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Student Successes

Writing Studies students have been successful both inside and outside the classroom. Students have published their writing in scholarly journals, presented their research at academic conferences, and earned a variety of awards. Below is a selection of their achievements.

Professional Writing Certificate Student Lands Job as Professional Writer

Melissa Vanwitzenburg has been a registered dental hygienist for years but decided to pursue the Professional Writing Certificate to sharpen her rhetoric and writing skills. She is now a writing consultant for Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine, combining her knowledge of dental hygiene with her new writing skills. Read Melissa’s recent publication “Best Practices for Dental Unit Waterline Management.”

Workplace Writing Student Wins STC Chicago Scholarship

Zhifang Lin won STC Chicago’s $1000 college scholarship, which includes a student membership to the Society for Technical Communication. She used two writing samples from Workplace Writing as well as a description of her career goals in the insurance industry. 

Writing Studies Award Winners 2022-2023

The 2022-2023 Writing Studies Award Winners are: Best Writing – Amreen Fatima (Winner), Victoria Wegner (Runner-up), Katelyn Fairley (Runner-up); Best Graphic Design – Akthem Kassem (Winner), Katelyn Fairley (Runner-up); Best Presentation – Mallory Sawyer (Winner), Stephanie Aguilar (Runner-up); Best Portfolio – John Moore (Winner), Katelyn Fairley (Runner-up); Best Editing – Molly Muriby and Hannah Cox (Winner), Dawn Dawson and Kelly Hamman (Runner-Up). Each winner received a certificate of excellence and a cash prize from STC Chicago.

Writing Center Theory and Practice Student Publishes Research in Praxis

Kayla Smiley argues in “Using Talk-to-Text Technology in the Writing Center” that dictation technology could help writers clarify and improve their writing. Seeing one’s words and ideas in real time helps writers revise quickly and invent new ideas. Kayla’s project began in Writing Center Theory and Practice and is now published in Praxis.

Editing in the Professions’ students published in STC Chicago Newsletter

Editing in the Professions’ students, Allison Doyle and Alexandra Perez, were published in the June 2022 edition of Byline, STC Chicago’s monthly newsletter. Each dismantled misconceptions of editors and editing and articulated clearer understandings of what editors really do in modern day contexts. 

Writing Studies 2021-2022 Award Winners

The 2021-2022 Writing Studies Award Winners are: for Best Graphic Design – Melissa VanWitzenburg (First Place) and Saud Ahmed (Runner-up); for Best Presentation – Saud Ahmed (First Place) and Ryan Marek (Runner-up); for Best Portfolio – Molly Quinn (First Place) and Ryan Marek (Runner-up); for Best Writing – Andrea Hamler (First Place) and Rodney Fair (Runner-up). Each winner received a certificate of excellence and a cash prize from STC Chicago. Congrats Writing Studies winners!

Workplace Writing Students and York High School Dual Credit Students Published in STC Chicago Newsletter

Workplace Writing students Sheri Potter and Jakub Hajduczenia each published an article in STC Chicago’s newsletter Byline (December 2021). The two attended and reviewed a STC Chicago webinar on applicant tracking systems. Isabel Kachappilly, Abigail Madsen, and Katharine Svehla, York High School students taking Technical Writing for dual credit, also were published in December 2021 Byline for reviewing the fifth annual Tech Comm Panel at York. Their review was named the best article in the class and earned a Certificate of Achievement from STC Chicago.

Professional Writing Certificate Student Wins COD Outstanding English Student of the Year

Professional Writing Certificate Student Nina DeBoni was named Outstanding English Student of the Year by COD English faculty for their exceptional work across Creative Writing, Literature, and Writing Studies courses. Nina is completing their BA in English-Writing at Illinois Wesleyan University and working as a tutor at the university’s writing center.

Writing Center Theory and Practice Student Published in Scholarly Blog

Nina DeBoni published their scholarship on the lack of attention to queerness in writing center work on Axis: The Praxis Blog, a bi-weekly blog that welcomes all scholarship related to writing center work. Nina’s project began in Writing Center Theory and Practice, in which they questioned the invisibility of queer people, both as students and as writing consultants, in the writing center. Read Nina’s scholarship here: “A Queer Writing Center: Part One” and “A Queer Writing Center: Part Two.”

Writing Center Theory and Practice Students’ Awarded Honorable Mention

Silvia Morna Freitas and Nina DeBoni were awarded Honorable Mention for their project “Inclusivity in the Writing Center” at the COD Library Student Research Symposium. After learning about writing center work and the theories that underpin that work in Writing Center Theory and Practice Silvia and Nina designed a project that focused on how writing centers can be more inclusive spaces. Their award-winning project articulates the differences between academic and inclusive writing and writing center methods that will better cater to COD's diverse student body.

Composition II Students Present Research on the Role of Rhetoric at Regional Conference

Amy George, Mikayla Jacoby, Danielle O’Brien, Belem Oseguera, and Lucas Troncoso presented their research on the role of rhetoric in the elimination of plastic bags at the Honors Council of the Illinois Region Conference. As students in Honors Composition II, they helped organize the class to conduct primary and secondary research on plastic bag consumption, its environmental impact and federal and state legislation to ban plastic bags.

The students also decided, along with their classmates, to stop using plastic bags for a month and to record their experiences in vlogs. The result was a scholarly argument embedded in a website and a video to encourage others to follow their lead. 

Advanced Composition Student Published in National Scholarly Journal

Meghna Israni published her scholarship on genre theory and mass shootings in Young Scholars in Writing, the premier undergraduate scholarly journal in Writing Studies. Her project began in Advanced Composition, exploring the intersections of mass media, psychology, and mass shootings and questioned if we wrote differently would others act differently?

After the project was accepted for publication, Meghna worked with the journal’s editors to develop the project. “Watching my article change over time has taught me that the revision process is both the longest and the most important piece of the writing process. I’ve gained so much more confidence in my ability to make an argument in an academic setting.”

Advanced Composition Student Becomes Editor for National Scholarly Journal

Kimberly Wilson was selected to be a student editor for the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Journal of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity. As a student in Advanced Composition, Kimberly challenged herself as a writer and used the rhetorical skills she learned in class to apply for the editing job; shortly thereafter, she was flown out to Utah to begin training for her new job at the journal.

If you are interested in the Writing Studies program, contact Dr. Steven Accardi, Program Chair of Writing Studies & Professional Writing Certificate, at