Meet Patricia Goodson: Patricia Goodson is a professor of health education in the Department of Health & Kinesiology. She obtained her Ph.D. in health education from the University of Texas-Austin and her master’s in general theological studies at Covenant Theological Seminary. She is the author of Becoming an Academic Writer: 50 Exercises for Paced, Productive, and Powerful Writing and Theory in Health Promotion Research and Practice: Thinking Outside the Box. She directs P.O.W.E.R. Services as part of the College of Education and Human Development’s Writing Initiative.
What are P.O.W.E.R. Services?
P.O.W.E.R. is the name of a set of service for graduate students I created in the College of Education and Human Development in 2007. The services consist of graduate students and faculty who volunteer one hour of their time per week to meet with other graduate students to provide support for their writing (sorry, P.O.W.E.R is only for graduate students!). Writing studios and a writing course (for credit) are also part of P.O.W.E.R. Here are a few brief descriptions:
P.O.W.E.R. writing appointments – graduate students from all colleges on campus can schedule a free, one-hour appointment with a P.O.W.E.R. consultant by going to http://power.tamu.edu. On the website we have a page that explains “What to expect” and what to bring when coming to a P.O.W.E.R. appointment. We are not an editing service, so don’t bring an entire paper for corrections. We are a support service: we do provide feedback on writing but, most importantly, we try to identify patterns of problems in your writing, offer suggestions for how to tackle those problems and provide encouragement through tips, strategies, suggestions for you to write more productively.
P.O.W.E.R Writing Studios – these are announced through the graduate advisors in each of the colleges/departments. The announcements contain instructions on how to register, dates, etc. Studios are free of charge and not for credit. One studio consists of four two-hour meetings. Studios provide tips, strategies and tools for taking charge of the academic writing process.
CEHD 603 – Writing for Publication in Education and Human Development Research – a three credit course. This course is another component of P.O.W.E.R., and we now offer it every semester, including once in the summer.
Was P.O.W.E.R. something you initiated to meet a need?
Yes. While I worked as associate dean for graduate program development (in the College of Education and Human Development) I observed a huge gap between a campus culture that encourages graduate students to publish and these students’ unhealthy writing habits. Given what I was learning about writing productivity at the time, I decided to begin sharing my lessons with my own graduate students at first. Eventually, I began sharing them with other graduate students across the College of Education and Human Development and, recently, across campus.
Students who learn the principles of the P.O.W.E.R. model develop a healthy writing habit they take with them into their academic careers. They learn to make writing less stressful and turn writing into a habit. They also become more productive writers while in graduate school.
You were recently named a Presidential Professors for Teaching Excellence. What does winning this award mean to you?
I was honored to receive the award and believe that P.O.W.E.R. had a lot to do with being selected. Creating and directing P.O.W.E.R. Services, along with my co-director and colleague Dr. Dominique Chlup in the College of Education and Human Development, has enabled my teaching to reach many more students than I would normally teach in for-credit-courses or mentor in graduate committees. I am very thankful to the Center for Teaching Excellence for nominating me and to my P.O.W.E.R. team for their support. These folks are the BEST.