Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dr. Bausset-Page Publishes Essay

Dr. Ana Bausset-Page has published her essay "La mujer en busca de su inmortalidad en algunas obras de Marcela del Río y Victoria Ocampo" in the journal ALBA DE AMERICA (volume 32).

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Ana!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Rappelle-toi Prévert" Performed on Campus

With the support of the Foundation and the Alliance Francaise de Saint Joseph, Professor Susie Hennessy coordinated and hosted the evening performance of the French theater "Troupe Nerman" for the show "Rappelle-toi Prévert." The actors interpreted the poetry of poet Jacques Prévert in French.

Bergland and Students Present Research

Professor Robert Bergland and students Heather Heater, Dave Hon and Andy Inman presented "Multimedia and Interactive Features of College Newspaper Websites: A 2012 Study" at the National College MediaMedia Convention in Chicago Nov. 2.

Dr. Bergland, editor of College Media Review, led a session on getting published in the journal and was on a panel, "Conducting Research on College Media" at the convention.

A Prairie Lands Writing Project Update

Tom Pankiewicz, Prairie Lands Writing Project director, co-directors Christie Leigan and Heidi Mick, teacher consultants Mark Henderson, Valorie Stokes, Terri McAvoy and Michele Irby, and Pershing Elementary School lead teacher Joy Bettis attended the National Writing Project Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, November 15-17.

Sherry Swain, National Writing Project Senior Research Associate and Prairie Lands Writing Project’s Thinking Partner for the SEED 2 Elementary Grant, visited PLWP and Pershing Elementary School, November 6-8. Swain consulted with the PLWP Leadership Team—Christie Leigan, co-director, Terri McAvoy, PD facilitator, and Tom Pankiewicz, director—about the direction and progress of our work, observed a day of professional development activities at Pershing, and met with the PLWP/Pershing Planning Team to share her impressions of the work as well as offer suggestions.

On November 16, Christie Leigan, Terri McAvoy, Joy Bettis, and Tom Pankiewicz, participated in a day-long workshop for the fourteen National Writing Project sites taking part in the SEED Grant for high-need elementary schools. At the workshop held at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, each site shared its work and discussed problems it faces in delivering professional development. We discussed solutions to problems, reviewed our common agreements and had time to plan for upcoming PD days. The meeting allowed our team time to examine our work and progress at Pershing.

Prairie Lands Online Learning Experience developers—Valorie Stokes, Library Media Specialist at Platte County High School; Heidi Mick, Platte County High School Communication Arts instructor; Michele Irby, Lathrop High School mathematics instructor, and Tom Pankiewicz, PLWP director—led a roundtable discussion highlighting PLWP’s work in building an online course in Content Area Literacy for the National Writing Project.  We shared the current state of the module development, presented our spring 2013 semester plan for testing of the modules with participants from last year’s Vital Work institute, and fielded questions about our concept.

The Missouri Writing Project Network also met Las Vegas to discuss the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education contract which includes holding Content Area Literacy Workshops and completing a video project for DESE. Tom Pankiewicz, director, Valorie Stokes and Heidi Mick represented Prairie Lands at this meeting.

Prairie Lands Writing Project leaders Heidi Mick, Valorie Stokes and Tom Pankiewicz attended an i3 Grant meeting at the National Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.  NWP learned of its nearly 15 million dollar award from the Department of Education the week before the Annual Meeting.  The ten sites whose work was included in the grant proposal met to discuss next steps in planning our work with high need, rural school districts. PLWP has three pairs of schools with which to work over the next three years.

Mary Stone Dockery, Missouri Western English adjunct, presented a poetry workshop for writers in grades 7-12 at Going for the Gold: 2013 Scholastic Writing Contest on Wednesday, November 28. In addition to reading and discussing the qualities of an award-winning entry, Dockery offered several opportunities for the middle school and high school students and their teachers to write. The workshop ended with a series of small group reading sessions where student writers work-shopped pieces with several teachers. In October, Dr. Bill Church, English and creative writing professor, presented a similar workshop on writing fiction. He also served as a small group leader on November 28th.  Tom Pankiewicz, Missouri Writing Region co-ordinator, Amanda Moyers, associate co-ordinator and Central High School communication arts teacher, and Eric Williams, English Education major and PLWP student aide, planned the event. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

That Poetry Reading Series

That Poetry Reading Series continues on Wednesday, December 5, at 6:30 pm at Foster's Martini Bar, Downtown St. Joe.

We will have two featured readers: Leah Sewell and Gabriela Lemmons. When our featured readers have concluded, we will break for about five minutes and will then have an open mic for anyone who wishes to share creative work. Readers should prepare for five minutes (2-3 poems). Arrive early to sign up.

Gabriela N. Lemmons is an MFA candidate at the University of Kansas. Her work appears in the anthologies Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland, Cuentos: Stories from the Latino Heartland, NewBorder: Contemporary Voices from the Texas/Mexico Border, Blue Island Review, and other diverse publications. She is a founding member and current president of the Latino Writers Collective. A native of South Texas, Gabriela is also a member of Sandra Cisneros's Macondo Workshop.

Leah Sewell is a graphic designer, magazine editor, journalist and poet. Her work has appeared in such publications as Midwestern Gothic, [PANK] and Weave Magazine. She's currently the assistant editor at Coconut Poetry and an MFA candidate at the University of Nebraska. She lives in Topeka, Kansas where she moderates the Topeka Writers Workshop.

Come one and all to hear some stirring words on a cold, winter's night.

Melissa Wine Defends Portfolio

Melissa Wine (MAA candidate, Written Communication) has defended her graduate portfolio, which  included an historical analysis of a popular technical writing textbook that has been published in eight editions. Melissa analyzed how technical writing was defined and represented in the text over time. 

Seated L to R: Dr. Kay Siebler, Dr. Michael Charlton, Melissa, and Dr. Kaye Adkins
Congratulations, Melissa!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Miller Defends Thesis

Kris Miller successfully defended his thesis, "Artifact Usability Analysis Of WebCT and Moodle: Exploring the Strengths and Weaknesses from the Instructor Perspective," on November 14, 2012. His thesis committee was Dr. Patricia Donaher (Chair), Dr. Michael Charlton, and Dr. Cynthia Jeney. Kris will be doing final revisions on his thesis this spring while he finishes up his MAS in Technical Communication.

Miller (second from left) and his committee (L to R: Drs. Jeney, Donaher, and Charlton)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Spanish Faculty Host "Dia de los Muertos" and Immersion Day

EFLJ's Spanish faculty--Dr. Castilla-Ortiz, Ms. Vicky Perez-Calzadilla, Ms. Saundra Dibella, and Dr. Bausset-Page--organized a gathering for "Dia de los muertos" on November 1st. There were around fifty in attendance in Blum 218 for the event. The Griffon News covered the event.

Two days later, Drs. Castilla-Oritz, and Bausset-Page invited High School teachers from Maryville, Saint Joseph and Atchinson (Kansas) for a day of Spanish immersion. Ana reports "A fun day for all of us!"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Prairie Lands Writing Project Secures Major Grant

Prairie Lands Writing Project was one of only ten writing project sites selected to receive a major grant from the National Writing Project for work with high-need rural schools. The work begins in January 2013 with a $10,000 grant to cover planning and travel to national meetings between January and July. 
PLWP will provide in-school professional development (writing, especially non-fiction and argumentative to meet Common Core Standards) for language arts and content-area teachers, grades 7 - 10, at three rural schools in 2013-2014, 2014-2105, and 2015-2016. PLWP will receive $75,000 - $100,000 during each of the next three years to complete this work.
Jane Frick, Professor Emerita of English and past director of PLWP, will serve as the project manager for the grant.  She and Tom Pankiewicz, Interim Director of PLWP, will meet this winter to discuss sites for the study.
Jane Frick, Grant Manager  
Tom Pankiewicz, Interim Director of PLWP
 Congratulations to Jane, Tom, and PLWP!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Angela Bush--Teaching and Writing

Angela Bush, 1996 alumna in Technical Communications, has landed a job teaching high school in the Winston R-VI school district. Angela will also be completing her capstone project as part of her Master of Applied Arts in Written Communication this spring.

Drop Angela a line in order to congratulate her, catch up, or request that she settle that cribbage debt now that she has a highly lucrative teaching gig.

Congratulations, Angela!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Night at Foster's

"That Poetry Reading Series" kicked off last night at Foster's Martini Bar. Mary Dockery, alum and instructor of English, organized the event.

 There were ten readers whose work ranged from spoken word to more traditional poetry, and the crowd was treated to the juxtaposition of rants right next to humorous pieces.

We hope for continued variety as Mary sets up future events. A big thanks to her for organizing the event!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

October Activities and Accomplishments

Professional Development in October:

Susie Hennessy attended the Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium in Raleigh, NC, where she chaired a session entitled “Devouring Mother.” Hennessy presented her paper: "Bonne à Croquer: Food as Fetish and the Female Body" as part of the session.

Dr. Hennessy also participated in the development of benchmarks and standards for French for the Defense Language Institute language assessments. French is now considered a strategic language for military and diplomatic purposes. The exams are used to measure the language capabilities of government employees and those in military service.

Lastly, a tired Susie Hennessy attended the annual meeting of the Missouri Consortium for Foreign Languages in St. Louis. Missouri Western is one of five partners working in collaboration to offer French and German courses via distance education.

Mike Cadden published the essay “All is well: The Epilogue in Children’s Fantasy Fiction” in the peer-reviewed journal Narrative.

Tom Pankiewicz, Prairie Lands Writing Project director, facilitated a holistic scoring session for the Platte County High School English Department on October 8. In the session, teachers analyzed student writing, using a recently-released Smarter Balanced rubric. Missouri is one of the states affiliated with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and will begin using the Smarter Balanced-developed Common Core State Standards Assessment in 2014.
Prairie Lands Writing Project Teacher Consultants, Christie Leigan and Heidi Mick presented workshops on non-fiction reading and writing and their emphasis in the Common Core State Standards to the teachers of the Mid-Buchanan School District in Faucett, Missouri on October 25. Leigan, a St. Joseph School District Instructional Coach, presented to K-6 teachers while Mick, a Platte County High School Communication Arts instructor, worked with teachers in all 7-12 content areas.  

Prairie Lands Writing Project hosted the eleventh annual When Writing Teachers Write forum at Missouri Western on October 17. Amanda Moyers, a Central High School Communication Arts teacher and a Prairie Lands Teacher Consultant, hosted the event which featured the writing of the following area educators: Kyla Ward, Central High School; Brandon Haskey, Central High School; Pasty Brost, Missouri Western and Savannah High School; Dasha Davis, Savannah High School; Bill Church, Missouri Western; Joyce Stohr, Robidoux Middle School; Joe Marmaud, Missouri Western; Mary Stone-Dockery, Missouri Western; Melissa Robinson, Cameron Middle School; and Amanda Moyers, Central High School. 

Prairie Lands Writing Project, sponsor of the Missouri Region of the Scholastic Writing Awards Contest, presented a Writing Fiction Workshop for high school students and teachers on October 11. Dr. Bill Church, Missouri Western English professor facilitated the workshop. Church examined a Gold Medal-winning story and led a writing activity. The workshop ended with a series of small group sessions during which students read and discussed their writing.  Tom Pankiewicz, Prairie Lands director and regional coordinator, Amanda Moyers, Central High School Communication Arts teacher and associate coordinator for the Missouri Region, Eric Williams, Missouri Western English Education major and PLWP student assistant, and Rachel Stancliff, Missouri Western Technical Communication graduate student and PLWP web facilitator planned this event. 

Terri McAvoy, Prairie Lands Teacher Consultant and retired St. Joseph School District elementary teacher, led a two-day Professional Development event at Pershing Middle School on October 9 and 10. Prairie Lands Writing Project and Pershing Elementary School are one of fourteen National Writing Project sites and twenty-two elementary schools awarded Title II SEED grants “Evaluating the Impact of Professional Development to Meet Challenging Writing Standards in High-Need Elementary Schools.” This project is being independently evaluated by SRI International.