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UNG English professor publishes book about student-athletes

2018-03-19-NOTEWORTHY-MichaelRifenburg
Dr. Michael Rifenburg, associate professor of English at the University of North Georgia, said writing his book was an amazing experience and is proud of his effort to help others understand the way student-athletes learn. The book "The Embodied Playbook: Writing Practices of Student-Athletes," will be available in May 2018.

As a graduate student in the mid-2000s, Dr. Michael Rifenburg tutored Division I freshman football players with their writing skills. It was no easy task.

"I can remember seeing a wide receiver struggling to find Microsoft Word on a computer and typing a complete sentence," said Rifenburg, associate professor of English at the University of North Georgia (UNG). "Then I started thinking about the reading and writing he does for his sport and how I could take his knowledge of that and apply it in the classroom to transform him into a better writer."

Rifenburg devised a plan. He took the same process of how student-athletes learn plays and implemented it in his writing class.

For example, when football players learn plays, they ask "Who is the play for?" and "Why are we running this play?" Rifenburg said.  In class, he asked similar questions: "Why are you bringing up this idea?" and "How are you adapting it to your audience or reader?"

Fast-forward to 2018 and Rifenburg’s concept evolved into his recently published book "The Embodied Playbook: Writing Practices of Student-Athletes," available from Utah State University Press in May 2018.

Rifenburg said writing the book was an amazing experience and is proud of his effort to help others understand the way student-athletes learn.

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