Winners of the Roger and Joyce Howe Award for Excellence in Disciplinary Writing Instruction Award were announced.
Winners of the Roger and Joyce Howe Award for Excellence in Disciplinary Writing Instruction Award were announced.

Award winners for excellence in disciplinary writing instruction announced

New award is given by the Howe Center for Writing Excellence

By Kristal Humphrey, university news and communications

Miami University has announced the recipients of the Roger and Joyce Howe Award for Excellence in Disciplinary Writing Instruction.

The new award, presented by the Roger and Joyce Howe Center for Writing Excellence, honors individuals or teams of faculty who have created and delivered innovative writing instruction and curriculum.

This year’s awards were given to one team and two individuals.

Team award

The team award was given to Elaine Miller, professor, Keith Fennen, associate teaching professor, and Gaile Pohlhaus, associate professor, all in the department of philosophy.

The team revised their advanced writing course and created a writing portfolio required of students in their major. They also created and implemented a faculty development program for the department and created a career planning initiative to highlight the writing skills that humanities majors bring to the workplace. They are currently creating a textbook on writing philosophy.

Individual awards

Joseph Johnson

Joseph Johnson, professor of psychology, redesigned the PSY 293/294 course sequence, created a set of scaffolded materials for it and trained the graduate students involved in the courses’ lab sections. He also founded the undergraduate research journal COMPASS to showcase the written and scholarly work of psychology students and developed a course in editing and publishing to train the journal’s undergraduate editors.

Johnson leads a yearlong professional development seminar for all first-year psychology graduate students and has each student develop the personal statement and research proposal for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. Many students submit their application to the NSF, and since he instituted that component in 2018, two psychology graduate students were awarded the fellowship.

Jennifer Kinney

Jennifer Kinney, professor of gerontology, was nominated by a colleague, and five of Kinney’s graduate students sent letters of support.

Kinney redesigned graduate courses to focus on writing using multiple genres, incorporated instruction on writing into all of her courses, and created innovative writing assignments for her students. She also worked with colleagues to create a disciplinary writing guide.

The restructuring of GTY705 led to a focus on writing which prepares doctoral students for writing in their courses, academic publications, industry and grant proposals.

Kinney also implemented a graduate student liaison program where one advanced graduate student is assigned an assistantship to help fellow students with their writing and work with the Howe Center for Writing Excellence to do so.

“I am impressed by all the work these faculty members are doing but am most impressed that all of their innovations are about supporting writing broadly at Miami and in their departments, not just in their individual classrooms,” said Elizabeth Wardle, director of the Roger and Joyce Howe Center for Writing Excellence.

Read more about the winners on the Howe Center site.