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.

Board Member Profile: Patrick Bahls

Patrick BahlsPatrick Bahls



B.S., 1998, University of Denver

M.S., 2000, Vanderbilt University

Ph.D., 2002, Vanderbilt University



Dr. Patrick Bahls currently serves as Secretary for CarolinasWPA. It is Patrick’s goal to spread the organization’s involvement, actively engaging the faculty and staff of more institutions, particularly those at two-year colleges. He envisions CarolinasWPA collaborating more with leaders of writing programs with WAC/WID components that involve faculty from across the disciplines in leadership roles.


Patrick’s research interests are how composition and rhetoric focus on writing in the disciplines (with emphasis on STEM disciplines), writing across the curriculum, writing to learn, and writing program development.


In addition to his involvement with CarolinasWPA, Patrick is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and the Honors Program Director at the University of North Carolina – Asheville. Patrick ‘s book, Student Writing in the Quantitative Disciplines: A Guide for College Faculty, offers a pedagogy of writing within mathematics disciplines.

Board Member Profile: Anthony Atkins

Tony AtkinsAnthony Atkins


Ph.D., Ball State University
M.A., East Carolina University
B.A., East Carolina University



As immediate past-president, Dr. Tony Atkins is an active member within CarolinasWPA. His vision for the organization is that it will ideally continue to grow and  support WPAs in the Carolinas, seeking to endorse the national goals and mission of the Council of Writing Program Administrators. “We seek to build community among those who teach writing from a myriad of perspectives,” says Atkins.


Tony’s current research interests include Technologies of Composing, Rhetorical Theory, Composition Theory, Writing Program Administration, Professional Writing, Document Design, and most recently the Rhetoric of Search Engine Optimization.


Beyond CarolinasWPA, Tony is currently an associate professor of English at University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he focuses on first-year writing, WPA, and the field of rhetoric and composition. Tony has also published on the effects of social media on business communications.



Carolinas WPA Highlighted on Inside Higher Ed

by Jordan Stanley

Last month, the Carolinas WPA conference was featured in an article written by Jon Warner for Inside Higher Ed. Not only is the feature on the website a testament to Carolinas WPA’s growing impact on higher education discussions, but Warner’s commentary on his own keynote address also speaks to the meaningful value of the conference.

Warner’s address was entitled Who Are We? What Do We Do? How Do We Do It?: The Laborers and Labor of the Composition Classroom.This includes the three themes he uses to encapsulate his experience at the conference. Beyond his academic takeaways, Warner’s deepest impression was that of professional uplift, provided to him through relating to the 35 other writing administrators on matters of “overworked and underpaid” contingency.

In his article, Warner describes the bounty of lessons that he drew from his peers. Warner writes that the first institutionalized problem is who writing program administrators are. As represented at the conference, many – if not a majority of – first-year writing faculty are women, and because of this, those courses are under sourced and consigned as what Warner calls “women’s work.”

These courses are further devalued, then, because what writing program administrators teach is unknown to colleagues outside of the discipline. Warner writes that although communication skills are claimed to be valued, institutions can view composition classes as a “logistical” precursor rather than an academic building block. This relegated importance consequently determines how writing program administrators work: overcompensating and self-sacrificing, despite lacking resources, to best serve their students.

Warner’s full article “Overworked and Underpaid: The Labor and Laborers of the Writing Classroom” may be read here, on the Inside Higher Ed website.


Jordan Stanley is a junior at Elon University with majors in Professional Writing and Rhetoric and Creative Writing, as well as a minor in Communications. She also works for the Elon Writing Center and as a Writing Fellow.