“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”

Terry Pratchett

Versatile writing can be a challenge, but is quite the accomplishment if perfected. The art of jumping into multiple brand voices, each one drastically different than the last, is a skill few people ever learn to master. Luckily for my clients, adaptability is one of my greatest strengths.

Below are a few writing samples from my time at LSU’s College of Human Sciences & Education. If you enjoy my writing style, tell me about it.

Early Childhood Education Students Host ‘Pop-Up’ Events at Knock Knock Children’s Museum (APRIL 2018)

Students in the School of Education’s early childhood education program prepared and displayed ‘pop-up’ events at the Knock Knock Children’s Museum, a state-of-the-art facility rooted in research and evidence-based practices addressing all areas of development, on April 3-6, 2018. Children ages 3 to 8 were welcome to partake in different activities such as banner painting, paper egg dyeing, and parachute crafting, to name a few.

Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner said the students’ pop-up events helped “to engage visitors with new and exciting concepts and increase offerings during high traffic periods.”

Education students were also given the opportunity to volunteer with Knock Knock and learn more about how the museum serves the nine-parish capital region. This program has partnered with Knock Knock for the past three years to help prepare for its public opening in August 2017.

According to Knock Knock’s website, the museum is focused on improving children’s early literacy skills and increasing interest in STEM careers, especially to an ever-expanding population of children living in poverty around the Baton Rouge area. The museum wants to help “close the knowledge and early childhood education gap,” which creates an abundant learning environment for CHSE’s education students as well.

“The museum offers endless opportunities for exploration and creation,” says Dr. Baumgartner. “I anticipate that these future teachers will contribute their knowledge of curriculum development in their service at Knock Knock and hopefully leave with new inspirations for their future classrooms.”

Kinesiology Senior Places First in STEM Poster Presentations at LSU Discover Day (APRIL 2018)

School of Kinesiology senior Madison Hopper took home the first place award for her poster presentation in the STEM division on Tuesday during LSU Discover Day 2018.

Hopper’s presentation titled “The Relationship Between Hand Use and the Direction of Handwriting” examined the varying styles of handwriting in left-handed versus right-handed individuals. Her six-month study was supported and monitored by Associate Professor of Kinesiology Dr. Arend Van Gemmert, who is the director of the Fine Motor Control and Learning Laboratory on campus.

Hopper noticed a lack of research in left-handed individuals and was inspired to ensure they were accounted for. “I am left-handed and so are my dad and sister,” she said. “Left-hand dominant individuals only make up about ten percent of the world’s population, which leads to them not being used normally in studies. I wanted to make sure to include [them].”

She analyzed four different variables of handwriting in 19 left-handed and 48 right-handed participants: duration of movement, smoothness of handwriting, peak vertical acceleration, and number of peak vertical acceleration points. Hopper’s studies showed there were significant correlations between all four variables, indicating a direct relationship between the dominant hand and ease of writing. However, when asked to switch hands, the left-handed individuals were able to more easily write with their non-dominant hand than their right-handed counterparts. Hopper concluded that “the hand we use has more of an effect on handwriting than the direction we write in.”

Hopper hopes that her research will aid in understanding cultural differences in handwriting, such as English versus Arabic writing styles, but also encourage more exploration of left-handed individuals and the unique qualities they possess. She graduates in May and plans to continue her research on hand use and handwriting.

LSU Curriculum Camp Highlights the Importance of Diversity and Interdependence (March 2018)

LSU Curriculum Camp, an annual international graduate student conference, returned to LSU’s Campus on February 16-17, 2018.

Curriculum Camp is organized and hosted by LSU graduate students enrolled in the Curriculum Theory Project (CTP) under the guidance of CTP co-directors Dr. Petra Hendry and Dr. Roland Mitchell, as well as the College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE).

This year’s conference had 37 attendees, representing five states: Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Indiana.

The camp is designed to showcase the work of graduate students engaged in research on a host of subjects, such as curriculum theory, gender, race, culture, higher education research (K-20), policy analysis, political and/or intellectual thought (including but not limited to narrative, feminisms, postmodernism, poststructuralism, queer theory, chaos, and complexity theory).

This year’s Fireside Chat Speaker was Dr. Nina Asher, who led the discussion of recognizing the importance of interdependence rather than dualistic thought. Her paper, Emerging from dualisms, embracing interdependence, and seeking possibilities in education: A contemplation, focuses on “how we might emerge from dualisms, in the present-day context of globalized capitalism, in order to address inequities and silences across race, gender, class and nation.”

Dr. Asher holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College at Columbia University, where she also obtained a Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching. Her background also includes a Master of Arts in Social Work (Family and Child Welfare), from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Bombay, India. Dr. Asher taught at LSU from 1999-2011 and served as Coordinator of the Holmes Elementary Education Program (2007-2011) and Co-Director of the Curriculum Theory Project (2007-2010).

One participant said the conference created a “comfortable, welcoming environment that sparked great conversation.” Another attendee praised Dr. Asher for her devotion to the group as she made sure to speak with each individual personally.

LSU Curriculum Camp allows graduate students to present their research in a communal environment much like a retreat: attendees eat, socialize, and network together to encourage a comfortable environment for all.

Students were able to present their research as an individual academic paper with 20 minutes to read or make a presentation, followed by a question and answer session, or as a panel or roundtable, in which several individuals explored one topic in depth and then open the floor to discussion and questions from other attendees.