Best Text Contest for Englwrit 111 Renamed to Marcia Curtis Best Text Contest

Academics Content By Nicole O’Connell This story originally appeared on the Writing Program’s website. The Writing Program has announced that the ENGLWRIT 111 Best Text Contest will now be known as the Marcia Curtis Best Text Contest, named for Marcia Curtis, who served as a teacher and administrator in the Writing Program for around 25 years. Curtis led the program as director from 2000-03 and made essential, lasting contributions to the program that are still seen today. “When I think of the Writing Program, it is impossible not to think of Marcia Curtis,” says Peggy Woods, past associate director of teacher training in the Writing Program. “Her fingerprints are everywhere. Marcia’s unique gift to be able to envision a project/program and then execute all the steps to make it happen is the foundation of today’s Writing Program. Although she applied this gift to all aspects of the Writing Program, her passion was for Basic Writing. As a devoted teacher and director of this program Marcia consistently worked to develop materials and resources to enable students to gain experience in all areas (writing, reading, thinking, discussing, computer literacy) to ensure their success throughout their academic careers. I am delighted the Englwrit 111 Best Text Contest will now bear her name. This will serve as a reminder of the gratitude we owe Marcia for her foresight and hard work.” Curtis’ original education was in literary criticism, but she joined the UMass Amherst Rhetoric Program as a teacher and administrator just as it was transitioning to the Writing Program in 1982. At the time, no one had been appointed to manage the “Basic Writing” course, now known as Englwrit 111 Writing, Identity, and Power, so Curtis volunteered. During her time in the Writing Program, Curtis, along with Anne Herrington, professor emerita of English, and director of the Writing Program from 1990-96, was instrumental in the development of Englwrit 111. In 1990, Curtis helped redesign Englwrit 111 in order to better represent the diversity of students at UMass and allow students to share their voices. Curtis and Herrington also took care to design […]

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