Dr. Traynor Hansen, Assistant Professor of English and Writing, has moved into the position of Director of Campus Writing at Seattle Pacific. In this role, Professor Hansen oversees the sequence of writing courses required for all first-year students and the upper-division writing-intensive, or “W,” courses, working with instructors to guarantee consistency and quality in writing-course offerings.
“I took the role because I care about helping faculty think through the challenges they face in assigning and teaching writing effectively,” Professor Hansen said recently. Having been mentored during graduate school by influential figures in the field of rhetoric/composition, Hansen wanted to pay forward their efforts. As an instructor in the first-year writing courses for several years, he found that other faculty members gravitated towards him for advice, even sitting in on one of his courses for an entire term. So the move into the DCW position felt natural.
“My big focus for this year (as I figure out what I’m doing) is to reinforce a shared understanding of the writing outcomes among WRI 1000 and 1100 faculty,” Hansen says. “I’m also beginning to work with other (non-writing) faculty to think creatively about how to include writing in their classes—not just formal writing assignments, but also reflective and writing-to-learn opportunities as students deal with course material.”
Professor Hansen’s biggest project in coming years involves moving SPU towards student ePortfolios—electronic records of each student’s written work over the course of a college career. The portfolio requirement will be designed to help students see the improvements in their writing ability over a multi-year span and provide them a body of work they can be proud of as they move out from Seattle Pacific.