2022 Martinson Award Press Release for Bates College

Press Release

SLAC-WPA is honored to present the 2022 SLAC-WPA Martinson Award for Innovation to Bates College for “An Ecological Approach to Antiracist Writing Instruction at Bates College.” The 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.

The committee was particularly impressed with the multifaceted and multidimensional approach to antiracist writing pedagogy.  The program provides an excellent example of how to work towards antiracism and provides an innovative model for centers that are just beginning to participate in this important work. The approach demonstrates that true antiracist writing instruction has to be systemic, holistic, and ecological. 

The Martinson Award will be presented to Dr. Stephanie Wade, Dr. Daniel Sanford, Dr. Bridget Fullerton, and Dr. Eric Dyer of Bates College at the next annual conference of SLAC-WPA. The award confers a $500 travel award to a representative to attend the conference and present the work of the program. 

Small Liberal Arts Colleges-Writing Program Administrators (SLAC-WPA) was founded in 2007 when a group of writing administrators came together at Swarthmore College to talk about teaching, writing curriculum, and writing support. The central mission of SLAC-WPA is to support the teaching of writing at small liberal arts colleges where size, residentiality, curriculum, and faculty structure present unique opportunities for teaching writing. SLAC-WPA welcomes information and discussion about administrative and scholarly practices, and supports research on the theories, histories, and cultures associated with writing in the liberal arts. In addition, SLAC-WPA hosts an annual conference to address issues that emerge in administering writing programs and writing centers, to share research on teaching writing in the liberal arts, and to foster a nationally-inflected collective identity.