The Program in Professional Writing is administered by a small team of teacher-scholars dedicated to supporting our colleagues. The program administrative staff is made up of two Interim Co-Directors, an Associate Director, and an Assistant Director. Job duties for each of these positions can be found below:
As Interim Co-Director, Kay Emmert’s duties focus on administering the daily functions of the Program in Professional Writing, including the recording or creation of internal program processes and procedures. She staffs courses, oversees the professional development, training, and mentoring of instructional staff, and provides guidance and resources for online teaching. She coordinates the teaching observation of program instructors, the review of course syllabi, and annual review of the Associate and Assistant Directors. In collaboration with Dave Morris, she directs the assessment of program curricula and materials in order to pursue pedagogical updates and improvements. As chair of the social media committee, she manages the department’s social media interns including the search and hiring process. On behalf of the program, she serves on the Committee on Specialized Faculty and the Specialized Faculty Hiring Committee when necessary. She reviews and responds to all student transfer course articulation requests, and mediates student complaints, including the review of student grade appeals.
As Interim Co-Director, Dave Morris focuses on assessment, program communication, and long-term development of the Program in Professional Writing. Working with Associate Director Andrew Moss and individual instructors, Dave helps develop new courses and secure their college and provost-level approval to expand PPW’s undergraduate offerings. To help streamline curricular development and assessment, Dave leads the generation of student learning objectives (SLOs) and guides instructors into adjusting their curricula accordingly. This work has also been the basis of expanded communication with stakeholders across the campus, especially in the colleges of LAS, Business, and Engineering from which the majority of BTW students come.
At Illinois, Kate Newton has taught courses as diverse as the history of the English language, technical writing, and the Middle Ages in pop culture. She draws on her interests in empathy studies and cognitive linguistics to help students recognize the role of emotion and imagination in reading and writing. In 2021 she collaborated with the BTW program on a research grant studying emotion in business writing, and co-presented on this research at the Writing and Well-Being Conference in 2022. As a PhD student at Illinois, she received the Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2019. Her research interests also include the history of emotions, early medieval England, and technical writing pedagogy.
As Assistant Director, Erin Hoffman focuses on developing, expanding, and strengthening instructor resources, via both collaborative virtual databases and one-on-one communication. She also aims to recruit, advocate for, and support graduate instructors, while also assisting the administrative agendas of the Co-Directors. Furthermore, Erin takes an active role in the renovation of current BTW courses. She researches current trends in technical communication, composition, and pedagogy to facilitate this curricular revision, and she applies her comprehensive understanding of BTW to the creation of the program’s Annual Report