Banned Books Week, Student News, and More

In Student News, congratulations to Mellissa Gyimah (M.A.W.P.), who recently participated in the International Student Voice Magazine essay competition and made the top 10 out of over 700 submissions! You can read Mellissa’s essay on the International Student Voice Magazine’s website.

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The Winter 2013 schedule is posted! Please note that this schedule is still subject to change and will be so for a while. Over the next two weeks, we will be adding course descriptions from the professors to the page, so keep checking back as you plan your schedule for the rest of the year.

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Banned Books Week runs September 30th through October 6th. The University Center for Writing-based Learning and the DePaul University Libraries are celebrating free speech all week long with a series of banned-book centered events, and they would like extend an invitation to all readers and writers:

Panel Discussion on Free Speech and Book-banning
Thursday, October 4th, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Richardson Library, Room 115
Heather Jagman, Coordinator of Library Instruction and Lauri Dietz and Rene De los Santos of the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Department will sit for a panel discussion about censorship and intellectual freedom.

Banned Books Readings
Tuesday, October 2nd through Thursday, October 4th, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Lincoln Park Student Center Atrium
During these times, the UCWbL Outreach Team will be hosting open readings of banned and challenged books, including favorites like Howl,  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and …And Tango Makes Three. All are invited to stop by and listen, or grab a book from the table and step up to the mic.

Speaking of Speech…
Wednesday, October 3rd, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Loop Student Center Atrium
Show up and engage in an open discussion about information accessibility and First Amendment rights.

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And finally, an important reminder to those pursuing the Two-Year College Teaching Certificate: Applications for Two-Year College Teaching Internships for Winter/Spring 2013 are due electronically on Thursday, October 11th.

If you have previously applied, please send Dr. Carolyn Goffman (cgoffman@depaul.edu) updated CV, transcripts, and one-page letter; if you choose, you may also submit a new writing sample.

If you have not already spoken with Dr. Goffman about the internships, or if you simply want to find out more about this program, please email her to make an appointment.

To apply, please email the following materials to cgoffman@depaul.edu:

  • One-page letter in which you 1) explain your interest in two-year college teaching; 2) list any other jobs or obligations that would affect your availability; and 3) answer this: Do you have a car, or will you be relying on public transportation to get to your internship?
  • Curriculum Vitae. Include names of two DePaul faculty members who know your work; you do NOT have to provide letters of recommendation
  • Writing Sample: academic or creative writing; a substantial piece that shows what you can do.
  • DePaul transcripts (these can be sent through Campus Connect)
  • Other transcripts if you are not in the MAE or MAWP program. These do not have to be official transcripts. You may scan and email those to me.

For a list of available internships, current students should check their email. If you would like to find out more about the Two-Year College Teaching Certificate, please visit the official web page, and contact Dr. Goffman with any other questions or concerns.

Reminders, Two-Year College Teaching Internships, and Job Openings at the Writing Center

Welcome back, students and faculty, from what was hopefully a very relaxing spring break! In case you did a little too much relaxing and forgot what was posted on Ex Libris before the break, here are a few reminders of upcoming dates and deadlines.

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Applications for a Fall 2012 Internship in Teaching English in the Two-Year College are due to Prof. Carolyn Goffman by Friday, April 20th at 5 p.m.

To Apply:

Please provide PAPER COPIES of the following:

  • One-page cover letter explaining your interest in the internship. Include information about your availability (scheduling restrictions, other jobs or responsibilities) and transportation (that is, do you have a car, or will you be relying on public transportation?)
  • C.V. ,including names of references (you do NOT have to provide letters of reference unless requested later)

Please send these ELECTRONICALLY:

  • Writing Sample (in Word format)
  • Transcripts (unless you prefer to send hard copies). If you are NOT in the MAE or MAWP programs, please include undergraduate transcripts. They do not have to be official versions; a photocopy is fine.

If you have any questions about the internship or the Teaching English in the  Two-Year College Certificate, please email Prof. Goffman at cgoffman@depaul.edu.

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The University Center for Writing-based Learning at DePaul is looking for empathetic and intellectually curious undergraduate and graduate students to work as peer writing tutors during the 2012/2013 academic year. Applications are due on April 23rd, 2012 at noon.

Please visit depaul.edu/writing/who/join_staff to learn how and why to apply for a job at the DePaul UCWbL. Any questions can be directed to UCWbL Director Dr. Lauri Dietz at ldietz@depaul.edu

Certificate in Teaching English in the Two-Year College Info Session and Upcoming Career Events

Special update! It has just been confirmed that the guest writers on tomorrow’s DePaul Student Writers Show are English graduate students Bethany Brownholtz and Michael Van Kerckhove. Tune in to hear them read their work on Radio DePaul, radio.depaul.edu, this Friday from 10:00-11:00 a.m.

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Current students, are you interested in an internship at a two-year college or maybe even the Certificate in Teaching English in the Two-Year College? Then mark your calendars for an upcoming information session on Internships at Two-Year Colleges and the Certificate in Teaching English in the Two-Year College. The information session will take place on Tuesday, February 7th, from 5:00-6:00p.m. in the new Arts & Letters Hall Rm. 210-11 (Student Resource Center). This will be a great chance to hear about the program from Prof. Carolyn Goffman and discuss any questions you may have with her.

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The Office of Alumni Relations is hosting a special opportunity for current students interested in careers in Writing and Publishing as a part of their Dinner on DePaul series. Dinner on DePaul is a free dinner event in which 3 alumni in a specific professional field share a dinner with 15-20 students who are interested in that professional area. On Tuesday, February 7 at 6 pm in the Alumni Center (2400 N. Sheffield) on the Lincoln Park Campus, Dinner on DePaul will feature alumni who currently work in careers in Writing & Publishing. The alumni who will be in attendance include:

  • Bill Gorman (COM ’50), Founder, Gorman Publishing Company
  • Jennifer Olvera (LAS ’97), Freelance Writer, Blogger and Editor
  • Kelly McNees (MED ’06), Author and Manuscript Consultant

This event would be relevant for any student interested in a career in Writing & Publishing. Anyone who would like to attend can RSVP by contacting futurealumni@depaul.edu or via phone at 773-325-8941 by Thursday, February 2nd. 

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DePaul’s Winter Career Fair is coming up on February 10th! This fair is open to DePaul students and alumni only. Current students have already been emailed the complete list of participating employers, although these can also be found at http://depaul.experience.com.

And don’t forget that you can prepare for the career fair before you go:

REGISTRATION: Pre-registration (through DePaul.Experience “Calendar” section) is open until Wednesday, February 8th.

PREPARE FOR THE FAIR: 1. Attend the “Maximize Your Job & Internship Fair Experience” workshop. This FREE 1-1 ½ hour session teaches job seekers how to effectively showcase their skills and abilities at a fair. Workshops will be held:

  •  Tue., Jan. 31, 11:30am-1:30pm LPC, Stu. Center 313
  • Mon., Feb. 6, 11:30am-1:30pm LOOP, DPC 8002
  •  Wed., Feb. 8, 5:00-7:00pm LPC, Stu. Center 313

Pre-register for one of these sessions through DePaul.Experience “Calendar” section.

And, of course, you can practice your interviewing skills and have your resume reviewed at the DePaul Career center.

Hunting the Smaller Jungle: How to Make the Most of Your Part-time Experience

Sabrina Martin continues her series on applying for teaching positions at two-year colleges. In this installment, she discusses how to apply your part-time work experience to a teaching job. Read her first article, “The Search for Two-Year Teaching Positions.”

Now that you’ve started looking for two-year college teaching positions, you might be wondering, “How can I make the most of my part-time experience?” If you’ve never had a full time teaching position, you can still obtain a full time job- you just have to know how to present your experiences.

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way encouraging the use of falsification on your applications. This post isn’t about how to fluff up your experience, but about how to make the most of the experience you do have.

As I’ve written before, I’ve already been applying for teaching positions whose due dates have passed, even though I haven’t officially started my internship at Harold Washington College. When describing my internship in an application, I explain what I intend to do. However, one excellent internship is not enough to fill a whole page of a resume. Then what?

Look at instances where you may have taught, but perhaps didn’t categorize it as such.

For example, as an undergraduate, I was hired as a private tutor for a family with three children, assisting with homework and projects ranging from elementary to high school level work. Yes, this isn’t specific teaching in the classroom, but it does give a search committee more insight into who you are capable of teaching (the larger the age range that can benefit from your teaching, the better). Another example: I tutor a graduate student from South Korea. I am not an ESL instructor, but any experience you have with English as a Second Language is helpful.

Make the most of your professional experience, even if it is not in academia.

I work as an office manager for a small architecture and engineering firm in Chicago. Answering phones, responding to emails, scheduling meetings, and arranging executive travel may not seem like experience that would make me a good faculty member. Yet now they know that I am willing to help with any task, big or small, and that I do not limit myself to my office and my classroom.

Acknowledge in your cover letter how these experiences will make you a more helpful and committed faculty member.

The search committee wants more than just a great teacher, especially at a two-year college. They want someone who is willing to lend an extra hand, whether that means serving on committees, writing grant proposals, or even sponsoring a student group. To the search committee, a good applicant is someone who would make a good colleague.

I know that these experiences do not apply to everyone; however, if you think back to your undergraduate years, I would bet there are experiences that demonstrate your teaching abilities and strong communication skills that you may have overlooked.

For some helpful hints on resume and cover letter writing, check out the Purdue OWL.

Next time, I’ll be discussing some quick tricks to make your applications stand out.

Please leave any comments and questions you may have for me!

Hunting the Smaller Jungle: The Search for Teaching Positions at Two-Year Colleges

In the market for a teaching job? Need some advice? Read  this post by MAE student Sabrina Martin about her own struggle looking for teaching jobs at two-year colleges.

For some newly admitted graduate students, this winter term will be the first in their journey towards their MA here at DePaul. For others, such as myself, it will be a time to juggle thesis research, requirement completion, and the dreaded job search, which will inevitably overtake our every waking moment.

If you’re like me, you will sift through hundreds of job postings online, hoping to find a position that you’re qualified for.

The first step: Don’t be discouraged. There are jobs out there, if you are willing to do what the schools need you to. So here are some helpful beginning tips that I’ve learned as I’ve stumbled through the application process.

  • Apply EARLY. This means now. If you go to HigherEdJobs.com or The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Job page right now, you will see hundreds upon hundreds of institutions whose deadlines have already passed for the Fall 2011 term. The earlier you apply, the larger your job pool is, and the higher chance of you finding a job that fits.
  • Ask for your letters of recommendation (LORs) EARLY. I waited until nearly the deadline to ask for my letters, and then frantically bit my nails to nubs until they were submitted. If you notify your professors and professional acquaintances of your upcoming applications, it gives them that much more time to prepare a statement that adequately expresses their beliefs in your abilities.
  • INTERFOLIO is a God-send. Yes, it will cost you money. But this is your career, and their rates are reasonable. Interfolio is an online portfolio service. Essentially, you pay the service to maintain confidential LORs for you. When it comes time to submit the supplemental documents to your application, simply head off to Interfolio.com, input the contact information, and viola! they will send them. The service allows your recommenders to write ONE confidential letter of recommendation (which, by the way, is much more powerful in an application than a non-confidential letter) for the 30+ schools you are applying to. Yes, your teachers adore you. No, they do not want to write the same letter for you 30 times. It’s just efficient.
  • Address your cover letters to the person who will be viewing your applications. While it may not always say a specific person to whom you should address the application, (in fact, many times it will only say “Search Committee” or “Human Resources Director” at best) it is better to do a little digging to put a real name on the top of that letter. Often, it is as simple as making a call to the Human Resources department of the institution and asking for the name of the Director. This small step takes 3 minutes tops, and will instantly make your letter appear more thoughtful than the 100’s of form letters that will read “To Whom It May Concern.”

These tips merely serve as an introduction to job searching. However, I can tell you that this approach will not only present you at your best, it will also make the process go much more smoothly for you. Planning is essential—that’s why starting early and asking for recommendations in advance of deadlines are so critical to applicants’ success.

In my next installment, I will be discussing how to make the most of your internship and professional experience—even if you’ve never had a full time teaching position before. In the meantime, you might want to check out HigherEdJobs.com, or The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Job page to see what is available.

Please comment if you have any questions on this process. I’m no pro, but as someone who is going through it, I can offer any advice I have.

Teaching Internships: An Intern’s Perspective

Interested in teaching or in applying for the Two-Year College Teaching Internships? Read on for a first-hand account from MAWP student Steve Bogdaniec, who is currently student-teaching at Wright College through the program.

The Two-Year College Internship program offers placement at a two-year college for class credit.  I’m doing my internship right now (Autumn 2010) at Wright College, one of Chicago’s city colleges.  I was paired up with a great professor, Michael Petersen, in an English Composition 102 class with Shakespeare’s Tragedies as its theme.  (We’re covering Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet, as well as a brief section on the sonnets.)  The purpose of the class is to teach students how to write research papers, so in addition to teaching the plays, we cover proper citation, structure and content for college writing.

So far I have attended every class but one, taken lots of notes, participated in discussion, conceived of and delivered an assignment in proper MLA citation and given a period-long lecture on the core differences between Othello and Macbeth/Hamlet.  Students are responsible for having the second half of Hamlet read this week (10/11), and I giving my first quiz on this.  I have also graded the students’ first analysis paper along with Professor Petersen.  A large part of my role for the second half of the course will be interaction with students on their papers, both individually and in small groups.

Prior to this class, I had helped people with editing papers and understanding assignments, but had zero formal teaching experience.  Thankfully, this was not necessary!  I was a little nervous going in, but could not have gotten better support from Professors Petersen and Goffman, the second of which is the DePaul faculty advisor for the program.  Professor Petersen consults with me after every class, and often during it, ready to dispense advice and answer any questions I have.  We are required to submit teaching journals every couple weeks to Professor Goffman, and her feedback has been invaluable as well.  I particularly like the teaching journal as it helps me focus my attention and record my experiences as they happen rather than at the end of the semester.  I’ve found that the situation is ever changing, both with the students and myself.

As for what it’s actually like to stand in front of a room full of students waiting for you to speak, to stand behind a lectern instead of sitting in the desks, I can’t adequately describe it.  You can prepare as much as possible—something I heartily encourage, by the way—but you can’t know what it’s actually like until you do it.  Personally, I found myself to be exhilarated and strangely unafraid, conscious that I still had a lot to learn about teaching, but profoundly enjoying myself.  I wouldn’t have known this otherwise, and wouldn’t have the confidence that this program has given me!

Experience is important no matter what path you find yourself following, and this is great opportunity to gain actual teaching experience.  If interested, you will need to contact Professor Goffman (if you haven’t already) and she will have more information for you.  As for myself, I’m really happy with my choice so far, and am looking forward to the rest of the semester.

Thanks for reading!