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Sustainable Becoming

Women's Career Trajectories in Writing Program Administration

This panel discusses how the profession of writing program administration can
support sustainable, individual, and diverse career trajectories for women. It will be
framed with current research on lifespan development, which treats each person as
creating an individual trajectory of becoming through multiple contexts,
experiences, and identities. The panelists will be at different points of their careers
and hail from diverse institutions, ages, backgrounds, etc. We will also have several
respondents/questioners who will ask follow-up questions of the panelists and
invite audience members to ask questions as well.

The Panelists


Louise Wetherbee Phelps is Emeritus Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Syracuse University, where she led development of a Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition that offers a writing/rhetoric major and PhD in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric. As a Scholar-in-Residence in Rhetoric and Writing at Old Dominion University, she serves as a graduate advisor in the English Department’s interdisciplinary PhD program. Dr. Phelps is a long-time consultant to writing programs and departments of English and writing/rhetoric, including a 6-week consultancy at the University of Winnipeg on a Fulbright Specialist Grant. Her publications in rhetoric and composition/writing studies range from Composition as a Human Science (1988) to the co-authored book Cross-Border Networks in Writing Studies (2017) and numerous articles and book chapters. Her most recent writings include work on literacy and aging and two book chapters on independent writing programs.


Sheila Carter-Tod is an Associate Professor of English, at Virginia Tech where she was an associate director of composition for four years and the director of composition for five years. Following her DOC work, she spent two years as Director of Curricular and Pedagogical Development for the College Access Collaborative (a newly formed unit, at the university, which aims to increase academic preparation, access and affordability for first-generation, low-income, underrepresented minorities (Black, Latino, and Native American), women and students from rural and inner-city communities). She has published articles and/or reviews in Writing Program Administrators Journal, WLN, CCC and Reflections as well as chapters in several edited collections and textbooks.  She has served as an editorial reviewer for numerous publishers and journals. Additionally, she has been elected to a number of leadership roles in NCTE, CCC and CWPA, including the NCTE’s Inclusivity Task Force, NCTE Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English; CCCC--Stage II and On-Site Selection Committees; Chair--NCTE College Selection Committee, CCC Executive Committee, and CWPA Membership/Newcomers Committee.  She was also the co-leader of the CWPA summer workshop for two years.

Jessie L. Moore is Director of the Center for Engaged Learning and a Professor of Professional Writing and Rhetoric in the Department of English at Elon University. Jessie coordinates the Center’s research seminars, which support international, multi-institutional inquiry on engaged learning topics. Her recent research examines transfer of writing knowledge and practices, multi-institutional research and collaborative inquiry, the writing lives of university students, and high-impact pedagogies. She was also the co-leader of the CWPA summer workshop for two years.


Patti Poblete (poh-BLEH-teh) is the Writing Program Administrator at Henderson State University in Arkansas, where she teaches a smorgasbord of writing classes in addition to guiding the writing program. Prior to her work at HSU, Patti served as the Assistant Director of Iowa State University’s Writing and Media Center. She completed her doctorate at Purdue University, where she served as Assistant Director of the Introductory Composition program. Patti has also acted as the Assistant Registrar of La Sierra University, where she took a deep dive into the bureaucratic side of university administration. She has been teaching at the college level for 15 years.

Casey Reid is the Writing Center Coordinator at Lane Community College and is ABD in English with a focus in Composition and Rhetoric through Old Dominion University. After completing her BA in Anthropology and Professional Writing and MA in Writing from Missouri State University, she took on a variety of academic positions, including being a full-time faculty member and Director of Academic Success at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Director of Developmental Education Programs at East Central College, and Supplemental Instruction Coordinator at the University of Central Missouri. Her current research interests include exploring discourses surrounding literacy and legislative policies that impact writing program administration, especially in two-year contexts.

Sarah Snyder is a NTT Professor of English and Writing Program Administrator of the WID and Composition programs at Arizona Western College.  Selected publications include editing a collection on "Professionalizing Second Language Writing" with Katherine Daily O'Meara and Paul Kei Matsuda and her forthcoming work in WPA: Writing Program Administration.  Informed by her studies of second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and rhetoric and composition, her research areas concern the intersections of second language writing, writing program administration, and assessment.  Sarah also created the Breakfast Buddies program while she served in WPA-GO from 2013-2018.  She currently serves as Institute Director for the Symposium on Second Language Writing.




Joe Janangelo is an Associate Professor at Loyola University Chicago and is a Past President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators. Joe is also an editorial board member of CCC and WPA and reviews editor of the Journal of Teaching Writing, and served as local host for CWPA’s 2008 summer conference. He has published numerous articles and chapters and is the long-running chair of CWPA’s Mentoring Project.

Katherine Daily O’Meara is Director of Composition and an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Emporia State University in Emporia, KS. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in writing studies, writing program administration, professional writing, teacher training/pedagogy, visual rhetoric, and second language writing. Her institutional ethnographic research focuses on the values of writing across the disciplines, new teacher training and support, and multilingual student success.

Lori Ostergaard is a Professor and Chair of the department of writing and rhetoric at Oakland University, and the editor of WPA: Writing Program Administration. Her research has appeared in a number of journals and edited collections, including College English, Rhetoric Review, Composition Studies, the Journal of Basic Writing, and Peitho. Lori has also co-edited three collections: In the Archives of Composition: Writing and Rhetoric at High Schools and Normal Schools (University of Pittsburgh Press), Writing Majors: Eighteen Program Profiles (Utah State), and Transforming English Studies: New Voices in an Emerging Genre (Parlor Press).