PWR News and Announcements

Adam Banks interviewed about black rhetoric

February 8, 2016

Faculty Director Adam Banks was recently interviewed by the Stanford Daily about campus conversations about black rhetoric, from his advanced PWR class, to the OpenXChange event, "Hidden in Plain View: Centering Black Voices on Media, Protest, and Everyday Life," and his own vision for next steps for future discussions on this topic.

Fall 2015 Boothe Winners Announced

February 2, 2016. 

Congratulations to the winners of the Fall 2015 Boothe Prize for Excellence in First-Year Writing: First place essay "Declaring Amnesty on Prostitution: A Marxist Feminist Defense of Amnesty International's Call for Decriminalization of Sex Work," by Ho Kyung (Daniel) Sung (instructor: Ben Wiebracht) and Honorable Mention essay "Imagining the Infinite: Evolution of Space in the American Visual Imagination,” by Wyatt Mullen (instructor: Megan Formato). The winners will be honored, along with the winners of the 2015 Spring and 2016 Winter Boothe Prizes, in a ceremony in the middle of May. Their essays will be posted on our Boothe Prize page by early June.

Engaged Scholarship Conference

October 16, 2015

Join PWR, the Haas Center and CSRE on Thursday, November 5 and Friday, November 6 for the two-day Engaged Scholarship Conference highlighting engaged scholarship and scholar-activism in higher-education, at Stanford, and in the community. This conference will interrogate the relationships between academic scholarship, communities, and movements; create a space for productive dialogue between community groups, scholars and students; explore the research/learning possibilities between students and faculty in classrooms and communities; and bring together different stakeholders to build a community of engaged scholars at Stanford. These two days will feature the work of faculty;  lecturers, like Emily Polk and Donna Hunter; graduate students; undergraduates and community partners.

Boothe Awards Announced

April 16, 2015

Congratulations to the winners of the Winter 2015 Boothe Prize for Excellence in First-Year Writing: First place essay “Time to Welcome Chaos: The Intersection of the Trickster, Creativity, and the Math Classroom” by Elisa Vidales (instructor: Hillary Miller) and Honorable mention essay “The Emergence of Konfrontasi in Singapore’s National Narrative” by Antariksh Mahajan (instructor: Magdalena Gross). The winners will be honored, along with the winners of the 2014 Spring and 2014 Fall Boothe Prizes, in a ceremony in the middle of May. Their essays will be posted on our Boothe Prize page by early June.

Winning Poster

March 31, 2015

A poster by PWR Lecturer Shay Brawn and Hume Center Director Julia Bleakney won an award at the 2015 National Postdoc Association annual meeting in Baltimore. The poster grew from a partnership with Stanford’s Office of Post-Doctoral Affairs to offer training for a selected group of graduate students and post-docs to become grant coaches as part of the Stanford Biosciences Grant Writing Academy. Brawn and Bleakney trained the coaches to support the writing process of hundreds of students writing grant applications in the biosciences as part of the Grant Academy, a year-long program developed by Sofie Kleppner, Assistant Dean for Post-Doctoral Affairs, and Crystal Botham, Director of Strategic Research Development at the School of Medicine. The joint poster showcasing this work was titled "Stanford Biosciences Grant Writing Academy: A train the trainer program to support grant writing for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars."


March 26, 2015

Several PWR lecturers recently presented their work at the annual CCCC convention, held this year in Tampa, Florida, including Christine Alfano, Chris Gerben, Chris Kamrath, Erica Cirillo-McCarthy, and Sarah Pittock. Hume Director Julia Bleakney and former PWR Faculty Director, Andrea Lunsford, also presented at the conference. Read abstracts of their presentations through the CCCC online searchable program.

Writing matters

March 13, 2015

Stanford freshman Chase Navellier proves that what writing students do in their PWR classes can have a broad reach.  Chase’s essay, “Ending the Stem Cell Debate: The Impact of iPSCs on Embryological Ethics,” which he wrote for fellow Trisha Stan’s fall PWR 1 section, will be published in the May issue of the Penn Bioethics Journal.

Inspired teaching and learning

March 13, 2015

PWR Academic Technology Specialist, Megan O’Connor, writes about “Ten powerful concepts for inspired teaching and learning” on Stanford’s Teaching Commons blog.

Connecting Writing Classes across Continents

March 4, 2015

PWR Lecturers Alyssa O’Brien and Christine Alfano’s article, “Tech Travels: Connecting Writing Classes across Continents” was recently published in the collection Transnational Writing Program Administration (2015). In the article, Alyssa and Christine theorize best practices for using technology to foster intercultural competencies among students, drawing on their work directing Stanford’s Cross-Cultural Rhetoric Project, a grant-funded initiative that ran from 2005-2012 and connected Stanford PWR students with students from across the world, including Sweden, Australia, and Egypt.

Louis Bury interview

March 2, 2015

PWR Lecturer Clara Lewis's interview with writer Louis Bury was published in the March 2015 issue of The Conversant. In it, Clara talks with Louis about his recent publication, Exercises in Criticism: The Theory and Practice of Literary Constraint.

Stanford Report Feature

February 24, 2015

PWR Lecturer Karli Cerankowski’s ground-breaking work in Asexuality Studies was featured in the February 24, 2015 edition of the Stanford Report.  Co-editor of the recently published book, Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives, Karli stands at the forefront of this new, evolving field of study.

Professor Dan Melzer, University Reading and Writing Coordinator at California State University

JANUARY 28, 2015

PWR is pleased to host a visit from Professor Dan Melzer, University Reading and Writing Coordinator at California State University, Sacramento. On Friday, January 30, Professor Melzer will be giving a public talk entitled, “Writing Assignments Across the Curriculum: The Results of a National Study” and afterwards will run a workshop on constructivist assessment of student writing. For more information, contact

Getting Played: First Annual Symposium on Equity in the Entertainment Industry and Awards

JANUARY 13, 2015

PWR sponsors "Getting Played: First Annual Symposium on Equity in the Entertainment Industry and Awards" on February 21, 2015. Featuring Jeff Chang, Executive Director of Institute for Diversity in the Arts and author of "Who We Be: The Colorization of America," with closing remarks by Harry Elam, Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Moderated by PWR lecturer Kathleen Tarr. Read the Stanford Daily article on the event: “Stanford hosts first annual symposium on equity in entertainment.”

 Adventures in Writing Debuts

JANUARY 12, 2015

PWR launches a free online course called Adventures in Writing aimed at helping students learn a range of important elements of writing. To learn more, read Stanford Report's January 8th article "Stanford students illustrate public online 'Adventures in Writing' class."

Stanford Center for International Conflict and Negotiation

JANUARY 8, 2015

PWR Fellows, Magdalena Gross and Eric Vanden Bussche, were recently awarded fellowships at the Stanford Center for International Conflict and Negotiation (SCISN). As part of this interdisciplinary community of scholars, they will participate in discussions, research, and presentations centered on developing strategies for peaceful conflict resolution.  Learn more about the SCICN fellows.

How to Make the Most of Your Teaching Evaluations

November 21, 2014

PWR Lecturer Emily Polk provides helpful insights on how to best use student course evaluations to improve pedagogy in her Teaching Commons article, “How to Make the Most of Your Teaching Evaluations.”

BeWell's Motivational Success Story: Dr. Kathleen Tarr

November 21, 2014

The BeWell Program features PWR Lecturer Kathleen Tarr in their new video series, Motivational Success Story. Get a sneak peek into how she incorporates fitness into her classroom.

Publication Award Nominations

October 31, 2014

Lecturer and PWR 2 Course Coordinator, Sohui Lee had two publications nominated for best publications of the year by the International Writing Centers Association.  She received a best article nomination for her article "Completing the Dissertation and Beyond: The Writing Center and the Dissertation Bootcamp," with Chris Golde, Writing Lab Newsletter, 37.7-8 (March-April 2013).  She received a best book nomination for her edited collection, The Routledge Reader on Writing Centers and New Media, with Russell Carpenter (Routledge, 2013).

Revision Strategies to Encourage Strong Student Writing

October 24, 2014

Erica Cirillo-McCarthy talks about two in-class revision activities she uses with students to help them become more confident writers in her recent Teaching Commons article, “Revision Strategies to Encourage Strong Student Writing.”

Stanford 2 to 4: A Veteran's Accelerator

September 18, 2014

During the summer months, PWR lecturer Erica Cirillo-McCarthy taught a writing class as part of Stanford 2 to 4, a program intended to help military veterans develop skills to equip them to succeed at elite universities like Stanford. Read the full article:  "Stanford gives military veterans an academic boost" by Kathleen J. Sullivan.

From Twitter to Kickstarter

August 15, 2014

Former PWR faculty director Andrea Lunsford talks about the radical expansion of writing into digital venues. Students are writing more than ever before but not in traditional academic genres and not on
paper: "From Twitter to Kickstarter, Stanford English professor says the digital revolution is changing what it means to be an author" by Angela Becerra Vidergar.

Teaching Talk from Teaching Commons

July 21, 2014

Two new articles by PWR Lecturer Kathleen A. Tarr and PWR Academic Technology Specialist Megan O’Connor appear in this month's addition of Stanford Teaching Commons. Kathleen writes on “Motivation versus Inspiration: Behind the Curtain of Student Publishing” and Megan writes on “ePortfolios and Self-Reflection: Powerful Pedagogical Tools for Learning.” Check out their stories!


June 14, 2014

Shay Brawn

Congratulations to PWR Lecturer Shay Brawn for winning the Merton and Audrey Bernfield Director’s Award for exceptional contributions to the Program in Human Biology in June 2014! Shay has been the PWR Writing Specialist for Human Biology since spring 2013.

Climate Changers

PWR students in climate change course.

During the winter quarter of 2013, students in two sections of PWR 2 "Communicating Science and the Environment," taught by Carolyn Ross, collaborated with the Stanford Woods Institute's Leopold Leadership Program and Governor Jerry Brown's Office of Planning and Research to produce a set of 13 videos about rapid global environmental change.  The goal of the "Climate Changers" series, the idea for which originated with Governor Brown, is to inform public audiences about cutting-edge climate change research and to help turn policy discussions toward solutions. Students interviewed Leopold Leadership Fellows, prominent scientists whose research relates to global change in many specific ways, then created two-minute videos that convey powerful, constructive messages about how individuals and policy makers alike might most effectively avert some of the worst effects of climate change and adapt to those that are already underway. This video series is posted on the California Office of Planning and Research's and Leopold Leadership Program's web sites.