The English department, SAGES and the Writing Program recently recognized this year’s winners of teaching awards and student writing prizes.
Jessica Melton Perry Award for Distinguished Teaching in Disciplinary and Professional Writing
Helen Salz, professor of genetics and genome sciences, received the 2014 Jessica Melton Perry Award for Distinguished Teaching in Disciplinary and Professional Writing. The award recognizes outstanding instruction in writing in professional fields and/or disciplines other than English.
In addition to her laboratory research, Salz is a member of editorial boards for scientific journals, review panels for funding agencies, advisory groups for the Genetics Society of America, and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Drosophila Society. These professional activities inform the ways that Salz works with graduate students, especially in GENE 511, her department’s second-year PhD graduate writing workshop that asks each student to produce a National Institutes of Health R01-style research proposal.
When she designed this course eight years ago, Salz was meeting a need she saw in the graduate students’ training. The course was an immediate success: her colleagues report an “unprecedented” growth in students submitting and receiving pre-doctoral fellowships, and slots on NIH training grants.
Excellence in Writing Instruction Award
The SAGES Excellence in Writing Instruction Award recognizes outstanding commitment to and success in teaching academic writing to Case Western Reserve University undergraduates in SAGES.
This year, the winner is Georgia Cowart, professor of music. Cowart has received numerous teaching and research awards, as well as National Endowment for the Humanities and American Council of Learned Societies fellowship support.
She has taught in the SAGES program from nearly its inception and this fall, she embarked on the adventure of teaching her First Seminar with a reduced writing support model. The process of taking on solo responsibility for responding to her students’ writing was, in her words, “gratifying.”
WRC Excellence in Consulting Award
The WRC Excellence in Consulting Award recognizes outstanding writing instruction for students of the university and exemplary service to the Writing Resource Center during the academic year.
This year, the winner is Cammy Sray, a master’s student and graduate teaching assistant in the English department. While she has only been teaching writing through the WRC for two semesters, Sray has impressed her students and her colleagues with her care and attention to the writing process.
In describing her tutoring style, she writes: “I try to foster an environment of trust that begins with first impressions … [and continues by] cultivating a conversation between two learners in the social act of writing.”
The SAGES First and University Seminar Essay Prizes
The SAGES First and University Seminar Essay Prizes recognize the best writing that students produce in their First and University Seminars. These essays are chosen from those nominated by SAGES seminar leaders each semester.
The University Seminar Awards are judged in September and recognized at the Celebration of Student Writing in December of each year. The winners for Academic Year 2012-13 are:
Justin Bronstein for his essay “The Trouble with Deep Time and How to Solve It,” written for USNA 2232 (“Time”) led by Peter J. Kernan and Christopher Strathman.
Reuben Sass for his essay “American Graffiti and the Limits of Subcultural Defiance,” written for USSO 288M (“Rock and Roll Cinema”) led by John Vourlis and Denna Iammarino.
The First Seminar Awards are judged in January and recognized at the Celebration of Student Writing in April each year. The winners for Academic Year 2013-14 are:
Chesta Dhingra for her essay “Understanding Instinct: Darwin’s Greatest Intellectual Challenge,” written for FSNA 149 (“Brain, Evolution, Darwin”) led by James Zull and Paul Jaussen.
Benjamin S. Fletcher for his essay “The Adaptation of Reason,” written for FSSY 149 (“Arts of Adaptation”) led by Christopher Flint.
Honorable mention went to:
Alexander Grabanski for his essay “A Modern Fairy Tale: Mirwa Yanagi and Recasting of Young and Old,” written for FSSY 152 (“Identity and Activism in Chinese & Japanese Contemporary Art”) led by Noelle Giuffrida and Christopher Strathman.
Jonathan Kim for his essay “The Diverse Musical Repertoire of the Cleveland Orchestra” for FSSY 119 (“Art, Music & the Museum”) led by Georgia Cowart and Joshua Ware.