by Casey Dawson, WIC Graduate Assistant

This Winter, WIC will be hosting Dr. S. Scott Graham from the University of Texas-Austin, who will be giving a talk and a workshop on writing and generative AI. The title of Dr. Graham’s talk is “AI has Entered the Chat: Promise, Peril, and the Future of Writing in Higher Ed,” and the workshop is titled “ChatGPT in the Classroom: Practicalities & Pedagogies.” 

Register for the events here.


Title:AI has entered the chat: Promise, Peril, and the Future of Writing in Higher Ed” 

Date and Time: Monday, February 5, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Location: Horizon Room

Abstract: AI is here. Automated writing tools are already freely available online and in popular word-processing applications. The newfound availability of these technologies has the potential to substantially disrupt teaching in higher education, especially where writing is involved. In addressing these issues, Dr. Graham will discuss the opportunities for and dangers of AI use in the classroom. The presentation will outline the nature of emerging generative AI technologies like ChatGPT, explore the risks associated with academic misconduct and FERPA violations, and offer some insights into how professors and students alike can leverage this new technological reality to support effective writing instruction and other learning goals.


Title: ChatGPT in the Classroom: Practicalities & Pedagogies 

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 6, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Location: Milam 215

Abstract: This hands-on workshop will introduce educators to the practical use of ChatGPT for writing instruction. The workshop will have a particular focus on how ChatGPT and similar tools can support teaching (1) specific writing genres, (2) research literacy, and (3) critical technology appraisal. Attendees who wish to participate in the hands-on portion of the workshop should create a free ChatGPT account and bring a laptop. 


According to his biography, “Dr. Graham is an associate professor in UT-Austin’s Department of Rhetoric & Writing, as well as the Associate Director for Health, Humanities, and Medicine at the Humanities Institute. He uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to study communication in bioscience and health policy, with special attention to bioethics, conflicts of interest, and health AI. His research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the NSF’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), and the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Graham is also affiliated with the Center for Health Communication, the Addiction Research Institute, the University of Texas Opioid Response Consortium, and the Health Informatics Research Interest Group. Dr. Graham is the author of three books, The Doctor & The Algorithm, The Politics of Pain Medicine and Where’s the Rhetoric? He’s also the author of 35 articles, chapters, and essays published in Technical Communication Quarterly, Rhetoric of Health & Medicine, Plos-One, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and other journals. His scholarship has been covered in The New York Times, US News & World Report, Science, Health Day, AI in Health Care, and the Scientific Inquirer.”

A screenshot of a Zoom meeting with smiling faculty members

by Casey Dawson, WIC Graduate Assistant

TOP ROW: Sarah Tinker Perrault (WIC Director), Casey Dawson (WIC Graduate Assistant), Shelley Nelson, Joe Baio, Deborah Coehlo; SECOND ROW: Patti Hamerski, Alicia Leytem, Bruce Seal, Dennis Bennett (WIC Assistant Director), Nadia Jaramillo Cherrez (Ecampus Senior Instructional Designer); THIRD ROW: Vernita Ediger, Jiyao Chen, Liz Kelly, Tamas Golya, Sarah Harsey; BOTTOM ROW: J Webster (WIC Graduate Intern), Tara Chapmon

This Fall, the WIC team hosted our annual Faculty Seminar, a 5-week course for WIC faculty across OSU to develop practical skills for teaching writing in their disciplines. Our weekly sessions included lessons on understanding the goals of a writing intensive course, how to evaluate student writing, designing summative writing assignments, and more.

Along with Sarah Tinker Perrault, this year’s WIC team moderators and assistants included WIC Graduate Assistant Casey Dawson, WIC Graduate Intern J Webster, WIC Assistant Director Dennis Bennett, and Ecampus’ Senior Instructional Design Specialist Nadia Jaramillo Cherrez. Nadia worked with our Seminar cohort on how to integrate writing exercises and assignments (including peer review and group discussions) effectively in the online teaching environment.

Across Canvas discussion boards and Zoom breakout groups, our participants engaged each other in conversations on the challenges of teaching writing today while sharing their own strategies for teaching, assigning, and assessing writing in their respective disciplines.

The WIC team is proud to congratulate the Fall 2023 WIC Faculty Seminar cohort on their completion of the course! This term’s Seminar graduates include:

  • Alicia Leytem (Sustainability)
  • Alison Lay Cranston (Environmental Science, NR & S)
  • Bruce Seal (Molecular Biology)
  • Deborah Coehlo (Psychology)
  • Jiyao Chen (Business)
  • Joe Baio (Bioengineering)
  • Liz Kelly (Fisheries, Wildlife, & Conservation Sciences)
  • Patti Hamerski (Physics Education)
  • Sarah Harsey (Social Psychology)
  • Shelley Nelson (Sociology)
  • Tamas Golya (Political Science & Public Policy )
  • Tara Chapmon (Recreation & Tourism )
  • Vernita Ediger (Forestry )


Faculty are nominated to attend Seminar by their unit heads and receive a $500 honorarium for their participation.

For the first time, WIC will be hosting Faculty Seminar during all 3 terms of the academic year! We’re looking forward to meeting our next faculty cohort this Winter. Click this link to learn more about WIC Faculty Seminar.

by Casey Dawson, WIC Graduate Assistant

Each spring, the Writing Intensive Curriculum program hosts the WIC Culture of Writing Awards in the Disciplines (COWA). The COWA are designed to foster an academic culture that recognizes and values the teaching, practice, and modeling of writing excellence at the classroom, unit, and university levels. These awards encourage undergraduates and the wider OSU community to value and recognize the unique qualities of disciplinary writing.

Winners will receive a $100 prize: $50 coming from the WIC Program, and $50 from the unit that nominated the paper. Winners will also be invited to submit their papers to ScholarsArchive@OSU, Oregon State’s thesis and dissertation archive. Past COWA winners (2006-2023) can be found here.


Papers written for undergraduate courses at Oregon State are eligible for nomination. The paper does NOT need to have been written for a WIC course. Nominees for COWA are selected by participating departments. While the nomination process takes place within each unit, awardees are selected by faculty within each discipline.

To nominate a student paper for WIC’s Culture of Writing Awards:

  • Complete the nomination form and submit to Caryn Stoess no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 30th, 2024. (To receive the award certificate in time for your college’s spring awards event, submit this form as early as possible and include the event information/date.)
  • After the award is processed, the $100 prize — $50 from WIC and $50 from the unit index noted on the nomination form — will be deposited in the recipient’s student account. Winners who graduate prior to June 2023 will be mailed a check.


If your unit would like to recognize a collaboratively-written paper, contact WIC Director Sarah Perrault ( for more information.

by Casey Dawson, WIC Graduate Assistant


WIC Director Sarah Tinker Perrault kicked off this year’s WIC workshop series with “How to Use Ungraded Writing to Promote Disciplinary Learning.” In this workshop, Dr. Perrault shared insights into the effectiveness of ungraded writing exercises in promoting content learning and writing confidence among students across academic disciplines. She leveraged research and practical advice to combat common misconceptions about integrating writing into the classroom. Among the most common concerns from workshop participants were how to keep students engaged in ungraded writing exercises and how to stagger ungraded writing across the term without sacrificing other parts of their curriculum.

Along with addressing these concerns about ungraded writing, Dr. Perrault also shared various ungraded writing exercises, along with ways to incorporate these writing practices into the classroom. Workshop participants engaged in one such exercise, called “cubing,” in which they practiced articulating different facets of knowledge about a key concept in their field, an exercise that many said they plan to use with their own students.

To close out the workshop, participants were also able to share their own ungraded writing exercises with the group. Participants also shared and discussed common anxieties and solutions surrounding student participation and writing.
Access the recording of this workshop by following this link.


This Halloween, tricks and treats abounded at OSU Cascades, where WIC Director Sarah Tinker Perrault hosted the workshop “Pedagogical Principles, Writing, and Text Generating Tools.” With educators witnessing the impacts of generative writing tools like Chat-GPT on their students’ lives and learning, Dr. Perrault discussed the opportunities and limits to leveraging AI in Writing to Learn (WTL) and Learning to Write (LTW) in-class activities.

Dr. Perrault emphasized the limits of generative text tools in Writing to Learn exercises, which foster deep engagement with course content, the development of one’s own writing voice, critical thinking, and more. She also offered insights into the ways that generative AI may be useful for Learning to Write exercises, which get students practicing strong writing habits, understanding appropriate tones for various writing contexts, and other critical writing skills.

The nine attendees represented a variety of disciplines, including Literature, American Studies, Psychology, Molecular Biology, Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, and Biochemistry. Participants brainstormed various knowledge-making and habit-based writing exercises they might include in their own classrooms, and debriefed on the ways that generative AI had shifted their approach to instruction. 

(No recording available)

by Casey Dawson, WIC Graduate Assistant

This year, the WIC Program added an additional member to our team: Dennis Bennett.

Dennis joins us as our first ever Assistant Director, though he’s no stranger to Oregon State’s writing programs. Dennis is a writing and learning technology specialist with two decades of experience in writing program administration here at OSU. He currently serves as the Director of our university’s Graduate Writing Center and also teaches technical writing courses through the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. He has a combined three decades of experience in writing programs as a teacher, tutor, writing program administrator, and project manager.

We caught up with Dennis to talk about his experience coming into the WIC Program, what he’s excited for in higher ed, and more.

What has been the most exciting aspect of joining the WIC team?
One of the things I like about WIC is that it’s both faculty and student facing. My writing center background has given me perspective on the student experience, but I haven’t had much formal faculty-facing experience since leaving Washington State University in 2004. At WSU, I was part of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and hosted faculty workshops on a semi-regular basis. Becoming part of the team that supports faculty here at OSU has been exciting.

In higher ed, what has shifted or stayed the same since your last experience in a faculty-facing role? What challenges or opportunities do you think these changes present?
Higher ed has changed a lot since 2004, certainly. But what has really stayed the same is that faculty still want time to talk to each other. They’re most excited when they’re talking to one another and sharing their knowledge about teaching and learning together. I was doing faculty-facing work in the ’90s, and this was even true back then! You never want these things to change, at OSU and elsewhere. Get faculty in a room talking to each other, tackling problems and sharing information–it’s great. It benefits faculty to do so and they feel those benefits.

As far as changes in higher ed in the past 20 years, I’ve noticed that faculty today are generally more positive about the students they’re working with at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Overall, faculty are far less prone to the “student deficit” learning and teaching model.

You’ve been the director of the Graduate Writing Center here at OSU for some time, and also have decades of experience working with student writers from both the instructor and tutor perspective. How do you think these experiences have shaped the perspective that you bring to the WIC program?
Writing center work is inherently student focused. Its fundamental to writing center work that you listen to your students–not just to the ways that they struggle with the content, but also their struggles with the institution. It’s important to pay attention to their own interpretations and experiences across all the parts of the institution. I spent about 20 years doing that, so I bring a real student-centered focus to this work. I think that focus aligns really well with the values of the WIC Program. 

How do you think the WIC program is evolving to meet the needs and experiences of the newest generations of college students?
The WIC program is especially evolving with the rise of generative AI – that’s a place in which our program can play a strong leadership role, since we’re stewards of writing, critical thinking and the connection between them, as well as ambassadors and advocates for students and the student experience. Generative AI is probably the next frontier in writing education, so I’m really excited to be part of that.

Who has had the greatest impact upon your work as a writer and writing educator?
That’s a tough question. Probably Nancy Grimm and her short book Good Intentions, in which she details the ways that having “good intentions” when working with students isn’t always enough–that you have to theorize and uncover how your good intentions may actually be counterproductive to students and their perspectives and experience in the institution.

In an alternate universe where you didn’t work as a writer or in writing programs, what do you think your career would be?
I think I’d be an engineer – probably a computer science engineer.

by Sarah Tinker Perrault, WIC Director

This fall I am happy to introduce the WIC team, celebrate WIC faculty seminar graduates, let you know about the extra faculty seminar being offered this year and next, and preview the exciting talk and workshop on AI being given by our winter visiting speaker. 

Each year WIC welcomes a new Graduate Assistant, and this year we have the pleasure of having Casey Dawson move into the role from her previous position as a graduate intern. Casey is a second-year MA student in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film (SWLF). We also welcome back two other team members from last year: J Webster, also a second-year MA student in SWLF, is continuing as an intern, while Philosophy, Pre-Education, and English major Elizbeth Nguyen is in her second year as the WIC undergraduate assistant. In addition, thanks to a temporary funding boost related to the Core Education initiative, Dennis Bennett has joined us as Assistant Director (see “An Interview with our New Assistant Director: Dennis Bennett”). 

One of our top priorities in WIC is the WIC Faculty Seminar, which thirteen faculty members completed this fall; we celebrate their accomplishment in “Fall 2023 Highlight: Faculty Seminar.”  

While the seminar is normally offered once a year, the extra funding mentioned above is allowing us to offer it multiple times this year and next year, including with offerings in winter and spring. If you are interested in the seminar but have not been nominated by your unit head, please direct them to the Faculty Seminar page and ask them to email your name to WIC Director Sarah Perrault ( 

Finally, we are excited to bring Dr. Scott Graham of the University of Texas-Austin as our Winter visiting speaker. Dr. Graham will give a talk entitled “AI has Entered the Chat: Promise, Peril, and the Future of Writing in Higher Ed” and a workshop on “ChatGPT in the Classroom: Practicalities & Pedagogies.” To learn more about both, including dates, times, and registration information, please see our Upcoming Winter 2024 Events post