Spotlight| Dr. Michelle Cox, ELSO Director, awarded for her book and outstanding scholarship

By: Nathan Lindberg, 
Thu, 08/19/2021

English Language Support Office (ELSO) Director Dr. Michelle Cox was presented with two awards at the 2021 International Writing Across the Curriculum (IWAC) Conference: Best Monograph and Distinguished Fellow Award.

The Best Monograph Award is presented by the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum (AWAC) and the WAC Clearinghouse to an authored book published in the past three years that makes an exceptional contribution to WAC scholarship, including WAC programming, administration, pedagogy, and impact. (Learn more about Writing Across the Curriculum/WAC here.) Cox’s Sustainable WAC: A Whole Systems Approach to Launching and Developing Writing Across the Curriculum Programs (NCTE, 2018), co-authored with Jeffrey R. Galin and Dan Melzer, was selected for this award. This book presents a theoretical framework, principles, and strategies for developing sustainable writing programs that transform writing, learning, and teaching across a university system. In the award announcement, the Selection Committee noted that “Sustainable WAC is an invaluable resource for Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Directors and other writing program administrators.” You can order the book here.

The Distinguished Fellow Award was presented by the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum (AWAC) in recognition of distinguished scholars (i.e., scholars in the field for at least 10 years) who have made significant contributions to the field of WAC through scholarship, service, and/or achievement. As a Distinguished Fellow, the Committee called Dr. Cox “a truly remarkable scholar, administrator, and innovator.” Cox has been instrumental in much of the contemporary WAC leadership, helping form some its most prominent entities. She co-founded AWAC, the Conference on College Composition’s WAC Standing Group, the Consortium of Graduate Communication, and the Northeast Writing Across the Curriculum Consortium.  She was chair of AWAC from 2018-2020, and she has served as an editorial board member of the WAC Clearinghouse since 2019 and of the journal Across the Disciplines since 2012. She has also written multiple book chapters and journal articles on WAC and related subjects.

At Cornell, Cox is the inaugural director of ELSO, which for the past seven years has supported multilingual graduate and professional students’ communication needs, including writing and speaking. ELSO is an integral part of the Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, which houses Cornell University’s undergraduate and graduate writing programs. The Knight Institute has a long history of supporting writing across the curriculum. It established the Writing in the Majors Program in 1988 and, in 1992, received an endowment from the Knight Foundation to expand the program. In 1999, it hosted the Fourth National Writing Across the Curriculum Conference–-the conference that would later become IWAC, which presented Cox with these awards.

portrait of ELSO director Michelle Cox