2016 Annual Report: Standing Group


Date: 25 April 2016

From: D. Alexis Hart, Rising Senior Chair, Writing with Current, Former, and Future Military Members Standing Group

To: CCCC Officers

Subject:  2016 ANNUAL REPORT

As per the guidelines for CCCC Standing Groups stating, “Standing Groups are expected to submit a copy of their bylaws and a brief annual report of their activities (with recommendations for future action) no later than 30 days after the conclusion of the CCCC Convention,” I submit this annual report on behalf of the Writing with Current, Former, and Future Military Members Standing Group.

  1. Bylaws and Policies Related to the Election of Officers and Their Rotation Officers

The SIG has two co-chairs, a senior and a junior chair. A chair appointment is for two years, and the appointments are staggered: a senior chair serves his/her second year while a junior chair serves his/her first. Immediately after the annual meeting, the junior chair rotates into the senior chair position, and a new junior chair begins his/her tenure.

Functions of officers

Rising Senior Co-chair: responsible for drafting the SIG proposal, planning the annual meeting, leading the meeting, and writing a detailed report of the activities and attendance at the meeting.

Junior Co-chair: assists the senior chair in leading the meeting, takes minutes, and advises the senior co-chair in constructing the meeting agenda. The junior co-chair also assumes responsibility for publicizing the public meeting of the SIG.

Election of Officers

New chairs will be selected with the following procedure:

  • A nominating committee will consist of the senior chair, junior chair, and the immediate past senior chair.
  • At least two months before the annual meeting of the SIG, the nominating committee will select at least two candidates for a new junior chair and confirm that the candidates are willing and eligible to run.
  • Eligibility requirements include: CCCC member; evidence of participation at previous caucus meetings; evidence of a scholarly, service, or teaching agenda connected to the concerns of the SIG; has not served as a chair in the last three years.
  • Before the annual meeting, the candidates’ qualifications will be distributed to the caucus via our email group.
  • At the annual meeting, a secret ballot will be taken during the first half of the meeting, with the new junior chair announced by the end of the meeting.


Active (voting) members are defined as any CCCC member who either A) attends the annual meeting and chooses to add his or her name to the email group, or B) participates meaningfully in the email group (as judged by the senior and junior chairs), even if he or she is unable to attend the meeting.

Members become inactive when they do not attend three consecutive SIG meetings and do not participate meaningfully in listserv discussions during that three-year time. Thus, members may vote for leadership under the following hypothetical scenarios:

  • Someone who was added to the email group in mid-year and who participates meaningfully before ever attending a meeting may attend her first meeting and vote at that meeting.
  • However, a first-time attendee at the annual meeting who has never participated meaningfully on the listserv may not vote at that meeting.
  • A formerly active member who has missed the last three meetings and hasn’t added anything to the listserv in that time cannot vote at the annual meeting.
  • However, a member who was unable to attend the annual meeting for three consecutive years but continued to contribute meaningfully via email in that time may vote at the next meeting.
  1. Report of Activities
  • February 2016: The Standing Group submitted a successful proposal (written by Rising Junior Chair Mariana Grohowski) for a local outreach grant.
  • April 2016:
    • Eight (8) Standing Group members (Clayton Benjamin, Katt Blackwell-Starnes, Sandy Branham, Mariana Grohowski, Alexis Hart, Corinne Hinton, Cate St. Pierre, and Sheeba Varkey), in partnership with the Lone Star Veterans Association, conducted a resume writing workshop for Houston-area veterans and military family members on the campus of The University of St. Thomas.
    • Twenty-three (23) people attended the Standing Group meeting on Friday, April 8.
  1. Meeting Minutes

Junior Chair Alexis Hart opened the meeting by giving a brief history of the SIG’s evolution since its 2009 initial meeting and then distributed ballots for electing next year’s Junior Chair, identifying the two candidates: Mariana Grohowski and Katt Blackwell-Starnes.

After the ballots had been collected, each person introduced himself or herself.

The Junior Chair then described the group’s progress on various initiatives identified at the 2015 meeting, including the granting of Standing Group status and the creation of an online presence—http://veteransstudies.org—with a Twitter hashtag #veteransstudies and handle @veteransstudies. The Junior Chair also highlighted the group’s receipt of a Local Outreach Grant as evidence of the efforts to conduct outreach outside of NCTE/CCCC.

Members shared the following announcements:

  • Alexis shared information about the 2016 NEH Summer Institute on Veterans in Society: Ambiguities and Representations.
  • Mariana shared information about the open access online peer-reviewed journal, Veterans Studies Journal, available at the veteransstudies.org site.
  • Mike Edwards suggested that SIG members self-nominate for the CCCC Nominating Committee in order to help advocate for more visibility of veterans in the CCCC leadership.

The discussion turned to cross-departmental and cross-disciplinary collaborations, including working with Sociology, Psychology, Medical Schools, Philosophy, ROTC, and other departments. Hugh Burns suggested working with librarians, and Mike mentioned the increasing prominence of cross-disciplinary grants and suggested seeking out local campus grant coordinators to help work those connections. Mariana also suggested promoting discussion and interaction with other SIGs and standing groups, and other members mentioned the Library of Congress Veterans History project (https://www.loc.gov/vets/) and the possibility of reaching out to other organizations, pointing to Pete Molin’s outreach to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (https://www.awpwriter.org/).

During the last 10 minutes of the meeting, members discussed possible collaborations for panels for CCCC 2017.

At 7:30, Alexis announced that Mariana Grohowski was the winner of the election for Junior Chair, and the meeting closed.

  1. Recommendations for Future Action
  • Members were encouraged to contribute to the veteransstudies.org blog and journal.
  • Members were encouraged to continue to develop best practices for teaching or administration to enrich the Task Force policy statement (http://www.ncte.org/cccc/resources/positions/student-veterans).
  • Members set up a writing group to discuss works-in-progress.
  • Members were encouraged to ensure that Department Chairs, WPAs, and Veterans Resource Coordinators are all aware of the Task Force policy statement
  • Members were encouraged members to continue to publish and to cite scholarship on veterans in existing journals such as War Literature and the Arts (http://wlajournal.org, @wlajournal) and new journals such as the Veterans Studies Journal.

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