Wednesday, April 19, 2017 1:30 PM
Many college students may feel like writing an essay is an endurance sport, requiring motivation and determination, but mostly motivation. Rhonda Claridge, professor of English at CMU’s Montrose campus, knows this well as she is a published writer and has ran more than her fair share of races.
“I did a lot of races, mainly because they would keep me motivated,” Claridge said. “They ended up taking me to amazing places!” Claridge has run more than fourteen 100-mile and 50-mile races around the world, traveling to locations like Scotland, Spain and her hometown in the Bahamas.
Equally as impressive as Claridge’s running background are her published works. She has been published in Trail Runner magazine, a Canadian literary publication BRICK and more. Claridge understands the importance of writers learning the process of editing and publishing their own writing, which is why she started the Black Canyon Review — an annual compilation of Montrose Campus outstanding student essays.
“It’s an opportunity for students to learn from other students and for students to get a little appreciation for their work,” said Claridge.
As early as fourth grade and up until her time studying journalism at NYU, Claridge recalls having teachers who took an interest in her writing and inspired her to continue writing. “The response from teachers encouraged me, so I can see now as instructor myself how important that is,” she said.
Claridge stresses the relevance of effective communication to her students, “Communication is not just getting good grades in college but it is essential in everything they do.”
She addresses how modern communication, specifically texting, makes the transition into formal academic writing that much more of a challenge for students. “There is a lot to learn in a semester,” Claridge said, specifically of her English 111 and 112 courses in which she is “preparing students to write anything in their college field.” To develop her students’ learning processes Claridge provides a plethora of feedback and allows students to make revisions if they wish, but it is solely up to them. “The ball’s in their court,” she said.
Claridge understands that only she can motivate herself to run 100 miles through the mountains of Scotland, and only her students can motivate themselves to put in the work necessary to become the excellent communicators she desires them to be.
Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations