President's Welcome

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Welcome to Raleigh! I am thrilled that you have chosen to join us this year at the CWPA conference to discuss “Engaging Multiple Perspectives in and about Writing Program Administration." The current political climate in North Carolina, highlighted this year by the controversial passage of House Bill 2, paired with the history of vocal political protest in this city (often taking place within walking distance from our conference site), makes this a particularly appropriate place for us to discuss diversity in our classes, in our programs, in our institutions, and in our organization.

I'm especially excited to welcome our three keynotes, who will lend their varied perspectives to our conversation this year: Rita Malenczyk, Asao Inoue, and Melanie Yergeau. And as a former resident of Raleigh, I'm thrilled to welcome you to a beautiful, vibrant city. Raleigh is certainly a complex place, and its setting between the extremes of the Carolina coast and the Blue Ridge Mountains attests to the diversity you'll find within its Beltline. I hope you'll take time to enjoy the celebrated local cuisine; the many (free!) museums that surround you downtown; historic neighborhoods like Oakwood, Mordecai, and Five Points; and perhaps even venture out from the conference site to enjoy beautiful outdoor spaces such as Yates Mill Pond, Pullen Park, Lake Johnson, and Umstead State Park.

If this is your first time at the CWPA conference, we especially welcome you. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know this friendly, welcoming group of scholar-administrators. In my twentieth year as a college writing teacher, I'm reminded how very much CWPA has sustained and challenged me professionally from year to year. I hope that's exactly what you'll experience, too.

We're continuing two popular practices that we started last year in Boise. First, we are using an app for our program and having an optional printable PDF for attendees on our conference website instead of printing conference program books. Second, we are continuing the practice of providing a “Recess"--a break from the regular conference activities to provide optional activities that highlight the local setting in which we are meeting. In addition to several activities downtown, we will also offer a workshop during Recess that will introduce administrators to strategies that will help them advocate for marginalized populations on campus--specifically responding to the local legislation that discriminates against our LGBTQIA colleagues and affects campus climates in North Carolina. In addition to the workshop, you'll find several other ways to participate in and learn about advocacy related to HB2 in our exhibit area. We hope you'll explore, ask questions, and participate as you feel led.

In the program, you will also notice several session strands that you might be interested in
  • Our Mentoring Committee has put together a strand of sessions to offer professional development and mentoring to WPAs;
  • We also are offering Interactive Workshops this year that will provide hands-on strategies for WPA work;
  • Two of our caucuses, the People of Color Caucus and the Two-Year College Caucus, are sponsoring sessions in the program;
  • And finally, we are offering a CWPA Poster Session for the first time, offered on Saturday morning.
Please stop by some of these sessions to see some of the new initiatives we hope will “engage multiple perspectives" in our organization. I welcome your ideas and feedback!

I, along with Jessie Moore and her amazing team of volunteers in Raleigh, have been eagerly preparing for your arrival, and we hope you will enjoy your time here.

Susan Miller-Cochran
University of Arizona
President, Council of Writing Program Administrators