What is WAC/WID/CxC?
Pearce Center has made WAC, WID and CxC programs the center of its current activities. Writing Across the Curriculum programs work to ensure that Clemson students are prepared for writing in a wide variety of academic and professional settings. WAC often involves writing to learn—informal writing that helps writers explain their reading, their observations and their own thinking to themselves. WAC can take the form of field notes, lab notes, journals, lecture summaries, reflection papers and many other familiar forms. Writing in the Disciplines introduces students to writing for a particular field: its conventions, practices and formats — all the requirements for joining a disciplinary conversation. WID can take the form of journal articles, masters theses, doctoral dissertations, grant applications and technical documents for a variety of science and engineering fields. Communication Across the Curriculum ensures that Clemson students are prepared to express themselves in modes of communication other than writing, including the visual rhetoric and information design needed for posters, presentations and visual productions. In 2001, Time magazine named Clemson “Public College of the Year” and featured Clemson’s commitment to WAC/WID. The Pearce Center for Professional Communication is committed to reaching similar recognitions for its WAC, WID and CxC programs, with particular emphasis on supporting Clemson Forward’s engagement initiatives.
To augment its ongoing commitment to improving the communication skills of all Clemson students, the Pearce Center regularly invites requests from faculty in all disciplines for
• funding for curricular or other initiatives that enhance oral, written, visual and/or digital communication or that foster writing to learn at Clemson;
• small grants for communication-based, peer-reviewed research in your discipline;
• assistance developing a communication component in your grant proposals; and/or
• space/technology in the Class of 1941 Studio for Student Communication for your project, class or research team.
How Can I Apply?
Calls for proposals are put out in the spring for projects to be funded during the following academic year. The Pearce Center Faculty Advisory Council reviews all submissions. Please direct any questions to Cameron Bushnell, Director of the Pearce Center for Professional Communication.
The Pearce Center for Professional Communication is dedicated to continuing Clemson’s tradition of WAC excellence through a variety of programs and initiatives. The Pearce Center hosts workshops, conferences and writing challenges for departments and faculty. Pearce also funds the Grad WAC Fellows program and the Faculty Fellows program to encourage WAC teachings and research. Learn more about these and other initiatives below.
The Pearce Center offers workshops on issues regarding written and oral communication to help faculty and graduate students with their own writing and with the teaching of writing.
Take a look below at some of our previous workshop offerings. Contact Sarah Costley to request a workshop in your department.
Alan Alda Center Faculty Workshop
In March 2021, the Pearce Center hosted a virtual faculty workshop through the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science called “The Essentials.” The three-hour workshop focused on effective communication strategies and techniques; it was particularly designed for faculty who need to present science research to non-specialist audiences, including grantees, collaborators in other fields and public audiences. Aimed at research scientists and practitioners who want to help others explore science and its significance, attendance was limited to 16 participants who were nominated by department chairs and associate deans to apply. At least one faculty member from every college on campus attended the workshop, including Pearce Center FAC member Lesly Temesvari.
CUSHR Writing Challenge
The Pearce Center hosted a summer writing challenge for the CUSHR Faculty Scholars. Participants attended daily for 2.5 hours to write together as a group. Each session started with the presentation of a short writing tip and ended with a report of the progress each of the writers made during the session. Projects included manuscripts, journal articles, grant applications and more. Eight faculty members completed the challenge, and two winners were selected via drawing for gift card prizes! Participants reported that the most helpful elements of the challenge included having an accountability group of peers, the positive and focused support system and the daily writing tips, and many expressed interest in repeating the challenge or forming writing groups in the future.
Faculty Writing Groups
Throughout the calendar year, the Pearce Center hosts virtual writing groups for CAAH faculty members. The groups met up to three times a week in order to form a committed community of writers with dedicated time to work on their projects. In Spring 2021, the Pearce Center held a Spring Break Writing Challenge, during which writing sessions were held every weekday for two and a half hours. Participants who attended every day were entered into a drawing for one of two gift card prizes.
Grad WAC Fellows
Grad WAC Fellows is a professional development program for graduate TAs that emphasize written communication in their classrooms. The program focuses on increasing the quality and quantity of their students’ writing, as well as increasing the Fellows’ own writing skills.
The Pearce Faculty Fellows program seeks to meet the needs of faculty in departments from across campus who are interested in learning strategies for teaching writing in undergraduate and graduate disciplinary classrooms. Fellows seek to enhance efforts to develop more interdisciplinary curricula.
The WAC Journal
The WAC Journal is a national peer-reviewed journal of contemporary research relating to Writing Across the Curriculum, available in print and online through Colorado State’s WAC Clearinghouse. This journal of practical ideas and pertinent theory is also published by Clemson University and Parlor Press and was copyedited this year by Pearce Center’s PEP program. Director Dr. Cameron Bushnell also serves as co-editor of the publication.
Meet our WAC Faculty
During Katalin Beck’s four semesters of working as a WAC Faculty member, the program has matured and grown from one cohort to two, reached Ph.D. candidates in almost every college and evolved to accommodate a variety of teaching modalities. Witnessing, and hopefully energizing, the students’ growth through exchanging ideas, inspiring conversations and mentoring are Beck’s highest reward. Beck believes it is a great privilege to be part of a program that fills a profound need and keeps the tradition of WAC excellence alive at Clemson.
Phil Randall is a senior lecturer who teaches courses in scientific writing and science, technology and society. As a member of the Clemson faculty since 2004, he has overseen more than 25 client-based projects for South Carolina nonprofits and government agencies, including the Anderson Adult Education Center and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate. This is his third year as a WAC Faculty member, during which he has co-taught the Grad WAC Fellows program and presented as part of the 2020 Doctoral Writing Workshop and 2019 Teaching Symposium.
Jennifer Hagen Forsberg joined the WAC Faculty in Fall 2019. Team-teaching with Dr. Bushnell and Professor Beck allowed for a wide-range of writing experiences and active mentorship for the graduate TAs in the Grad WAC Fellows program. In 2020-2021, Forsberg designed the first semester offering (WAC). They focused on the foundations of quality academic writing and the integration of writing-to-learn into general education objectives, as well as the creation of a teaching repository to provide fellows an ongoing resource.