Board Member Profile: Nancy Barendse

Nancy-BarendseNancy Barendse



PhD., University of South Carolina

M.A., Clemson University

B.A., Auburn University


Dr. Nancy Barendse currently serves as Treasurer for CarolinasWPA. She is a Professor of English at Charleston Southern University. Nancy’s goal for CarolinasWPA is that the organization will continue to involve members such as herself, who teach at small schools that either lack or have underdeveloped writing programs within the English Department.


“I have found it invaluable to be able to talk with and learn from people who speak my language, people who share my view on writing,” says Nancy of CarolinasWPA.


Nancy’s research interests include digital and multi-modal rhetoric. She is also involved with the National Council of Teachers of English, Assembly for Literature for Adolescents, and Council of Writing Program Administrators. Nancy has had articles and reviews appear in the Journal of Teaching Writing, The SECOL Review and the Concise Dictionary of Literary Biography.


Board Member Profile: Rachel Spear

Rachel-SpearRachel Spear



Ph.D., Louisiana State University

Ed.S., Louisiana State University

M.A., Louisiana State University

B.A., Millsaps College


Dr. Rachel N. Spear serves as an At-Large CarolinasWPA board member in South Carolina. Rachel describes CarolinasWPA as the “ideal organization for collaboration, connection, and community.” Her goal as one of the South Carolina representatives is to increase the presence and participation of SC writing faculty and administrators in the organization. She also wishes to strengthen the ease of communicating and working with others with like interests.


Rachel’s research interests include writing pedagogy and writing studies, with a focus that relies on interdisciplinary studies to investigate women’s life-writing post-trauma and the transformative benefit of writing one’s story. Her recent publications and conference presentations include “Let Me Tell You a Story’: On Teaching Trauma Narratives, Writing, and Healing” in Pedagogy; “Can’t We JUST Write!?: The Risks and Rewards of Using Mindfulness and Expressive Writing in Revision Workshops” at CCCC; and “Changing Rape Culture through Curriculum and Collaboration” at NeMLA.


In addition to her research and work with CarolinasWPA, Rachel is an Associate Professor of English and Coordinator of the Composition Program at Francis Marion University. She also serves as the Women’s and Gender Studies Caucus Board Representative for the Northeast Modern Language Association.

Board Member Profile: Collie Fulford


Collie Fulford



Ph.D., 2009, University of Massachusetts – Amherst

M.A., 2005, University of Massachusetts – Amherst

B.A., 2002, Keene State College


Collie Fulford is the President-Elect for CarolinasWPA.  She is an Assistant Professor of English composition and rhetoric in the Department of Language and Literature at North Carolina Central University where she directs First-Year Writing and chairs the writing concentration committee.


Collie is interested in increasing minority engagement in CarolinasWPA and diversifying the institutions that are involved in the organization. She feels that writing programs operate in highly complex organizations and are thus often sites of crisis and conflict. Collie believes this situational reality also means, however, that they can be sites of great creativity and collaboration.


“CarolinasWPA provides occasions for members to broach the most challenging aspects of teaching and program administration while tapping into our collective creativity, humor, and wisdom,” says Collie.


Her current research addresses minority education and writing program development. She also studies the rhetoric of higher education.  Her recent articles in IJSoTL, WPA, and Composition Studies pertain to writing program administration issues.


Board Member Profile: Chris Warnick

chris-warnickChris Warnick


Ph.D., 2006, English, with a concentration in Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy, and Rhetoric, University of Pittsburgh

M.A., 1999, English, University of Pittsburgh

B.A., 1991, English, Ohio State University


Dr. Chris Warnick currently serves on the CarolinasWPA board as an At-Large South Carolina Representative. Chris’s goal for the organization is to actively uphold the legacy of mentorship and support established by previous CarolinasWPA members. His personal objective within the group is to introduce and engage more of his colleagues in South Carolina.


In addition to his work with CarolinasWPA, Chris serves as an Associate Professor of English and First-Year Writing Coordinator at the College of Charleston. He is also the Submissions Editor of the journal Literacy in Composition Studies.


Chris’s research interests largely involve student academic literacy. He has collaborated with other members of CarolinasWPA to analyze the writing and revision practices of undergraduate mathematics students. He is currently conducting a longitudinal study that analyzes how the College of Charleston’s First-Year Experience program impacts students’ general education coursework, their work in their majors, and their extracurricular experiences.




Board Member Profile: Paula Patch

Paula PatchPaula Patch


B.A., 1997, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

M.A., 2000, Eastern New Mexico University


Paula Patch currently serves as one of the At-Large North Carolina board members for CarolinasWPA, an organization that she describes as a family. It is her goal not only to foster this type of academic environment within CarolinasWPA, but also to provide the structure and leadership that will further this outcome. On a larger scale, Patch’s vision for the organization includes bringing in outside colleagues to the group’s conferences – such as Wildacres and Meeting in the Middle – to spread CWPA’s message. To Paula, this means that board members must be agents for change in the discipline and in their local situations. Specifically, Paula aspires for the organization to increase the number of members who represent community colleges, smaller universities, and HBCUs.


“In a word, advocacy is the vision and goal,” says Paula.


In addition to serving on the CarolinasWPA board, Paula is a Senior Lecturer in English at Elon University, where she coordinates the first-year writing program. In this role, Paula focuses on information literacy, particularly looking at how strong library-writing program partnerships can affect first-year students’ information literacy behaviors and attitudes. She also studies the role of non-tenure track faculty in academic departments and programs. Paula is interested in two specific questions: What are the experiences, situations, and perceptions of permanent non-tenure track faculty? And, how do permanent non-tenure faculty lines trouble the idea of tiered or tracked faculty positions?


Paula is currently working with a colleague on an internal grant-funded project to revamp the grammar proficiency test and preparation for students matriculating into Elon’s School of Education. She also conducts local research on a non-credit writing enrichment seminar for high school juniors in Alamance County.