It is my pleasure to fulfill a request put forward by our current HWFC to share the statements of our three colleagues who have been nominated and agreed to stand for election to three-year terms on the Faculty Council. There are two open positions.
I share these in the order that I received them.
Kristin Bivens, Associate Professor of English
This past August, as I started my 10th year at HW in the English department, I took stock of various opportunities I had participated in and others I had not. For example, I served as CAST coordinator, along with Kamran Swanson, for 2016. As part of my CAST duties, I organized (along with Kamran) FDW in August and various CASTivities throughout the spring semester (and now, the fall semester). I think my biggest contribution has been hybridizing and digitizing CAST content and recording CASTpod interviews with and for HW folks. I was happy to use some of the tech skills from my PhD in technical communication and rhetoric as CAST coordinator and for FDW.
Serving faculty as CAST coordinator was a gratifying experience, but when I was recently nominated for FC, I thought this was another opportunity to continue to serve faculty and faculty interests. As we approach an important crossroads as a district and college (a new chancellor, a new contract, and re-accreditation), I would like to use my experience (spring 2016) working on an all-District team of English faculty to create a new writing placement. My experience called for skills of argumentation and persuasion to ensure the best writing placement test was chosen for our students. I think my experience on this all-District team will also contribute to serving as the criterion chair for integrity for re-accreditation, as well as your FC representative.
Megan Ritt, Assistant Professor of English
Those of you who know me know that I’m passionate about many things (including Game of Thrones, the Oxford comma, and french fries). Another subject I’m passionate about is teaching and the well-being of our students. A lot of what we can do for them is reliant upon not just our content-area knowledge but also our knowledge of education itself, our academic freedom, and our ability to share in the governance of our school.
I want to serve on Faculty Council because I want to put my passion to good use. As a teacher of argumentation, I will listen to the many disparate voices of our faculty and help us reach informed conclusions. Serving as CAST Coordinator in 2014 and 2015 helped me see the importance of being involved on the school-wide level. I am eager to learn from those who have gone before me and to help provide a voice for the faculty and by extension, our students. If I am chosen to serve on the Council, I’ll bring my passion for teaching, my writer’s ear, and my Oxford commas. Thank you for your consideration.
B. Kamran Swanson, Assistant Professor of Humanities (Philosophy)
The Faculty Council is expected to represent the views of full- and part-time faculty, to support positions that preserve and strengthen the academic integrity of the institution, and to work with administration to foster an environment of shared governance. In my first three years of serving on Faculty Council, I have learned what it means to do this effectively, and I am excited to do so more frequently and effectively for another three years. I feel privileged to work among a community of experts, tremendously varied in their knowledge, experiences, and perspectives. I believe that the best version of Faculty Council draws upon these differences, encourages rational dissent, and sets an example for our administration, our students, and our larger community, to exercise a government of free thinkers with competing views. I believe it is possible to do this without losing a clear voice, and I hope my various statements to administration and faculty have demonstrated this over the past few months and years. If reelected to Faculty Council, I intend to continue putting into practice that which I’ve learned before.