Welcome letter for MA Program 2020

Welcome everyone!

We congratulate all incoming students to the M.A. in English Writing Studies program, and we welcome back our returning graduate students.  As you embark or continue on your MA in Writing Studies learning journey, we look forward to another eventful and meaningful year in our graduate program.  Also, a special thank you to all of our professors for being instrumental to our program. You are indispensable! 

The Writing Studies program has always been composed of a community of writers, scholars, and researchers with unique voices. This community is a highly diverse one, and together we are stronger and more enriched.  Your  voices are important  both inside and outside of the classroom. Further, the spirit of independence is a hallmark of  our community because we each pursue diverse projects. No matter our differences, our work is always  relevant to contemporary concerns in our world. In this manner, the seeds of community connection are sown for empathy to flourish. 

We continue to be tested with the global pandemic. True colors manifest when things are more difficult.  We have proven that we support each other unconditionally. The Kean University Writing Studies MA program  has exhibited a rare alchemy of genuine care and concern along with  academic rigor and rapport. We will continue to  make sure that remote learning is a meaningful experience. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your peers and your professors as you acclimate to this Fall semester.  

Program information

For more information about the program, we ask that you peruse the program website. On this site, you will find information about the program itself, its goals as well as information about individual courses. The site also includes a curated collection of tools for composing in traditional and digital formats. We encourage you to bookmark this site, as it will be a touchstone for your time in the program.

Additionally, our website provides you with some information about the Kean University Writing Project (one of approximately 200 national sites of the National Writing Project) which operates in conjunction with our M.A. program). 

Join our Virtual Grad Student Lounge

We will be gathering digitally on Slack, a channel-based messaging platform, whereby students interact online. We will be sending invitations to everyone directly after this email.  Please be sure to join up right away, as this space is a critical part of connecting with your learning community.  This is your space to be expressive, contemplative, make inquiries or simply, unwind. Think of our “MA in Writing Studies” Slack channel as our virtual, asynchronous, grad student lounge.  Go there for general announcements about our program, to ask questions that can be answered by peers, and just chat in order to get to know others in your program.  For new MA students, this is also a chance to meet and gather wisdom from established MA students.  We will also provide you with information on how to participate in volunteer opportunities geared towards developing literacy and networking with other communities of writers. Our graduate assistants will have regular office hours in Slack on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:00PM to 9:00PM so if you want to connect, that is a good time to jump in. But do understand you can participate at any time (i.e. it is an “always-open” asynchronous conversation) and the program’s grad assistants will be in and out of the space periodically to keep the conversation flowing.  

Activities to come

It is our tradition to host  a variety of events beyond our classes. The National Writing Project (NWP) serves as a touchstone for fostering a broader community of writers. We collaborate with each other in creating special projects such as sharing poetry on electronic platforms. Students (including undergraduates) have had an opportunity to add to our beautiful, colorful “Writing Wall.”  See photo below. We also participate each year  in the National Writing Project’s National Day of Writing. Listen to some collaborative poetry created for the day here! This Fall will be no different, we will have ample opportunities to create, connect, and collaborate with our broader networks for both national and international projects. 

Start connecting

Your adviser for the duration of your time in the program is Dr. Mia Zamora, Director of the MA Writing Studies program and Director of the KU Writing Project. If you have any questions or concerns about the program, please contact her at mzamora@kean.edu. Her Graduate Assistants, Patricia M. Dennis (dennisp@kean.edu) and Medea B. Chillemi (chillemm@kean.edu), are here to answer any and all questions you may have.  

And remember, the Slack channel (invitation to come shortly) is a place to connect with everyone in our program, a place to receive general program announcements, hear of new opportunities, crowdsource inquiries and support, and grow our friendships and collegiality.

We look forward to working with all of you. 

Best Regards,

The MA in English-Writing Studies Program

October 2019, Dr. Mia Zamora with Graduate Assistant Patricia M. Dennis and our Writing Mural for the “National Day of Writing.” 

December 2019, Dr. Zamora and her graduate students in Writing Theory and Practice class.