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 (sarah.perrault@oregonstate.edu) for more information.

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 (sarah.perrault@oregonstate.edu). 

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

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 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 vicki.tolarburton@oregonstate.edu.

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 Ruth Sylvester, WIC GTA

The WIC Team is happy to report the success of the 2019 Spring Lunch Series. Presenters shared their passion for innovation as they helped us to explore new strategies and revisit well-loved staples. This year’s Lunch Series featured deep thoughts on assignment design for low-stakes writing, rhetorical perspectives for learning disciplinary genres, feedback tools for teaching WIC on Ecampus, and models for introducing students to ecological thinking in the writing classroom. Thanks again to our dedicated presenters and to the WIC community for being a lively and supportive audience.

April 5 – Reflective Writing for Professionalization: WIC Assignment Design (Nate Kirk, Integrative Biology)

April 12 – Writing Locations and Processes: Models from Permaculture, Writing Studios, and Public Spaces (Marisa Yerace, Ruth Sylvester, Ian Ferris; School of Writing, Literature, and Film)

May 3 – Transfer of Learning from WR II to WIC: Argumentation, Technical Writing, and Business Writing (Clare Braun, Sam Schwartz, Kristy Kelly, Roby Conner; School of Writing, Literature, and Film)

May 17 – Teaching WIC on Ecampus (Becky Haddad, Agricultural Education and Agricultural Sciences; Randy Moore, Fisheries and Wildlife; Cyndie McCarley, Ecampus)

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.