WSU Writing Program welcomes Angela Mitchell as director

Closeup of Angela Mitchell.
Angela Mitchell

The Washington State University Writing Program and its units will be led starting July 1 by Angela Mitchell, current director of first-year writing at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte (UNC).

“Dr. Mitchell brings to WSU years of experience guiding university writing initiatives in addition to considerable teaching experience and research into writing studies,” said William B. Davis, interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement in the provost’s office.

The WSU Writing Program is award-winning and long-established, Davis said. WSU welcomes Mitchell’s leadership and ideas to make the program even more effective in supporting student success and faculty development across the university.

“I’m very excited to join the WSU Writing Program,” said Mitchell. “It has a stellar reputation in our profession, and I’ve known about it for quite some time.”

She said her focus is always on students and the support they need for learning to write effectively. She also looks forward to brainstorming and collaborating with faculty and staff system-wide “to help all teachers grow together on approaches and strategies to develop students’ writing skills.”

Prior to her UNC position, Mitchell was at Belmont Abbey College, in Belmont, North Carolina, where she served successively as first-year writing director and writing-across-the-curriculum chair; chair of the Department of English; and writing program consultant for assessment.  She has authored book chapters and journal articles; secured grants; and taught at UNC, Belmont, and the University of Georgia. She has a PhD in rhetoric and composition and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English, all from the University of Georgia.

The Writing Program was established in the early 1990s to provide end-of-career writing assessments for graduating seniors. Subsequently, a mid-career writing portfolio was added as a graduation requirement for all WSU students containing examples of writing proficiency across undergraduate courses. Writing in the Major courses were also added to the undergraduate curricular infrastructure so all students receive expertly-guided writing practice in their chosen major.  Both are managed by the Writing Program.

Today, the program supports all WSU students and faculty as they engage in the practices of learning, tutoring, and teaching writers. Its units include the Writing Center with its consultant peer tutors, the Graduate Writing Center, and a Professional Editing Service Center. Initiatives cover, for example, a writing placement evaluation for first-year students, WRITE courses that carry credits to build student skills, WORD Faculty Fellows for intensive faculty support for teaching with writing, and a faculty brown-bag series tailored to specific departments or disciplines.

Davis also thanked Lisa Johnson-Shull, program associate director and a long-time member of its staff, for leading the program as interim director since January 2020. He credited her for the program’s successful operation through the COVID-19 years when in-person operations were limited yet student access to writing support, assessments, and faculty development workshops and courses continued. Johnson-Shull credits Writing Center Director Brooklyn Walter for partnering with her throughout and since that period.

Davis said, “The Writing Program literally touches the academic lives of all undergraduates and innumerable faculty members, sometimes many times over, and the continuing successful operation and expansion of the program in recent times is directly attributable to Lisa and her staff members’ dedication.”

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