Endowed Chair Investiture
Dr. Scott Stevens, the John and Linda Seiter Endowed Director of Writing
The investiture of Dr. Scott Stevens as the John and Linda Seiter Endowed Director of Writing will be celebrated at a reception and dinner Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at the University of Redlands.
Stevens assumed his responsibilities in July following a national search chaired by Redlands Professor Lisa Olson. He now directs the Writing Across the Curriculum Program for the College of Arts and Sciences, coordinating all placement, curriculum, instruction, tutoring, assessment, and program development.
"I get to work with faculty across all majors to help students refine their writing ability to match their disciplinary sophistication," Stevens said.
"The prominence of the Seiter Directorship gives me a platform to call attention to common misperceptions about literacy, on campus and beyond. Many students think checking off a course requirement means they are done learning to write, yet contrary to common opinion, writing well is not merely a basic skill on par with driving a car.
"Expertise in writing must be constantly cultivated; it cannot be developed with one or two writing courses sprinkled into a student’s coursework," he said.
Stevens brings 15 years of experience as a university writing program administrator and faculty member in multidisciplinary college writing programs to this administrative position.
"There’s a paradox central to my work at Redlands: the more practiced and comfortable one becomes with writing, the more writing “disappears.” For example, as students use writing more and more in their fields of study, they think they are doing chemistry or government when they are actually participating in those disciplines through writing. So one of my primary tasks is to make writing more visible everywhere on campus.
"Currently I am working to find ways to enhance writing development, from the first-year to the capstone experience, without adding more coursework."
Stevens' teaching and research expertise includes composition theory and pedagogy, genre theory, rhetoric of science, literacy studies, cultural rhetoric, basic writing digital/visual rhetoric, and 19th-20th Century American literature. Stevens presents his scholarly work on the teaching of English and writing at regional and national conferences, and is the author of “Sustaining Words: Readings in Consumption and Complexity, Responsibility and Renewal,” Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, as well as many other contributions to writing anthologies and scholarly collections.
Stevens received his B.A. in English from California State University, Chico, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Rochester. Most recently, he taught at Western Washington University, where he also served as director of composition. Prior to his work in Washington, he taught in the California State University system at Fresno and Chico. At the University of Rochester, he served as director of the Writing and Study Center, Eastman School of Music, in addition to teaching.
The Seiter Directorship was established by John and Linda Seiter during the University’s Centennial Campaign in 2007. John Seiter '63 and his wife Linda married the year before John graduated, and spent their first year as husband and wife living in Vet's Village at the University. The Seiters are strong proponents of liberal arts education and committed to the need to ensure strong writing skills among University of Redlands students. The Seiter’s gift underscores the importance of writing from the first year to the capstone experience.
Posted: Oct. 2, 2013