Two University of Wisconsin-Marathon County faculty members received a national award for their research at the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA), annual meeting in Knoxville, Tenn., on July 21. Holly Hassel, professor of English, and Joanne Baird Giordano, UW Colleges Developmental Reading and Writing coordinator, received the organization's Outstanding Scholarship Award for the best research or scholarship published in any peer-reviewed journal or scholarly collection that contributes to knowledge on post-secondary writing programs. The Council of Writing Program Administrators is the primary national organization for faculty who direct college writing programs.
Hassel’s and Baird Giordano’s study, "The Blurry Borders of College Writing: Remediation and the Assessment of Student Readiness," appeared in the journal College English, published by the National Council of Teachers of English. The article reports on their study of 911 students from the point of admission into the university, comparing the placement results of two separate testing measures, the Wisconsin English Placement Test and the ACT.
The review committee described the article as "well-written, timely, and important to our work as WPAs (Writing Program Administrators)." It noted, "The recommendations the authors make about placement into college-level writing courses would help other WPAs make arguments to their administrations about how to place students into college-level writing courses” and help other WPAs “develop such placement procedures.”
Hassel has taught at UW-Marathon County since 2002 and Baird Giordano since 2004. Their previous work has been published in other professional journals, including College Composition and Communication and Teaching English in the Two-Year College. Their research has been used to inform the development of the UW Colleges Writing Program, which most recently received the 2015 Diana Hacker TYCA Award in the category of Enhancing Developmental Education and the CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence award in 2017.