This year, our CAS Writing Program community is once again grieving the loss of a beloved colleague, Martin Fido, who passed away on April 2nd, 2019. Martin’s nearly twenty years at Boston University were ones of dedication, thoughtful attention, and a high estimation of the potential of all of his colleagues and students, to everyone’s great benefit. We will miss his wisdom, kindness, and humor, and this edition of WR is dedicated to Martin as a way to begin to acknowledge all that he gave to us.
In order to perpetuate Martin’s legacy, the Editors have created the Martin Fido Award for Prose Style, a commendation that rewards a published piece in WR for its precision and fluency in writing. Martin once referred to himself as an “unashamed, prescriptive grammarian,” and though he said it in jest, his love of a well-crafted sentence was legendary among our faculty. The first recipient of this award is Elinor Yeo, for her research paper entitled “First Responders: The Evolution of Presidential Roles and Rhetoric in the Era of School Shootings.” Ms. Yeo’s writing in this well-crafted, sophisticated paper is elegant and a pleasure to read.
The Editors are also proud to give the second annual Tony Wallace Award for Writing Excellence to Emma Rademacher for her paper entitled “Responses of urban gray squirrels (Scurius carolinensis) to humans and conspecifics in an area of Boston Common.” Ms. Rademacher developed a clever and brilliant research project that she could do in Boston’s own backyard, and the paper that resulted from her work is rigorous, vibrant, and engaging.
The Editors would also like to note that “From Mugshots to Masterpieces: Identities Revealed Through Immigration Portraits of the Chinese Exclusion Era,” a research paper by Matthew Yee that appears in WR 11, was also recently accepted for publication in Young Scholars in Writing, a peer-reviewed journal for undergraduate research writing.
The primary goal of this year’s edition of WR is to demonstrate the various successful ways instructors have brought into their classrooms curricular initiatives driven by the BU Hub, an innovative new general education program. Accordingly, the Editorial Board sought pieces from among the nearly two hundred submissions that could serve as models as we continue to refine our new teaching methods. The Editors also asked the instructors of the students with accepted works to provide introductions to the published pieces describing how they can be used in classroom learning; these introductions appear in the journal alongside the works themselves.
WR 11 contains traditional academic papers and also several pieces in a variety of other genres, including a podcast, a poster, two graphic memoirs, and a high school lesson plan; together, this varied group of works demonstrates the Writing Program’s commitment to helping students learn to communicate multi-modally with a diverse array of audiences.
The Editors would like to thank Alyssa Hall, Academic Administrator of the CAS Writing Program, who served as Managing Editor for the preceding ten editions of WR. Ms. Hall’s contributions to this publication, which constitutes the public face of our program, have been profound. The journal itself, including this year’s edition, exists only because of ideas she had and procedures she created.
The Editors would also like to thank Dr. Chris Walsh, Director of the CAS Writing Program, for his steady, patient leadership.