 

We asked Dr. Gordon a fun question to close things off: If you were trapped on an island, what three books would you bring? She told us Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (to help her relax), the most extensive Norton Anthology of Poetry available, and the Tao Te Ching. Great choices Dr. Gordon! If you want to hear more about Dr. Gordon, learn some quick Italian, or find your Zen, invite her to coffee!

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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Janet Warman

For our next faculty spotlight, we’re giving a shoutout to Dr. Janet Warman. You may know her from her super popular Mental Illness in Literature course, one of her personal favorites. She has been a teacher since 1977 (awesome), and has been here at Elon for 28 years.

In her time working with the Elon community, Dr. Warman has grown to love the increasing diversity on our campus, and the interactions between departments is energizing for her. In addition to Mental Illness in Literature, she enjoys teaching Poetry as a genre the most. Her love for poetry is the subject of her current research- Dr. Warman is currently on sabbatical to research Alzheimer’s for a new collection.

When she is not on campus, Dr. Warman works with the Modern Language Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and the North Carolina Poetry Society. Additionally- even though we aren’t sure where she finds the time- Dr. Warman is a member of a book club that is made up of current and retired Elon faculty.

Dr. Warman leaves us for sabbatical with the following advice “Never stop believing in the power of words in your personal and professional life”. Thanks Dr. Warman, we believe in you too!
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