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Director's Note

Welcome to the English Department Writing Program! As director of the program, I have the privilege of working with hundreds of talented instructors and thousands of talented students from across the university. I also have the privilege of working with an amazing staff: Assistant Director Angie Berkley, award-winning staff members Denise Looker and Lisa Curtis, and Graduate Student Mentors Elana Maloul and Hannah Bredar. Individually and collectively, we work to ensure that every instructor and every student has a rewarding experience in the Writing Program. 

Our writing courses are designed to help students learn how to write effectively in academic contexts. Over the course of the semester, students develop their abilities to analyze complex texts and formulate original, well-supported, and compelling arguments for a range of audiences.  Because writers learn so much from reading and responding to each other’s work, the peer review process is a central component of our courses. We keep our class sizes small—our first-year courses have a maximum of eighteen students—to foster a spirit of trust and collaboration and to enable students to work closely with each other and with their instructors.  By participating in these communities of writers, students not only develop skills for succeeding in college; they also gain skills for becoming active, well-informed citizens of the many communities they will inhabit. 

Please feel free to contact me or the Associate Director directly if you have any concerns, questions, or feedback about the Writing Program.


John Whittier-Ferguson

Interim Director, English Department Writing Program