UF Grad Student and Employee Reflects on 2023 Conference on College Composition and Communication
As a second-year graduate student in the Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing (MARW) program, I had the opportunity to attend the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in Chicago Feb. 15-18.
The conference covered a plethora of topics including ChatGPT, archival research, the rhetoric of social justice, queer theory, feminism, and so much more. Having been my first time attending a conference of this magnitude, I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of sessions and information available to me. There weren’t enough hours in the day to attend every session that caught my eye.
My roles as a graduate student and Social Media Coordinator for the University of Findlay revolve heavily around writing and communication, and CCCC provided me with insight as how best to implement new strategies into my job and schoolwork.
A session titled “Collaboration, Community, and Curiosity: Partnerships between Writing Programs and University Archives” resonated with me most. Professors and archivists from the University of Denver discussed ways in which they’ve implemented primary source archival research into writing classrooms. Currently, I’m working with a group of undergraduate students in an Advanced Writing course to develop content for the University of Findlay Alumni and Friends social media pages. As a group, we’ve spent quite a bit of time in the University of Findlay archives, searching for photos, communications, and information to share to said pages.
In addition to working in the UF archives, I’ve spent time in the Hancock Historical Museum (HHM) archives for a project in ENGL 505: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory, a class I’m taking this semester. While my project’s focus isn’t narrowed quite yet, I found myself drawn to Findlay College course catalogs from the mid to late 1960s. The course catalogs appear to have dually served as a student handbook, and it’s fascinating to see how the requirements and expectations, especially of female students, have evolved.
After spending time in the UF and HHM archives over the last few weeks, it’s clear that archival research can be daunting, especially for students who have not had to physically search through primary sources. However, the instructors from the University of Denver have spent the last 12 years developing projects that get students into the archives early in their college career, so they feel comfortable conducting research on their own down the road.
It was refreshing to hear instructors talk about how they’ve overcome hurdles regarding primary source research, and while I’m no longer a teaching assistant, their experiences and suggestions will help me guide the Advanced Writing students I’m working with as well as my own research in the HHM.
When first arriving at CCCC, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m glad I went into it with an open mind. This experience provided professional development and networking opportunities to my cohort and allowed us to explore the many different realms of writing and communication. I plan to attend future CCCC conventions, and I look forward to putting what I learned to use, both in my profession and in my graduate program.
To learn more about the Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing at University of Findlay, visit the Rhetoric and Writing webpage.