$10,000 grant fuels BVU student research participation

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Dr. Roger Powell, assistant professor of English

Dr. Roger Powell, assistant professor of English at Buena Vista University, recently learned that his research team has earned the CCCC (College Composition and Communication Conference) Research Initiative Grant.

Powell was joined by a trio of colleagues at various institutions in proposing a study to examine how first-year composition students transfer their writing knowledge and skills to other academic or personal contexts. The $10,000 grant will enable the study to play out at four schools of varying sizes, including BVU.

“It is even more exciting in that the grant allows us to get undergraduate students involved with the research, and we can compensate them as well,” saidPowell, who also serves as writing coordinator in BVU’s Center for Academic Excellence. “Several BVU students will help run focus groups, which represents a great opportunity.”

One focus group will ask BVU freshman about their experiences in Written Communications I and how they foresee the knowledge gained in the course transferring to other contexts. A similar study in 2007 became the catalyst for new approaches in writing instruction.

“The research team seeks to have BVU juniors and seniors run focus groups, allowing those students the opportunity to get involved in research, a valuable skill set for many professions and, for others, a nice precursor to graduate school,” Powell said. “Along with the amazing experiences, we’ll be able to pay students at BVU to help conduct this research.”

Additionally, Dr. Powell and his co-author, Kelsey Hixon-Bowles, Utah Valley University Writing Center coordinator, have published an article, “Too Confident Or Not Confident Enough?: A Quantitative Snapshot of Writing Tutors’ Writing and Tutoring Self-Efficacies” in the recent issue of Praxis: A Writing Journal.

Dr. Powell and Hixson-Bowles also published the qualitative follow-up to this study in a the new “Digital Edited Collection,” published by the Writing Lab Newsletter.