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TWU student Erika Johnson is Scholars for the Dream recipient


TWU doctoral student Erika Johnson

Photo credit: Shannon Drawe

DENTON— Erika Johnson of El Paso, a doctoral candidate in rhetoric at Texas Woman’s University, is a recipient of the 2015 Scholars for the Dream travel award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).

The award provides a $750 travel allowance toward presenting at the CCCC conference, scheduled March 18-21 in Tampa, Fla., and a one-year membership in National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and CCCC.

The purpose of the Scholars for the Dream award is to encourage scholarship by historically underrepresented groups. The award, which is given to a first-time conference presenter, recognizes originality of research, significance of pedagogical or theoretical contributions to the field and potential for larger subsequent projects.

Ms. Johnson will present her research, “Identity and Heteroglossia: The Language of Hegemony in Basic Writing Syllabi,” which explores how language in a basic writing syllabus might affect students’ rhetorical identity. This research will be expanded to become a chapter in her proposed dissertation, tentatively titled “(Re-) Positioning Marginalized Voices in Basic Writing: How might digital technology affect minority students’ rhetorical identity?”

“I chose this area of research because the first class I ever taught was basic writing,” Ms. Johnson said. “During that course, I spent so much time reassuring students that they belonged in college, I became interested in how to assist students in identifying with the course and their place in the institution. My research investigates how or if – and even why – the unsituated become situated when institutionalized digital technology is incorporated into a basic writing course.”

She says receiving the Scholars for the Dream award means validation.

“It means that what I do and how I do it means something, and not just to me. It means that I am in the right discipline and the right institution, because the scholarship I will present was developed and furthered in two courses I took at TWU: Studies in Discourse/Rhetorical Analysis with Dr. Dundee Lackey and Literary Criticism with Dr. Stephen Souris.”

Ms. Johnson is a graduate assistant at both the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence and the Department of English, Speech and Foreign Languages at TWU. She is president of the English and Rhetoric Graduate Organization – Rhetoric Society of America (ERGO-RSA) and vice president of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, Beta Epsilon chapter. She earned a master of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies at The University of Texas at El Paso and a master of science at the University of Phoenix. She plans to graduate from TWU with a Ph.D. in rhetoric in spring 2017.

Media Contact:

Karen Garcia
Senior Writer

page updated 5/9/2016 4:57 PM