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Alumnus Returns to Naylor Workshop as Plenary Speaker and University Professor

Headshot of Megan Shoettler

Megan Schoettler’s experience with the Naylor Workshop on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies came full circle in 2022 when she served as plenary speaker.

An Assistant Professor of Professional and Technical Writing at West Chester University, Schoettler ‘14 discussed how undergraduate researchers “have so much to offer, not only amazing contributions to academic communities but also to the local communities that matter to them and in which they are invested.” She said, “I encouraged students to think capaciously about where their research could go. Yes, they could present, but they could also partner with community organizations to add capacity to what they are doing to their hometown.”

She learned those lessons herself at York College of Pennsylvania.

“I was very involved in undergrad research at York, specifically out of the Writing Center,” Schoettler said. “During my senior year, I presented during an undergraduate poster session at a national conference. A special interest group on undergrad research was meeting there, and Dr. Dominic DelliCarpini shared how he had recently been named Naylor Endowed Chair and had funding to use toward undergraduate research in writing studies.”

When he mentioned having a weekend bringing undergrad researchers together, Schoettler was on board. “I was so jazzed and full of energy when I heard that,” she said. “On the flight home, in my notebook, I made a first draft of the Naylor Workshop, drawing from my experience as an undergrad researcher at YCP.”

Dr. DelliCarpini loved the ideas that Schoettler had developed. In 2014, she was hired as Writing Center Assistant, and her work entailed helping him put together the first Naylor Workshop, which was held that same year.

She has “been back almost every year since then. It’s pretty amazing to look back and see what I accomplished and how many people the conference has touched. I was so lucky, getting to be a project organizer and apply a lot of what I had just learned in my undergrad degree to create a really enriching academic experience for YCP students and other researchers in the region.”

In 2020, she co-authored a chapter for The Naylor Report on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies that inspired her plenary talk. “We argued that faculty members are really good at mentoring students to be like us­–working in the genres we work in toward tenure, submitting to journals, etc. The reality is that’s not the path for all of our students. We as faculty can get better at engaging with the community. We need to model and support students thinking about stakeholders and invested parties outside academia that can benefit from the research skills students have and can apply.”

Part of Schoettler’s talk was focused on her own research and academic journey. She earned a Master’s in English, Composition and Rhetoric from Miami University in 2017, and a Ph.D. in English, Composition and Rhetoric in 2022. Her research and teaching interests–many of which began at York College–include Feminist Rhetorics, Composition Pedagogies, Writing Program Administration, Literacy, Social Justice, Digital Activism, and Feminist Methodologies. She was recognized for her work several times by Miami University: in 2021, with the Sinclair Fellowship from the English Department for excellence in research; in 2020, with the College of Arts and Science Graduate Student Teaching Award; in 2019, with the Outstanding Teaching Award from the English Department; and in 2016, with the First Year Composition Curricular Innovation Award from the Composition Program. She has also presented at national and international conferences.

“This has been my dream since I was a sophomore at YCP, to become a tenure-track professor in Professional Writing,” Megan says. “I was an English Education major, so I already knew that I loved teaching, reading, and writing. The Professional Writing faculty at York were some of my favorite people. I wanted to teach like them, to do the work that they were doing.”