What We Tell Ourselves about Writing: Cultural Stories of Writing and Their Effects
Oct 20 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
What We Tell Ourselves about Writing: Cultural Stories of Writing and Their Effects @ Online


originalPlease join Excelsior College in a special event to celebrate the National Day on Writing. Sponsored by the Excelsior College OWL, the webinar will feature a guest speaker, Doug Downs, Associate Professor of Writing Studies and Director of Composition at Montana State University.

Dr. Downs’ presentation, entitled “What We Tell Ourselves about Writing: Cultural Stories of Writing and Their Effects” will focus on the stories we tell about writing and the lessons we can learn from them.

American cultures are replete with images, stories, and truisms about writers and writing. The story of the “grammar nazi” teacher and the students who cower beneath her bleeding-red pen. The story of the college educated student who is still a failure in writing clear, concise workplace communication. The story of the talented and inspired genius novel writer for whom writing comes easy.

But how much do these stories reflect the actual experiences of mature, professional writers in a variety of cultural writing scenes—the marketing copy—writer, the engineering designer, the office worker, the journalist, the public advocacy specialist, the civic activist? And how many of the underlying metaphors and conceptions of writing shared by our cultural stories of writing are accurate and actually reflective of what research shows us about how writing and writers work?

In this talk, Doug Downs will re-tell some of these stories in order to un-tell them: to question their premises and what they cost us, both culturally and as individual writers and learners-of-writing.

After Dr. Downs’ presentation, Dr. Joe Bocchi, Writing Program Director at Excelsior College will briefly share his work at Excelsior College to bring a new story of writing to the writing program and the College. He will share plans for a new inter-disciplinary writing degree at Excelsior College.

The evening will conclude with a brief presentation by Dr. Crystal Sands, Director of the Online Writing Lab, of the winners of the Excelsior College National Day on Writing essay contest with time for questions for our guest, Dr. Downs.

Dr. Doug Downs, Montana State University

Dr. Doug Downs, Montana State University

Dr. Doug Downs Biography

Doug Downs is associate professor of Writing Studies and Director of Composition in the Department of English at Montana State University, where he also designed the department’s broadfield Writing major. He studies composition and research pedagogies through lenses of cultural and personal conceptions of writing (via discourse and metaphor analysis), and his most recent research examines student reading practices in the unfolding age of screen-literacies. He is author of numerous book chapters and articles including “What Is First-Year Composition” in Rita Malenczyk’s A Rhetoric for Writing Program Administrators (Parlor, 2013), and a 2010 Reader article, “Teaching First-Year Writers to Use Texts: Scholarly Readings in Writing-about-Writing in First-Year Comp.” With Elizabeth Wardle, he wrote Writing about Writing (Bedford/St. Martins, 2nd edition 2014), a ground-breaking anthology of Writing Studies research that supports the writing-about-writing pedagogies. The two first wrote about WAW pedagogies in their 2007 College Composition and Communication article “Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions: (Re)Envisioning FYC as Intro to Writing Studies.” Along with research on reading practices and writing pedagogies, Downs studies undergraduate research in the humanities and mentors undergraduate research extensively. He is incoming Editor of Young Scholars in Writing, the national peer-reviewed journal of undergraduate research in writing studies and rhetoric.


Webinar: Cybersecurity of Medical Devices
Oct 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm


We see the stories announced in the headlines:

  • The FDA has published final guidance for medical device cybersecurity
  • The FBI has found that healthcare organizations lag behind in cybersecurity readiness. Medical device vulnerabilities are a major factor in that assessment.
  • Many medical devices are susceptible to Heartbleed (OpenSSL) exploit

Few cybersecurity concerns in healthcare are more pressing than the issues relative to medical devices. These special purpose computing machines are increasingly networked with each other, the electronic health record, and the internal and external healthcare network.

The proper use and maintenance of medical devices is essential in patient care. A large part of the concerns with cybersecurity of medical devices has to do with patient safety. On one hand, it is important to mitigate vulnerabilities like malware to keep medical devices operating safely. On the other hand, tailored cybersecurity controls or compensating controls must be considered and put in place to avoid creating a medical device malfunction. Sometimes, implementing a cybersecurity solution can have an unintended patient safety consequence.

Attendees of this webinar will:

  • Learn the impact cybersecurity practices have on medical devices
  • Understand the regulatory pressures and patient safety concerns
  • Value the contributions of IT departments and biomedical engineers
  • Gain insight into specific steps an organization can take to manage medical devices’ cybersecurity

Presenter: Sean Murphy

Sean Murphy is the Vice President at Leidos Health Solutions Group and serves as the organization’s Health Information Privacy and Security Officer. He is a health care information security expert, with nearly 20 years of experience in the field serving at all levels of health care from the hospital to an international integrated delivery system. Sean is also a fellow at the National Cybersecurity Institute.

This webinar qualifies for 1 CPE credit from IAPP.

Webinar: National Cybersecurity Strategies in Developing Nations
Oct 23 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm


National Cybersecurity Strategies: What are Developing Nations to do?

Developing nations with limited human and technical resources are faced with populations that demand access to new technology and a global economic space that allows access to economic development through technology. But the technology also brings significant risk.

What can these countries do at a policy level to better position themselves for success?

This webinar will assess the current developments at an international level and highlight emerging best practices in cybersecurity policy development.

Presenter: Dr. Kevin Newmeyer

Currently the Senior Operations Director for the CREATEtm project of the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program, Dr. Newmeyer has successfully held a variety of positions in the military, academia, international civil service, and the private sector. His research focuses on international policy issues in cybersecurity. Along with his Ph.D. in Public Policy from Walden University, Dr. Newmeyer’s educational career is highlighted by his selection as an Olmsted Scholar which enabled him to earn his MA in International Relations from the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, Spain.  He holds additional degrees from Escuela Diplomática of Spain (Diplomado de Estudios Internacionales), George Mason University (MBA), and the US Naval Academy (BS). Dr. Newmeyer is also a fellow at the National Cybersecurity Institute.

This webinar qualifies for 1 CPE credit from IAPP.

Carolinas’ Council on Military Education (C-COME)
Oct 29 @ 9:00 am – Oct 30 @ 4:00 pm

Addressing educational issues that affect Active Duty Military, Family Members, National Guardsmen, Reservists, and Veterans.

This years annual conference will be held October 29th – October 30th with an option golf outing on October 31st. The conference will take place at the Avista Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. To register for this years conference or to sign up for sponsorship use the link below.

Excelsior College President John Ebersole will offer the keynote address.

View the C-COME website for registration and additional conference information.


Veterans: Jumpstart Your College and Career Success
Nov 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm


You’re Back – What’s Next? Webinar Series

What do I need to know to be successful in college?   What is my best career path? Are my research skills at college-level?

Veterans and military transitioning back to civilian life encounter many challenges, especially those returning to school for their degree. Join Excelsior College for a webinar that addresses the most common concerns voiced by those considering college following military service. Jumpstart your college experience with Excelsior College courses that can help facilitate a successful transition to college and career.

The one-hour webinar will feature four Excelsior experts and focus on targeted topics in our two premier courses on college success: CCS 112 Success Strategies for Military and Veterans and CCS 120 EC Success Seminar and touch upon a host of topics, including:

  • Easing the transition back to academic life;
  • Get the most of your nontraditional credits, state and federal financial aid, VA benefits;
  • Self-discovery, career exploration, planning, and job search techniques;
  • Online writing lab, library, and academic support services;


Excelsior Experts:

Judy Reed, Director of Veteran Services and Outreach, Center for Military Education at Excelsior College

Maribeth Gunner, Director of Career Services, Career Center at Excelsior College.

Jennifer Hill, Distance Education Librarian and Electronic Resources Manager, Excelsior College Library

Susan Moyer, Assistant Dean, School of Liberal Arts


Informational Panel Event about Excelsior College
Nov 18 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

MaryBethSign up by Monday, 11/17.

  • Meet representatives from the Admissions, Financial Aid, Veteran Education Benefits and Outreach offices from Excelsior College
  • Hear the experiences of students that have transferred from SUNY Broome to Excelsior College
    Explore financial aid opportunities
  • Learn more about reduced tuition and fees at Excelsior
  • Discover student support and career resources to help you succeed at Excelsior and beyond

Want more? Access the Event Flyer