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Professional and Public Writing

Minor Professional and Public Writing

This minor aims to prepare students to write confidently and effectively in professional and public situations. Students can choose to focus on professional writing, where they analyze and produce genres required by employers; public writing, where they study and engage in meaningful social action through written texts; or a combination of courses tailored to the student’s own interests. Students will write purposefully, imaginatively, and persuasively in, across, and beyond their college courses. In alignment with several of RWU’s Core Values, this minor fosters preparation for careers and future  study, collaboration of students and faculty in research, commitment to local and global communities, and the promotion of civil discourse.

Requirements for the Minor in Professional and Public Writing:

  • WTNG 102  Expository Writing
  • Two (2) WTNG courses at the 200 level or above
  • Two (2) WTNG course at the 300 level or above
  • One (1) WTNG course at the 400 level

Selected from the list of WTNG courses below

Requirements for the Core Concentration in Professional and Public Writing:

  • WTNG 102  Expository Writing
  • Two (2) WTNG courses at the 200 level or above
  • Two (2) WTNG course at the 300 level or above

Selected from the list of WTNG courses below

WTNG 200 Critical Writing for the Humanities and Social Sciences  
WTNG 220 Critical Writing for the Professions*  
WTNG 230 Rhetoric of Film: Writing about Film*  
WTNG 270 Travel Writing*  
WTNG 299 Special Topics in Writing *  
WTNG 300 Rhetoric in a Global Context*  
WTNG 301 The Rhetoric of Narrative*  
WTNG 303 Environmental Rhetoric*  
WTNG 305 Writing the City*  
WTNG 311 Technical Writing*  
WTNG 320 Writing for Business Organizations*  
WTNG 321 Multimodal Writing in Public Spheres*  
WTNG 322 Advancing Public Argument*  
WTNG 400 Writing for Social Change  
WTNG 430 Special Topics  
WTNG 470 The Writing Thesis/Portfolio  
*This course meets the 200 level University writing requirements for the Core Curriculum

 

Richard Costa
Adjunct Professor

B.A. Bridgewater State College
M.A. The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Contact Information
Areas of Expertise: 
Introductory composition, research writing, journalism and professional writing

Richard Costa

Richard
Costa
Adjunct Professor

B.A. Bridgewater State College
M.A. The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Contact Information
Areas of Expertise: 
Introductory composition, research writing, journalism and professional writing

Richard Costa teaches Critical Writing for the Humanities and Introduction to Academic Writing at Roger Williams. He also teaches technical writing, literature based courses (mostly American and 20th century British) and communications. He has experience writing legal documents, advertorials, manufacturing grants and worked as a freelance writer for a variety of local and regional newspapers and magazines. He is in the process of publishing a young adult historical novel and is working on an adult mystery book (in the noir tradition) as well.

Nancy Nester, Ph.D.
Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A., M.A., Ph.D. University of Rhode Island

Contact Information
x3358
GHH 238
Areas of Expertise: 
Public Rhetoric; Civic Engagement and Service Learning; Composition Studies; Utopian Studies

Nancy Nester

Nancy
Nester
Ph.D.
Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A., M.A., Ph.D. University of Rhode Island

Contact Information
x3358
GHH 238
Areas of Expertise: 
Public Rhetoric; Civic Engagement and Service Learning; Composition Studies; Utopian Studies

Dr. Nester teaches first year writing courses such as Expository Writing as well as advanced Writing courses including Writing for Social Change.  Her work in the classroom is interconnected with her scholarship and professional activitiesIn 2010, she was selected as a Rhode Island Campus Compact Presidential Faculty Fellow for a Writing for Social Change course project entitled From the Podium to the Pavement: the Praxis of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility. She presented a paper of the same title at the Convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication in March 2012.  Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS3gwvLpe_U  for an overview of the civic engagement project she highlighted in this presentation.    

Kate Mele, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A. Providence College
M.A. Colorado State University
Ph.D. University of Rhode Island

Contact Information
x3434
GHH 232

Kate Mele

Kate
Mele
Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A. Providence College
M.A. Colorado State University
Ph.D. University of Rhode Island

Contact Information
x3434
GHH 232

Dr. Mele regularly teaches in the first-year Writing Program. Currently, she is teaching Expository Writing.

She also delivers courses in the history of travel writing, the art of the travel narrative, and travelblogging.  She has co-developed faculty-led study abroad courses that place travel writing at the core of students’ global experiences.  In summer 2013, she will be traveling with students to Rome and in winter 2014 to Dublin.  A travel writer herself, Dr. Mele takes these opportunities to gather material for her own stories and essays.  Her most recent essay was published in The Gettysburg Review

In upcoming semesters, she will be offering courses in the department’s Professional and Public Writing Minor, including WTNG 230: Rhetoric of Film with its focus on the courtroom drama, and WTNG 270: Travel Writing, in which students will work on a project about Bristol, RI, targeted for incoming students and their families.

Dr. Mele is a member of NCTE, CCCC, and Rhetoric Society of America.

Jennifer Campbell, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A. University of Vermont
M.A. Georgetown University
Ph.D. Brown University

Contact Information
x3247
GHH 235
Areas of Expertise: 
First-year composition, Pedagogy, Public Rhetoric, Critical Discourse Analysis, American Literature, Western philosophy

Jennifer Campbell

Jennifer
Campbell
Ph.D
Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

B.A. University of Vermont
M.A. Georgetown University
Ph.D. Brown University

Contact Information
x3247
GHH 235
Areas of Expertise: 
First-year composition, Pedagogy, Public Rhetoric, Critical Discourse Analysis, American Literature, Western philosophy

Dr. Campbell teaches courses throughout the Writing Studies program, including Introduction to Academic Writing, Expository Writing, and Critical Writing for the Social Sciences and Humanities.   For the Writing Studies minor, “Public and Professional Writing,” she offers “Advancing Public Argument:  Citizens Reading Rhetoricallly.”  Whenever possible, Dr. Campbell encourages students to think through the ways concepts about writing can be applied to their own areas of interest and study.

Elsewhere on campus, Dr. Campbell serves on the Faculty Senate Diversity Committee and the Birss Committee for the celebration of American Literature, and is an elected faculty representative on the Living Learning Community (LLC) committee.   She regularly teaches Core 104, and is engaged with general education reform.

Dahliani Reynolds, PhD
Assistant Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition

B.A. University of California, Berkeley
M.A. Western Washington University
Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh

Contact Information
401.254.3839
Global Heritage Hall 239
Areas of Expertise: 
Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy, Rhetoric, Multimodal Writing, Feminist Rhetorics

Dahliani Reynolds

Dahliani
Reynolds
PhD
Assistant Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition

B.A. University of California, Berkeley
M.A. Western Washington University
Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh

Contact Information
401.254.3839
Global Heritage Hall 239
Areas of Expertise: 
Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy, Rhetoric, Multimodal Writing, Feminist Rhetorics

Dr. Reynolds teaches WTNG 102: How Writing Works and WTNG 220: Critical Writing for the Professions in the Writing Program. For the Professional and Public Writing Minor, she has developed and taught an upper-level course called "Multimodal Writing in the Public Spheres."  She also regularly teaches CORE 104: Literature, Philosophy, and the Examined Life, often as part of a Living-Learning Community for first-year students. Before joining the faculty at Roger Williams University, she taught writing courses at the University of Pittsburgh, including Seminar in Composition, Writing for the Public, and Written Professional Communication.

Elsewhere on campus she chairs the Writing Awards for the Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, serves on the Faculty Senate and on the Honors Advisory Council, and participates in the living-learning communities and first-semester core iniatives for the First Year Experience.

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.
Assistant 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.
Assistant Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

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

Contact Information
x3802
GHH 237
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 teaches WTNG 200: Critical Writing for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Core 104: Literature, Philosophy, and the Ascent of Ideas. He also teaches a Core Senior Seminar: Stories of the Apocalypse, WTNG 210: Critical Writing for the Professions, WTNG 102: Expository Writing, WTNG 320: Writing for Business Organizations, SUST 101: Introduction to Sustainability, and WTNG: 303 Environmental Rhetoric.

He is serving as the 200 Level Coordinator for the University Writing 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.

He is a member of the Sustainability Curriculum Committee, the General Education Committee, and a number of department subcommittees.