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Professional and Public Writing

Minor Professional and Public Writing

This minor prepares students to write confidently and effectively in professional and public situations. Students can choose to focus on professional writing, where they analyze and produce genres required by employers; public writing, where they study and engage in meaningful social action through written texts; or a combination of courses tailored to the studentʼs own interests. Students will write purposefully, imaginatively, and persuasively in, across, and beyond their college courses. In alignment with several of RWUʼs Core Values, this minor fosters preparation for careers and future study, collaboration of students and faculty in research, commitment to local and global communities, and the promotion of civil discourse.

Upon completion of the minor in Professional and Public Writing, successful students will:

  • Use rhetoric and compositionʼs disciplinary concepts and methods to advance our knowledge of writing.
  • Adapt self-directed writing processes to a variety of academic, professional, and public rhetorical situations and genres.
  • Explain how different technologies of writing impact the production and reception of texts.
  • Articulate and reflect upon writing choices and the implication of those choices when writing within discourse communities for professional and public audiences.

Requirements for the Minor in Professional and Public Writing:

  • WTNG 102  Expository Writing
  • Two (2) WTNG courses at the 200 level or above
  • Two (2) WTNG course at the 300 level or above
  • One (1) WTNG course at the 400 level

Students are encouraged to meet with a WSRC advisor to plan electives that best suit academic and professional goals.

Course Offerings

WTNG 230: Rhetoric of Film: Writing about Film
WTNG 250: Advanced Composition
WTNG 270: Travel Writing
WTNG 299: Special Topics in Writing
WTNG 300: Rhetoric in a Global Context
WTNG 302: Art of Writing: Forms of the Essay
WTNG 303: Environmental Rhetoric
WTNG 305: Writing the City
WTNG 310: Advanced Writing (Sciences)
WTNG 311: Technical Writing
WTNG 321: Multimodal Writing in Public Spheres
WTNG 322: Advancing Public Arguments
WTNG 320: Writing for Business Organizations
WTNG 400: Writing for Social Change
WTNG 402: Advanced Argument
WTNG 430: Special Topics
WTNG 439: Rhetorical Theory
WTNG 450: Composition Theory
WTNG 460: Writing Studies Internship
WTNG 470: Writing Thesis/Portfolio

David Gillespie
Adjunct Professor
B.A, M.A.
Contact Information
(401) 751-3433

David Gillespie

David
Gillespie
Adjunct Professor
B.A, M.A.
Contact Information
(401) 751-3433

Writing Instructor: Critical Writing for the Professions, Expository Writing, Introduction to Academic Writing

In my mind, the best teacher is the example.  A writing teacher should write, and I provide my own models for all my assignments.  I have been teaching at RWU since 1991, and I have been a faculty writing tutor for almost as long.  Besides RWU, I have taught college writing at RISD, URI, CCRI, UMass-Lowell, Cape Cod Community College, and the University of Arizona, where I earned a Master’s Degree in English with an emphasis on junior-college teaching.  I earned a Bachelor’s Degree (emphasis on secondary education) from UConn.

Prior to working at RWU, I was a free-lance writer for various newspapers and magazines, and I worked in a resume-writing office, too.  I sold a writing sample to textbook publisher/writer John Langan and wrote a book about citation formats (Cite Right) for RWU.  I also wrote a “Peer Tutor Guide” for RWU’s Writing Center. 

Jane Harrison
Adjunct Professor
B.A. Brown, M.A. URI
Contact Information

Jane Harrison

Jane
Harrison
Adjunct Professor
B.A. Brown, M.A. URI
Contact Information

Ms. Harrison teaches Critical Writing for the Professions.

Her interests include environmental conservation and historical preservation. She has written grant applications that have garnered more than $1.5 million for the Town of Warren to protect farmland and wildlife habit and more than $100,000 for restoration of the historic Maxwell House in Warren, RI.

Barbara VonVillas, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (English) University of Rhode Island; C.A.G.S. (Educational Administration) Rhode Island College
Contact Information

Barbara VonVillas, Ph.D.

Barbara
VonVillas, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (English) University of Rhode Island; C.A.G.S. (Educational Administration) Rhode Island College
Contact Information

Dr. VonVillas teaches WTNG 220:  Critical Writing for the Professions and CORE 104: Literature, Philosophy, and the Ascent of Ideas.

She came to RWU in 2006 after 35 years as a public school teacher and administrator in 3 states, including 7 years as a RI Superintendent of Schools.

She has served as the editor of The Leaflet (New England Association of Teachers of English). Her articles have been published in the Middle School Journal (Association for Middle Level Education), The Bulletin (National Association of Secondary School Principals), and The School Administrator (American Association of Shool Administrators.)

She has also served as a Chair of the Middletown, RI School Committee and is currently a 3rd term member of the Middletown Town Council.  Her educational passion is improving instruction, and her political focus is the regionalization of Newport County (RI) high schools.

See her web site at middletownleads@blogspot.com

Rosalie Franks
Adjunct Professor
B.A, M.A., Ed.D.
Contact Information
401-254-3035
Global Heritage Hall 209

Rosalie Franks

Rosalie
Franks
Adjunct Professor
B.A, M.A., Ed.D.
Contact Information
401-254-3035
Global Heritage Hall 209

Dr. Franks is currently teaching Writing 200: Critical Writing for the Humanities and Social Sciences and Core 104: Literature, Philosophy, and the Ascent of Ideas. She has also taught WTNG 100: Introduction to Academic Writing; WTNG 102: Expository Writing; and COMM 210: Introduction to Public Speaking.

Harvey Ussach
Adjunct Professor
MA in Print Journalism
Contact Information

Harvey Ussach

Harvey
Ussach
Adjunct Professor
MA in Print Journalism
Contact Information

Harvey Ussach teaches Introduction to Academic Writing, Expository Writing, and Critical Writing 200 and 220.

He has been at Roger Williams University since 2006, in college teaching since 1998, and always in business journalism since getting an MA in Print Journalism from American University, Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, New Bedford Standard Times, weekly newspapers and magazines, academic journals, and a literary review.

Along life’s road, he owned a camera and film developing store in New Jersey and a film production company in New York City, and he has managed retail businesses, so he knows a thing or two about effective workplace writing, listening and speaking skills.

Interests include play and poetry writing, jazz and classical music, and hiking and orienteering.

Jon Henson
Adjunct Professor
Contact Information

Jon Henson

Jon
Henson
Adjunct Professor
Contact Information
Patricia Richmond Jones
Adjunct Professor
B.A. English and Psychology; M.S. Management
Contact Information

Patricia Richmond Jones

Patricia
Richmond Jones
Adjunct Professor
B.A. English and Psychology; M.S. Management
Contact Information

After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, with a BA in English and Psychology, Pat joined the telecommunications company now known as Verizon.  She held numerous managerial positions in her career including Director level positions in Operations, Network Management, Human Resources (Training and Employment), Engineering, and Labor Relations.

During her telecom career, Pat earned a Master of Science degree in Management from Lesley University.

Pat has taught Writing courses at the University of Rhode Island, Community College of Rhode Island, New England Institute of Technology, and English and Management courses at Eastern Nazarene College,

Pat teaches WTNG 102, 100, 200, and 220 and specializes in the following areas:  critical thinking and writing, and development of professional research writing.

Patricia Smith
Adjunct Professor
Contact Information

Patricia Smith

Patricia
Smith
Adjunct Professor
Contact Information
Tamia Burt
Adjunct Professor
M.A Professional Writing Dartmouth
Contact Information

Tamia Burt

Tamia
Burt
Adjunct Professor
M.A Professional Writing Dartmouth
Contact Information

Professor Burt has been at RWU since 2007. She teaches WTNG 200 and WTNG 102. She has a Master of Arts degree in Professional Writing from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth where she taught composition and technical writing from 1998 to 2007.

She is co-editor with Joe Thomas and Marsha McCabe of Moby-Dick: A Picture Voyage (Spinner Publications, spinnerpub.com).

She believes that being a good reader is essential to being a good writer, and she loves helping students improve their skills in both areas.

Her outside interests include horse, gardening, crossword puzzles, SCRABBLE, and reading.

Zona Douthit
Adjunct Professor
B.A, J.D.
Contact Information

Zona Douthit

Zona
Douthit
Adjunct Professor
B.A, J.D.
Contact Information

I have a B.A from the University of Washington and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. In addition to teaching 102, 200 and 220, I currently practice law in Rhode Island, concentrating on estate planning.