Heather Lindenman has been named a Graduate Lilly Fellow and Receives a Rise Above Grant

November 7, 2013

Assistant Director of the Academic Writing Program, Heather Lindenman was named a Graduate Lilly Fellow (through CTE) for 2013-2014 and recently won a Rise Above Grant from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for the Writing for Change (ENGL292/ENGL388C) class and project. Read on to learn more about Writing for Change!

ENGL292/388C (Writing for Change) is a service-learning course that connects students at the University with 9th grade partners from Northwestern High School. In teams of 4, the college and high school students collaborate over the course of the semester to create advocacy projects. These projects all address a common theme—last year's was drug use at NHS and this year's will be bullying. The goal of the partnership is to empower the high school students to take ownership of their education and speak up for something they believe in. Through the collaboration with their "college buddies," they also learn the rhetorical and literacy skills they need to perform those things effectively. At the same time, the college students gain rhetorical awareness and learn about (through both theory and practice) ways to foster effective intercultural communication.

Throughout the semester, UMD and NHS students collaborate on projects to be performed for a diverse audience. The program culminates in a final performance event (to be held at 5:30PM on May 1, 2014, in Ulrich Recital Hall in Tawes). Last year, over 200 people attended. In order to be able to convince this audience—one that includes faculty from UMD and NHS, students from UMD and NHS, parents, siblings, and administrators—the 9th graders need to learn the rhetorical tactics that will earn them the audience’s respect and attention.