A Blogging Revival, or 10 Things I Accomplished in 2016

Almost a year has passed since my last post. I could offer an explanation: I was busy (true). I could offer a lament: I’m sorry for creating yet another abandoned social space on the internet (also true). I could promise to atone: I’m renewing my commitment to blogging and will post at least once about about my teaching, research, or reading (well, I hope this will be true).

Instead, or maybe in addition to those things, I’ll bring you up to speed about what I’ve been doing.

In 2016, I accomplished a lot as an educator, scholar, and member of a robust university community. Here are 10 highlights of my year:

1. Presented on Dr. S. Josephine Baker’s Little Mothers’ Leagues at an arts and health humanities conference sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic and Hiram College; this research is part of a larger project focusing on Baker’s autobiography, Fighting for Life.

2. Published  “Teaching Casual Writing for Professional Success with Twitter: Digital Small Talk and the New Textese,” a chapter in the collection Engaging 21st Century Writers with Social Media, edited by Dr. Kendra N. Bryant.


3. Collaborated in developing and now, co-coordinating, an online, Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing at Radford University; the certificate can be completed in one year.

4. Taught an introductory medical humanities course to academically gifted high school students from Virginia; the course was part of the 2016 Governor’s School in Arts and Humanities, which takes place every summer at RU.

5. Contributed an essay to a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Medical Humanities; edited by Dr. Sarah Berry and Dr. Erin Lamb, the issue discusses the health humanities at the undergraduate level.

6. Taught English 607: Business Writing and Editing, the first course offering of RU’s Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing; many RU MBA students also enrolled in the course for elective credit.

7. Taught a 400-level, “author-in-context” course on Eugene O’Neill, an American dramatist whose plays often referenced his life, family, alcoholism, mental illness, and bout with tuberculosis.

8. Attended the 2016 Association for Business Communication national conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico; my presentation focused on using trending social media gaffes to teach “combined refusal-apology” messages.

9. Successfully sought “Scholar-Citizen Initiative” designation for my Spring Semester 2017 section of “Professional Writing Technologies”; in the course, students will help a local advocacy group, Friends of the New River, meet their communication needs, and the SCI designation helps formalize the course’s focus on civic engagement.

10. Led a short workshop for Graduate Teaching Fellows pursuing masters degrees in English at RU on maintaining a professional, online presence.

Posted in Blogging My Research, Books, Experiential Learning, Lifewriting, Medical Humanities, Workplace Writing

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Dr. Amy Rubens
I'm an "ambulant scholar," and I move among several worlds. As a professor of English, I research and write for audiences within and outside of academia. As a teacher of writing, literature, and culture, I facilitate learning. As a blogger, I critique, question, and reflect. Learn more about this blog and the work I do as a professor and workplace writing consultant.

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