Anne Geller, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Across the Curriculum

Dr. Anne Geller Awarded Grant to Study Meaningful Writing Experiences  

Anne Geller, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Across the Curriculum, has been awarded a $10,000 grant to strengthen student writing by identifying the kinds of composition projects undergraduates find most “meaningful.”

The grant will fund an 18-month, cross-institutional research study entitled “Seniors Reflect on Their Meaningful Writing Experiences.” Awarded by the Conference on College Composition (CCCC), a division of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the Research Initiative Grant will be announced at the 2011 CCCC Convention on April 7 in Atlanta.

The other two participating institutions are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Oklahoma.

Reflecting St. John’s ongoing focus on enhancing student writing skills and increasing student-faculty engagement, the grant allows trained undergraduates to interview fellow students and faculty members. “This process will result in generating honest and rich student feedback while giving our students valuable experience in collaborative and qualitative research,” said Dr. Geller. “It will also make it possible for us to document the rich variety of writing projects across our curriculum.”

The study will seek to determine when and under which conditions these meaningful experiences occur — inside or outside majors; during the first year or last year of college, etc. Making the analysis cross-institutional will enable the researchers to assess the relationship between different educational environments and concepts of meaningfulness. 

Dr. Geller anticipates the study’s findings will have a considerable impact on future writing programs at St. John’s as well as contributing to a growing understanding of the role of writing in undergraduate education.