Funding Opportunities

"Rhetoric is the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion."

Aristotle

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Graduate students in the Rhetoric and Composition program at the University of Utah have a variety of funding opportunities that represent the range of scholarly and pedagogical interests of the discipline.

Teaching Assistantships

The majority of the graduate students enrolled in the Rhetoric and Composition program are financially supported through Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs). Graduate students who want a GTA must enroll in a minimum of nine credit hours per semester to qualify for the award. GTAs are granted for 2 years for MA students and for 4 years for Ph.D. students. GTAs are awarded on a competitive basis based on previous teaching experience, financial need, timely completion of graduate studies, and continual 'good standing' as an instructor. GTAs will teach three courses per year, will receive a tuition waver and a stipend, and will qualify for subsidized health care benefits.

WAC/WID Assistantships

Begun in 2003, the Communication, Leadership, Ethics, and Research Program (CLEAR) is a collaboration between the College of Humanities and College of Engineering. The program is designed to foster research and faculty development while emphasizing undergraduate instruction in composition and communication. Graduate students with an appointment in the CLEAR Program are responsible for working with specific Engineering faculty to teach Engineering students about communication fundamentals such as writing, oral communication, teamwork, and ethics.

Writing Center Assistantships

Graduate students are able to co-direct the University Writing Center, working closely in the day-to-day management of the Center. Graduate students in this position become familiar with theoretical and pedagogical tenets of peer tutoring, as well as the issues and challenges that peer tutoring may present at a large research institution.

Community Outreach Assistantships

The University of Utah partners with the Academy of Math, Engineering and Science, a GATES Foundation college-ready public charter high school. The majority of the students are from under-represented populations. Instructors from the Writing Program teach WRTG 1010 and WRTG 2010 at the high school.

Current Awards and Fellowships

Graduate students in the Rhetoric and Composition program at the University of Utah have the opportunity and are encouraged to apply for various local and national fellowships with an emphasis in rhetoric and composition in a variety of disciplines.

The Writing Program is pleased to announce that four of our graduate students received fellowships for the 2013-2014 year: Sarah Bell, Fiona Harris- Ramsby, Susan Sample, and Amy Williams.

Sarah Bell received a fellowship from the National Association for Computing Machinery History Division to support archival research for her dissertation, "Hand, Head, Heart: Embodiment in Graphical Man/Machine Communications Research at the University of Utah, 1966-1971." Her research will investigate theoretical statements, software products, and research papers from the earliest days of the University of Utah computer science department.

Fiona (Freddy) Harris-Ramsby received the Snow Neff Award. Her dissertation is titled "Keep Moving! Language, Bodies and Power on the Rhetorical Stage." Resisting a disembodied, cerebral account of rhetoric set in motion by Platonic and Aristotelian rhetorical theory, her project springboards off research that finds rhetoric's origins in ancient Greek theatre.

Susan Sample received the Steffensen Cannon Graduate Research Award. Her dissertation is titled "Attending to the (Absent) Presence of the Body at the End of Life: Physicians' Personal Narratives of Encounters with Death As an Occluded Genre of Medical Discourse." Personal narratives written by physicians about remarkable encounters with dying patients are increasingly published in medical journals where they are viewed as "literary" works. Susan argues that these narratives resist the professional silencing of emotion by the institution of medicine and constitute an occluded genre of medical discourse, which she will establish using sociocognitive theory of genre and provisionally call "necrography."

Amy Williams received a University Teaching Assistantship, which will allow her to engage her interest in community literacy. Amy will spend a year participating in Dreamkeepers, a community literacy center housed at Glendale Middle School. The Glendale Dreamkeepers Project, which takes its name from Gloria Ladson-Billings' seminal text, "The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children," is premised on research that reveals students are motivated by curricula in which they can recognize their own experience (Ladson-Billings, 1994, 1995 & 2005; Hanley and Noblitt, 2009).

For more detailed information of their projects, go here.