St. Bonaventure creates Professional and Creative Writing major for fall 2015

By Sean Lynch 

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St. Bonaventure is expanding upon its writing curriculum with the addition of a Professional and Creative Writing major. The major is the product of a collaboration between The Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the English department.

The program will incorporate aspects of both professional and creative writing and is set to debut in the fall semester of 2015.

The major’s curriculum will offer classes ranging from strategic communications, journalism and mass communication, and english. The new edition will offer traditional creative media like fiction and nonfiction writing, but will also offer classes on blogging and understanding video games through writing. Because writing now moving into a digital arena, there will be a large focus placed on technology.

Dr.Patrick Panzarella, chairperson for the English department was a contributor in the original meetings for building the idea of the program. Panzarella said “It would be good to have a broad based writing program that would enable students to pursue writing careers both in business and in creative ways.”

Panzarella emphasised the importance of the collaboration between both the Journalism and Mass Communication and the English programs. He said “We thought that both the [Russell J. Jandoli] school of Journalism/Mass Communication and the English department both had things that they could contribute very handily to this program”

The course will offer new and old classes from both the English and Journalism and Mass Communication Curriculum. Multimodal Writing, Digital Rhetoric and Introduction to Writing are some of the classes offered by the curriculum.

Dr. Matt King who is an Assistant Professor and Director of Composition is one of the main professors in the program. King will be teaching Digital Rhetoric; will teach students a chance to utilize the use of persuasive writing through the use of digital medium.

King said “We certainly want students to be prepared to go on to professional work that incorporates their writing skills, but in terms of what that looks like there are any number of forms that could take.”

Internships and real world experience also play a large role in the program. Students who are a part of the program are expected have to have campus internships, professional internships in addition to work within the classroom to give students a well rounded education.

King said “Students will have the opportunity to gain real world experience through the course requirements to the program and will  be asked to bring that experience back to Bonaventure.”

The program looks to build writers who are well rounded in both professional writing and creative writing. Panzarella stated that he wants writers  “Not to have a narrow approach.” King said “ Effective communication and effective writing skills are not only necessary, but extremely advantageous in the professional world, regardless of what field you are in.”

The professional and creative writing major is expected to give students the opportunity to grow as successful writers. While the decision has not yet been made on finding a director, preparation has already begun. Courses will be available in the fall of 2015.

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