SLAC-WPA is honored to present a 2021 SLAC-WPA Martinson Award for Innovation to the University of Puget Sound for Sound Writing. The award committee unanimously decided that this initiative stood out as a model of innovation.
The Martinson award recognizes an innovative and successful initiative in a writing program or writing center from a SLAC-WPA member college. The award was created to honor the accomplishments of our colleague Deborah Martinson, who passed away in 2014. Deb was an active, engaged member of SLAC-WPA; she hosted our annual conference, served on the executive board, and built and supported writing communities within and beyond our organization. Deb was known among her colleagues both at Occidental and in the larger community for her boundless spirit, her insight and intelligence, and her wisecracking sense of humor. Her simultaneous dedication to both writing program design and writing instruction that helps students overcome academic barriers characterizes Deb Martinson’s career and the criteria for this award.
Sound Writing is an online writing handbook developed by the student writing advisors at the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching at the University of Puget Sound. Sound Writing, in both its process of origination and final product, represents many of the values of small liberal arts institutions. This collaboration between faculty and students aims to “reconcile ideas of linguistic diversity with the received conventions of the prescriptive handbook,” as one nominator noted. Through its universal edition, the collaborators of this project generously make their work available and accessible to other institutions to adapt as they see fit.
The Martinson Award will be presented to Dr. Julie Christoph, Associate Academic Dean at the University of Puget Sound, at the next annual conference of SLAC-WPA. The award confers a $500 travel award to attend this conference, where Dr. Christoph is invited to share highlights of Sound Writing.