Spring 2019 Minutes

Western Connecticut State – NEWCA

Present:  Laurie Britt-Smith, Chair,  Kate Tiribassi, vice chair, Seth Czarnecki, Tom Deans, Christiane Donahue, Neal Learner,  Michael Lewis,  Ed Mueller,  Paul Pasquaretta, Kristina Reardon, Jeffery Sayers Foy, Zan Walker-Goncalves

1. Discussed what NEWACC has done in the past and how we can continue to be of assistance to each other. 

Historically NEWACC meetings offered a hybrid of workshops and panels. It was an opportunity for the local host to highlight their program and a way for everyone to network. It has always been a very loose collaborative group with smallish meetings.

The move to Saturday as a SIG at NEWCA appears to have been a good idea – we doubled our attendance.  We will continue this for the spring meeting.

Questions – How do we continue to build the network and make it more meaningful for the writing professionals in the region?

  • How can we foster the kind of organic growth of relationships and scholarship that we all value?
  • How can we make it a more welcoming space for secondary schools interested in WAC work or setting up writing centers. There is a lot of growth and energy around improving writing in the secondary levels, how can we help form these kinds of partnerships?
  • How do we identify new colleagues as they come into the region?
  • How can we help individuals deploy new initiatives?
  • How can we help each other in those “Phoenix moments” – rising from the ashes after everything kind of falls apart?

2.  The map project is now up and running.

It is a tool to help us build our networks. It can identify where we are and what kind of help we might be able to offer to each other. Perhaps it can help us  answer some of the many questions we had above.

Feel free to link your institutional web pages to it:

The word “expertise” on the map prompt means what areas are you familiar enough with that you could offer advice, workshops, materials on a given topic.  One possible use of the map is to help set up workshop exchanges. Could you come talk about X for me and I will go to your campus to talk about Y.

If you are not on the map, but would like to be, contact Laurie Britt-Smith –

I am willing to maintain the map, and can add people to it manually. Will be sending the form out to those at the meeting who want to be included.

Our primary mode of communication is the listserv – shout out to Susanmarie Harrington at U Vermont for continuing to update and keep it going. If you have a colleague who is interested in joining the list, they should contact Susan at

3. Opportunities for collaborative work.

Presentation by Jeffery Sayer Foy and Paul Pasquaretta : Quinnipiac University's Writing Across the Curriculum Program is in the process of collecting survey data from employers about the role of writing in hiring candidates and how writing occurs in their workplace. They would like to collaborate with others to expand data collection and analysis, and come up with practical applications of the data for our respective writing programs. They presented their current data and discussed how to get involved in the project.  There will be follow-up to this conversation at the June conference.

If you are interested in helping them collect more data – and also get this sort of data for your institution – and would like a  survey link to pass along to your career services people, or have questions about  the project, contact Jeff at

4. AWAC – the Association of Writing Across the Curriculum has now launched. 

AWAC is an attempt to form an umbrella organization for the kind of work WAC entails. Many of us are involved. There will be a meeting of AWAC, and a panel about it at the Quinnipiac conference, as well as another opportunity for NEWACC to meet.

5. Leadership.

Laurie is rotating out of the Chair position. Kate is rotating in. We need another vice-chair, who will then serve as Chair.

Interested?  Please let Kate know or let the organization know via a note over the list.




Laurie A. Britt-Smith