National Writing Project

A WAC Teacher and Advocate: An Interview with Rita Malenczyk

By: Carol Rutz
Publication: The WAC Journal
Date: July 17, 2012

Summary: Carol Rutz interviews Rita Malenczyk, Director of the University Writing Program at Eastern Connecticut State University, about her experience as a writing program administrator (WPA), work on writing across the curriculum (WAC), and other memorable events in her career.



Back in 1998, both Rita and I were part of early conversations that eventually led to the Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition, a document that has seen wide distribution and adaptation since its adoption by the WPA organization in 2000. Rita was one of the co-editors of a collection based on the debates leading to the outcomes statement as well some notable applications to higher education beyond first-year composition. I am willing to bet that more than a few WAC faculty have come to know the statement through faculty development over the last decade.

Rita's vita (that's rather fun to say three times in a row) reveals that she has taught courses in writing, rhetorical theory, and more, including several courses that speak to connections between rhetoric and literature. She has directed the University writing program since 1994 and is the founding director (as of 2008) of the ECSU writing center as well as serving a term as associate chair of the English department. She has chaired several important committees at her institution, served on many more, reviewed for several national publications, and has recently been elected president-elect of the WPA.

Before coming to ECSU, she earned her B.A. at St. Louis University, her M.A. at Washington University (St. Louis), and her doctorate at New York University—all in English. Her conference presentations are always well attended, and her articles, book chapters, and co-edited collection hold worthy places in the composition-rhetoric-writing center-WAC-assessment realms. That last sentence speaks just a bit to the range Rita brings to the profession.

What follows resulted from an extended conversation at the Conference on College Composition and Communication's annual convention in Atlanta in April 2011, plus some e-mail correspondence over several months.

Copyright © 2011 Plymouth State University. Reprinted with permission.
Rutz, Carol. 2011. "A WAC Teacher and Advocate: An Interview with Rita Malenczyk, Eastern Connecticut State." The WAC Journal 22: 103–110.

Read more articles from this issue of The WAC Journal.

About the Author
Carol Rutz is director of the College Writing Program and senior lecturer in English at Carleton College. Her research interests include response to student writing, assessment of writing, and assessment of faculty development.

Download the Article

PDF Download "Interview: A WAC Teacher and Advocate: An Interview with Rita Malenczyk, Eastern Connecticut State University"

Related Resource Topics

© 2023 National Writing Project