The Professional Writing Program @ Longwood U


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.


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.

Haley Vasquez, an English major with a minor in Rhetoric and Professional Writing at Longwood, got offered a fully funded M.A. position to study Rhetoric and Composition at Washington State University.

Congratulations, Haley! We are so proud of your accomplishment!


Haley Vasquez

It is my great pleasure to announce that one of our Rhetoric and Professional Writing concentrators, Garrett Badgley, was awarded the 1st place in the Humanities category among the essays submitted for the 2017 issue of Incite: Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship. Garrett wrote his winning essay entitled, “The Rhetoric of Distrust: A Dangerous Game during the 2016 Presidential Campaign,” originally for the ENGL 305: “Presidential Debates in a Global Theater” class during the fall of 2017.

Congratulations, Garrett! We are proud of your accomplishment!

Our Rhetoric and Professional Writing student, Haley Klepatzki’s essay entitled, “Hillary Clinton’s Rhetoric of Gender Inequality: The Past, Present, and The (Hypothetical) Future” has been selected to appear in the 2017 issue of Incite: Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship. Haley wrote the essay originally for the ENGL 305: “Presidential Debates in a Global Theater” class during the fall of 2017.

Congratulations, Haley!

Drs. Heather Lettner-Rust and Elif Guler of the Rhetoric and Professional Writing Program at Longwood recently presented their research at the 2017 Conference on College Composition Communication (CCCC), which took place from March 15-18 in Portland, Oregon.


Dr. Heather Lettner-Rust

Dr. Lettner-Rust (Composition Coordinator) collaborated with Dr. James Holsinger (Director of the Writing Center) in facilitating a workshop with faculty from other universities entitled, “Cultivating Consensus Among Teachers: Collaborative Leadership Strategies in Writing Program Administration.” Dr. Lettner-Rust also presented a paper entitled, “Writing our Students into the Right Places: Social Activism as the Curriculum” in the panel, “Cultivating Social Activism in the Classroom.”


Dr. Elif Guler (on the left) with scholars across the world

Dr. Guler (Coordinator of Rhetoric and Professional Writing) presented her paper entitled, “Rhetoric as the Study of Finding Happiness,” in the panel, “Searching for Global Rhetorics, Recovering Alternative Discursive Communities.” The cross-national panel included scholars from Canada, Turkey, and Ghana.

Since 1949, CCCC has been the world’s largest professional organization for researching and teaching composition, from writing to new media.

Sarah Curlee, an English major with a minor in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, successfully completed an internship with Prince Edward County Public Schools. Sarah assisted the Superintendent, Dr. Barbara Johnson, and the staff of PECPS in the creation and maintenance of the institution’s presence on social media. Sarah immediately showed an interest in the internship opportunity after she was made aware of it through the Rhetoric and Professional Writing listserv. “Once I really started to get into my tasks as an intern, I realized that the majority of what I was doing involved skills that I’ve learned in the Rhetoric and Professional Writing classes I’ve taken at Longwood,” says Sarah. “I had a blast working with [the PECPS staff]; they couldn’t have been more helpful. While I got the chance to practice the skills I’ve learned in the Rhet/PW program, I continued to learn new things as well,” she adds.

PECPS Internship Picture

Sarah Curlee with Dr. Greg Wheeler (Director of Accountability and Research) and Dr. Barbara Johnson (Superintendent) of PECPS

Sarah reflects on how the Rhetoric and Professional Writing program informed her internship experience:

One of the most important skills I’ve learned in my Rhetoric and Professional Writing classes is how to identify an audience and select the language that will be most effective in getting my point across to them. Working as an intern for Prince Edward County Public Schools helped me to further develop my communication skills in a professional setting. When I was speaking with the board members, I chose professional language that is more formal than what I’d normally use when chatting with friends. When I interviewed the high school students about the upcoming pep rally, I adopted a more relaxed tone that was more appropriate for the situation. While my classes taught me a lot about adapting my language to fit the situation, the longer I worked as an intern the more comfortable I became doing so in a professional climate.

Another skill I’ve acquired in my Rhetoric and Professional Writing classes is how to properly format documents. A large portion of my internship centered around writing articles for the Prince Edward County Public Schools’ website and Facebook page, but I was also given various other responsibilities that required me to compose (or edit) formal documents. I spent a few weeks revising the school profile, which interconnected many of the things I’ve learned in the Rhetoric and Professional Writing program. For example, I was given numerous statistics and percentages that made up PECPS and was required to create charts and graphs that would make the document more readable for a wider audience. In my classes, I’ve learned what type of information should be used with which chart or graph, so going into this project with that prior knowledge was incredibly beneficial.


Chris Crider, a Rhetoric and Professional Writing concentrator, has recently received a CURIO program grant from The Student Research Advisory Council at Longwood University. As part of CURIO (The Collegiate Undergraduate Research and Inquiry Opportunities), Chris will assist Dr. Elif Guler on her rhetorical research during the Spring of 2017. As a CURIO researcher, Chris will also develop a proposal for his own upcoming research project on the relationship between Edgar Allan Poe’s life and his literary works. Congratulations, Chris!

Sarah Curlee and Chelsea Smith of the Rhetoric and Professional Writing Program were appointed as two of the ambassadors to represent the Department of English and Modern Languages (EML) at Longwood’s Admissions Open House on November 12, 2016. Sarah and Chelsea shared their experiences in EML and successfully informed the attendees about the premise of The Rhetoric and Professional Writing Program at Longwood University.


EML Ambassadors at the Admissions Open House – November 12, 2016

From Left: Daniela Hernandez, Taylor Embrey, Sarah Curlee, and Chelsea Smith

*Photo Courtesy of Derek Taylor

Longwood Students: Our updated program handout is ready! For information about the Rhetoric and Professional Writing Program, be sure to check out the most recent handout here:

If you would like to declare Rhetoric and Professional Writing as a concentration (for English students) or a minor (for all other majors), please fill out this form and take it to the Registrar’s Office:

Looking forward to having you on board!