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The MWrite Team

An interdisciplinary group of faculty and post-docs.

Sweetland Faculty and Staff

Larissa SanoLecturer

Larissa Sano is a lecturer in the Sweetland Center for Writing where she teaches writing in STEM disciplines and helps implement writing-to-learn assignments in gateway courses at U-M. Larissa has been involved with MWrite since 2016 and contributes to the program by developing and teaching a course for Writing Fellows (W305), mentoring and overseeing the work of the Writing Fellows, and co-creating the MWrite Seminar for Engaged Learning. Larissa also works closely with Faculty and their Writing Fellows to integrate and implement writing-to-learn assignments in their courses and has participated in fifteen different courses to date.

Jimmy BranchoLecturer

Jimmy Brancho is a LEO Lecturer IV who joined Sweetland in Fall 2017. His bachelor's (Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2011) and Ph. D. (Univ. of Michigan 2017) are both in chemistry. As an instructor, he stresses seeing all writing - especially the technical writing characteristic of the sciences - as a human exchange rather than a task that merely fixes information. His classes challenge students to communicate in more of a teaching mindset beyond documenting events, to write without sacrificing their unique voices, and to develop the versatility to teach themselves to write for a wide range of purposes and audiences.

Laura Schuyler | Administrative Support

Laura is the Assistant to the Director of the Sweetland Center for Writing and provides administrative support to MWrite. She solicits interest from faculty to teach in MWrite, manages the Writing Fellows recruitment process in collaboration with the participating faculty, ensures Writing Fellows have permission to enroll in Writing 305, and processes stipends for the Writing Fellows. 

Research Team

Anne Ruggles Gere | Co-Principal Investigator

Anne, Co-PI for MWrite, is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English and Gertrude Buck Collegiate Professor of Education and served as the Director of the Sweetland Center for Writing from 2008-2019. Author of a dozen books and over 100 articles, she recently completed a longitudinal study of the ways undergraduates develop as writers as well as how writing  contributes to their learning in multiple disciplines.

Ginger Shultz | Co-Principal Investigator / Participating Faculty

Ginger is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at U-M. She completed her doctoral degree in polymer chemistry at the University of Oregon before transitioning to education-focused research through the U-M President’s Postdoctoral Fellow Program. Her science education research program focuses on writing-to-learn pedagogies, knowledge for teaching college level chemistry, and disciplinary thinking. Ginger has received several awards at U-M for teaching including the U-M Individual Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education and U-M Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize with Co-PI Anne Gere. In addition to serving as Co-PI for MWrite, Shultz also participates as a faculty member implementing writing to learn in introductory organic chemistry.

Solaire Finkenstaedt-Quinn | MWrite Project Manager

Solaire is a liaison between the Chemistry Department and Sweetland Center for Writing at U-M. Her research involves development, implementation, and assessment of writing assignments in large, intro-level STEM courses. As a graduate student, her research was in the field of bioanalytical chemistry at the University of Minnesota and involved using platelets as a model system to investigate how the cytoskeleton directs granule release during exocytosis. She transitioned from bioanalytical chemistry to chemistry education during her postdoc because of her interest in studying how students learn and using that to support effective instruction. She continues to pursue this research as MWrite Project Manager. In addition to performing research, Solaire is committed to increasing the scientific understanding of the general public through teaching and outreach. During her free time, Solaire enjoys reading and running.

Amber Dood  | Postdoctoral Researcher

Amber is a postdoc in the Shultz group working with the MWrite program. Her research is focused on the use of data science and machine learning techniques to further understand student writing and automatically provide formative feedback on student writing to both instructors and students. She completed her PhD at the University of South Florida, where her research centered around students' mechanistic reasoning in organic chemistry. During her PhD, she developed an interest in automated text analysis and used the technique to develop automated formative assessments. In her free time, Amber likes reading and running.

Blair Winograd | Michigan Data Science Fellow

Blair is a postdoctoral fellow at U-M.  She completed her doctoral degree in theoretical chemistry at U-M before translating her skills to learning analytics research through her appointment with the U-M Michigan Institute for Data Science's (MIDAS) fellows program. Her research program focuses on combining methods in AI with writing-to-learn pedagogies to pave the way for at scale solutions for quality STEM learning experiences.

Field WattsGraduate Student Research Assistant

Field is a PhD candidate in the Chemistry Department, researching students’ reasoning in response to the organic chemistry MWrite assignments. His research involves qualitative methodologies and machine learning techniques to analyze student writing. Before attending U-M, Field earned dual B.S. degrees in chemistry and mathematics.

Writing Fellows

Writing Fellows, students who were very successful in a previous offering of the course and were nominated by the professor, take a required one-credit course at Sweetland which provides them with skills to help students understand prompts, work with the peer review tool, and oversee the drafting, peer reviewing, and revising processes that accompany each prompt. Writing Fellows work closely with faculty, help with evaluation, and in some cases assist faculty in revising or developing new prompts. Writing Fellows receive a stipend from Sweetland for their work.

Participating U-M Courses and Faculty

MWrite has involved 18 faculty members in 65 courses from 12 departments and 5 colleges: College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology; School of Nursing; School of Public Health.