West Virginia University is honoring English professor Laura Brady with the Caperton Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing.
The award was established at the University this year and is supported by former West Virginia Gov. Gaston Caperton. It seeks to improve student skills by recognizing tenured faculty members who are dedicated and proficient in teaching writing.
Brady will receive a $5,000 award, or the equivalent in professional support, and will be recognized during the WVU Honors Convocation at 7 p.m. Friday, May 16, at the WVU Coliseum, an event that is part of the Universitys 139th Commencement Weekend activities.
Brady is the Eberly Professor of Outstanding Teaching and director of the Center for Writing Excellence in WVU s Department of English in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. She also co-directs the National Writing Project at the University and teaches courses in composition, business writing, rhetoric and pedagogy.
Professor Brady has done superb work in making our writing program a national leader in the effective and innovative teaching of composition and professional writing,said Donald Hall, Jackson Family Distinguished Chair of the Department of English.
She has assembled a team of extraordinarily gifted teachers and researchers whom she has mentored with great skill and enthusiasm,he said.Everyone on her team deserves credit for the overall excellence of our writing program offerings, but she is their inspiration and guide.
As director of the Center for Writing Excellence, Brady oversees writing programs that serve about 8,000 undergraduate students a year. She provides leadership for curriculum and program design, maintains and strengthens faculty development and pursues support for undergraduate writing activities.
Brady emphasizes any recognition of the writing programs at WVU is the result of a team effort. She and colleagues Brian Ballentine, Jo Ann Dadisman, Jay Dolmage, Catherine Gouge, Nathalie Singh-Corcoran and Scott Wible have worked together to establish a tutoring center, create the states first Master of Arts in professional writing and editing, initiate distance-writing courses for nontraditional students and collaborate with elementary through college-level teachers to promote writing through the National Writing Project.
Additionally, Brady and her colleagues are creating Take 5, a project designed to get student feedback on how to better teach writing at WVU . Students are being asked five questions about the impact of writing on their college experience. WVU faculty members hope to use the responses to further refine and enhance their teaching.
Im always learning from my students, and as a program, we are always learning and growing,Brady said.It all comes down to helping students see the value of writing, teaching them to be better writers and encouraging them to keep writing.
Brady was named the CASE Professor of the Year for West Virginia in 2004 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She joined the WVU faculty in 1991 after earning her doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota.
The WVU Department of English (http://english.wvu.edu) offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in English, as well as a Master of Arts in professional writing and editing and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. The department is staffed by more than 40 full-time faculty members in literary and cultural studies, creative writing, professional writing, linguistics and composition studies.