RECENT RESEARCH/SERVICE/WRITING
January 2014
Dr. Timothy R. Conrad
English Department, Weber State University


In the following report, I will summarize my recent professional activities, 2013-2014 in the following areas: 1) Book/Technology Project, 2) Other Published & Community Writing Projects, 3) Arizona/Mexico Teaching & Volunteer Experiences, 4) Student Mentoring Projects.

1-Book/Technology Project: For several years, I have been teaching Freshman writing courses at Weber State University which combine American and international students in the same class, designed according to a hybrid approach, and interactively connecting face-to-face and online instruction (including online writing portfolios, digital devices and internet-based tools/apps). Just prior to my sabbatical (Fall Semester 2012), I field-tested chapters of my freshman writing book with introductory college writing courses (ENGL 1010 & 2010). During my sabbatical, I evaluated the results of this research, took advantage of a $1,000 travel grant to receive hybrid/online instruction at the International TESOL Convention (March 18-23) in Dallas, Texas, and have continued to field test my work with my freshman composition courses this Fall Semester, 2013. Throughout my sabbatical, I have been working with a publishing company, sending chapter samples.

2-Other Published & Community Writing Projects: I have recently published an article for the peer-reviewed online journal of the RMMLA (Rocky Mountain Review of Language & Literature), Spring 2013, Volume 67, Number 1. My article analyzed recent research about public-school education and instruction for second-language learners: Educational Courage: Resisting the Ambush of Public Education, Eds Nancy Schniedewind & Mara Sapon-Shevin. I have also submitted an in-press article about my sabbatical teaching and immigration research in Flagstaff, Tucson, and Mexico entitled “Dream Traveler,” for the magazine Tail Winds, Tucson, Arizona (see the sidebar page). In collaboration with attorneys at Catholic Community Services, my wife and I wrote a guide for students and parents to help undocumented “dreamer” students legally qualify for employment by means of a U.S. immigration process called “Deferred Action.” In addition, I have updated MENG syllabi and researched and written reports about TESOL education at Weber State University for the Linguistics Committee of the English Department and the Master of Arts in English.

3-Arizona/Mexico Teaching & Volunteer Experiences: From June through August, I was involved in a variety of volunteer and teaching experiences. I taught English as a second language for international students (children and adults) in Flagstaff and the border city of Nogales, in both Arizona and Mexico. In Flagstaff, I taught for The Literacy Center of Coconino County. In Nogales, Arizona, I taught for two programs: a- the Family Resource Center, a program supported by the University of Arizona, and b- the Kino Park Chamber of Commerce. In Nogales, Mexico, I taught for Educación Municipal, a child/youth program operated by the city throughout some of its poorest barrios. I also volunteered for three migrant borderlands organizations: Samaritanos, The Kino Initiative, and “No More Deaths.” For the past ten years, a sad period that has been called “The Decade of Death,” 200-300 people have died each year crossing the border in the Nogales/Tucson region. I was involved with many others, including immigration leaders, attorneys, an anthropologist, historian, and a migrant-trails GPS expert to plan and participate in rescue efforts and continue research in order to better understand this humanitarian tragedy and the development of possible solutions.

4-Student Mentoring Projects: During 2013, I worked extensively with the following students: Haruka Yamashita, a visiting doctoral student—I set up language and cultural experiences during her stay at Weber State during January and February, 2013; Kim Warren, a graduate TESOL student—I served on her MA thesis committee as she researched effective sociocultural teaching practices for adult refugee students at a SLC language program; Brittany Krogh, one of my ESL Endorsement students—I have been the chair of her linguistics capstone project based on her teaching experiences in India; and Tammy Maldonado, another of my ESL Endorsement students—I have been on her BIS Committee as she has done linguistics and teaching research in preparing online-interactive guidelines for deaf interpreters to help them pass certification exams.