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Summer Institute a Success

Thursday, August 1, 2002
Summer Institute a Success
The 2002 Meadow Brook Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute ended on July 26 with the now traditional luncheon in the Christopher Wren Dining Room of Meadow Brook Hall. The institute was run by MBWP Co-Director Mary Cox and Associate Director Kathleen Reddy-Butkovich.

The program featured demonstrations by the thirteen teacher-participants and included presentations by several guests. Ron Cramer, Distinguished Professor of Education at Oakland University, once again led the group through an inquiry into the creative potential of children and young people. He donated a copy of his recent book “Creative Power: The Nature and Nurture of Children’s Writing” to every member of the summer institute.

We were also visited by Neal Shine, retired columnist, executive editor, and publisher of The Detroit Free Press and currently a journalism professor at Oakland University. Neal came down from his summer cottage in Canada to share with us his experiences as a writer and editor. We had a highly productive discussion about the current state of literacy and literacy instruction.

Two members of Oakland University’s writing faculty, Catherine Haar and Cathy Breidenbach, led the group through an exploration of writing samples produced by basic writing students in the university who do not qualify for the regular composition course.

Ron Sudol, MBWP Director and Professor of Rhetoric at Oakland, made presentations on writing assessment, personality influences on writing processes, and “The Toothless Bathing Beauty.”

Our technical liaison, Marshall Kitchens, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at Oakland, demonstrated web resources and introduced the new MBWP web site.

The group also attended a guest presentation on campus by Jacqueline Woodson, a writer of children’s books.

The Oakland University campus was gripped by quite a bit of excitement about halfway through the summer institute when helicopters appeared in the sky and the campus was visited by President George W. Bush and Alexander Kwasniewski, the President of Poland. The two presidents made major addresses on foreign policy, NATO, and European unification.

We concluded on July 26th determined to maintain our new personal and professional connections, to seek out opportunities for continuity, and to complete the editing of writings for our book “In the Company of Writers.”