MAPW program celebrates 10th anniversary

Ten years ago when the Master of Arts in Professional Writing program was founded‚ organizers knew they were offering something that couldn't be found anyplace else in the Southeast. What they couldn't foresee was the program's staying power and popularity.

Georgia (Jul 14, 2005) — Ten years ago when the Master of Arts in Professional Writing program was founded‚ organizers knew they were offering something that couldn't be found anyplace else in the Southeast. What they couldn't foresee was the program's staying power and popularity.

"The academy‚ and particularly public institutions‚ are morphing in ways we couldn't have predicted back then‚" English professor Dr. Bob Hill said. "Now‚ there is this competitive‚ lean and mean attitude toward programs in general‚ and this has proved to be a program with staying power."

Boasting 171 graduates to date‚ the MAPW program will celebrate its 10th anniversary Sept. 9‚ with a wine and cheese reception at the Jolley Lodge. The event will also feature author and MAPW graduate Toni Holbrook.

Hill‚ who was department chair when the program was created‚ said he thinks one of the keys to the program's success is the eclectic nature‚ not only of the program itself‚ but of its participants‚ as well. Rather than having just a major in the program‚ students are also required to choose a support area of study from applied writing‚ composition and rhetoric and creative writing. Students in the program range from recent undergraduates to teachers attending graduate school and working professionals‚ Hill said.

"We could not have calculated the pervasive enthusiasm with which these students have participated in this program and then spoke of us as they left‚" he said. "So‚ we've been very successful in that way." In fact‚ it was by word of mouth that Walt Lawrence‚ who serves as the president of the Graduate Writer’s Association‚ learned about the program.

“My undergraduate degree is in English‚ and I’m a CPA now‚ but I’ve always wanted to get back into writing‚” he said. “Our writers group was talking about the value of specific writing degrees one night‚ and someone mentioned that Kennesaw had a program.

“Once I took the first course‚ I was hooked.”

With "star talent" such as authors Greg Johnson‚ Tony Grooms and Ralph Wilson serving as faculty‚ the program's future looks bright.

"I think people are surprised that we have that kind of talent at Kennesaw‚" Hill said. "We have adjusted the program from time to time‚ in general to allow for more choice by students − in response to their needs − and now‚ in the young adulthood of this program I see this as a reassessment time."





A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university's vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. A Carnegie-designated doctoral institution, it is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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