Bedford / St. Martin's Invests in the Future of Composition, Names Ten New Scholars

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New York, June 22, 2020 --  Bedford/St. Martin’s, a Macmillan Learning imprint, today announced its 2020 Bedford New Scholars Advisory Board. The board of 10 graduate students is meeting virtually this week to offer the company’s editorial team counsel regarding how course materials are being used and trends that will influence how composition courses are taught. Many Scholars have gone on to take leadership roles in writing programs in colleges and universities across the country. 

During the week’s meetings and throughout the year, the Bedford New Scholars will offer their perspectives on topics ranging from challenges in the classroom, to diversity and inclusion to pedagogy. The Advisory Board began in 2008 as an additional way for Bedford/St. Martin’s to understand teaching challenges and new research and practice in the field from promising graduate students. The Scholars do this in a variety of ways, including participating in market research and focus groups that inform product development. 

“The Scholars offer the Bedford team tremendous insight into how our Bedford New Scholars.pngresources can best support student writers in their composition courses, which have long been acknowledged as a stepping stone to overall student success both in college and after graduation,” said Leasa Burton, Vice President of Humanities at Macmillan Learning. “They are thoughtful, creative problem-solvers, and often we’re able to incorporate their suggestions into future product development and new editions.”

Throughout the program, the Scholars also gain insight into the publishing process and provide feedback on the direction of new materials and projects (both print and digital) in Bedford/St. Martin’s pipeline. They also foster lasting professional connections with other rising scholars and teachers in writing studies, including guest scholars who lead workshops during this week’s board meetings. The many former Bedford New Scholars continue to contribute to the discipline through research, and to the teaching community by creating assignments that engage students in writing and address teaching challenges for Composition instructors.  

Bedford/St. Martin’s has long been connected to the Composition community with its widely used A Writer's Reference and The Bedford Reader. The company continues to invest in composition materials and will launch its new digital learning platform with writing tools, Achieve, this fall. Bedford/St. Martin’s also recently published several new titles including The Writer’s Loop and The Hub in addition to maintaining support for instructor and student favorites like The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing  and Everything's an Argument.

This year’s Bedford New Scholars:

Sidney Blaylock is pursuing his PhD in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition at Middle Tennessee State University. He teaches Expository Writing and Research and Argumentation. His research interests include multimodality, rhetorical analysis, new media, cultural rhetorics, digital rhetorics, film, and afrofuturism.

Allison Dziuba is a PhD candidate in English at the University of California, Irvine. She teaches courses in the lower-division writing sequence and the Summer Bridge writing lab, a pre-college course for incoming UCI first-years. She is currently the Campus Writing & Communication Fellow at UCI and has served as the editorial assistant for College Composition and Communication and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. Allison's research interests include college students' self-sponsored literacy practices and extracurricular rhetorical education, and intersectional feminist approaches to rhetorical studies.

Michael S. Garcia is pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Florida International University. At FIU, he has taught Writing and Rhetoric, Writing in Action, Essay Writing, and Creative Writing: Forms and Practices. He has also taught 11th and 12th grade English at a Title I high school. Michael has published short stories, essays, web articles, and poetry.

Sarah Heidebrink-Bruno is pursuing her PhD in English, with a concentration in literature and social justice pedagogies, at Lehigh University. She teaches a range of composition and rhetoric courses in addition to interdisciplinary courses in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies. She previously taught online courses in English and WGSS, with a focus on pop culture themes, including modern relationships. Her research interests include restorative justice practices, women's literature of the 1960s-present, feminist theory and praxis, and writing center tutors' instruction.

Corinne Jones is completing her PhD in Texts and Technology with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Central Florida. She currently teaches Composition II (Writing about Writing and Research Writing); in Fall 2020, she anticipates teaching Business and Technical Communication. She also works as a legal writing adjunct at Barry University (Law School). Her research interests include digital rhetoric; circulation studies; digital, qualitative, mixed methods and methodologies; and feminist and queer studies.

Sierra Mendez is pursuing her PhD in Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin. She currently teaches a custom course entitled "Rhetoric of Texas" and serves as Assistant Director for the D.R.W.'s Digital Writing and Research Lab. Her research interests concern border, material, visual, and memory rhetorics: specifically, the historical and ongoing constitution of Mexicanx bodies via narratives held both tenuously and powerfully across San Antonio’s urban space.

Christopher Peace is pursuing a PhD in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Kansas. He currently teaches Composition 102 and plans to teach a 203 course on Digital Storytelling in Fall 2020. His research interests include rhetorical genre studies, (African-derived) religious rhetorics, writing ecologies, spatial rhetorics, digital storytelling / mythmaking, and ecocomposition. He also serves as a professional tutor for the KU Gear Up program and is an affiliate of the Project on the History of Black Writing.

Kalyn Prince is pursuing her PhD in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Writing Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She serves as the Senior Assistant Director of First-Year Composition, teaches first-year writing, and has also co-taught a composition theory survey course for graduate students in the OU English Department. Her research interests include public argumentation, nostalgia as ethos, and rhetorical analysis.

Joshua Scheidler is pursuing his MA in English with an emphasis on Medieval Language and Literature at Western Michigan University. He teaches WMU's first-year writing course, Thought and Writing, as a graduate teaching assistant. His research interests include ethics and politics in medieval literature, first-year writing pedagogy, rhetorical analysis, and new materialist environmental rhetoric.

Benesemon Simmons is pursuing a PhD in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric at Syracuse University. She teaches WRT 105 and WRT 205 and serves as a writing consultant. Her research interests include Black Feminist Pedagogy, Critical Race Theory, and Activist Rhetoric.

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