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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Julie Mengert


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Julie Mengert, senior instructor of English, for emphasizing the practicality and importance of writing, and formulating assignments that will relate to the work they will continue to do not only in academia but also once they leave the university.

Since Fall 2001, Julie Mengert, now Director of Composition and a Senior Instructor of English, has taught English 1105 and English 1106, the first-year writing sequence, in addition to English 1204H, the honors-level first-year writing course. In addition, she regularly teaches English 3764 (Technical Writing) and 3774 (Business Writing), both online and in person. She also co-piloted English 2614, Introduction to ePortfolio, the work of which received an XCaliber Award in 2011. Further, in her work with the English department’s graduate teaching assistants as Coordinator of Graduate Education, she taught English 5034 Practicum for several years. Currently, Ms. Mengert is teaching English 5004, Theory and Practice of University Writing Instruction.

Ms. Mengert’s pedagogical specialization is the teaching of writing, evident from the classes she teaches. When teaching technical and business writing students, either online or in person, for example, she sees writing and pedagogy in a completely new way; her students often tell her that the rhetoric they practice in these courses stays with them as they venture into the workplace. These comments show her that the work she does matters, that writing is a constant, evolving process in their lives, and this awareness also helps her focus on issues she needs to cover in her composition courses for new students as they begin their university experiences
What she tries to impart to her students comes from not only classroom experiences but also from the several positions and opportunities that she has had these past fifteen years. As Coordinator of GTA Education, for example, and now as Director of Composition, she works with new graduate student teachers who bring a great energy to the classroom with their extremely dynamic teaching styles—her own teaching and pedagogical techniques are freshened and enlivened as a result of their influence.

To complement the work that Ms. Mengert has focused on throughout her career, she has presented papers on visual rhetoric in the classroom and effective graduate student mentoring at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and has also attended this conference for several years. In addition, she presented a panel on the required first-year writing textbook, Composition at Virginia Tech, at the 2014 Council of Writing Program Administrators’ yearly conference. She also received the Certificate of Teaching Excellence (CTE) Award in 2011, the Joyce Gentry Smoot Outstanding Instructor Award in 2006, the Favorite Faculty Award in 2014, in addition to the 2011 XCaliber Award mentioned above.

In her most recent first-year writing class (English 1204H), her students commented that “She was a very effective teacher; I liked how she incorporated group activities to help analyze course material. She also provided strong comments that allowed me to realize the flaws in my writing and figure out how to improve” and that “She presented the material in an effective manner and created a great learning environment that pushed me to try hard to become a better writer.” These comments give a glimpse into the work that Julie does and the achievements her students undertake after leaving her classes.

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