A key principle of faculty development is, “Start with the willing.” The remarkable thing about the OSU faculty during my 26 years as WIC director is that so many of you have been willing: willing to take on the challenge of teaching majors to write in your discipline, willing to invest your time in the WIC faculty seminar, willing to do the hard work of responding to student writing, and willing to teach students what critical thinking looks like in your field. For all of these things and more, I thank you.
Over the years, you have generously shared your questions, your assignments and rubrics, your creative approaches to teaching writing with me and with your colleagues. I am especially grateful for all I have learned from you about writing in the discipline. That knowledge inspired me, in 2001, to begin offering WR 599, Workshop for Thesis and Dissertation Writers Across the University, which has been one of the great teaching joys of my life.
In 2004, a philosophy professor from Tajikistan, Abdurahim Juraev, came to OSU on a Fulbright to study with me. I asked him why me? He said because I teach critical thinking through writing. “The future of my country depends on our students’ learning critical thinking, which was never allowed earlier under the Soviet Union,” he explained. It is just as essential for our own students to learn critical thinking and to learn that the future of our country may also depend on it. Dr. Juraev has gone on to teach WIC approaches to critical thinking to more than 300 university faculty across Central Asia. When someone asked my vision for the future of the Baccalaureate Core, my vision is that every teacher of a Bacc Core course will clearly articulate what constitutes critical thinking in their discipline and give students not only a definition but also an abundance of practice thinking critically through writing and other modes, and meta-cognitively KNOWING that they are thinking critically.
As I look toward my retirement on January 1, 2020, my final thanks to the WIC GTA, the supremely kind and efficient Marisa Yerace, the lively WIC interns Regan Breeden, Matthew Fuller, and Alex Werndli, the amazingly organized and technologically adept Caryn Stoess, my kind and wise supervisor Alix Gitelman, and of course to all of you, the WIC faculty and supporters across the curriculum. My OSU career traversing the disciplines has been, largely because of all of you, a dream job. Thank you. Keep on writing.