Deadline has passed, students still wanted

by Peter Kaspari

As the full implementation of Simpson’s new curriculum gets closer, students are now being invited to play a role in it with the addition of a new position in the first-year program.

The position, writing fellow, will provide assistance to freshman students enrolled in the Simpson Colloquium course. It was created due to one of the focuses of the new curriculum being intensive writing and writing across the curriculum.

“When you have a course that’s going to be a little writing intensive, we thought one thing that could really help students and faculty is if we had student leaders who were pretty good writers and who’ve gone through some training to help out in those classrooms,” said Stephanie Krauth, associate dean of students.

Krauth said that the writing fellow is meant to serve in addition to the destination leader, and that both will be a part of the first-year program. She said that while destination leaders help facilitate summer and fall orientation, the main purpose of the writing fellow will be to help with the Simpson Colloquium course.

While it’s not required to have both a destination leader and a writing fellow, Krauth said that in most instances that will be the case.

“It’s up to the faculty member if they want both or not,” Krauth said. “Most of them are very interested in having a writing fellow. There have been a couple faculty members that feel they can handle the writing part of the course just fine, but most are hoping they can get a writing fellow too.”

Additionally, there’s nothing that prevents a student from applying to be both a destination leader and a writing fellow. The application is virtually the same, with the only major difference being writing fellows need to submit a writing sample.

Judy Walden, assistant professor of history, plans on using a writing fellow in her Simpson Colloquium course in the fall.

“I see the writing fellow as someone that can work on drafts, brainstorm ideas, and meet outside of class,” Walden said. “I also see the writing fellow as a role model, someone who can show what it takes to be a good writer at the college level.”

Michael Robinson, director of writing across the curriculum and the writing center, said students shouldn’t be deterred from applying if they aren’t an English major.

“A lot of the writers I’ve had when I taught composition that were good at writing were not English majors,” Robinson said. “They’re people who work hard at writing, and what I’m looking for is people who excel at writing and who know how to work hard at it, and who can talk to students about the process. That’s really the approach to writing I want people to think about.”

Krauth said writing fellows are expected to be a major new part of the first-year program.

“When you’re trying to develop courses that are writing-intensive and will help students become better writers, having that extra resource for the students and faculty that can really focus on writing can really help that process and add to that class,” Krauth said.

Krauth added that although the deadline has passed, students are still invited to inquire about the position.

“We’re conducting interviews over the next two weeks, so if students are interested in this role, contact either Michael or myself, and we can see where we’re at in the process,” Krauth said. “We want to get people interested in this role.”