Friday, November 20, 2015

Fall Faculty and Student Accomplishments

Susan Martens’ chapter, “Move the Writer, Move the Pen, Move the Mind, Change the World: Writing Marathons for Place-Conscious Teaching in Suburbia” was recently published in the edited collection Writing Suburban Citizenship: Place-Conscious Teaching and the Conundrum of Suburbia by Syracuse University Press. 

Mary Stone’s third collection of poetry, tentatively titled Deficiency, has been accepted by ELJ Publications. 

Cynthia Bartels attended the Oral History Association meeting in Tampa.

Liz Canon presented "Buried Treasure: What makes the Tyndale corpus different," at the Tyndale Society Conference, Hertford College, Oxford University.

Ms. Claudine Evans participated in the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) meeting held in Kansas City.

Cynthia Bartels received a compass award from Alpha Chi for most influential teacher.

On October 3, the Prairie Lands Writing Project held its Teacher Consultant Gathering at MWSU, hosted by Advisory Team members Dawn Terrick (MWSU), Heidi Mick (Platte County), Valorie Stokes (Platte County), Amy Miller (MWSU), Christie Jackson (Carden Park, SJSD), Mya Ezzell (Parkhill), Josie Clark (Bode Middle School, SJSD), and Susan Martens (MWSU). At this event, eight scholars from the PLWP 2015 Invitational Summer Institute were certified as National Writing Project Teacher Consultants.  Congratulations to the following:
Quinn Whitaker (Indianola, IA)
Brandi Atha (Savannah)
Roxanne Chase (MWSU)
Stephanie Haenni (Central High School, SJSD)
Tess Kram (Central High School, SJSD)
Rachel Daniels (Lathrop)
Jamie Duddy (Osborn)
David Stroud (Union Star)

Student Excellence
EML would like to congratulate Jess Voelk.  Jess is a senior majoring in English with a Technical Communication concentration and is scheduled to graduate in December.  She recently earned a “Polished” score on her senior portfolio, which is a collection of documents created during her work at Missouri Western.  This is the highest rank possible for a portfolio student.  Her evaluator was Dawn Armfield, an assistant professor at Frostburg State University.  Dr. Armfield described documents in Jess’s portfolio as “exemplary,” “well developed,” and showing proficiency in multiple areas of technical communication, from report and research writing to visual design.  Ms. Voelk is currently looking for jobs in technical communication.

The second edition of the Study Abroad and Exchange Photo Contest garnered talented photographers. The pictures, currently on display at Blum Union, were taken in Costa Rica, France, and Ireland. Jury members were Rebbeca Foley, Laura Taylor and Miguel Rivera-Taupier. For more information, visit
Nature & Architecture:  1st place Miranda Migletz, 2nd place Rosie Lammoglia, 3rd place Mallory Prygon
People & Culture: 1st place Chloe Martin, 2nd place Mallory Prygon, 3rd place Chloe Martin
Griffon Wings: 1st and 2nd place Rosie Lammoglia, 3rd place Lanie Barnfield

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Standing in solidarity with France at the International Fair

 The International Fair on November 16th gave students the chance to experience other cultures and traditions, all in the name of peace and understanding. Our German Fulbright scholar, Paul Dijkzeul, offered games and pretzels, as well as German phrases that will liven up a conversation. Chinese exchange professor Yiming Liu served fried rice and tea with a smile. French exchange students from Angers and St. Etienne represented their country and were greeted with enthusiasm by many.  Below are images from the International Fair, including an Eiffel Tower, which students "decorated" with messages of peace and love, remembering the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13th.

Students in Action

“Voices of English 100”
 This semester, Fall 2015, in ENG 100 – Introduction to College Writing, students conducted interviews with family members and friends in order to learn about and accurately and vividly depict their “real” stories.  Through these interviews, students gained new perspectives on others’ life journeys, their struggles and tragedies as well as their successes and joys.  Through this process, students also learned about themselves.  We hope you carefully listen to the “voices of English 100.”  Here are some of the interview subjects’ own words and photographs.   Special thanks to Amy Miller for her technological prowess in setting this up.

El Dìa de los Muertos
As in previous years, the Spanish Club organized a celebration of the Day of the Dead. Students met in Spratt Hall to paint skulls, drink horchata, and hear presentations by professors Eduardo Castilla, Ana Bausset, and Miguel Rivera about the past and present of this Hispanic celebration. There were shrines, music, and, just maybe, some invisible visitors.

Bon appétit!

Students in French and their guests enjoyed a traditional French meal on the evening of November 13th in the President's Dining Room. The menu included cake aux olives, gougères, bœuf bourguignon, fromages français, followed by dessert, including mousse au chocolat and clafoutis. The dinner party included musical performances between courses.  Merci to all those who prepared food and entertained!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Fond Farewell for Dr. Betty Sawin

Dr. Elizabeth Latosi-Sawin graced the classrooms of Western for forty years. Her accomplishments as a teacher, researcher and writer are more than an accumulation of awards, however. Yes, she won the Jesse Lee Myers award, the Alumni Award for Distinguished Faculty, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Distinguished Professor of English, and countless other accolades, but Dr. Sawin is more than the sum of her awards.
Most importantly, Betty deserves our gratitude for introducing interdisciplinarity to her colleagues.  As Leah Spratt Chair for Writing Across the Curriculum, Betty opened our eyes to the wonders of using writing to aid learning and foster critical thinking in over 20 disciplines.  She showed us how to use writing to teach critical thinking long before this became a catchphrase for effective pedagogy. In addition to making us better practitioners, her WAC workshops invited us to collaborate with our colleagues and find pleasure in professional growth.
Those who joined Betty in Outdoor Semester also understand the impact of interdisciplinary learning. By designing programs that combined physical education, geography, psychology, and music, Betty led students (and faculty) on a veritable odyssey of discovery as they traveled across the American West, journals in hand, hiking, camping, meditating in sweat lodges and canoeing the upper Missouri River. 
Another interdisciplinary hat worn by Betty was that of the Honors Program Director. Although she never said it was like herding cats, the challenges of wrangling such a diverse group of students and interests could not have been easy. Nonetheless, we can measure her effectiveness by the dramatic growth of participation in Alpha Chi and the trees that were planted on our campus as a token of the group’s appreciation.
No doubt the majority of students will remember Dr. Sawin in the classroom, where she taught composition and rhetoric, Native American literature, English literature from Beowulf to the 20th century, and every genre from poetry to creative non-fiction.  Many have described her as passionate, honest and caring. Many have said: “One of the best teachers that I have ever had.”   
She was met by comments like “your strength is your heart” and “I think know you are the best teacher I have ever had.”  One student remarked that “she has taught the things that are important for our lives while teaching us about literature.”
The interdisciplinary theme stems from Betty’s passion for the planet. She has always seen the connections between what we say, how we live, and how those things affect our world. We are grateful for all she has done. We wish her a long and happy retirement.