Rhetoric & Professional Writing @ Longwood

LATEST UPDATES AND OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Congratulations to Kimberly Daucher, a Criminal Justice student with a minor in Professional Writing, for successfully completing an internship with Arianna Sharfman Photography in Los Angeles, CA! Kim’s internship focused on developing a professional website and creating/maintaining social media accounts. In Spring 2018, Kim will also complete a study focusing on professional writing in her field of specialization by preparing a guide on the use of rhetoric and professional writing in the practice of criminal justice. Kim expects to graduate from Longwood in May 2018.
Here is her reflection on her internship during the summer of 2018:

“For my ENGL 492: Internship in Professional Writing, I worked with Arianna Sharfman Photography in Los Angeles, CA. My internship focused on audience and design more than I anticipated. During my internship, I needed to practice communicating information in a way that both Arianna (as an expert photographer) and her intended audience (which might include novice photographers) could understand. Among many other things, I also practiced creating and maintaining customized social media accounts with technology where the design options are limited and how to create content tailored to a specific audience. Since Arianna wanted to expand her audience to non-photographers, I suggested creating content that appeals to young non-photographers of all genders. I created a list of blog topics for her to have quickly on hand — tips and tricks, tutorials, advice, and fun and useful topics that would attract general people who may just want some insight on photography or be interested in her work. I created example blog postings for her to use as a model; these were short postings that would be easy to read and that would draw attention. The same characteristics applied when I helped Arianna create her YouTube “about me” section. While I took the information from her initial biography, I further shortened it to the platform and made sure it was still fun and easy-going.

Working with Arianna was fun and eye-opening. I was able to communicate verbally and visually to assist Arianna in conducting research and designing new social media outlets for her to expand her audience. The experience also taught me that not everyone may consider their intended audience right away and that they may need help identifying that audience in order to cater their content to them efficiently. The design proved to be important on website layouts because the content is both visual and verbal; understanding effective layouts for photographs was as important as informational written communication.”

Congratulations to Christopher Crider for successfully completing an internship with STEPS, Incorporated during the fall semester of 2017. STEPS, Inc. is “an internationally accredited, multifaceted regional nonprofit with a 30-year history of positive results to help people break the cycles of poverty.” The organization “creates effective partnerships with local governments, state agencies and other non-profits, private businesses and faith communities to achieve success.”

Here is a reflection on the professional writing skills Chris utilized during his internship:

“Interning at STEPS, Inc. during the 2017 fall semester was certainly insightful as I learned a lot about professional writing in a short period. Right away, I was able to examine principles and practices of effective professional workplace communication, including visual and written communication, in a workplace setting at STEPS. I accomplished this goal by researching, as well as creating, different types of workplace documents such as employee assessments, client referral forms, satisfaction surveys based on employee performance, volunteer documents outlining volunteer responsibilities, a volunteer sign-in/out form, and finally the annual report. Through the research and creation of these documents, I was able to analyze rhetorical situations in online written communication for areas of focus such as attention to audience, purpose, format, and context. Each professional document’s audience varied, thus, it was essential that I took the opportunity to analyze the rhetorical situation being addressed for a particular document before sending out my final copy. The creation of these different documents also allowed me to create professionally crafted and revised print and digital documents within a variety of genres for various purposes that ultimately demonstrated my understanding of the rhetorical situation at hand.

With all of the different types of documentation, it was imperative that I took the time to reflect on the processes for preparing professional documents in a way to ensure their effectiveness and success. One of the most important processes, and often most challenging, was to create the STEPS 2017 Annual Report. Throughout the internship, I was tasked to organize data needed for the annual report. This included conducting interviews with various STEPS employees and then creating different narratives for the annual report based on those interviews. I had to rely heavily on different aspects of design in order to have an idea as to what the annual report may look like. In fact, I had to effectively utilize design elements throughout the creation of each and every technical and professional document I created for STEPS, such as the use of white space, choice of font, and so on. Ultimately, I had to use these design elements in various professional documents in order to benefit both the business and the clients of STEPS. Further, I had to make sure to create these documents in an effective manner by using plain language to ensure that there was no barrier in communication for our clients.

STEPS, inc. allowed me to communicate both internally and externally at the organization. Internally, I conducted interviews with STEPS employees and representatives, sat in on important STEPS meetings, delivered an inventory assessment document for each employee to fill out, and reported on the organization’s goals, developments, and accomplishments in the annual report. Externally, I was able to assist in the STEPS Annual Christmas show, which advocated for community involvement by providing free entry to a meaningful community event hosted each year at the STEPS Centre in Farmville. Aside from reaching out to the community through volunteering with the organization, I was able to externally communicate at STEPS by contacting previous as well as current clients in order to receive their feedback on the organization through the STEPS Satisfaction Surveys. I also contacted people in the community that were seeking assistance with STEPS programs such as the Energy Share program, a program which financially assists underserved community residents with their electric bill. Through this, I was able to externally communicate to the community in which STEPS seeks to serve since I was reaching out to the potential future clients of the organization.

I was not only able to experience and create professional documents in a professional environment, but I was also able to connect my coursework at Longwood University to the various tasks I accomplished throughout my internship at STEPS, Inc. Thanks to my coursework at Longwood in classes such as Professional Writing, Technical Writing, Visual Rhetoric and Document Design, and likely many others, I could accomplish my tasks as an intern with more than limited knowledge of professional writing documents. I felt like I already had a strong foothold in my internship position due to the classes I have previously taken at Longwood University. Further, my tasks and responsibilities as an intern of the STEPS organization helped to strengthen and further develop my professional writing skills as well as my ability to create professional documents in a professional setting. I definitely learned a lot throughout my internship at STEPS, and I would recommend the position to anyone seeking to improve their professional writing skills in a professional environment.”

Charleigh Kondas has successfully presented her senior paper, “Perhaps We Are All Immigrants: Postcolonial Hybridity in Rupi Kaur’s Poetry,” to a full Martinelli Board Room at Longwood on Friday, December 1st. Charleigh’s expected graduation is in May 2018.

Charleigh delivering her paper (on the right)

Charleigh has also completed an internship with the Rhetoric and Professional Writing Program during the fall semester of 2017; she examined some of the principles of effective professional communication by working on the program’s informational and promotional documents.

Congratulations on a semester well done, Charleigh!

 

Hi, Rhetoricians:

Check out this opportunity for civic writing in London. As the flyer states, for more information, email vportill@syr.edu or sjparks@syr.edu or visit suabroad.syr.edu

You should also consider Longwood in Spain to work on your Spanish as well as civic writing courses. Here is the program website:

http://longwoodinspain.weebly.com/

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During the summer of 2017, Chelsea Smith successfully completed an internship at The Greenwood Library. Chelsea, who studied professional writing with Dr. Heather Lettner-Rust and technical writing and rhetoric with Dr. Elif Guler, reflects on how her studies in the Rhetoric and Professional Writing Program at Longwood University have informed her experience:

“I enjoyed completing my internship with Greenwood Library. On a daily basis, tasks completed applied directly to both my rhetorical studies and my current job as a library assistant in a public library. I was immersed in a work environment very similar to that of the job I currently have, but with a new perspective of working behind the scenes, which I prefer.

I was confident about applying practical skills that I’d acquired through all of my rhetoric courses. Both Dr. Lettner-Rust and Dr. Guler prepared me for this internship. Their instruction so seamlessly translates from a classroom to a workplace. The amount of workplace documentation reinforced just how much written communication skills are needed at any organization.  I spent a lot of time following manuals written to explain tasks within the library. From there, I made sure documents were consistent, well-illustrated, and easy-to-follow for new staff and student workers. I was also responsible for creating new manuals that were needed to explain various tasks such as a new library app.

Completion of my internship allowed for a newfound confidence that I will bring to my current workplace. The staff at Greenwood Library were so welcoming and were always open to discussion and questions I had about anything. I am so grateful that my completion of my internship satisfied both a graduation requirement and allowed me to use my practical work experience from a public library setting to an academic library.

This internship brought me so much closer to reaching my ultimate goal of pursuing a Master’s Degree in Library Science after graduation from Longwood.”

Congratulations, Chelsea! So proud of you!

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During the summer of 2017, Haley Klepatzki successfully completed an internship with Ms. Lisa Pavlock, Public Information Coordinator of the Fauquier County Public Library. Haley, who studied professional writing with Dr. Heather Lettner-Rust and technical writing and rhetoric with Dr. Elif Guler, reflects on how her studies in the Rhetoric and Professional Writing Program at Longwood University have informed her experience:

“I joined the staff of the Fauquier Library at an interesting time when the staff was in the process of devising a marketing plan in order to apply to relocate the library to a bigger and more modern building. I got the privilege to sit in on a marketing strategy meeting, where the staff discussed the future needs of the library and its patrons. Much like in my professional writing classes, we discussed the library’s audience, purpose, and goals that would be required to appeal for a new building. Many people are skeptical of the relevance of libraries in this technology-based world we are living in. At this meeting, we brainstormed services the library provides that are critical and necessary to the community, some of which library patrons might not even know are offered.

During my internship, I was placed in charge of creating all of the library’s content that is featured in the Fauquier Times newspaper. I spent my summer writing press releases, ads, and articles promoting summer programs and events. My experience with technical writing greatly helped me when writing content for the paper. Ethos, pathos, and logos played key roles in writing ads and articles in order to promote the wonderful programs offered at the library. Knowing proper layout and formatting, along with creating interesting and eye-catching designs was another skill that I was able to bring to the content I created for the library. I could not have felt more prepared for the tasks ahead of me, thanks to the courses I have taken at Longwood.

Much of what I have learned in professional writing classes at Longwood were relevant to the public information coordinator’s job at the library. I learned a lot interning for the library and had a great time assisting staff and even patrons.”

Congratulations, Haley! We are so proud of you.

Congratulations to Chris Crider, Rhetoric and Professional Writing concentrator, whose SPUR presentation “The Raven’s Demons,” on SlideShare garnered the most likes and was one of the most viewed presentations. Dr. Elif Guler also became a SPUR winner with the highest social media activity.

Click for the article about the winners. Hope your finals are wrapping up nicely. Have a great summer!

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Image courtesy of Longwood’s Office of Student Research

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Jennah Gunter with ESOL students

Jennah Gunter has successfully completed an internship with the English Bridge Program at Longwood’s Office of International Affairs.

Jennah, who took Professional Writing with Dr. Heather Lettner-Rust, reflects on how her studies in English and Professional Writing informed her experience:

“English majors have a particular approach to language. We receive a lot of information on a regular basis and use language as a tool to analyze and decipher what we have learned. But, with Dr. Deborah Westin’s guidance during my work with the English Bridge Program, I learned quickly that ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) is quite different. Not only ESOL uses language for analysis, but it also equips students with the tools they need to navigate life in a new way. As opposed to receiving information, ESOL learners incorporate information into what they already know in their first language simultaneously.

During my time with The English Bridge Program, my internship focused mainly on lesson planning and managing study hours, but I also learned a great deal about time management and communication. ‘Plan your work, and work your plan,’ were the words Dr. Westin used when I asked for guidance on how to execute study hours. She also gave me a lesson plan template that definitely changed the direction of the internship. After making some 30 lesson plans over the course of the semester, I have a new found empathy for our professors.

I learned about ‘appreciative inquiry,’ where I would ask myself what works, and why, and how I can do things better next time. But, what I’ve found so valuable in my experience as an intern was goodwill. I used tools from my professional writing class to establish ethos and trust. I learned how to prove to my peers and superiors that I can be relied upon and trusted to make good decisions. In fact, this internship has made me realize my passion for ESOL and language learning, so I intend to pursue it in my graduate studies.”

Congratulations on the completion of your internship, Jennah!

 

18033952_10155054316965767_6784123327614726763_nHaley Vasquez (an English major with a minor in Rhetoric and Professional Writing) successfully presented her senior seminar paper, “‘There’s No Returning Me; I’m Yours Forever’: Clothing as a Language for Southern Identity.” Organized by prominent professors of literature like Dr. John Miller of Longwood’s Department of English and Modern Languages, Haley’s panel was well attended by and garnered great responses from both the faculty and the students.

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18076643_10155054837940767_5655930003391188770_oChris Crider presenting his research to Longwood faculty and students

Chris Crider successfully presented his CURIO research, “The Raven’s Demons: The Psychoanalytic Relationship Between Edgar Allan Poe’s Life and His Literary Works,” at The 2017 Spring Presentation of Undergraduate Research (SPUR). Chris expounded on psychoanalytic perspectives to Edgar Allan Poe’s work by combining them with Kubler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grief and Loss.