Dong-Wook Lee has been selected as a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant recipient for the Empirical implications of Theoretical Models summer institute, hosted by the University of Houston, in June 2014.
Dong-Wook is a current doctoral student in the School for Social Science, Policy, and Evaluation. He initially came to the Writing Center to work on part of his dissertation. Before coming to the CGU Writing Center, Dong-Wook had heard "many good things about the quality of the services provided by the Writing Center." He knew that the Writing Center provided individual consultations on any academic project.
Dong-Wook worked with several consultants on his proposal for this NSF grant. His biggest obstacle in the proposal was in having to write complex concepts and methodological procedures, given a strict word count limit. Being succinct was the challenge. Owing in part to the Writing Center sessions, he succeeded in getting the grant.
Dong-Wook notes that, after his experiences with the Writing Center, his writing has changed for the better. "The consultation through the CGU Writing Center," he says, "has really improved my writing in brevity as well as clarity. I have learned a great deal of proposal writing indeed. Overall, my experience with the individual consultation was very helpful and encouraging."
Ichsan Zulkarnaen is an Interfield Public Policy-Econ student at CGU. He came to the CGU Writing Center with a small paper written for his Public Policy Process course--a two-page policy research proposal--which earned him an "A" from his professor. Before coming to the Writing Center, he had no formal impression of the Writing Center. "However," he notes, "after the first meeting with the tutor, and followed by more meetings with different tutors," he feels that "the CGU Writing Center is awesome!
Ichsan comes to the Writing Center most frequently with policy papers, but has worked with several tutors from various disciplines, including Jeremy Chow, Jonathan Hanna, Lourdes Villarreal, and Daniel Lanza. He was surprised that the Writing Center gives comprehensive feedback on assignments and does not just comment on grammatical problems, saying, "I also appreciated when they commented on the paper structure, such as the logic of the paper, the balance among sections, etc." Because of his great experience with the Writing Center, he will continue to return in the future with his writing projects. Congratulations, Ichsan!
We want to congratulate Chimwemwe Jere on his successful completion of a Computer Information Systems and Technology class project which had special meaning for him and which ultimately will be applied to an internship in a related area. Chims came to the Writing Center for help with his project, "Impact of Gender and Age on the Efficacy of Mobile Persuasion in Increasing HIV Testing and Behavior."
Before he came to the Writing Center, Chims says that he thought the consultants there would only help with grammar or mechanics, but he found that they helped with so much more than that. At the Writing Center, Chims worked with Jeremy Chow, April Anderson, and Daniel Lanza and discovered to his surprise that they all brought different perspectives to the discussion and asked him different questions to clarify parts of his writing. Chims felt a sense of accomplishment when, on handing in the project, his professor asked him, "Did you only write this for this class?" Chims interpreted this to mean he had succeeded in writing for a much wider audience than just the class, and he attributed this to the consultants, none of whom were in his field, for pushing him to make the specific descriptions and explanations clear to all of them. His goal for this project is to reach a wider audience and ultimately develop it in his home country, Malawi.
Chims added, "even now I remember things the three of them told me and pay attention to those aspects when I'm writing."
And that is the goal of the Writing Center—to go beyond just one paper and make an impact on the writer!
Elise Edwards worked in the field of architecture before joining the School of Religion at CGU for her PhD, completing the requirements to be licensed as an architect as she completed her coursework. Now she is integrating these two interests in her dissertation titled, “A Theological Vision of the Ethical Function of Architecture: A Study of Moral Agency in the Built Environment." Rather than looking at religious architecture, Elise takes a religious and ethical perspective to examine public buildings, institutional architecture and housing. As an architect, she learned that all architecture communicates certain values but also observed that these values frequently represent primarily those of the building owners and selected users. Based on research in various streams of thought, such as theological ethics, feminist theory and religious aesthetics, Elise wants to incorporate justice and liberation based-values in architectural design and planning. She would involve a wide, diverse range of users of a built environment in the pre-design phase so that all have a voice in their own spaces. She adds that, there is no one correct way, but “this is one of many voices we can bring to built space.”
Elise came to the Writing Center several times with this project proposal and has just won a Transdisciplinary Dissertation Award for 2012-13. She said that the Writing Center helped her in three ways, “making sure it was clear and concise, …giving encouragement and the confidence to submit it,… and holding [her] accountable.” She came for in-person appointments and worked with consultants not in her field, which, she claims, insured that it was intelligible to those outside her areas of expertise. She feels that as a result she has become better at explaining to others what she is studying. She has also come to several weekend dissertation boot camps and dissertation workshops where she was encouraged by the excitement of others about her topic. She appreciated that at boot camps the time and structure enabled her to complete key parts. Group discussions at boot camps helped her learn how to set goals and meet deadlines. Elise concluded that, “the Writing Center kept [her] on track.”
The Writing Center congratulates Elise on the award and wishes her well on this fascinating project!
Nick Pumphrey is a PhD student in the School of Religion’s Hebrew Bible program. Throughout 2011, Nick diligently worked on two papers that he presented at national conferences. The Annual Forum of the Koinonia Journal featured his study, “Judges and Heroes: The Scholarly Misinterpretation of the Biblical Judges Reflected in Modern Superheroes.” It served as the sole textual study for the conference’s theme on Religion and Popular Culture and opened the forum to more dynamic conversation. His second paper, “Jacob and the Jinn: The Concept of Secret Names connecting Two Scriptures,” enjoyed great reception at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and garnered the attention of well-established scholars.
Nick went to the CGU Writing Center because he “wanted to use all available resources to make [his] papers the best that they could be.” He attended the workshop on presenting conference papers and worked individually with Richard Newton. Throughout these consultations, Nick learned how to present with an ear for the audience. He prepared his papers in such a way as to guide the audience through his argument and liven the question and answer portion of his presentations. Because of his success with these papers, he will be submitting versions of these for his future program requirements.
Congratulations to Nick Pumphrey!
En-Ling Chiao is a Ph.D. student in the School of Behavior and Organizational Sciences where he studies Positive Developmental Psychology. This summer, he worked as an evaluator for Faith Hope Love Academy, a placement and educational institute for children and youth in Taiwan. He also served as an international bridge between this Taiwanese institute and a similar organization in Southern California called Five Acres. He says that the CGU Writing Center helped to make this experience worthwhile. From proposal writing to the evaluation report write-up, he closely worked with many of the center’s tutors.
“As an international student,” En-Ling notes, “it is a very difficult process to overcome the language barrier and meet the expectations of an English-based Ph.D. program,” Therefore the CGU Writing Center serves as an invaluable resource for him. He appreciates the help and support he received from all of the well-experienced and patient tutors he worked with, especially Caroline Carpenter, Richard Newton, and Seth Anderson. They spent a lot of time assisting him in preparing his presentations, expressing his ideas on papers, and dealing with ESL issues. En-Ling says that “with their support and encouragement, I’ve been able to go through many difficulties and keep moving forward!”
Manuel Silva, a Ph.D. student in the School of Education, was accepted to make a poster presentation at the recent convention of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) in Las Vegas on July 8, 2011. The abstract of the research Manuel and J.E. Edwards conducted at Indiana State University has also been published in the peer-reviewed NSCA National Conference and Exhibition Abstracts.
The main focus of their research presented in “Plateau in Maximal Oxygen uptake During a Graded Maximal Exercise Test and High Anaerobic Power” was on comparing oxygen consumption of different athletes for aerobic and anaerobic exercise. The results are likely to have an important impact on coaching sports. To read the complete abstract go to Poster 54 on July 8 at:http://www.nsca-lift.org/NatCon2011/NatCon2011_Abstracts-press.pdf
CGU Professor Daryl Smith gave Manuel valuable comments on the paper and urged him to present it. Manuel said, "I went to the Writing Center with the abstract to improve it, and I went to different tutors as outside readers… They helped me on grammar, consistent writing style, how to structure sentences, and how to express ideas [for an abstract]. When I felt it was ready, I sent it off.” Manuel added that it was accepted immediately in the top publication in his field.
The Writing Center congratulates Manuel on his significant academic achievement!
Imagine getting your first graduate level paper back from a professor with “MAGNIFICENT” written on it! This was Joelle Dobrow’s experience working with the Writing Center on a creative approach to writing a paper.
Joelle is a student in the Executive M. A. program in Arts Management, an innovative joint program between the Drucker School and the School of Arts & Humanities. Joelle came to CGU after a long career as a television producer and director, as well as a dedicated volunteer who did high level work with boards of non-profit organizations in the entertainment industry. On reading about Drucker’s approach to management, Joelle realized that she was “ a Peter Drucker poster child without even knowing it!”
So, in Fall 2010, she found herself at CGU. Her first class was the famous Drucker Difference course. In this unique class each session is taught by a different faculty member who presents his or her expertise as a lens for exploring the individual, organizational, and societal issues Drucker wrote about. Joelle’s assignment for this class was to take one of the 14 themes presented and write a paper on it. The good part was that this was a nicely broad and open prompt; the scary part – it was broad and open! Joelle chose to look at Corporate Purpose through the lens of a medical condition – hers! As a sufferer of celiac disease, she finds it hard to find gluten-free foods at most grocery stores. She wanted to write a paper that “was real, based on my experiences as a customer in the real world”. But to combine this with an academic style was a tall order. More so indeed for someone who had been out of school for years. “The last time I was in college was a different century! I have not written a paper or done research or known how to study for ages”.
So, where else would she end up but at the Writing Center, where she found herself working with Shayda Kafai! “I had never attended any classes on how to write a paper; I didn’t know APA or any documentation style. Shayda gave me a quick overview and conceptual pointers for writing. I probably had broken every writing rule there was! Shayda is fabulous; she’s charming, gentle, and patient. And I love the fact that the Writing Center has tea! It’s very comforting there; it’s not all dauntingly academic – just warm and friendly. I got there early, and people came out to say hello rather than me sitting there like in a doctor’s office. I found the experience calming and centering and not at all a trial”.
With help and encouragement from Shayda, Joelle wrote the paper as she wanted to, grounding her academic analysis in her real world experiences. Her paper analyzed the Corporate Purpose of different food manufacturers in terms of Drucker’s fundamental principal of serving the customer. Writing around Thanksgiving, Joelle’s paper begins with her attempts to put together a Thanksgiving feast with gluten free food she can eat. This personal angle, the use of storytelling in combination with strong analysis and presentation, made for a powerfully convincing paper.
The paper came back with MAGNIFICENT written on the cover page. Her professor wrote that the paper was “an example of material in the hands of someone with real purpose”, and posted it on SAKAI as an exemplar for other students. “This experience has given me a lot of confidence and made me feel – OK, I can do this. When I first came back to school I felt like a little nobody among all these super smart students. Writing this paper, being supported to write it, has made me see what I can do”.
Joelle’s dream job is to be an executive director or consultant, specifically to be the Executive Director of the L. A. Festival of Books. With a very successful first year under her belt, Joelle might well make that dream a reality.
Shayda Kafai, a PhD student in Cultural Studies and a Writing Center consultant, had her first article accepted to a peer-reviewed literary journal. Her article “Subverting the Myth of the Bearded Lady: Jenifer Miller and Circus Amok” is coming out in MP: An Online Feminist Journal in the Winter 2011 issue entitled "Women, Femininity, and Female Agency in Visual Media." Shayda noted that the article was a long time in the making. It was originally a paper for a class in feminist theory with Prof Eve Oishi her first semester at CGU in 2008. To rewrite it as a publishable article, she brought it to the Writing Center for feedback and worked with Tara Prescott, Elaine McLemore, and Seth Anderson. Shayda said, “The Writing Center was tremendously supportive - they literally helped with the entire process – brainstorming, developing the argument, and even citations, since I had to use Chicago style for the journal, but in Cultural Studies we usually use MLA. The experience was so positive that I’ve brought every paper since then to the Writing Center.” Shayda says that talking to peers not in Cultural Studies was helpful because they asked questions about concepts and theories she took for granted.