The Association for Writing Across the Curriculum and the WAC Clearinghouse sponsor awards that recognize contributions to the WAC community through scholarship, service, and achievement. Nominations are solicited prior to each International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference, and awards winners are announced at the conference.
The following awardees were recognized at the Fifteenth International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference in August 2021.
These awards recognize significant contributions to WAC scholarship in 2018, 2019, or 2020.
This award recognizes an authored book (including books by multiple authors) that makes an exceptional contribution to WAC scholarship, including (but not limited to) WAC programming, administration, pedagogy, and impact.
Michelle Cox, Cornell University; Jeffrey R. Galin, Florida Atlantic University; and Dan Melzer, University of California, Davis
Comments from the Selection Committee: The best authored book award is given to Michelle Cox, Jeffrey R. Galin, and Dan Melzer for Sustainable WAC: A Whole Systems Approach to Launching and Developing Writing Across the Curriculum Programs (NCTE). Sustainable WAC addresses the gap of a coherent theory and methodology in WAC scholarship. This gap could contribute to the fact that, though writing across the curriculum serves as the longest standing curricular reform movement in U.S. higher education (Russell, 2002), individual WAC programs often fail to survive. While existing resources are useful for WAC directors, none offer a coherent theory and methodology for building and sustaining impactful WAC programs.
Sustainable WAC provides an apt blend of theory and practice for anyone asked to build, revise, or resuscitate a WAC program. The theoretical framework and questions provided in every section will help scholars and administrators find new ways to think about situations and problems and reflect on the complex ecologies of their institutions. Each section includes case studies, providing multiple perspectives and considering multiple institutional contexts, discussing assessment, planning for sustainable leadership, and faculty development seminars/workshops, among other WAC activities. Sustainable WAC is an invaluable resource for WAC Directors and other writing program administrators. View the book at NCTE.
Honorable Mention: Michelle LaFrance, George Mason University
The committee also recognizes Michelle LaFrance's Institutional Ethnography: A Theory of Practice for Writing Studies Researchers (Utah State University Press) with an honorable mention. This extremely well-written book provides an innovative approach to ethnographic research methods. Like Sustainable WAC it pulls theoretical framing from outside writing studies into the research methods of the field. View the book at Utah State University Press.
Best WAC Edited Collection
This award recognizes an edited collection that makes an exceptional contribution to WAC scholarship, including (but not limited to) WAC programming, administration, pedagogy, and impact.
Jo Mackiewicz, Iowa State University, and Rebecca Day Babcock, University of Texas Permian Basin
Comments from the Selection Committee: The best edited collection award is given to Jo Mackiewicz and Rebecca Day Babcock who co-edited Theories and Methods of Writing Center Studies: A Practical Guide (Routledge). This book, the committee agreed, will be enormously helpful to those doing WAC and WID work, as it so often grows out of or is coordinated with writing center work, and many of the most successful models and tools of WAC/WID are writing-center based. The book is, as its title says, theoretical, methodological, and above all, practical. Moreover, it specifically brings to the fore issues that have become profoundly important in terms of inclusiveness and justice. View the book at Routledge.
Honorable Mention: Marilee Brooks-Gillies, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Elena G. Garcia, Utah Valley University; Soo Hyon Kim, University of New Hampshire; Katie Manthey, Salem College; and Trixie G. Smith, Michigan State University
The committee also recognizes Graduate Writing Across the Disciplines Identifying, Teaching, and Supporting (The WAC Clearinghouse), edited by Marilee Brooks-Gillies, Elena G. Garcia, Soo Hyon Kim, Katie Manthey, and Trixie G. Smith, with an honorable mention. View the book on the WAC Clearinghouse.
Outstanding WAC Dissertation
This award recognizes a dissertation that makes an exceptional contribution to WAC scholarship, including (but not limited to) WAC programming, administration, pedagogy, and impact.
Heather M. Falconer, University of Maine, and Justin Nicholes, University of Wisconsin Stout
Comments from the Selection Committee: The Committee awards two dissertations for their equal impact and importance. Each adds to timely conversations about construction of disciplinary identities; carefully outlines their methodologies and positions as researchers; provides valuable, curated literature reviews; and each notes the implications of their work for students, pedagogies and institutional curricula.
Heather Falconer's recommenders note her dissertation, Triple-Binds and Unintended Consequences: Exploring Scientific Discursive Identity Development with Three Women of Color "does not simply tell the story of women of color in the sciences, . . . but also provides … insights on the importance of faculty of color in that mentoring process and the role that white faculty might take in successfully mentoring women of color in the sciences." With participants from two distinct STEM disciplines, Falconer uses case studies and situated ethnographic methodology to analyze the complex ways in which race, gender, culture, mentorship, and personal histories contribute to (or inhibit) how women of color develop discursive identities as scientists. As Falconer presents "issues of student writing development, mentoring, and the intertwined relationship between development and identity, specifically for under-represented minority students in STEM programs," she fills a gap in the research on factors supporting persistence and disciplinary acculturation for women of color, particularly at Hispanic- and Minority-serving institutions, with broader, transferable implications. View the dissertation in the Northeaster University Repository.
Justin Nicholes' dissertation, Exploring How Chemistry and English Majors Understand and Construct Disciplinary Identities in Relation to Life, Departmental, and Writing Experiences: Implications for WAC and Retention, delivers on the title's promise with a detailed and meticulous picture of the complex relationships that attend disciplinary identity formation. Nicholes' sample size is large and his careful critique of his own methodology, and of the ethical considerations that guide his research, frame this robust quantitative/qualitative study of students in two very different disciplines: chemistry and English. As his recommender noted, Nicholes "focuses not on the quality of students' WTL responses but the likelihood of taking up WTL activities into their unscripted composing practices, and at the end of the day, that's what we care about most, . . . changing students' writing habits, including their habits of mind." The study explains the connected roles of composition teachers and WAC practitioners who work to retain students and promote persistence throughout college. In this way, Nichols "not only speaks to genre studies and dispositions research in writing studies but [to] larger conversations in higher ed around student dispositions related to high-impact practices." View the dissertation in the ProQuest Database.
Best WAC Article or Chapter Focused on Research
This award recognizes a research-based article or chapter that makes an exceptional contribution to WAC. Nominated work should primarily offer the methodology and results of a research study, even if the findings have programmatic, theoretical, or pragmatic implications.
Heather M. Falconer, University of Maine
Comments from the Selection Committee: Theoretically rich and methodologically robust, Heather Falconer's article, "'I Think When I Speak, I Don't Sound Like That': The Influence of Social Positioning on Rhetorical Skill Development in Science," lays out a compelling case for how literacy practices are deeply intertwined with intersecting social identities. Drawing on the case study of Anne, an academically gifted young woman originally from South America who identifies as African American, Falconer shows us that communities of practice are not always generous to those who have historically relegated them to the periphery. Through Anne's experiences and successes, Falconer demonstrates how rhetorical skill development is neither the result of exposure to the discipline, nor a reflection of student motivation, but rather the outcome of complex interactions of multiple social factors. Falconer shows that minoritized students need more than explicit instruction. They need to see themselves in scientific practice through intentional invitations and guided participation that acknowledges the multiple identity positions that they possess.
As Written Communication editor Chad Wickman wrote in his nomination letter, Falconer's article is timely, richly developed, "and offers a foundation—and/or perhaps model—for other scholar-practitioners who would like to engage in similar inquiries and teaching practices, in STEM or otherwise." Like Chad Wickman, the committee members look forward to seeing Falconer's research emerge as a touchstone for research and program development in the field. View the article in Written Communication.
Best WAC Article or Chapter Focused on Pedagogy, Theory, or Practice
This award recognizes an article or chapter that makes an exceptional contribution to WAC scholarship in the areas of pedagogy, theory or practice. Nominated work should primarily offer us theoretical ways of approaching WAC work, discussions of program design and operation, or insights regarding pedagogy, even if this work is based in research.
Sundy Watanabe, University of Utah
Comments from the Selection Committee: Sundy Watanabe's chapter, "Intercultural Collaboration: Respect, Relationship, Responsibility, and Reciprocity," in Maureen Mathison's edited collection Sojourning in Disciplinary Cultures: A Case Study of Teaching Writing in Engineering (Utah State University Press), offers the WAC community an opportunity to see what critical indigenous theory looks like in practice. By focusing on the four R's noted in the title—Respect, Relationship, Responsibility, and Reciprocity—this chapter helps explicate the benefits of both interdisciplinary and intercultural collaborations in disciplinary spaces. Watanabe shows us, specifically, what it looks like when those in the humanities and engineering collaborate to consider "broader notions of what constitutes power and knowledge" (p. 155).
From the early stages of negotiating a shared course, where the "difficulties and limitations inherent in trying to infuse the modes, content, and assumptions of one disciplinary domain into another" (p. 165) became salient, through the application of said course, Watanabe shows us the power of bringing both Euro-Western and Indigenous approaches to the classroom so that they enhance one another, rather than cancel each other out. This case study provides a glimpse into how WAC practitioners can implement more inclusive approaches into fields that have historically been exclusionary.
View the book at Utah State University PRess.
Honorable Mention: Anne Ruggles Gere, Anna V. Knutson, Naitnaphit Limlamai, Ryan McCarty, and Emily Wilson, University of Michigan
The Committee felt it was important to recognize a second nomination for this award as representing a significant contribution to the WAC community. Anne Ruggles Gere et al.'s "A Tale of Two Prompts: New Perspectives on Writing to Learn Assignments," published in The WAC Journal, offers an in-depth look into interdisciplinary negotiations on writing prompts with an eye toward critically reviewing and revising ineffective prompts in a variety of disciplinary spaces. The work presented in this article has broad, practical applications of value to a wide variety of stakeholders. View the article on the WAC Clearinghouse.
These awards recognize contributions to the field of WAC through scholarship, service, or achievement.
Early Career Contributions to the Field
This award recognizes early career scholars (i.e. graduate students and scholars in the first nine years of their academic career) who have made significant contributions to the field of WAC through scholarship or service.
Al Harahap, University of Oklahoma; Brian Hendrickson, Roger Williams University; Alisa Russell, Wake Forest University; and Genevieve García de Müeller, Syracuse University
Comments from the Selection Committee: Nominated as a group, Al Harahap, Brian Hendrickson, and Alisa Russell are recognized for their efforts to establish WAC GO (the WAC Graduate Organization, which you can read more about in Across the Disciplines) and for their ongoing individual contributions to the field. Their nominator wrote, "In addition to their work to establish WAC GO, Al and Brian have served as co-managing editors of XChanges (http://www.xchanges.org/), Al has served at various times as a member of the editorial board and editorial staff of the Clearinghouse, and Alisa is currently serving as a member of the board. Brian and Alisa have published widely and, while Al is currently devoting his efforts to completing his dissertation, he has also been active in contributing to WAC scholarship. Brian is currently serving as co-chair of the Association for Wring Across the Curriculum's (AWAC) Partnership Committee and, as a result of that, on AWAC's executive board. Al is serving as chair of AWAC's Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is also an executive board member. All three were also active in establishing AWAC and their voices played important roles in setting the direction of this important new organization. In short, these three young scholars have made impressive contributions to the field of writing across the curriculum. They are active in our professional organizations, have made important scholarly contributions, and have already contributed in significant ways to the direction of the field. I can think of no young scholars who have done more to advance WAC on a national level as well as in their individual local contexts than these three outstanding members of the WAC community."
The committee also recognizes the impressive work of Genevieve García de Müeller on a local institutional level and within the field. At Syracuse, García de Müeller has established a WAC program that places anti-racist praxis at its core. Her development efforts include the creation of an Antiracist WAC Toolkit that supports efforts to "challenge the traditional notion of WAC as an assimilationist process by using WAC as a way to subvert academic discourse that upholds white supremacist ideologies of language." García de Müeller's program recognizes the importance of embracing an anti-racist agenda, positioning support for ethnically and linguistically diverse students as central to any other program objective. Recently, Syracuse's innovative WAC program was recognized with a CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence award, denoting it as one of the top in the field of writing studies. Her nominator wrote, "As an untenured Latina academic, Dr. García de Müeller's innovation efforts are already being recognized with the top awards in the field as colleagues around the country recognize her commitments to social justice and her talents in writing instruction and program development across the curriculum. Her publications in WAC and WPA journals have been recognized with distinction and continue to break new ground in the field."
Outstanding Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Field
This award recognizes scholars who have promoted diversity and inclusion in the field of WAC through scholarship and service.
Genevieve García de Müeller, Syracuse University
Comments from the Selection Committee: Genevieve García de Müeller is Assistant Professor and Director of WAC in the Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition at Syracuse University. As WAC director, she emphasizes diversity and equity in her work with faculty, and she has created the Anti-Racist WAC Toolkit, which is available to all on the WAC campus homepage. According to the website, the goal of campus WAC is create writing intensive courses with anti-racist instruction and assessment. Fellows who have participated have called the workshop "transformative" and praised her for its emphasis on "giving agency to students." In addition to being Director of WAC, García de Müeller is the founder and chair of the Council Writing Program Administration (CWPA) People of Color Caucus. She regularly publishes on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in WAC. With Iris Ruiz, she was awarded a 2015-2016 CCCC Research Initiative Grant; the first report of that research was published in 2017 in the WPA Journal as "Race, Silence, and Writing Program Administration: A Qualitative Study of U.S. College Writing Programs."
Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum
This award recognizes distinguished scholars (i.e., scholars in field for at least 10 years) who have made significant contributions to the field of WAC through scholarship, service, and/or achievement. This is an award that continues beyond the year in which it was made. You can view the full list of Distinguished Fellow on the Distinguished Fellows page.
Charles Bazerman University of California Santa Barbara
We are pleased to nominate Charles Bazerman, Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of California Santa Barbara, for selection as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum. Dr. Bazerman was one of the earliest to engage detailed research in writing across the curriculum, with his 1981 article "What Written Knowledge Does: Three Examples of Academic Discourse." He went on to study the evolution and variety of the experimental research article in the sciences and social sciences, eventuating in the award winning 1988 book Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science (University of Wisconsin Press) along with numerous articles and chapters before and after.
Dr. Bazerman's textbooks The Informed Writer (1981; 1985; 1989; 1992; 1995) and The Informed Reader (1989) (both Houghton Mifflin) broke ground in providing discipline-specific instruction and materials. His co-authored (along with Joseph Little, Teri Chavkin, Danielle Fouquette, Lisa Bethel, and Janet Garufis) Reference Guide to Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press, 2005) has become a standard reference guide on WAC, and in 2016 was translated into Spanish, allowing it to then become an effective guide to developing programs in Latin America. He also co-edited with David Russell Landmark Essays in Writing Across the Curriculum (Hermagoras Press, 1994). His theories of genre arose in an attempt to understand disciplinary writing and have been widely used in WAC publications and pedagogy. He has edited or co-edited works that have been important venues for WAC work, including the series Rhetoric, Knowledge and Society and Reference Guides to Rhetoric and Composition, and the volumes Textual Dynamics of the Professions; Writing Selves, Writing Societies; and Genre in a Changing World. He also founded or collaborated in the formation of a number of organizations that have provided venues for the presentation and discussion of discipline-focused writing research, including the Research Network Forum, the International Society for the Advancement of Writing Research, the Latin American Association for Reading and Writing in Higher Education, and the WAC Clearinghouse.
His work has received numerous awards, including the CCCC Exemplar Award; NCTE James R. Squire Award; Doctor Honoris Causa, University Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina, The National University of Entre Ríos, the National University of Río Cuarto, and the National University of Villa María in Argentina; Best Book of 1999 in History of Science and Technology; American Medical Writers Association John P. McGovern Award. He has had visiting professorships and Fulbright fellowships in China, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Nepal, Denmark, Czech Republic, and France. He is also a Kentucky Colonel (joining esteemed colleagues Mae West, W. C. Fields, and Charlie Chaplin).
Dr. Bazerman's scholarly, professional, and teaching accomplishments are truly impressive and we believe he is supremely worthy of the recognition afforded through designation as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum.
Anthony Paré University of British Columbia
We are pleased to nominate Anthony Paré, Professor and Head of the Language and Literacy Education Department at the University of the British Columbia, for selection as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum. Dr. Paré is one of the pioneers of writing in the disciplines and its relation to workplace writing. He has been highly influential in the development of the teaching of disciplinary academic writing in Canadian Universities, and was one of the founding organizers of the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing, which is essentially a WAC-focused organization.
As one of the lead researchers of the Canadian team that did the groundbreaking large study resulting in the influential volumes P. Dias, A. Freedman, A. Pare, & P. Medway, Worlds Apart: Acting and Writing in Academic and Workplace Contexts (Routledge, 1999) and A. Pare and P. Diaz (Eds.), Transitions (Hampton Press, 2000), Dr. Paré contributed to important, influential theoretical formulations of the role of writing in educational activity in contrast to the workplace. In particularly he looked intently at the writing in social work courses and related social work careers.
He has extended his research and practical work the context of doctoral education, and he led a nationally-funded research team on this subject. Of the many articles his group published on this subject, "Probing normalized institutional discourses about writing: The case of the doctoral thesis" was named the Best Research Article on Rhetoric, Writing Studies, or Discourse Studies for 2014 by the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing.
In recognition of his sustained, pioneering work in writing in the disciplines, we recommend Dr. Paré for designation as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum.
Carol Rutz Carleton College
It is with great gratitude for her service to the WAC community that we write to nominate Carol Rutz, emeritus director of the writing program and senior lecturer at Carleton College, for designation as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum. Dr. Rutz has continued the excellent work of the first formal WAC program ever established in the United States, serving as a tireless champion of WAC at her own institution and on a national and international level. She is perhaps best known for her series of interviews with leading figures in WAC, which were published in The WAC Journal from 2002 to 2016 and which have continued under the leadership of Neal Lerner. Those essays will be re-released with updates and additional commentary in a book forthcoming from the Practices & Possibilities book series at the WAC Clearinghouse.
Beyond her well-regarded interview series, Dr. Rutz has made substantial scholarly contribution to the field. She has published essays on WAC in College Composition and Communication, Across the Disciplines, The WAC Journal, WPA Journal, and numerous edited collections. She has been a frequent presenter on WAC at major conferences. And she has served as a PI or Co-PI on grants totaling more than $1 million that have supported WAC initiatives at and beyond her college. In addition, Dr. Rutz has provided significant service to the WAC community, serving as a member of the editorial boards for the WAC Clearinghouse and The WAC Journal.
For her long record of sustained and impressive contributions to the field, we recommend Dr. Rutz for designation as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum.
Barbara Walvoord Notre Dame
I am nominating Barbara Walvoord for a Distinguished Achievement Award for her many contributions to WAC/WID from 1970 to beyond 2010. Barbara has been Professor Emerita of English at Notre Dame since before 2010, but remained very active as a writer and researcher in our field until 2014.
She has the distinction of building what many regard as the first WAC program, at Central College in Pella, Iowa, in 1970. In the later '70s, she created WAC at Loyola College (MD), and, as part of the National Writing Project, built perhaps the first regional consortium of WAC programs, the Baltimore Area Consortium for WAC (BACWAC), in 1979. In 1980, she became one of the founding members of the Board of Consultants of the National (later International) Network of WAC Programs, and served on the board until after 2000. In these leadership roles, she became one of the leading national consultants on WAC and writing program development for over 30 years. In so doing, she became a mentor and exemplarto many program leaders (including me).
Maybe as influential as her program leadership and mentoring has been her research and writing in our field. She is the author of 8 books and many articles. She wrote one of the very first volumes on WAC practice: Helping Students Write Well: A Guide for Teachers in All Disciplines (2nd ed., MLA, 1986) and the first, and one of the best, books on assessment of WAC programs: In the Long Run: A Study of Faculty in Three Writing-across-the-Curriculum Programs (NCTE, 1996). As an expert in assessment of writing and learning, she (with Virginia Anderson) wrote the influential Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment (Jossey-Bass, 1998). In later years, she has contributed further to the assessment literature with Assessment Clear and Simple: A Practical Guide for Institutions, Departments, and General Education (with Trudy Banta; Jossey-Bass, 2010) and Assessing and Improving Student Writing in College (Jossey-Bass, 2014).
Her 1995 essay in College English, "The Future of Writing Across the Curriculum," became one of the most important articles in the field, as it theorized WAC as a social movement, with relevance beyond its writing studies context.
As her colleague over 20 years in the National WAC Network, I was privileged to learn from how she related to faculty and to those initiating WAC programs at their schools. She was an exemplary facilitator, always interested as much in learning from the participants at our meetings as in helping to address their concerns. She practiced what she advised her colleagues in these meetings: "always think of WAC outreach across faculties as research—an opportunity for you to learn from the teacher you speak with, not as an opportunity for you to be the expert." I continue to see this advice as one of the most important principles of WAC faculty development, a guiding principle for my own work.
I feel that Barbara Walvoord richly deserves the acknowledgment that this award will convey.
Art Young Clemson University
We are delighted to nominate Art Young for selection as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum. Professor Young is a national and international pioneer of Writing Across the Curriculum, having translated our discipline's knowledge into programmatic practices that place the teaching of writing at the center of the mission of higher education.
Nearly two decades ago, Art Young was recognized with the CCCC's Exemplar Award (on which this nomination is partially based). His scholarship in composition and literature and technology and communication helped to form our larger discipline. Had those areas been the sole focus of his intellectual work, Art would still have been a powerful figure to reckon with. But his oeuvre transcends them—and indeed helped create the field we seek to memorialize with his designation as Fellow. In addition to those aforementioned fields, Art has contributed to the literature in our relatively new field by coauthoring or coediting no fewer than eight books or monographs related to writing across the curriculum.
Art's contributions to the profession and our community are too numerous to summarize. The list of manuscript reviews for most of our journals, conference presentations and keynotes, workshops, series editorships, program evaluations, task forces, committee work for his home institution, dissertation committee oversight, plus his own articles and book chapters is rendered not in dozens of examples, but in dozens of pages. Likewise, the list of honors recognizing his work is noteworthy. Just a few include South Carolina's Order of the Palmetto, the State's highest honor for public service; the Department of the Army's Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, for his WAC work at the U.S. Military Academy; and a citation in Time Magazine for Clemson's having been selected as the #1 public college of the year in 2000.
Significant among Art's accomplishments is his holding simultaneous academic appointments as Professor of English and Professor of Engineering at Clemson University while also holding the Campbell Chair in Technical Communication. Further, he helped found Clemson's Pearce Center for Professional Communication.
Professor Young's years-long contributions to the development of WAC and his influence as a leader in the field offer clear evidence to support his selection as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum. Simply put, the inaugural cohort of Distinguished Fellows would not be complete without him.