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Exciting English Students at Elon

This week, I spoke with Elon Senior Olivia Jacquier, who is the current President of Sigma Tau Delta. Sigma Tau Delta (STD) is the English Honor Society for students at four year colleges and universities who are within the top 30% of their class and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Olivia is an English major with a concentration in Teaching Licensure from Connecticut, who was looking to get more involved on campus and make new friends.

“I basically eat, sleep, and breathe English. Being the STD President, working at the writing center, and my major take up all of my time, but I love it,” Olivia laughs.

Olivia was elected as the President of Sigma Tau Delta by her STD peers. Through her position, she has been able to plan fun on-campus events, such as the Halloween Book & Costume Party, the STD induction dinner, and work alongside her friends and amazing advisor. Being the President of STD has also opened up many professional opportunities for Olivia. She plans to attend a conference with her fellow STD officers in Las Vegas this year.

“Being a part of STD does give you so many opportunities, both professional and personal, which is really nice. There are not that many opportunities where you get to go to a conference in Las Vegas for $100 to network,” says Olivia.

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Faculty Friday: Professor Scott Proudfit

This week I sat down with English and Drama Studies Professor Scott Proudfit (pictured left) who recently was recognized with the Elon College Excellence in Teaching award. We discussed his award, his nine years of experience teaching at Elon, and finally his goals for the future. Professor Proudfit’s students describe him as the “Best person on the planet,” and he says that he feels “flattered” to be recognized by both the University and his students.

Professor Proudfit is passionate about creating courses that reflect life experiences. He has designed and taught many classes at Elon like “The Graphic Novel” and “The AIDS play.”

“I am very privileged to be able to design classes and majors that I am truly passionate about because I know not everyone gets that opportunity.”

I asked him about his impression of Elon students over the years.

“Elon students are normally pretty stressed, but they are also looking for big answers to big questions about things like gender, sexuality, and race and my classes are the places for them to really discuss these difficult topics with other people.”

Professor Proudfit describes his biggest teaching challenge as making his students comfortable without the protection of electronics. In his classes, there are no phones and no computers; just a group of people discussing important topics and big ideas. An uncommon way of teaching, but it seems to be working for Professor Proudfit.
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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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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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ENG 110: Providing Profesisonals

By: Katherine Francisco

I recently attended a round of presentations from Dr. Lindeman’s ENG 110 class. I was struck immediately by how professional each student was in preparing their work and presenting it to a panel of experts from the community.

Students giving their presentation.

Each group of students was responsible for offering their revisions to local websites including the Social Services page, the Environmental Health page, and the Sheriff’s Department website. The groups collaborated and offered many suggestions to make the pages less cluttered and more user-friendly. Data was collected from surveys the students completed off campus, and all of their content was formatted into presentations.

As they presented, three representatives from the county took notes and asked questions of the groups to get ideas to revise the websites. I noticed right away that all of the students were well prepared for the questions, and they had all rehearsed their content extensively.

I was honestly shocked at the professional level of work coming from a group of first-year students, but that is what Elon does best: shock others with their professionalism.

The panel of professionals who provided feedback on the presentations

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Top 10 Resume Tips for English Majors

By: Katherine Francisco

One of the most overwhelming parts of finding a job is developing an effective resume. Added to this is the pressure that an English major will “never find a real job” (or at least that’s what some of our parents- and popular culture- tell us). English majors tend to pride themselves on their writing and communicating abilities, but when it comes to important documents like your resume, you freeze up. Below are the top ten tips for English majors (and everyone), when it comes to developing a resume.

  1. Focus on your skills, not your title: Some people will hear that you are an English major and assume that you’re a nerd who spends all day reading books- and while some of us are- that’s not all we bring to the table. We can analyze practically any situation, and communicate its meaning in powerful ways. That is what employers want.
  2. Show off your experience: We English majors hold a wide variety of jobs and internships in our undergrad career. Talk about them on your resume; you already have the experience, and if you enjoy it, you might as well get paid for it.
  3. Don’t be afraid to brag: While you’re talking about your experience, don’t forget to mention how awesome you are! You have worked hard for your education and experiences, and potential employers should know that. There is no room for modesty on your resume.
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Student Spotlight: Meara Waxman

Junior English major Meara Waxman has done some interesting undergraduate research this summer. As a part of her Lumen project, Meara spent the summer studying popular feminist figures from the 19th century. While this isn’t her main field of study, she has conducted this interdisciplinary work to supplement her research of Bronte novels in a feminist context.

Meara was inspired to conduct research in this field by her mentor, Janet Myers. The two bonded over their shared love of linguistics, and from that point, the Bronte sisters were their focus. The goal of Meara’s research is to analyze Bronte novels at a sentence level to determine if the content either supports or refutes feminist ideals in the 19th century. Further, she compares these analyses to the theories of prominent feminists of the time to see if there are any patterns between the two.

     Meara is also a Lumen Scholar, a title which she says is amazing and very rewarding. With the funds from the scholarship, she is traveling to Bath, England in the spring to conduct more research. Meara encourages everyone to do research, and especially to apply for the Lumen prize to be a part of a “wonderful community of scholars”. In addition, Meara advises everyone doing research to be open to the research process because “the more open you are, the more excited about your project you will be”.
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