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Title: CLAS notes the monthly news publication of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- College of Arts and Sciences
Publisher: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Creation Date: March 1998
Frequency: monthly
regular
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Subjects / Keywords: Education, humanistic -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
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General Note: Subtitle varies; some numbers issued without subtitle.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 11 (Nov. 1988); title from caption.
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
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oclc - 28575488
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Table of Contents
    Main
        Page 1
    Around the college
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Bookbeat
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Grants awarded through Division of Sponsored Research
        Page 10
        Page 11
    In their own words
        Page 12
Full Text

March 1998




CLASnotes


Vol. 12 The University of Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


No. 3


Student Evaluation of Faculty Teaching
Part I

A recent University of Washington study
questions the value of student evaluations of
professors, suggesting that such evaluations
encourage faculty "to grade easier and make
course workloads lighter." Correspondingly,
the authors contend that easier grading earns
professors better student evaluations.
This is hardly the first time anyone has
worried about the influence of students
judging their professors, but most studies
have contended that this method is a
valuable-if flawed-determiner of faculty
quality. And in higher education, few topics
have been more widely explored, with over
2000 studies available.
On the whole, I believe in student
evaluations, with several key caveats. I
think we are better off using them than not.
I believed that when I was teaching 300-
passenger chemistry sections, and I believe
it today as dean. But I also recognize certain
inherent limitations and dangers if the results
are used indiscriminately.
Students can properly evaluate several
features about their professors from sitting
through a semester of classes. Factors
such as organization, enthusiasm, courtesy,
friendliness, fairness, accessibility, and
punctuality are readily determined. They
may be much less qualified to judge the
instructor's disciplinary expertise, teaching
methods, textbook choice, and extent of their
own learning experience. It is a tenuous
connection, at best, between evaluation
score and what students learn from a
professor. We must, therefore, guard against
ascribing excessive significance to student
evaluations in important matters like tenure
and promotion, merit raises, and academic
awards.
There is an inherent danger in any factor
that can be calculated to an impressive
number of digits. I have worried about
instances in which a teaching score of
4.21 is thought truly superior to a 4.10. We
sometimes look for hard numbers to justify
soft judgments.
Do faculty cater to students to influence
-See Musings, page 12


Writing to Succeed
Douglas Builds Center for Written ond Oral Communication on Own Experience


For over a decade, Jane Douglas,
Director of the Center For Written
and Oral Communication
(CWOC), has had jobs for the picking.
She's worked as a sociologist, an
advertising executive, a cybernovelist,
a racehorse breeder, a ghostwriter,
a journalism professor and a media
and technology consultant, among
other things. She has written a book,
currently in press at University of
Michigan Press, and published over 25
articles in fields as diverse as Cinema
Studies, Computer Science, Sociology,
Education, and Fine Art. With a BA and
MA in literature and a PhD in English
education, how has Douglas succeeded
in both business and academia? Simple.
She possesses the confidence, the
professional savvy and the writing
skills to turn employers' heads. But
Douglas confesses she's not always
had such an easy time finding exciting
and challenging work. "After I finished
my Master's degree, I was virtually
unemployable. I worked in a health
club, ghost-wrote a book, and became a
production assistant on a magazine for
a year and a half before I realized that
all I needed was to re-tool my skills to
target various technical niches."
In the mid-80s, while working
on her PhD at NYU, Douglas began
diversifying her skills by exploring
specialized disciplinary areas, like
hypertext (long before many knew
what hypertext was), socio- and psycho-
linguistics, cognitive psychology, and
theories of reading. "It seemed to me
that you need to understand the process
by which readers make meaning in
each genre, so you can shape what you
write much more effectively," she says.
During this time, she moonlighted as
a consultant, helping business people


Jane Douglas
Center for Written and Oral Communication

with their writing: "My biggest
client was one of the partners for
the law firm that represented Dow
Chemical, which was then defending
itself in the class-action Agent Orange
suit." Such a controversial situation
required Douglas to experiment with
specialized writing strategies. "We
talked about the way in which you
could induce your readers to believe
things were causally linked through
certain syntactical arrangements," she
says, "and how to provide a horizon
of expectation for your readers at the
outset of a piece of writing, so your
readers can incorporate what they
read within an already established
framework."
Upon completing her PhD, Douglas
parlayed her technology experience
into a job working for an advertising
agency in London, helping the
company convert to an entirely digital
system of design and production. "At
the same time," Douglas explains,
"I was also ghost-writing ad copy
for one of the ad executives. When
-See Douglas, page 11


This month's focus: Center for Written and Oral Communication







Around the College


DEPARTMENTS

ANTHROPOLOGY
Paul Magnarella delivered the Frank G. Raichle lecture at
Canisius College in Buffalo, NY in February. His lecture was
entitled "The United Nations Criminal Tribunals: Background,
Experience and Prospects." He delivered an invited lecture
on the same topic at the SUNY Buffalo Human Rights Center
on February 6.

John H. Moore has been elected Fellow-Designate by the
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at
Stanford, California. This will enable him to spend a year as
a Fellow of the Center, conducting research and preparing
manuscripts in his special area of interest-the evolution
of Homo sapiens during the colonizations of Australia, the
Americas and Oceania.

ENGLISH
James Haskins' book Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the
Civil Rights Movement, has been named a Coretta Scott King
Award honor book for text.

GEOLOGY
James Channell has been elected a Fellow in the American
Geophysical Union. Fellowship is awarded to scientists
who have attained acknowledged eminence in one or more
branches of geophysics. The number of Fellows elected each
year is limited to no more than 0.1% of the total membership
of AGU. The presentation of his Fellow's certificate will be
made at the 1998 Spring or Fall AGU meeting.

ROMANCE LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES
In November 1997, Andr6s Avellaneda was invited by the
Fondo Nacional de las Artes Center in Buenos Aires to give
a presentation entitled "Desde las entraias: revistas de y
sobre Hispanoam6rica en los Estados Unidos" as part of an
international conference on Latin America in Journals and
Periodicals sponsored by the Argentine National Library, the
Antorchas Foundation and the Center for Latin American
Studies of the University of Maryland.

SOCIOLOGY
An interview with Karen Pyke on her parent care research
aired in December on NBC affiliates around the country. She
was also interviewed by local radio stations.

Michael Radelet appeared on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show,
discussing people convicted of homicide who turned out to
be innocent.

Hernan Vera has returned from a four-month stay in Santiago,
Chile. Hernan was awarded a competitive Fulbright teaching
and research fellowship which helped fund his stay there.
He taught graduate and undergraduate students in the
Department of Sociology at the Universidad de Chile.


CLAS Chemist Receives Young Investigator Award
Weihong Tan (Chemistry, above) has just been
designated an Office of Naval Research (ONR)
"Young Investigator" Awardee. The three-year award,
designed by ONR to "identify and support academic
scientists and engineers who have recently received
PhD or equivalent degrees and who show exceptional
promise for doing creative research," provides $100,000
per year for three years plus $100,000 in additional
funds in the first year for equipment.
Tan's project, entitled "Ultrasensitive Biosensors
for Molecular Recognition and Manipulation" entails
making small, highly sensitive biosensors that can be
used for biological studies. Future applications of his
work may include advancing biomedical diagnostic
tools in their capacity to look more closely at markers
for disease.
Tan came to UF in December of 1996 after earning
his PhD at the University of Michigan and doing post
doc work at the DOE Ames Lab in Iowa. He has won
two other large awards recently: The Beckman Young
Investigators (BYI) Program chose him last July for
a $200,000 / two year award for his project "Single
Molecule Optical Microscopy," and last month the
National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded him
$275,000 for four years for his work in "Nanometer
Scale Imaging and Sensing."


UNIVERSITY OF

FLORIDA
CLAS notes is published monthly by the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to
inform faculty and staff ofcurrent research
and events.


Dean:
Editor:
Graphics:


Will Harrison
Jane Gibson
Gracy Castine








Around The College

ALICE ZIRGER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP Invitation from Astronomy
The Department of Astronomy invites you to
A$1,000 scholarship, in memory of Mrs. Alice M. Zirger, participate in an evening of discovery at the
will be awarded to a female student in Asian Studies for UF Teaching Observatory (located behind
1997-98. The Scholarship was established with a gift the Aerospace Engineering building). The
from the Zirger family to encourage study in the area of Observatory is en every Friday from 8:30
pm to 10:00pm when school is in session and
East Asia. The award is for one year and the recipient is pm to 10:0pm en school is in session and
eligible to reapply for a second year. Applicants must be
completing or have completed second-year Chinese or
Japanese. The deadline for application is March 30.
S. AConversations About Teaching
For more information contact: Susan A. Kubota, 407 Grinter, Conversations Abot Teaching
392-1581, or Cynthia L. Chennault, 478 Grinter, 392-2014. Wednesday, April 16 1:00 3:00 pm 285 Reitz Union
**Other CLAS and department scholarships and fellowships Workshop on Teaching Writing in the
are currently listed in the case outside 2008 Turlington. Disciplines
Scholarship/Fellowship booklets and applications are
available in 2014 Turlington or at http://www.clas.ufl. Mo
edu. Moderators:
Patricia Craddock and Carolyn Smith, English
Fiona Barnes and Jane Douglas, Center for
Faculty Exchange Program With the Written and Oral Communication
University of Utrecht
The UF-Uecht Fcu Echng Co it To improve the quality of student writing in the
The UF-Utrecht Faculty Exchange Committee disciplines this workshop provides:
invites faculty from UF to apply for the exchange Helpful hints on resources
program in 1998/99. Faculty may teach in the fall Types of writing assignments and
or spring semester. A letter of interest with some essential features
indication of the courses or research that one would Guidelines for making and sequencing
conduct in Utrecht should be sent to Professor David writing assignments
Colburn, 304 Little Hall, P. O. Box 113175, no later Tips on responding to student writing
than April 1. The applications will be reviewed by Assistance designing writing-intensive
the UF-Utrecht Faculty Committee and a decision courses in your discipline
made by April 15. If you have any questions about
the program, contact David Colburn at 846-1998. For further information or to reserve your place,
colburn@history.ufl.eu> please call 846-1574 or e-mail: Nadine@ucet.ufl.edu



FHC Grant Brings Florida Novelists to UF for March Literature Conference
The Florida Humanities Council recently awarded a grant of $11,000 to Diane L. Stevenson of the College of Lib-
eral Arts and Sciences to bring six noted Florida novelists to Gainesville for a two-day event entitled "Florida Writers
Conference." The nationally recognized authors include Carl Hiaasen, James W. Hall, Randy Wayne
White, Barbara Parker, Paul Levine, and Les Standiford. The conference will consist of talks, read-
ings, and panel discussions focusing on how Florida informs the work of these writers who combine
politics, mystery, crime, satire, humor, and concern for the environment into best-selling novels.
The conference will take place on the University of Florida campus Friday and Saturday March 20
and 21. All readings, talks, and panels are free and open to the public.
The grant was one of seventeen proposals considered by the FHC Board of Directors at its De- Diane Stevenson
cember 1997 meeting in Tampa. Twelve applications were awarded grants in the total amount of
$191,000 for public humanities programs throughout the state of Florida.
Conference co-sponsors include the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Gainesville Sun, University Press
of Florida, Goerings Book Store, and the UF Office of Research, Te hn 1iil ''y and Graduate Education. For further
information about FHC and this grant please contact Diane Stevenson at 352-846-2030 (2031) or via email: DLS@
English.ufl.edu.






Professors on the Net
0


Instructional Web Pages:
'An Ecology of Knowledge'
by Gene Thursby (Religion)
The Internet marks the beginning of a new "ecology of
knowledge" in which the activist slogan "think globally act
locally" makes sense. Neither thinking nor acting are replaced
by automated routines, but both activities can be augmented by
proper use of networked information sources. For two years,
in cooperation with my students, I have been exploring ways
to share information across networks. This has required us to
adapt old skills and develop new ones-as information consumers,
providers, analysts, critics, and visionaries-in the context of the
networked environments that are supported by e-mail discussion
groups and the World Wide Web.
My interest in these new media came from an unexpected
source. I was introduced to them four years ago while on
sabbatical leave, thanks to the generosity of a small liberal arts
college in Oregon. After returning to Gainesville, I began to
encourage students to join an optional e-mail discussion list that
was set up for each of the courses I taught. Managing multiple
lists has been a challenge, but a rewarding one, because they
expanded the extent and range of discussion of issues generated
in the classroom and eventually began to generate new questions
and perspectives that were brought back into the classroom, too.
In the summer of 1996, when my department was equipped
with computers that would support access to the World-Wide
Web, I began to write files,
mark them with basic
HTML (Hyper Text Mark-
up Language) code so
that they would appear as
web pages when viewed
through software such as
For the portion of Thursby's REL 3131 Netscape, and save them
course that focuses on tabloid religion, in file-server directories
his syllabus links to sites like this one, provided by CLASnet.
"Big Elvis." My initial interest was
local and supplemental-to
post information for students enrolled in classes I was teaching,
such as syllabi, assignments, paperless handouts, and references
to recommended readings. This continues to be a worthwhile
function for web pages, as my page for REL3131 at http:/ /www.
clas.ufl.edu/users/gthursby/3131/ may illustrate.
Although my web pages continue to provide information to
currently enrolled students as one of their primary functions,
additional possibilities soon presented themselves. When a
few folk paintings from India that are part of my small teaching
collection were exhibited on campus as a memorial to the late
art historian Roy C. Craven in the fall of 1996, I scanned slide
pictures of the paintings and set up a "virtual" or online exhibit,
too. When a new scholarly journal for study of Hindu tradition
invited me to be a member of its editorial board, I volunteered to
write and maintain a web page for it. When an e-mail discussion
group was established at the University of Connecticut for
academic study of mysticism, I invited distant colleagues to
advise me in developing a Mysticism Resources Page around
which I designed a series of topical reference pages for several


Alice in Web Land:
Creating My First Web Page
by Sheila Dickinson (Classics)
Could I do it? The Honors Program employs talented
students to design and update our web page (http:/ /
www.clas.ufl.edu/CLAS/Departments/Honors/).
Other than advise at a distance I have played no part
in its development or upkeep. It was hence with
some trepidation that I set out to see if I could make
an elementary web page for my LNW 2630 Latin Love
Poetry class last fall.
Fortunately, there are resources available for
neophytes. I began with a Faculty Resource Center
workshop. The workshop was helpful but as time
passed and I didn't put into practice what I had learned,
the task seemed even more daunting. Finally salvation
appeared in the form of Netscape Navigator Gold,
downloaded at home. This web browser with a built in
HTML editor proved to be the means for my creating a
quick and dirty web page-just right for a beginner.
For my first web page I set myself the simple goal of
providing a copy of my syllabus for LNW 2630, Latin
Love Poetry, and a set of links that students might find
useful for the course. These links included a search
engine specifically geared to classical topics and a
comprehensive list of Classical sites and bibliography.
Yet other links take students to sites specific to Catullus,
the major author studied in the course. Of particular
interest to students was a link to the poems themselves,
so students could down load their own copies-
especially useful for writing translations and/or starting
stylistic analyses. With a bit more effort I could have
linked to an on-line Latin dictionary and grammar.
In a very short time Netscape Navigator helped me
create a passable-looking first version of a site. But
as the semester got very busy, I never had a chance to
return and improve my draft. For example, I did not
go back and remove the extra spaces in my syllabus,
created, I'm guessing, when I used Microsoft Word to
put the document into HTML format. I might have put
up the assignments for each class and a fair copy of the
translation of each poem. Lack of time prevented me
from moving beyond that initial first stage. Instead I
turned to e-mail as a way to disseminate information to
the class and have them send assignments to me.
This simple tale contains a few lessons. Even the
most technologically disadvantaged individual can
create his or her own web page. To make a web site
really useful and integral to a class is rather more of
a challenge. Creating web pages is time-consuming
but surely worth it. I look forward to getting as good
at doing this as Gene Thursby and Michael Martinez
and to making a web page that is truly an important
resource for my course.%

S125@nervm.nerdc.ufl.edu
http://www.clas.ufl.edu/CLAS/Departments/Honors


-See Web Instruction, page 9






Confessions of a Grammar Grouch

Zoologist Carmine Lanciani Teaches Tomorrow's Scientists to Write


Because businesses and graduate
schools-locally and nationally-
often indicate that strong writing
and speaking skills are highly desirable
in their applicants, it's not surprising
that many UF departments are starting
to think about how to provide their
students with better communication
skills. It is surprising, though, that a
scientist would volunteer to teach a
writing course. But about a year ago,
that's exactly what UF zoologist Carmine
Lanciani did. "In his CLASnotes Musings
that month," Lanciani remembers,
"the Dean stressed the importance of
writing skills, and he encouraged all
departments to begin designing 'writing
in the disciplines' courses to meet
student needs. I immediately wrote him
to express my interest."
To understand Lanciani's willingness
(or perhaps, he admits, his "foolishness")
one must know a bit about his
background. During his childhood
in Massachusetts, Lanciani frequently
accompanied his father on trout fishing
expeditions. It was in the streams of the
Northeast that he became interested not
only in fishing, but in insects, "especially
the aquatic ones that trout ate." While


"I think we especially
owe it to the kids who
are going on...to prepare
them adequately for the
writing they'll be expected
to do at the graduate and
professional levels."


a junior at Cornell, he enrolled in an
ecology class that would change his life.
"Our teacher, Clifford Berg," explains
Lanciani, "took the class on field trips
to collect stream insects-the same ones
I saw as a child-and I got to study them
and learn their names. I think that was
a large part of why I did my dissertation
work in aquatic ecology."
And here's where the writing
connection comes in. It seems that Berg,
who eventually became the chair of


Lanciani's dissertation, had once been a
high school English teacher. The Cornell
professor took writing very seriously,
so much so that his students called him
the "grammar grouch," a title Lanciani
has good-naturedly adopted here at
UF "He played a big role in getting me
into this writing stuff," says Lanciani
of his mentor. "He demanded to look
at all of my correspondence-papers,
proposals and anything else that I sent
out professionally. He continually
hammered home the idea of writing
clearly and concisely."
So, despite the fact that Lanciani earned
the lowest grade of his undergraduate
career in Freshman Composition, Berg's
advice stuck, and he carried the writing
torch to UF Although he has taught a
4-week writing unit as a component of
his department's graduate orientation
seminar since 1985, when Lanciani
began preparing, last fall, to teach a
full-semester writing course, he knew
he needed guidance. He sought help
from the newly formed CLAS Center
for Written and Oral Communi-cations
(CWOC). Lanciani met with CWOC
Director, Jane Douglas, and CWOC
instructor Fiona Barnes, both of whom
had experience in teaching writing in a
variety of disciplines. "On top of support
and encouragement, they provided me
with some valuable teaching resources
and references, and reassured me that
what I'd already been doing on a small
scale in the graduate seminar was
transferable to this new undergraduate
course."
Lanciani's new class, ZOO 4926,
a "special topics" course, made its
debut last fall. Although the course
is an elective, Lanciani, who plans to
continue teaching the course every year,
encourages all zoology majors who
intend to go on to graduate school to
take it. "I think we especially owe it to
the kids who are going on," he says, "to
prepare them adequately for the writing
they'll be expected to do at the graduate
and professional levels."
Fortunately, Lanciani enjoys his
new role in the department. "The
writing course was so much fun-I
looked forward to teaching it every
day," he says. "The students took to


Carmine Lanciani in his Bartram Hall lab.

it very well, too," he adds. Among
other projects that Lanciani's students
worked on were actual graduate school
application statements and job cover
letters, practical assignments with real-
life audiences. "I let them know that
I was willing to provide feedback on
as many drafts as they cared to write,"
he explains, and they were required to
get feedback from their peers, as well.
As a result, most of his students wrote
4 or 5 drafts for each project-a real
victory since many writing experts feel
the biggest hurdle toward improving
reluctant or inexperienced writers' skills
is convincing them that writing is a multi-
stepped process. Several of Lanciani's
students-grad school acceptance letters
and fellowship offers in hand-have
already reaped the benefits of their
newly-honed skills. "What I really hope
to do with them is awaken an interest,
so that they will become their own best
critics. If you can read and edit your
own writing you've got it made."
Although his expertise is in zoology,
not writing, Lanciani is confident of
his ability to successfully teach writing
to science students. "It's nice being
an outsider," he claims, "in the sense
that I'm not afraid to make mistakes. I
cannot teach writing the way an English
professor can. There's no question about
it. But there are some things I know will
improve scientific writing, and those


-See Lanciani, page 10






Speech Communication

CWOC Associate Director Kellie Roberts Discusses the Center's Oral Division


Next time you're reading a
newspaper, scan the "help
wanted" ads and note the skills
most often requested of prospective
employees. No matter the type of job or
position being advertised, you will find
that excellent communication skills are
in high demand. The Center for Written
and Oral Communication (CWOC)
serves the university community as the
hub for improving these sought-after
skills. The Center, now in its second
year, was formed by joining the College's
lecturers in the humanities with
instructors of speech communication.
The oral communication division, which
I direct, consists of speech lecturers,
instructors and graduate teaching
assistants, and continues to offer many


Kellie Roberts, infroi
home of the Center
and Oral Comm


of the speech communication courses
previously listed elsewhere but now housed in CWOC.
Each semester CWOC offers 20 sections (500+ students)
of the very popular "Introduction to Public Speaking" (SPC
2600) in addition to other courses which concentrate on
various communication contexts including interpersonal
communication, listening, and argumentation. Even
though no major or minor in oral communication or
speech is currently offered, CWOC's oral communication
classes continue to fill, and
waiting lists are a constant
each semester. Many of UF's
colleges and programs require
that an oral communication
course be part of the
curriculum.
As the number of
requests for these applied
Communication courses
continues to grow, it is
Rupa Patel, a student in Rob- apparent that students are
erts' honors section of SPC 2600 realizing how very important
(Introduction to Public Speaking)
delivers a 5-minute "demonstra- it is to obtain communication
tion speech" on origami. skills for use in other classes,
job interviews and their
careers. Most of these requests, in fact, are made from
those students and faculty whose programs do not even
require such coursework. In response to this demand,
CWOC is developing courses which allow students the
occasion to enhance both written and oral communication
within their own disciplines. We are presently piloting
two such courses: "Speaking and Writing in Business"
and "Speaking and Writing for Engineers." In addition
to the students' improved skills, these courses also afford
CWOC's combined teaching staff a wonderful opportunity
to co-teach and share our expertise as we explore a


Completely new field together.
In addition to our productive staff
and evolving course selection, the Center
for Written and Oral Communication
is proud to showcase one of UF's finest
representatives: the award-winning
University of Florida Speech and Debate
Team. Made up of students from majors
all across campus, the team travels to state,
regional and national debate/forensics
tournaments representing the university.
These state champions, who compete in
cross-examination and parliamentary
debate, oratory and interpretation, not only
bring home loads of trophies and titles, but
they also realize that their true reward is
it of Rolfs Hall, the acquisition of essential communication
rfor Written
unication skills. Beyond the competition room,
this enthusiastic squad isn't shy about
sharing their talents with others. The team
regularly provides speakers for community organizations
and clubs, offers training in public speaking for student


groups, and supplies coaching
and judging for high school
forensics programs. These Gators
are proud to be part of the overall
University of Florida campaign of
combining excellence in service,
academic achievement and
performance.
As CWOC continues to
grow and serve the needs of
the university community,
it strives to be a model that
other institutions will choose
to emulate. Combining service
and developing academic


"...students are
realizing how
very important
it is to obtain
communication
skills for use in
other classes, job
interviews and
their careers."


excellence with a commitment of sharing written and oral
communication techniques specifically relevant to students
across a broad range of disciplines is a marvelous challenge
for UF and CWOC. It is a challenge we embrace. We invite
you to join us in this continuing exploration.%




Services: Speaking in the Disciplines
The Centerfaculty in speech communication are available
to provide guest lecturers on oral presentation skills and the
use of visual aids in presenting research to both general and
expert audiences-particularly useful to students preparing
for the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.
For further information, please contact Kellie Roberts at
kroberts@cpd.ufl.edu or call 392-5421.






From Students to Professionals

An Interview with Fiona Barnes


Cn: You earned a PhD from UW-Madison
in literature. How did you get involved in
teaching professional writing?

FB: Well, initially I was committed to
teaching literature, but after teaching
introductory composition courses at
UF and Santa Fe Community College,
I realized the desperate need for solid
writing courses to prepare students to
present themselves and their subjects
effectively. The most recent employment
surveys indicate that employers in Florida
are satisfied with their new hires' subject
knowledge, but increasingly dissatisfied
with their written and oral communication
skills. In other words, students leave
our universities with the necessary
knowledge base in their disciplines, but
many of them can't think through their
ideas critically, express them clearly, or
present them convincingly to clients or
anybody else with whom they might
have to communicate. Consequently, I
really believe that teaching writing is the
most valuable thing that I can be doing
right now.

Cn: You've taught writing courses in
neuroscience, engineering, psychology and
graduate-level chemistry. How do you prepare
to teach in such diverse disciplines?


FB:
Each new course entails a great deal of
research and self-education, but if you're
a generalist-which I've always been-it's
really interesting. I go back and forth
to the faculty of each department to get
ideas about content and genres, and
then to the library to research and collect
samples from professional articles and


journals in each field. I also consult the
subject librarians, who are tremendous
resources. I've read and learned so
much outside my own field by teaching
these courses-it's great.

Cn: I'm sure many of the students in these
scientific and technical disciplines do not
consider themselves "writers." How do
they respond to your classes?

FB: Writing has a very powerful
psychological component to it, and
many students who think they are not
very good at it are frightened and hence
resentful and angry when they start the
course (particularly if the course is newly
required as it was for the chemistry
graduate students last semester). They
aren't convinced that it's going to help.
They are also shocked at how much
work they are expected to do-in class
and out of class-short pieces, long pieces,
constant editing and revisions.
Part of our job entails training the
students to see themselves as writers
within their fields and introducing
them to the different genres of writing
that they will be expected to do as
professionals. One of the things we
integrate into the courses, which they
can readily see as being of immediate
and practical benefit, is working on
their personal statements and essays
for graduate school-something many
of them have to do anyway. This is the
kind of thing they find so pragmatic and
convincing-it directly speaks to their
needs and situations, which makes a
difference. In the engineering course, for
example, I start off by teaching resumes,
cover letters and interviewing skills. I
worked with the neuroscience students
on their med-school applications...we
talked about how to present themselves,
how to put in grant proposals and how
to submit work for publication. And
I've actually had a number of students
publish their research papers in journals
at the end of the semester. They can't
argue with the success and applicability
of such experience.

Cn: Are there one or two specific skills that
most students coming into your courses seem


above: Fiona Barnes, CWOC instructor.
below: Barnes works with a class in the Net-
worked I\riting Environment (NWE).
deficient in?

FB: One of their biggest problems is
synthesis. If I ask them, for example, to
go find and summarize six to ten articles
on a topic they're researching and then
to synthesize these summaries into a
literature review, they have a really
hard time getting from the reading and
note-taking stage to the place where they
can mold and control the material to fit
their own purpose. It's sort of a leap of
faith for them to take somebody else's
work, rearrange it, and make it their
own. One of my brightest students last
semester had great difficulty identifying
the trends and patterns in her summaries
and re-organizing them into a critical
review. She met with me and met with
me, and she was getting frustrated, and
I kept trying to re-explain it.....finally she
got it, and she said "You know I can't
believe I have been at this University for
four years, and I've never synthesized
anything." She said she never even knew
what synthesis was. She'd always in the
past just spit memorized material back
out on a test-that was what was expected.
The difficulty she had in grasping the
skill and her eventual breakthrough
to the next level of thinking really
emphasized to me how much we (higher-
ed in general) spoon-feed our students
and expect them just to regurgitate the
information of others without critiquing
or redirecting it.
Most other student writing problems
could be improved with practice. The
Bok Study at Harvard (1978) shows that
graduating seniors' writing skills were


-See Barnes, page 11






Bookbeat


Floods of Fortune: Ecology and
Economy Along the Amazon
Michael Goulding, Dennis J. Mahar and
Nigel J. H. Smith (Geography)
Columbia University Press, New York

(review taken from book jacket)
Floods of Fortune describes the
stunning diversity of plant and animal
life found in and along the rivers,
and shows how this wealth is being
plundered. Readers will also learn
about the
Amazon's
cultural
a history, from
its earliest
human
habitation to
the present,
and how
various
populations
have used
the rivers
and flood-plains. The vivid full-color
photographs help readers who have
not been to the region comprehend
the complex environmental and social
problems associated with Amazonian
development. Arresting images of the
wetlands' wildlife, from macaw to ana-
conda, contrast with sobering pictures
of rural peoples fighting a constant
battle against poverty. Photographs
depicting the regional economy-of
people and their farms, of gold mines
and fisheries-add life to the book's
powerful story.

(excerpt)
The destruction of nesting sites is the single
most important factor reducing the biodiversity
and abundance of large birds along the Amazon
River. Hunting and egg collectingforfood are
also taking a heavy toll on egrets, herons, ibises,
and ducks. If present deforestation and
hunting trends continue for another
decade or two, the wading birds of
the Amazon River, which were once
extremely numerous, will probably
become rare.

Aliens of Affection
Padgett Powell (English)
Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

(review taken from book jacket)
Aliens of Affection marks new
territory for Padgett Powell,


picking up where his first collection of
stories, Typical, left off. Although his
characters continue to revolt against
the received instructions
of modern American N
living-refusing to be S N N
dunked in what Saul
Bellow has called
the "marinade of
correctness"-their
concerns are less for
independence than
for the maintenance FA N I A
of sanity itself. In this
sometimes surrealistic
terrain, "affection
was that which, and
the only thing on earth which, you
should be eternally thankful for."
Emotional estrangement seems both
inevitable and worth fighting against
to the middle-aged heroine of the O.
Henry prizewinner "Trick or Treat";
to the unmistakably American roofer
of "Wayne" (who was introduced in
Typical); to the deserted husband, father
and non-vet of "Dump"; and to the
fantastic heroes in three stories grouped
as "All Along the Watchtower." The
nine stories collected here are hilarious,
wrenching, pessimistic, buoyant, low-
down, high-strung, and impeccably
written.

(excerpt from "Scarliotti and the Sinkhole")
"Do you want to go on a date?" he asked her,
his head still down as if he were weeping.
"No." She rang up the beer.
"Any day now I will be pert a millionaire."
"Good."
"Good? Good? Shit. A millionaire."
She started chewing rapidly again. "Go ahead
and be one," she said.
"You don't believe me?"
"You going to be Arnold Schwarznegger,
too?"
This stopped Scarliotti. It
was a direction he didn't
understand. He made a
guess. "What? You don't
think I'm stilog?- Before
Sthe girl could answer,
he ran over to the copy
machine and picked up
a corner of it and would
have turned it over but it
started to roll and got away
and hit the magazine rack.
Suddenly, inexplicably, he
was sad. He did not do sad.
Sad was bullshit.


Spinning Fantasies: Rabbis, Gender,
and History
Miriam B. Peskowitz (Religion)
University of California Press

-I (review taken from book jacket)
In the aftermath of the
destruction of the Jerusalem
Temple by Roman armies in
70 C.E., new incarnations of
Judaism began to emerge.
Of these rabbinic Judaism
I SI was the most successful,
developing as the classical
form of the religion. By
researching ancient stories
involving Jewish spinners
and weavers, Peskowitz reexamines
this critical moment in Jewish history,
presenting a feminist interpretation
in which gender takes center stage.
She shows how notions of female and
male were developed by the rabbis
of Roman Palestine, and why these
distinctions were so important in the
development of this religious tradition.
Rabbinic attention to women, men,
sexuality, and gender took place within
the "ordinary tedium of everyday
life, in acts that were both familiar
and mundane." However, Peskowitz
argues that gender was most powerful
in those things so prevalent and
repetitive that they eventually became
invisible. While spinners and weavers
performed what seemed like ordinary
tasks, their craft was in fact symbolic
of larger gender and sexual issues. It is
through this study of the imagery and
remains of spinning that Peskowitz
shows how gender and rabbinic
Judaism were indeed inextricable.

(excerpt)
To call a man a weaver casts aspersion and
suspicion on his masculinity. Spinning too
was a trope of transgression. When Juvenal,
through his character Laronia, critiques men
for spinning more deftly than Penelope, he
chastises men who do not uphold the properties
of masculinity. The masculinity of these men
does not establish sufficiently clear differences
between them and women's femininity. Another
effect of this discourse is to portray men of
nonelite classes as feminine. Weavers were
lower-status workers, whether slave, freed, or
freeborn. Written into life with a distinctively
sexualized timbre, these men are different from
elite men, and as such, help to establish the
masculinity that makes elite men superior.






Bookbeat


QVI MISCVIT VTILE DVLCI: Festschrift
S V Essays for Paul Lachlan MacKendrick
Edited by Gareth Schmeling (Classics)
Bolchzy-Carducci Publishers, Inc.

(excerpt taken from editor's preface)
The essays by students and colleagues of
Paul MacKendrick are gathered here to
recognize the career of a distinguished
classicist. We suppose that a collection
of essays for Paul MacKendrick should
have been entitled Saxa Loquuntur-in
imitation of his best known works. But
Paul was interested in many areas the diversity of these
collected essays reflects some of those interests: long before
it was fashionable to do so, Paul employed anthropological
methodology to combine the various skill areas in Classics
epigraphyy, archaeology, literature, philosophy, history) to
help put together all the tesserae in the Classics mosaic. As
students we joked that Romans on the Rhine might have
been entitled The Rhinestones Speak and that The Romans in
France might have been de Gaulle Stones Speak. But we were
envious as hell and knew a ludi magister when we met one.
Papers graded in great detail in red ink in that minute hand
of his and signed PLM demanded our attention.


W eb Instruction (continued from page 4)


International Journal of Quantum
Chemistry
Special Issue: The Properties
of Molecules in Strong Magnetic
Fields
Editor-in-Chief: Per-Olov L6wdin
(QTP),Editor: Yngve Ohrn (QTP)
Associate Editors: John Sabin
(QTP) & Michael Zerner (QTP)
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

(summary taken from preface)
International Journal of
Quantum Chemistry is devoted
to Quantum Theory and
Computations in Chemistry, Condensed Matter Physics,
and Biology. The journal presently publishes twenty eight
regular issues each year forming five volumes and the
proceedings of the Sanibel symposia. Some of the regular
issues are devoted to the proceedings of various inter-
national conferences or to special themes to be discussed
in the form of "paper symposia", and some are at the
same time dedicatory issues honoring some outstanding
pioneer(s) in the field. The major research centers in the
field are further invited, from time to time, to submit
progress reports about their work.


areas of Religious Studies, including
New Religious Movements. As a
result, I was invited to main-tain online
reference pages for the Mysti-cism and
the New Religious
Movements
program units of the
American Academy
of Religion-a
major professional
society for Religious
Studies.
These activities
led me to read about the history of the
Internet, and I found that Tim Berners
Lee who is credited as its inventor also
created something called the World-
Wide Web Virtual Library. The WWW-
VL is a large-scale distributed project
in which hundreds of volunteers
monitor Internet information resources
on topics of their own particular
interest, then write and maintain
pages of selected and annotated links
to relevant files around the world. I
actively maintain five separate web
pages for the WWW-VL within two
general areas. In Asian Studies, I serve
as virtual librarian for information
concerning Pakistan, for the de facto


disputed territory of Kashmir, and
for the Chinese tradition of Taoism.
In the social sciences, I maintain the
Social Sciences section and the page for
Psychology. In
As a supplement to his addition, I am
on-line required readings, ad a
Thursby includes links a member of an
to "recommended" sites international
like the Adidam Religion organizing
page (graphic of founder, committee that
Avatar Adi Da, left) is writing a new
constitution and
bylaws for the
WWW-VL.
In all this, what serves teaching and
research in the College? Every part
of it. The Internet is a vast, rapidly
shifting set of information sources.
Writing topical resource pages on
the World Wide Web not only "puts
a good face on it" but-by means of a
sustained effort to sift through, survey,
and evaluate electronically networked
information-provides a "value added"
reference, review, and critique to one's
students and colleagues in much
the way one would in an a research
paper, an annotated bibliography, or a
monograph.
In the process of working with


networked information sources, one
can model for one's students the
values inherent in honoring deceased
colleagues, cooperating with living
ones, and enlarging one's perspectives
as a participant in the activities of
assessing and utilizing existing forms
of knowledge as well as contributing
to the production of new ones. These
are subjects of interest to students in
an undergraduate course I am teaching
about Religion on the Internet, and
they were topics of concern to several
callers when I was a guest last year on
a call-in talk radio program in South
Africa. After more than an hour of
long-distance conversation with my
host (who is a woman scholar with a
university post), a creative Black poet,
a worried Afrikaaner grandfather, and
several other people who expressed
deep interest in the possibilities and
perils of the Internet, it was startling
to hear the opening words of a public
service message that began "Working
in a gold mine got you down?" It was
also peculiarly fitting.%


http: / / www.clas.ufl.edu/ users / gthursby /
email: gthursby@religion.ufl.edu







Grant Awards through Division of Sponsored Research

January 1998 Total $2,738,900


Investigator Dept.


Corporate...$ 307,882
Hudlicky, T. CHE
Katritzky, A. CHE
Katritzky, A. CHE
Katritzky, A. CHE
Katritzky, A. CHE
Katritzky, A. CHE
Katritzky, A. CHE
Katritzky, A. CHE
Katritzky, A. CHE
Thomas, C. CRI
Thomas, C. CRI
Sharifi, F. PHY
Shuster, J. STA
Marks, R. STA

Federal...$2,326,958


Bernard, H.
Lada, E.
Wigston, D.
Butler, G.
Duran, R.
Eyler, J.
Richardson, D.
Reynolds, J.
Winefordner, J.
Sapienza, C.
Spector, A.
Hollinger, R.
Carter, R.
Kepner, J.
Shuster, J.
McGorray, S.
Evans, D.
Levey, D.
McCarty, J.

Other...$ 46,360
Bernard, H.
Falsetti, A.
Jones, D.
Akers, R.


ANT
AST
BOT
CHE
CHE

CHE
CHE
CHE
CPD
PSY
SOC
STA

STA
STA
ZOO
ZOO
ZOO


ANT
ANT
BOT
CRI


Agency


P & G 40,000
Abbott Labs 70,000
Abbott Labs 50,000
Dow Elanco 1,300
Dow Elanco 1,300
Mult Comp 2,943
Mult Comp 4,000
Mult Comp 2,500
Solutia, Inc 65,000
Mult Sources 2,000
Mult Sources 8,500
Honeywell, Inc 22,452
Mult Sources 16,000
US Biomaterials 21,887


NSF 5,150
NASA 69,900
DOMA 1,995
NSF 14,400
NSF 7,840

NSF 120,800
US Air Force 100,000
NSF 21,902
US Navy 39,491
NIH 68,094
NARM 1,090
DOE 59,100

NIH 1,636,740
NIH 21,734
NSF 76,000
EPA 9,644
DOA 73,078


Misc Donors
Misc Donors
Misc Donors
Misc Donors


18,360
10,500
14,500
3,000


Award


Title


Synthesis of matrix-metalloprotease inhibitors.
Chemical sample collection.
Chemical sample collection.
Dow Elanco compounds agreement.
Dow Elanco compounds agreement.
Software research support.
Mile compound contract.
Mile compound contract.
Succinimide chemistry.
Private corrections project.
Private corrections project.
Demonstration of GMR nonvolatile memory with potential for radiation.
Database system development.
Clinical trial research design.


(REU) Counting the uncountable: Investigations into social networks.
Towards a complete inventory of star and planet formation activity.
Production of an integrated natural resources management plan.
Dispersion, agglomeration and consolidation.
Engineered particulates.

Gas-phase chemistry and spectroscopy of metal complex ions.
Controlled conduction and optical properties in cladding layers.
Advanced measurements and characterization.
Respiratory function during speech production at 1000 FSW.
Assessment of peripheral gustatory function.
Security research project.
A longitudinal evaluation of Florida's programs and services for high risk.

Pediatric oncology group statistical office.
Evaluation of ischemic heart disease in women-clinical centers.
Is nitric oxide or a prostaglandin the endothelium-derived relaxing factor?
Are extractive reserves ecologically benign?
Importance of fleshy fruit as food source for wildlife at Savannah river site.


Miscellaneous donors.
Miscellaneous donors.
Miscellaneous donors.
Miscellaneous donors.


Universities ...$ 57,700
Person, W.
Szczepaniak, K. CHE


Youngstown


-Lanciani, continued from page 5
are the things I'm really focusing on." L
eventually teach a 1-2 hour writing course
level as well.
Unfortunately, as the grammar grouch
burgeoning knowledge base in the biological
difficult to justify cutting a course to make ro
writing class. "We should be teaching the
of our students," Lanciani claims, "but I ki


57,700 Hydrogen bonding and proton transfer: A cooperative AB initio quantum.

going to happen." Still, he feels that making the investment to
anciani hopes to include more writing instruction into existing curricula would
at the graduate be "money well spent. The returns would be enormous. With
good writing skills, our students will be more likely to get
admits, the ever- good jobs, go to impressive graduate schools, publish articles
sciences makes it and win grants and fellowship money. This can only help the
om for a required reputation of UF in the long run."
se courses to all
now that's never






-Douglas, continued from page 1


the agency's biggest client found out
I was actually doing the writing, they
fired the writer (one of the agency's
partners) and hired me full-time." But
despite her compounded experience,
Douglas claims, "It took me years to
become a good writer. Even given what
I knew theoretically about reading and
writing, I wasted probably a good two
years mastering the sorts of principles
we now teach routinely in CWOC
courses. Back then, the ad agency's
million-pound client liked me simply
because the industry standards were
absolutely dire. And still are. There
are very few accomplished writers
around in business, in industry, even
in academia."
"The Center for Written and Oral
Communication (which opened
its doors in the Fall of 1996) was
created in part to tackle employer
and graduate school outcry about
the poor communication skills of the
students they recruited out of college,"
Douglas explains. In the annual Florida
Employer Opinion Survey, for example,
executives complained that the skills of
entry level employees were improving
in every area except communication.
Since CLAS is largely responsible
for the basic communication education
of UF students, the College responded
by creating CWOC. "The Center
developed from the concerns of (then)
Associate Deans Sheila Dickinson and
David Colburn about the importance
of communications skills in our
curriculum," says Dean Harrison. '"This
was also reinforced by advice from our
alumni and friends that better writing
and more effective public speaking


were among the most important talents
we could cultivate in our students."
In other words, writing is no longer
considered a subject reserved for the
humanities. Fostering this "Writing
in the Disciplines" (WID) philosophy,
is one of the Center's main goals, as
their web page explains: "The WID
approach is directed at situating writing
squarely within the highly particularized
discourse of a discipline, focusing on
its specialist genres and vocabulary,
its methodologies and definitions, its
criteria of evidence, even its views and
value judgments, and how all these are
represented in different genres of writing
within the discipline and profession."
"Students are so grateful for the kind
of practical advice and training they get
from CWOC classes," says Douglas.
"Fiona Barnes, who developed and
taught CWOC's first class (Writing in
the Neurobiological Sciences) in 1996,
still has students from that semester
coming back to her for advice and
feedback on important correspondence
like cover letters and grant applications."
Engineering student Joe Roberson,
from Barnes' recent course "Writing in
Engineering," offered this feedback:
This course trains students to write cover
letters and resumes, which is quite important
for job hunting, and to write documents that
directly apply to their professional life, such
as interoffice memos and user manuals.
The speech part of the course provides
invaluable training in the art of self-selling.
We are all in sales, in one form or another,
and this segment provides, and then hones,
that skill. I thought it was quite appropriate
to include this area; it complements cover
letters and resumes very well.


lam a senior and will soon graduate; most
of my homework for this class has also been
mailed to various human resource offices as
I search for a job. I have never taken any
college course that so clearly applied to the
"real world." My only ;"-_ ,.-itii for this
course is, don't change anything.
While CWOC aims to collaborate
with existing composition, professional
writing and speaking programs offered
through the Departments of English and
Communication Sciences and Disorders
and to develop and implement writing
courses in many other departments, it
also strives to provide the professional
support, advice and resources faculty
and students need to successfully
integrate writing into their disciplines.
"Most new university WID projects
fail," explains Douglas. "Such programs
are very labor intensive in terms of
course development, and they need
an outside administrative body to
support the collaborative efforts between
departments (composition and content)
keeping them both equal. With CWOC
we've created such an outside body."
The potential impact the Center could
have on graduates, and by extension,
the reputation of the University of
Florida, is immense. With her diverse,
accomplished business and academic
background, Douglas was ideal for
CWOC's Directorship. "We have a
long way to go," she admits, "but I feel
at home in this position, and I know
from my own experience in the business
world, that the skills we provide at
CWOC will help UF graduates write
their own tickets to success."


-Barnes, continued from page 7
worse than those of freshman who had just completed a writing
course, indicating that students' writing skills regress if they
are not constantly reinforced and practiced. In other words,
our system of offering two writing courses at the beginning of
students' college careers is just not optimal; students need to
write throughout the years they are here, and writing in their
disciplines is vital to their education.

Cn: You mentioned earlier that your students respond well to practical,
hands-on assignments. Is this why you're having your engineering
students do a project on the campus bat house controversy?

FB: Yes, partly. The bat house issue is a hot one, obviously, and a
real-world problem that may even affect some of them personally
(the student housing issue). We will expect them to consider
11


all the angles-environmental, financial, organizational,
aesthetic, structural-and will challenge them to come up
with a team proposal that they will present orally (role-
playing as engineers, managers, and public relations officers
for their particular firm) to their classmates, who will also
be role-playing as clients and a public inquiry panel. The
group will have to respond to questions and challenges,
learning how to argue their case and respond to objections.
They will also submit a final written proposal. We hope that
this process will teach the students to appreciate the social
and community responsibilities of the engineer and the
public impact of engineering decisions, as well as teaching
them how best to disseminate technical information to the
public.%





Musings, continued from page 1


their evaluations? The good faculty, and this is
the overwhelming majority, do not. Could they?
Evidently. The U. Wash. study reports that the
simple factor of showing greater enthusiasm in
class brings up the ratings of many categories,
and even makes the text book seem better.
Conventional wisdom is that easier graders
earn better student scores. This theory has the
advantage of being almost impossible to prove
right or wrong, due to the associated factors
that complicate simple comparisons. Let's
take numbers here at CLAS as an example,
based on a recent semester's course grades and
student evaluations. As is consistently the case,
the natural and mathematical sciences show a
GPA (2.79) lower than the humanities (3.09)
and social and behavioral sciences (3.15). The
corresponding student evaluation scores for the
N&MS faculty are also lower than the CLAS
average in 7 of the 9 units. And in the S&BS,
source of the highest GPAs, each department
showed student evaluation scores above CLAS
average.
But before too much is made of these data,
the differences in scores are small and not
compelling as to conclusions. Furthermore, the
correlation between departmental GPAs and the
evaluation scores is far from consistent. For
select disciplines (e.g., chemistry, mathematics),
it is true that no matter how terrific the instruction,
some students will find these courses less than
thrilling, a sentiment that could affect their
ratings.
If student evaluations are flawed, which
most would take as a given, how can we better
judge faculty teaching? In principle, peer
review should be the most reliable assessment
of faculty teaching- professionals judging
professionals. In practice, peer review has not
been exactly a triumph in pointing out areas
needing improvement. One difficulty is that
peer review is used for T&P cases, and faculty
reviewers obviously worry about what a T&P
committee and the dean might do with any
criticism or evidence of classroom shortcomings.
As a result, virtually everyone gets outstanding
peer reviews. Most of these are deserved,
although not all. True peer reviews might better
take the form of assessments sent directly and
anonymously to the faculty member, decoupled
from momentous career decisions, and based
on multiple reviewers sitting in on several
lectures.
More in next month's issue, including how the
evaluations are used in CLAS. In the meantime,
I would value hearing from you about your views
on this controversial subject.

Will Harrison,
Dean
[harrison@chem.ufl.edu]


CWOC Mission

The Center aims to help prepare students at the University of Florida to speak and
write with effective use of the major conventions governing speaking and writing
in their chosen disciplines, as well as those which enable them to communicate
information from within their discipline to general audiences. By instituting a
unified and well-articulated program of writing in the disciplines across all schools
and colleges, the Center will serve as a model that may be used to promote the
University of Florida nationally as a leader in innovative approaches to teaching
communication and addressing the purposes and functions of various oral and
written discursive practices.



CWOC Goals
1. Address issues involving the quality of student writing in the disciplines and in networked
electronic environments.

2. Work with other programs in UCET that introduce faculty to ongoing research and innovative
pedagogies, especially those involved in the teaching of writing in the disciplines.

3. Assist in developing standards for the assignment (quantity) and assessment (quality) of
student writing in Gordon Rule courses.

4. Promote greater proficiency and facility in real-life writing tasks that may assist University
of Florida graduates in securing employment and may raise their profile in the business and
academic community and within the State of Florida.



In Their Own Words
Because of the importance that we place on writing, the College has decided to require a second
composition course for our students. We hope that many students will choose one of the new writing-in-
the-discipline courses for one of these required composition courses. In my department, Psychology, this
course has been a smashing success. Learning to write clearly and to think clearly are intertwined.
-Pat Miller, Psychology

The new Speaking and Writing course for Engineers addresses an important aspect frequently lacking in
engineering students, i.e., the ability to communicate effectively using both written and verbal media. The
feedback from the students has been very positive and future plans include increased interaction with
industry representatives.
-Dave Bloomquist, UF Engineering

We have long been searching for a way to improve the communication skills of our MBA students. I
believe the program developed by CWOC and Jane Douglas will be the answer. Some comments from a
recent Executive MBA class support that conclusion:
-The professor makes an otherwise mundane topic very interesting.
-Dr. Douglas is very knowledgeable and seems to understand the context of our needs
for improving our writing (not just our grammar).
-I like the practical orientation of the course and the use of writing samples by class
members to facilitate discussion.
-Using student writing examples in class is a strong motivator.
- W. Andrew McCollough, Associate Dean of the Warrington College of Business

Because all students in the undergraduate interdisciplinary major in neurobiological sciences are required
to write up their research in manuscript form, the faculty were delighted when Dr. Fiona Barnes worked with
us to devise an appropriate course. A great increase in both the quality and timeliness of their manuscripts
is obvious. Student feedback about the value of the course has been uniformly excellent. Both faculty and
students look upon this course as a valuable addition to the interdisciplinary major.
-Carol Van Hartesveldt, Psychology