by the WIC Team

WIC and participating units strive to foster a commitment to excellence in undergraduate student writing and recognize the value of writing across the disciplines with the annual WIC Culture of Writing Awards in the disciplines.

Participation in the Culture of Writing Awards has thrived since 2006 as students earn recognition and cash awards through either individual or team writing projects. This year, participation continued to be strong. WIC would like to thank all participating units for their continued desire to recognize and reward outstanding student writing.

Congratulations to this year’s awardees!

Team Awards Paper Title College | Unit | Nominating Professor
Bradi Marie Van Atta & Abigail Noel Nagel Northwest Buddies Public Health and Human Sciences / School of Social and Behavioral Sciences / Lori McGraw
Rihana Louise Debler, Charisa Collyn Hohman, & Breanna Wells-Tyrell Family Health and Wellness Grant Proposal Public Health and Human Sciences / Human Development and Family Sciences (OSU Cascades) / Shannon Lipscomb, Jenna Goldsmith

Individual Awards Paper Title College | Discipline| Nominating Professor
Callie Daddario Expiration Date Education: A Movement to Decrease Food Waste Agricultural Sciences | Agricultural  Education and Agricultural Sciences | Becky Haddad
Kate Brazelton What is the most ethical method of tail docking in lambs? Agricultural Sciences | Animal & Rangeland Sciences | Claudia Ingham
Tyler Gustafson Alternative Policy Approaches to Pesticide Use Agricultural Sciences | Applied Economics | Larry Lev
Alberto Gonzalez Sustainability Assessment of Boise Firefighters IAFF Local 149 Agricultural Sciences | Crop and Soil Science | Deanna Lloyd
Andrew Chione New discovery leads to a whole new meaning of “trash fish” Agricultural Sciences | Fisheries & Wildlife | Brian Sidlauskas
Elizabeth Puttman Use of Platelet Rich Plasma for the Treatment of Subclinical Endometritis in Beef Heifers Agricultural Sciences | BioResource Research | Kate Field
Hamza Molvi Personal Ethical Action Plan Business | Marketing | Ted Paterson
Shreya Melkote Personal Ethical Action Plan Business | Business Information Systems | Jon Broome
Macey Hsu Personal Ethical Action Plan Business | Accounting | Angelika Buchanan
Eliza Adams Personal Ethical Action Plan Business | Finance | Angelika Buchanan
Tony Penoyer Mobile Pedestrian Target: Block Design Validation

Mechanical Structure and Motors

Engineering | School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science | Rachael Cate
Annie Dutchover The Loving Embrace Forestry | Tourism, Recreation and Adventure Leadership (TRAL) | Andrew Hawley
Danil Thorstensson Final Paper Liberal Arts | Philosophy | Joseph Orosco
Scott T. Harrington Religion as a Common-Sense Category Liberal Arts | Religion | Courtney Campbell
Chanti Manon-Ferguson Learning Outcomes: Native American Assimilation and Activism Liberal Arts | Ethnic Studies | Natchee Barnd
Rebekah Richardson The Most Wonderful Letters: Leonard Bernstein’s Piano Anniversaries Liberal Arts | Music Education | Kimary Fick
Peter T. Young The Lords of Longitude – How Social and Political Structures influenced the Longitude Problem Liberal Arts | History | Jacob Hamblin
Annie L. Cao Physicians and Treating Addiction in Patients Liberal Arts | School of Psychological Science | Frank Bernieri
Marcus Trinidad Criming going off the rails: Examining the relationship between light rail stations and crime in Porland, OR Liberal Arts | Economics | Camille Soltau Nelson
Brianne Nordin The Gender Wage Gap and Education Liberal Arts | Political Science | Christopher Stout
Shannon Nicole Pastori Does Knowing Someone Who has Taken Their Own Life Increase Support for Gun Control? Liberal Arts | Sociology and Psychology | Rebecca Warner
Addie Howell Politics, Memes, and Culture Jamming: Meme Culture’s Potential to Engage Youth in Politics Liberal Arts | Speech Communication | Trischa Goodnow
Kristin Yeomans Screen Time: A Community-based HIV/AIDS Reduction Program in Multnomah County, based on PROMISE for HIP, an Evidence-based Intervention. Public Health and Human Sciences | School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences | Aimee Snyder
Jenna Beyer Probing the effects of post-translational modifications at a regulatory serine in LC8 using non-canonical amino acids” Science | Biochemistry and Biophysics | Lauren Dalton
Jorie Casey Regulatory Phosphorylation of LC8 Dimerization through Genetic Code Expansion   Science | Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | Lauren Dalton
Cocoro Andrew Nagasaka Preparation and Characterization of Zeolite 5A: Analysis with PXRD, TGA, INAA, Porosimetry, and SEM-EDX. Science | Chemistry | May Nyman
Jade Sentker Embryonic stem cell research: invaluable and ethical Science | Integrative Biology | Meta Landys
Sara Tro Comparing the Polynomial Chaos Debye Model to the Original Debye Model Science | Mathematics | Nathan Gibson
Sydney Kristine Wardan Grant Proposal Prospectus: Hepatitis C Vaccine Study Science | BioHealth Science | Kate Field
Bailey Burk Soil solarization can improve agricultural yield by limiting growth of unwanted organisms and altering microbial diversity without use of soil fumigation Science | Microbiology | Walt Ream
Brennan Douglas Chiral Topological Defects in Nematic Liquid Crystals and Classical Field Theories Science | Physics | Ethan Minot
Trevor A. Whitaker Freeze Stage Analysis of an Indirect Freeze Desalination System Honors College | Mechanical Engineering | Deborah V. Pence
Tessa Barone Just Go Find Yourself a Nice Alpha: Gender and Consent in Supernatural Fanfiction’s Alpha/Beta/Omega Universe Honors College | English and History | Rebecca Olson
Benjamin Nicholas Genetic and morphological evidence suggests cryptic speciation within Torrent Sculpin, Cottus rhotheus, across the Pacific Northwest Honors College | Fisheries & Wildlife | Brian Sidlauskas

by the WIC Team

As WIC celebrated 25 years at OSU, we wanted to honor the faculty and units that have helped make our success possible. Below are just some parties that help cultivate a culture of writing at OSU.

Founding Director Award Lisa Ede
Most Memorable WIC Retreats Animal Sciences

Human Development and Family Sciences

WIC Mentoring Awards Katharine Field

Philip Harding

Neil Browne

Brad Cardinal

WIC Versatility Award Randall Milstein
WIC Silver Anniversary Award Trischa Goodnow

Jon Lewis

Rebecca Warner

WIC Silver Anniversary Superstar Christine Pastorek
WIC Collaborative Partnership Undergraduate Research and Writing Studio


by Marisa Yerace, WIC Intern

Our Anniversary Celebration keynote speaker, Dr. Terry Myers Zawacki, Professor Emerita at George Mason University, gave a talk titled Engaging Conversation(s): Students and Teachers Talk about Expectations for Academic Writing Across Disciplines, Languages, and Cultures. For a limited time, her talk can be viewed by OSU faculty, staff, and students through their OSU login credentials here

We have included reflections as two graduate students working with WIC: Ruth Sylvester, WIC GTA, and Marisa Yerace, WIC Intern. We respond to the Keynote both as students invested in WIC and as junior scholars in the field of composition.

Dr. Terry Myers Zawacki

Ruth: Dr. Zawacki framed the stakes of her talk by reminding us of the myth of transience (from Mike Rose but articulated by David Russell), the myth that students must have been taught to write well in the past, or at least have been made familiar with a robust knowledge and skills base that they could continue to draw from, before they approach writing in high stakes disciplinary contexts. To combat this myth, Dr. Zawacki provided details on the implicit cues for teacher expectations, and, similarly, implicit paradigms of cultural understanding of students coming from outside the sphere of academia in the United States.

Marisa: While I was watching the keynote presentation, I took notes on Dr. Zawacki’s topic–which she is no doubt an expert on–but I also took notes on her presentation style and skill, which were at a level I hope to someday achieve. She centered student voices throughout her presentation, so that, when discussing the difficulties these students have in writing, we were hearing it from them and she was just synthesizing their points. She brought in some of what our faculty said about teaching English learners in the earlier roundtable. She pointed out some “generic terms” that teachers use to describe writing that are too vague to many of our students: “originality,” “voice,” and “clarity and conciseness.” These terms, she pointed out, vary from discipline to discipline and even teacher to teacher.

Dr. Zawacki also brought in a faculty voice about how that teacher perceived student difficulties; she then broke down their quote into small parts and placed them next to those student voices so that they were in conversation.

When we talked to Dr. Zawacki about her research in our staff meeting the next day, it was clear to me that she still remembered the details of every student she had interviewed for this research.

Finally, this outstanding scholar left us with the most important question we should be asking when evaluating student writing: Will my students’ writing serve them well in the range of academic, disciplinary, professional, and linguistic contexts?

by the WIC Team

The WIC Faculty Seminar for the 2019-2020 school year will be held in fall term. Faculty interested in participating should ask their unit heads to email a nomination to WIC director Vicki Tolar Burton at

The seminar is designed for faculty teaching WIC courses and faculty using writing in non-WIC courses, as it focuses on learning best practices for teaching writing across the disciplines. Upon completing the five-session seminar, participating faculty receive a modest honorarium.

The seminar is held on five consecutive Thursday afternoons, 3-5pm, in Milam 215 on the dates listed below:

  • October 10th
  • October 17th
  • October 24th
  • October 31st
  • November 7th

Registration is now open and will continue throughout the summer.

By Marisa Yerace, WIC Intern

This article describes the Panel and Roundtable that were part of the WIC 25th Anniversary Celebration on May 21st, 2019. We have included reflections as two graduate students working with WIC: Ruth Sylvester, WIC GTA, and 2nd year MA in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture, and Marisa Yerace, WIC Intern, and 1st year MA in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture. We respond to the day both as students invested in WIC and as junior scholars in the field of composition.

Deanna Lloyd

As part of the WIC 25th Anniversary Celebration, a panel of faculty presented how they innovate when teaching writing in the disciplines:

  • Deanna Lloyd (Horticulture), Integrating Lessons of Difference, Power, & Discrimination (DPD) into a Science WIC.
  • Rachael Cate (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Transcending the Technical/Non-technical Divide: Collaborative Team Teaching in a WIC Capstone Course.
  • Celeste King (INTO OSU), A Running Start: Preparing ESL Students for Future WIC Courses.
  • Charlotte Headrick (Theatre), Transforming my Teaching Since 1994: The Writing Intensive Program.
Rachael Cate

Marisa: First of all, I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to organize this part of our Celebration and work with these excellent faculty members. Despite only teaching WIC courses for two years, Deanna Lloyd began our panel on a strong note. She walked us through the modules of her WIC course and centered student voices throughout her presentation–just to show the impact that her class had made. One of the key themes of incorporating DPD into WIC, for her, is continuing to question “Knowledge”–whose knowledge? Who promotes it and circulates it? Who does it leave out? These are big questions and perfect examples of what we can think through when writing. Deanna also begins her class on a more personal note that allows students to talk about their own homes before needing to write about course content.

Rachael Cate has her students in EECS analyze what effective teamwork and communication is throughout their three terms of WIC as an engineering senior capstone course. She also talked about the push to embed WIC even when bringing writing and communications concerns into engineering wasn’t super popular–an effort that I, as a composition student and teacher, have to appreciate.

Celeste King

Celeste King, INTO, spoke about the pathways INTO students take and the skills that the program focuses on to prepare them for their writing courses in the university. I was excited to have Celeste on the panel because, although she doesn’t teach a WIC course, I think this information is important for everyone who teaches writing at OSU.

Finally, Charlotte Headrick offered the perspective both as a longtime WIC instructor and one who had a class perceived as “easy” for students who needed to graduate soon (spoiler alert: it was not that easy).

Ruth: I’m thankful for the opportunity to have heard these panelists. A common thread among the presentations, a thread that continued through the roundtable and keynote and into the evening, was the notion that diligent attention to student voices is not only urgent and necessary for innovation in WIC, but also vital for the professional development of instructors as they teach and write in the disciplines. Deanna Lloyd provided us with details of student feedback for each of her modules, and these details helped the audience to understand her investment in the subject matter of her class. Many in the audience told Deanna later that  they would have liked to take the class that integrates inclusion with environmental studies.

Charlotte Headrick


Following the panel, a roundtable of WIC faculty shared their experiences:

  • Lauren Dalton (Biochemistry and Biophysics)
  • Mark Edwards (Sociology)
  • Kate Field (BioResource Research)
  • Claudia Ingham (Animal Sciences)
  • Matthew Powers (Forest Engineering, Resources and Management)
  • Janet Tate (Physics)

Ruth: I was invested in Lauren’s discussion of the ways that she teaches transitions in the writing process, and how she often encounters transition-less paragraphs in student writing; Lauren calls these paragraphs “fact islands,” as they are disconnected from the “archipelago” of the context that the student is pursuing in writing about a topic. Throughout the roundtable I was encouraged by the speakers’ commitment to helping their students engage with discipline-specific values in the writing process. They all showed great enthusiasm for the content that they teach, and their anecdotes demonstrated their successes at making processes of writing in the disciplines more transparent for their students. With regard to this metacognitive transparency, I especially appreciated Mark Edwards’ strategy of writing a letter, or memo, to the class to alert them to things that many writers struggled with in completing an assignment. This strategy positions the instructor within the community of student writers and provides students with a new genre to mediate their classroom experiences with writing.

The Roundtable on teaching writing in the disciplines.

Marisa: I liked Lauren’s strategy of end-of-class notecards just as check-ins with her students after every meeting. I’ve been employing attendance sheets in my own teaching, but I think her strategy is a little cleaner and allows for more trust and more opportunities for students to reach out.

Janet Tate discussed the role of professional societies when teaching her Physics students about writing; she also pointed out the “true-statement-trap” that many of her students fall into when they think stating the facts is equivalent to writing well. When Claudia Ingham teaches science writing to Animal Science majors, she uses “ROTs”–Rules of Thumb–to both point out and poke fun at the writing conventions of her discipline.

These WIC faculty also listed their favorite (unofficial) WIC outcomes: student ownership of writing; students having fun with and becoming invested in their topic; students being able to become experts in one of their interests; and student use of writing-to-think.

Overall, as the roundtable continued, more and more of the audience got involved, turning the event into a discussion–something that was productive for everyone there.