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Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition

Mel A. Topf, Ph.D., J.D.
Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A. Long Island University
M.A. New York University
Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University

Contact Information
x3237
GHH 236
Areas of Expertise: 
Professional writing, including technical and legal writing; writing and political theory; state constitutional and legal history.

Mel A. Topf

Mel A.
Topf
Ph.D., J.D.
Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A. Long Island University
M.A. New York University
Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University

Contact Information
x3237
GHH 236
Areas of Expertise: 
Professional writing, including technical and legal writing; writing and political theory; state constitutional and legal history.

Dr. Topf teaches Critical Writing for the Professions and next year will begin teaching several courses for the new minor in Professional and Public Writing, including Technical Writing, Science Writing as Public Discourse, and Legal Writing as Public Discourse. In the past he has taught courses in the communications major, including Media Law and Ethics, and in the English major, including British and American literature. His publications include articles on technical writing, on the political philosopher Hannah Arendt, on legal communication, and on state constitutional and legal history.  His book, A Doubtful and Perilous Experiment, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. He was chair of the department from 2007 to 2013.

Course Offerings:

Critical Writing for the Professions

John M. Madritch, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A. Bucknell University
M.A., Ph.D. Lehigh University

Contact Information
x3802
GHH 237

John M. Madritch

John M.
Madritch
Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A. Bucknell University
M.A., Ph.D. Lehigh University

Contact Information
x3802
GHH 237
Dr. Madritch has served as Chair of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition since 2013. From 2009 to 2013, he coordinated the University Writing Program. He regularly teaches Introduction to Academic Writing, Expository Writing:  How Writing Works, and Core 104. 
 
Research interests include writing program administration, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and contemplative pedagogy. He has presented work on these topics at the annual convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference, and the International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference. 
Paul E. Bender, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A., M.A. Western Illinois University
Ph.D. Syracuse University

Contact Information
x3048
GHH 234
Areas of Expertise: 
Rhetorical Theory; Professional Writing; Computers and Writing

Paul E. Bender

Paul E.
Bender
Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A., M.A. Western Illinois University
Ph.D. Syracuse University

Contact Information
x3048
GHH 234
Areas of Expertise: 
Rhetorical Theory; Professional Writing; Computers and Writing

Dr. Bender frequently teaches WTNG 320: Writing for Business Organizations, WTNG 303: Environmental Rhetoric and Core 104: Literature, Philosophy, and the Examined Life. He has taught a Core Senior Seminar: Stories of the Apocalypse, WTNG 220: Critical Writing for the Professions, WTNG 102: Expository Writing, WTNG 305: Writing the City (in Limerick, Ireland) and SUST 101: Introduction to Sustainability.

He is serving as the 200 Level Coordinator for the University Writing Program, chairing the general education committee, and co-leading a faculty learning community focused on building a writing enriched curriculum. He formerly served as the assistant director of the University Honors Program.

He has presented papers at National Collegiate Honors Council, Popular Culture Association, Writing Across the Curriculum, Conference of College Composition and Communication, Computers and Writing, and Writing Program Administrators.