By Alex Werndli, WIC Intern

Attention WIC faculty! Remember to identify strong papers from your 2019-2020 WIC courses as possible nominees for the WIC Culture of Writing Award in your discipline. Units submit nominations by May 26th, 2020 (formerly June 1st) via email to Caryn Stoess (

In order to recognize and value excellence in student writing at OSU, each spring the Writing Intensive Curriculum program sponsors the WIC Culture of Writing Awards in the Disciplines, offering $50 in matching funds to $50 from any unit that wishes to participate in this undergraduate writing prize.

As the name implies, the WIC Culture of Writing Awards are designed to help create a culture of writing in which writing is taught, practiced, modeled, valued, and recognized at the class level, the unit level, and throughout the university as a whole.

Why give writing awards in the disciplines? This recognition sends a message to undergraduates and to the university community that excellence in writing matters in the unit, is recognized by the faculty, and is rewarded. For many students, even knowing that a professor has nominated their paper for a writing award is a significant form of recognition and a source of pride. The WIC program conducted a survey of previous Culture of Writing Award recipients in spring of 2019, wherein respondents articulated the value of the award to them as young scholars:

“When Dr. Natchee Barnd presented me with the WIC award, I actually cried because, still, in my senior year, I wasn’t terribly confident in my writing and I think part of me thought I was undeserving of it for some reason. The award spoke far more to my skills than I realized, and it validated all my hard work that I’d put into my classes (I’m welling up just writing about it).”

Elena Ramirez Robles, College of Liberal Arts, 2018

“Thank you for your support.  The Culture of Writing Award was the first award I received during my academic career.  It’s an accomplishment with significant positive impacts on young scholars during a vital stage of their progressive young careers.”

Andrew Larkin, College of Science, 2010

Participation in the Culture of Writing Awards has thrived since 2006, as 326 total students have earned recognition and cash awards for both individual and collaborative writing projects. WIC would like to thank all participating units for their continued desire to recognize and reward outstanding student writing.

How to Nominate a Paper:

Units comprised of more than one major/designator may give an award for each major/designator (but not for each concentration). The manner in which a paper is selected is up to the unit, but here are three possible models to follow:

  • Model 1: The academic unit might use the unit awards committee to ask faculty to nominate and submit their best undergraduate paper for the year. The committee chooses the awardee.
  • Model 2: The academic unit wants the awardee to be from a WIC course, so one or more WIC instructors select the best paper.
  • Model 3: The academic writing occurs in a capstone course with a team project. The unit selects the team with the best-written capstone project for the award. When the award goes to a team of four, some units divide the $100 award four ways, while other units contribute more than $50 so that individuals will receive a more substantial award.

Once a paper has been selected, fill out the nomination form in its entirety and submit the form to Caryn Stoess no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 26, 2020.

For more information regarding the Culture of Writing Awards, please visit our website.

by Anita Helle, Interim WIC Director

I am passing along an additional resource for OSU WIC faculty as you migrate to teaching WIC courses online in response to OSU directives on COVID-19.  The information below is posted on the Writing Across the Curriculum National Clearinghouse ( 

On March 8th,  the leadership of the Global Society of Online Literacy Educators (GSOLE— met to discuss how GSOLE might help faculty who teach writing and are faced with  emergency migration to online writing instruction at many universities. While OSU’s Canvas IT offers excellent support and guidance for migration to online instruction, you may find yourself with emerging questions that require quick responses in a pinch. (For example, I just found an answer at the “Just Ask GSOLE” link on how to toggle between Canvas display of instructional slides and Zoom-based lectures).

Scott Warnock, President of the Global Society of Online Literacy Educators has posted the following links targeted to teachers of writing across disciplines. I have previewed these links. I offer these with the caveat that, as Warnock reminds us, transition to any new instructional modality compels thoughtful planning. The project is ongoing and evolving, and is likely to morph in coming weeks.  The intention of these resources is to provide our WIC faculty an additional resource in a pinch. 

  • The Just In Time Hub is a gateway to various resources, including those below as well as excellent written materials to help you think through course conversion/migration; we’ll be updating with other materials on the fly: 
  • Just Ask GSOLE provides a direct link to discussion forums moderated by GSOLE online writing/literacy instruction experts who can answer your specific questions: 
  • Walk-In Webinars is a direct link to live Zoom sessions hosted by GSOLE members; the schedule of facilitators is listed there along with specific topics: 

If you have questions, please direct them to You can also follow GSOLE on twitter @gsoleducators for updates on GSOLE’s efforts to assist university response to COVID-19 and visit the general website at for other material and information. 

In addition to these resources, any questions about moving WIC-specific writing assignments online can be directed to the WIC Team through WIC GTA, Marisa Yerace, at We are always happy to collaborate with you on your WIC Courses.

  –Anita Helle/Interim WIC Director

by Anita Helle, Interim Director


With this issue of “Teaching with Writing,” we launch our spring series of WIC speakers, lunches, and activities, on the theme of WIC in Transition—Continuity and Change.

Signs of change have also been on the horizon since I stepped into the Interim Director role in January. As I write, the search for a permanent WIC Director is nearing completion (look for a profile introducing the incoming WIC Director in the spring newsletter). OSU’s new curricular proposal system (CIM) offers faculty a newly streamlined digital space for submitting WIC course changes and new WIC courses.

In keeping with OSU COVID-19 protocols, we will be delivering the first WIC lunch on April 10 from 12-1 pm as a Webinar, drawing on Zoom functions such as screen share, chat, and document posting. We will evaluate our mode of delivery after the first two weeks of the term.

Updated information on digital delivery systems for planned events outlined below will be posted in advance on the WIC website and announced by e-mail a week in advance for all WIC faculty at OSU-Corvallis and OSU-Cascades.

My highest priority for spring term is to maintain our WIC activities and events as a vital (if virtual) gathering space for the day-to-day interests of faculty teaching writing in the disciplines. I will provide ongoing support and review for WIC faculty developing new courses or making course changes. The Baccalaureate Core Committee will continue to review WIC proposals through spring term.

Read on for detail on upcoming sessions:

Our WIC sessions on April 10 ”Teaching Peer Review Online: Tools, Resources, and Strategies,” and April 17, “Assessing Peer Review” respond to the future of WIC teaching in the context of “next-generation learning environments.” With apologies for the buzzword, “next generation learning environments” require fluid and flexible movement between online and face-to-face learning and deeper integration of our familiar cultures of writing with new literacies.

On May 1, the WIC Lunch Series is pleased to host a speaker, Mike Caulfield, Director of Networked and Blended Learning at Washington State University Vancouver. His research responds to the urgent challenge of teaching information literacy across writing disciplines and genres in an era when misinformation, disinformation, and accusations of “fake news” abound. As an introduction to the currency and impact of Caulfield’s work in higher ed, I highly recommend The Chronicle of Higher Education’s recent feature, “How to Teach Information Literacy in an Era of Lies.”

Our final lunch for the year on May 15 will focus on reinvigoration and renewal of writing pedagogies through examples of WIC faculty innovations including multimedia/multimodal. Special thanks to WIC faculty who responded to our recent questionnaire on this topic.

Even as we make room for change, I am convinced that the writing lessons developed and taught through WIC seminars remain enduring and resilient. You, the WIC faculty, are the backbone of this program. The ideas that have shaped the Spring program have come from you. Thank you for your ongoing participation and your dedication to WIC teaching.

Anita Helle
Interim WIC Director, Winter and Spring 2020
Professor of English/School of Writing, Literature, and Film
Pronouns: she, her, hers

We are happy to announce our Spring Lunch Series schedule for 2020. We look forward to the stimulating conversations that will occur.

Spring Term WIC lunches have formerly been held on Fridays in Milam 215 from 12 to 1 pm, with delicious American Dream pizza and beverages provided.

Here is what you NOW need to know about how the WIC Program is modifying its modes of delivery of scheduled lunches Spring Term in  response to OSU COVD-19 policy on keeping safe and keeping teaching.  Our intention is to provide ongoing WIC-specific support to faculty.

  • Starting April 10, 12-1 pm, our scheduled lunch sessions will be offered at noon on Fridays but will be moved online to the videoconferencing software Zoom, with its document-posting and chat functions.  Zoom is available to you through your Oregon State account.
  • Moving forward, we will make every effort to deliver intended content of the planned WIC lunches remotely, where possible.
  • We will provide regular updates on scheduled activities by e-mail and the WIC website as conditions evolve.

If you have any questions regarding the noon hour remote sessions, please contact Marisa Yerace, WIC GTA, at Please register for each lunch you plan to attend by clicking here or copying and pasting this link: .

Even for lunches occurring on campus, Zoom links will be provided to enable our OSU Cascades Faculty to participate. 

“Teaching Peer Review Online: Tools, Resources, and Strategies” (for teaching WIC on campus and Ecampus)April 10

This has been changed to a Zoom meeting. Please register if you plan to attend and you will receive the meeting link closer to the event.

This lunch will introduce current digital interface tools and resources for effective peer review assignments online (Canvas, Eli Review, and the OSU Writing Studio).

“Information Literacy in an Age of Lies”May 1

WIC guest speaker: Michael Caulfield, Director of Blended and Networked Learning, Academic Affairs, Washington State University, Vancouver.

Information literacy—identifying, critically analyzing and evaluating sources—is not new.  The topic has taken on greater urgency in an era when accusations of fake news and disinformation are common. Mike Caulfield is a nationally recognized authority on thinking through 21st century generation digital learning and the special challenges of online sourcing for college teachers and students. Read a short preview of his research profile and presentation here.

“Showcasing Innovations: WIC in Multi-modal/Multimedia Forms” – May 15

Join us for an invigorating roundtable conversation with short presentations on innovative approaches to supplementing WIC writing assignments with multimedia/multimodal forms (sound, speech, visual texts).  

by Marisa Yerace, WIC GTA

Mike Caulfield's picture

In conversations with colleagues who teach writing and my own students, I’ve repeatedly heard worries about discerning what information is truthful or reliable when researching. In response to that, I found multiple articles leading to the work of Mike Caulfield, a digital information literacy expert working at Washington State University Vancouver. He has worked with various organizations on digital literacy initiatives to combat misinformation, including AASCU’s American Democracy Project, the National Writing Project, and CIVIX Canada.

His approach to digital critical consumption, often referred to as the “four moves”, is popular among those teaching first-year college students how to evaluate and contextualize information sources. Here are some uses or examples of his work:

On May 1st, Mike Caulfield will be our invited guest for a WIC Spring Lunch. We hope you can attend and, if at all possible, have a look through some of his ideas so we can engage in a rich conversation.

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Marisa Yerace, WIC GTA & the WIC Team