Writing Professor Sara Chaney Wins Apgar Award

Writing professor Sara Chaney and her colleague Bill Hudenko have been awarded the prestigious Apgar Award for Innovation in Teaching for their interdisciplinary course entitled "Autism: The Science, Story and Experience.”

The course reviews the scientific literature on Autism-Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and also critically engages popular representations of the condition in the broader culture.

The full announcement about the award from Interim Provost David Kotz is included below:

New Course Offerings this Spring

This spring the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric will offer five new courses in writing and speech. Several of the courses will be taught by our new faculty members.

Speech 37, Health Communication

Professor Darlene Drummond will teach a new Speech course this spring entitled Health Communication. The course is designed to provide a broad overview of health communication, a field that studies how communication strategies inform and influence individual decisions that affect health. In particular, the course examines the problem of ineffective communication in a health care context—moments when interactions between health care professionals and patients lead to miscommunication, insensitivity and even dehumanization. These moments of failed communication often result in dire consequences when prescribed medical regimens are not followed. 

Sara Chaney Co-Teaching Across Disciplines: Autism: Science, Story, and Experience

In Spring 2014, Institute for Writing and Rhetoric Lecturer Sara Chaney will be bringing her long-standing research on autism to the COCO course, "Autism: Science, Story, and Experience." The course will be taught with William Hudenko, an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences and member of the Geisel Medical School Faculty.   This fascinating interdisciplinary course will provide students the opportunity to consider the intersections between science and rhetoric on the topic of autism.

Chaney's and Hudenko's individual research interests inform the course. Hudenko has been involved with autism research since 2002, when he was a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at Vanderbilt.   His recent research on laughter made the exciting discovery that the laughter of children with autism evoked more positive responses than the socially-driven laughter of non-autistic children. The finding is promising, in that it suggests that autistic children can be taught to use their natural laughter to forge bonds with others.

The Institute for Writing & Rhetoric at the CCCCs

This year's Conference on College Composition and Communication, the field's premier national conference, was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, with several Institute for Writing & Rhetoric faculty and collaborators serving as contributors.   Institute faculty Sara Chaney, Michelle Cox, Christiane Donahue, and Karen Gocsik, along with Institute collaborators Laura Braunstein (Library) and Cindy Tobery (DCAL), all made valuable contributions to their various panels and workshops—Donahue as a leading scholar in the area of international writing education; Cox as a principal player on matters of multilingual writing instruction; Chaney as an key voice in the research on student writing in the first year; and Gocsik et al as innovators in using wiki technology to observe first-year compositional strategies in the early stages of knowledge construction.

Institute for Writing & Rhetoric Program Profile in Composition Forum

We are pleased to announce that Dartmouth's Institute for Writing & Rhetoric has been profiled in a special issue of Composition Forum, devoted to writing and transfer.  Guest Editor Elizabeth Wardle has assembled several articles on the subject of transfer, including the profile of the Institute.

This profile, "Imagining a Writing and Rhetoric Program Based on Principles of Knowledge 'Transfer': Dartmouth's Institute for Writing and Rhetoric," was collaboratively composed by Stephanie Boone, Sara Biggs Chaney, Josh Compton, Christiane Donahue, and Karen Gocsik.  The profile not only highlights our program's achievements but more importantly focuses on how the institute is well positioned to imagine and develop a curriculum informed by research on the transfer of knowledge.