Sarah Catherine Swofford
One University Boulevard ·253 Library· Bluffton, SC 29909843-508-8376 · firstname.lastname@example.org
2015 Ph.D. Joint Program in English and Education. University of Michigan.
2007 M.S.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction. Baylor University.
2005 B.A. English. Anderson University (SC), cum laude.
Title: Linguistic and Rhetorical Ideologies in the Transition to College Writing: A Case Study of Southern Students
This qualitative longitudinal study examines how the rhetorical and linguistic ideologies surrounding Southern American English shape the experiences of nine rural Southern students in their transition from high school to college writing. This study reveals how students’ transition to college may be complicated by the popular beliefs about speakers of non-standard dialects of English that mark these speakers as ill-educated or less intelligent—but more polite and pleasant—as well as by the beliefs about the locally-valued rhetorical strategies students bring with them into their college writing classrooms.
Anne Ruggles Gere (co-chair), Professor of English, University of Michigan
Anne Curzan (co-chair), Professor of English, University of Michigan
David Gold, Associate Professor of English, University of Michigan
Lisa Lattuca, Associate Professor of Education, University of Michigan
Robin Queen, Professor of Linguistics, University of Michigan
206-present Assistant Professor of Composition and Rhetoric, Writing Program Administrator, University of South Carolina—Beaufort
2015-2016 Assistant Professor of Writing, University of Central Arkansas
2010-2014 Graduate Student Instructor/Research Assistant, University of Michigan
2008-2010 Teacher, Cowpens Middle School, Cowpens, SC (grades 7-8)
2008 Teacher, Midlands Middle College, Columbia, SC (grades 11-12)
2006-2008 Teacher, Hubbard High School, Hubbard TX (grades 8-12)
Awards and Grants
2014 Linda Pinder Fellowship
2010-present School of Education Scholars Award
2013 American Dialect Society Presidential Honorary Membership
2010-2014 Rackham Conference Travel Grant
2011, 2013 English Department Conference Travel Grant
2013 Rackham Graduate School Candidate Research Grant
2012 Rackham Graduate School Pre-Candidate Research Grant
2009 ETS Recognition of Excellence Award (Praxis II)
2006 Strickland Scholars Fellowship
Books, Authored in Collaboration
Williams, Jeff, with Elizabeth Homan and Sarah Swofford. Supporting Students in a Time of Common Core Standards: English Language Arts Grades 3-5. Urbana, Ill: National Council of Teachers of English, 2011. Print.
Gere, Anne Ruggles, Sarah Swofford, Naomi Silver, and Melody Pugh. “Interrogating Disciplinary in WAC/WID: Institutional Ethnography and the New Disciplinarity.” College Composition and Communication, December 2015.
Policy Briefs, Authored in Collaboration
“Comprehensive Literacy: An NCTE Policy Brief.” The Council Chronicle, March 2013. Online.
“Using Evidence in Writing: An NCTE Policy Brief.” The Council Chronicle, March 2012. Online.
“Reading Instruction for All Students: An NCTE Policy Brief.” The Council Chronicle, Sept. 2012. Online.
“Evaluating English/Language Arts Teachers: An NCTE Policy Brief.” The Council Chronicle, March 2012. Online.
“Communities of Practice: An NCTE Policy Brief.” The Council Chronicle, Nov. 2011. Online.
“Literacies of Disciplines: An NCTE Policy Brief.” The Council Chronicle, Sept. 2011. Online.
University of South Carolina at Beaufort
Assistant Professor of Composition and Rhetoric, Writing Program Administrator
Introduction to College Writing (2 sections) (Fall 2016)
Writing-intensive course for first-year students. Focused on conventions of academic writing, entering academic conversations, and successful transitions from high school to college writing.
Advanced Writing—“Writing for Nonprofits” (Fall 2016)
An advanced composition course focused on writing for nonprofits. This course required students to partner with a local organization, research that organization’s writing needs, and produce a portfolio of work designed to assist the organization in accomplishing their mission. Students in this course used a rhetorically-grounded approach to analyze unfamiliar genres and determine which writing choices would be most effective for their audience and purpose.
Composition and Literature (2 sections) (Spring 2017)
A writing-intensive course for first-year students that combines the study of literature with writing instruction. In this section, students studied young adult literature and researched how writers make effective choices for a young adult audience. Students composed multi-modal research projects that investigated how young adult readers comprise a unique audience for authors and publishers.
The Teaching of Writing (Spring 2017)
An upper-division course intended for students interested in teaching writing in secondary schools (grades 9-12) or in teaching and tutoring writing at the post-secondary level. Students in this class study the theory of writing pedagogy, observe experienced instructors, and design instructional materials themselves.
University of Central Arkansas
Assistant Professor of Writing
Introduction to College Writing (5 sections) (Fall 2015 and Spring 2016)
Writing-intensive course for first-year students. Focused on conventions of academic writing and successful transitions from high school to college writing. This course fulfills the UCA Core’s Communication Requirement.
Introduction to Rhetoric (Fall 2015 and Spring 2016)
A survey of rhetorical history and theory, with a focus on the ethical questions surrounding effective persuasion. Topics range from the writings of Plato to questions about students’ responsibilities as rhetors in the 21st century. The course fulfills the UCA Core’s Responsible Living component.
Academic Writing and Research (Spring 2016)
A writing-intensive course for first-year students, focused on a rhetorically-grounded approach which enabled students to identify and write in the primary modes of knowledge-making and discourse in their chosen discipline.
University of Michigan
Instructor of Record
Professional Writing on the Page and the Screen (Fall 2014)
Designed and taught an advanced composition course focused on a rhetorical approach to writing in professional contexts and in both traditional print and digital media.
Academic Argumentation: Arguing in the Disciplines (Winter 2014)
Designed and taught an advanced composition course focused on a rhetorically-grounded approach which enabled students to identify and write in the primary modes of knowledge-making and discourse in their chosen discipline.
College Writing: The Power of Words and Thought (2010-2011)
Designed and taught a first-year course intended to ease students through the transition to first-year writing, where students developed their critical reading skills and acquired conventions of academic writing. Assignments in this course explicitly built on students’ high school preparation and challenged them to apply their developing reading and writing skills.
“Spring Into Google: Going Paperless with Google Classroom” (March 2015)
A webinar for Boston Public School District faculty interested in using Google Classroom and paperless grading for student writing. In this professional development, I shared the affordances and limitations of this new instructional technology and offered my experiences using Classroom with professional writing students.
“Networking at Conferences” (Winter 2014)
This workshop for multilingual graduate students gave them some of the basic principles of networking and social events at academic conferences (particularly academic conferences here in the United States), and facilitated their skills developed through role-playing with supportive, specific feedback.
“Supporting Students in a Time of Common Core Standards: Grades 3-5,” (April 2011)
This national webinar, conducted in collaboration with Elizabeth Homan, offered NCTE teachers across the country information about how they might incorporate best practices in English/Language Arts instruction as they implemented the new Common Core State Standards. This webinar was offered by NCTE in conjunction with the publication of my co-authored book of the same title.
Detroit Outreach Center, Admissions Essay Workshop (Fall 2010, 2011)
Along with an undergraduate peer tutor, I led high school students in downtown Detroit in a workshop on how to write successful college admissions essays.
“Three Models for (Re)Considering Religious Discourses, Literacies, and Rhetorics,” Cultural Rhetorics Conference. October, 2014
“The DSP Five Years In: Reflection on and Revision of Directed Self-Placement,” Conference on Writing Program Administration. July, 2014.
“Southern Students in Transition: Language Ideologies and Linguistic Capital in the Transition to College Writing,” Conference on College Composition and Communication. March, 2014.
“Southern Students in Transition: Language Ideologies and Linguistic Capital in the Transition to College Writing,” poster, American Dialect Society Annual Meeting. January, 2014.
“Ghosts in the Classroom: How Student Expectations Shape Writing Instruction,” Conference on Writing Program Administration. July, 2013.
“Writing in the Disciplines in an Interdisciplinary Context,” Conference on Writing Program Administration. July, 2013.
“’Does This Make Sense?”: Student Perceptions of Questions in Instructor Comments,” Conference on College Composition and Communication. March, 2013.
“Southern Students in Transition: Language Ideologies and Linguistic Capital in the Transition to College Writing,” Making Meaning and Enculturation Graduate Student Conference, University of Michigan. November, 2013.
“Aligning Student and Faculty Expectations of the Upper-Level Writing Requirement,” Writing Across the Disciplines/Writing in the Disciplines Conference. June, 2012.
“Afterward: Students’ Post-Transfer Writing Experiences at the University of Michigan,” Conference on Writing Program Administration. July, 2012.
“There Seems to be a Reason: Why Instructors Use Hedges in Marginal Comments and End Notes,” Conference on College Composition and Communication. March, 2011.
“Talkin’ Like They Do: Competing and Conflicting Ideologies in Southern Language,” Making Meaning Graduate Student Conference, University of Michigan. November, 2011.
“Virtual Reality and Virtual Classrooms: Teacher Perceptions of Student Identity,” Computers and Writing Conference. May, 2011.
“Common Understandings: An Overview of the Common Core Standards and Its Implications for Teacher and Teacher Educators,” Conference on English Education. May, 2011.
Sweetland Center for Writing, Research Assistant
As part of a research team under the direction of Anne Gere, I researched and revised a Directed Self-Placement (DSP) writing system, implemented a DSP for transfer students, implemented digital peer review tools as part of a science writing project funded by The Keck Foundation, evaluated and modified the Upper-Level Writing Requirement at U-M, collected and analyzed student writing from the DSP and the Minor in Writing using corpus linguistic tools, collected and analyzed qualitative data for various projects including a longitudinal study of writing throughout the undergraduate experience, and worked on a new composition course for multilingual writers.
James R. Squire Office of Policy Research, Researcher and Writer
Compiled research for National Council of Teachers of English, collaborate to write policy briefs for policy makers and members of NCTE.
Service and Administration
University of South Carolina at Beaufort
Civitas DIAL Working Group, 2016-present
Departmental Self-Study Committee, 2016-present
University of Central Arkansas
Professional Writing Committee Member, 2015-present
University of Michigan
Steering Committee Member, Language and Rhetorical Studies Interdisciplinary Workshop, 2011-2015
As a member of the steering committee for Lang/Rhet, I collaboratively planned two graduate student conferences, invited scholars from around the country as guest speakers, planned all-day Saturday workshops that allowed graduate students to explore new methodologies, and sponsored receptions and events that allowed students from a wide range of disciplines to come together to explore common interests in language and rhetorical studies.
Dissertation Writing Group Leader, Sweetland Center for Writing, 2014
With support from the Sweetland Center for Writing, I led an interdisciplinary group of four graduate students at the mid-point of their dissertation writing process. I both coordinated logistics of group meetings and facilitated writing workshops of group members’ work.
Planning committee, “Chalk and Cheese,” 2012-2013
As part of a planning committee comprised of my fellow graduate students, I planned a weekly departmental professional development for graduate students in the Joint Program in English and Education.
Intern team leader, Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute, 2013
As an intern team leader, I supervised a group of approximately 15 graduate and undergraduate students and was charged with working with leading scholars in linguistics from around the world to ensure smooth weekend workshops throughout the month-long biannual Linguistic Summer Institute.
Judging Committee, Feinberg prize for undergraduate writing, 2012
Service to the Profession
Journal article reviewer, Research in the Teaching of English, 2015
Journal article reviewer, with John Swales. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 2013
Professional Qualifications and Certifications
South Carolina English/Language Arts, grades 6-12 (expires 6/30/2020)
Texas English/Language Arts, grades 8-12 (expires 2/28/2019)
American Dialect Society, Conference on College Composition and Communication, National Council of Teachers of English, Linguistic Society of America, Council of Writing Program Administrators
Foreign Language Competency
Basic reading competency in French
Basic reading competency in Old and Middle English
References available upon request