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AAC&U highlights research by English associate professor and students

2020-10-06-Michael-Rifenburg-1
Dr. J. Michael Rifenburg, associate professor of English, collaborated with UNG seniors Emily Pridgen and Samantha Velasquez on a research assessment of the redesign of an English composition class. The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) shared the trio's research on its "Liberal Education Blog."

University of North Georgia (UNG) students Emily Pridgen and Samantha Velasquez and faculty member Dr. J. Michael Rifenburg's research assessment of the redesign of an English composition class recently gained recognition.

The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) shared the trio's research on its "Liberal Education Blog." AAC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education.

"This high-impact practice of undergrad research was responsive to local contexts and constituents and mutually beneficial for faculty and students," read AAC&U's post on its social media platforms.

Pridgen and Velasquez, both seniors pursuing degrees in English with a concentration in writing and publication, were surprised by the attention.

"I never thought I would work on something that would reach a lot of people," said Pridgen, a 21-year-old from Douglas, Georgia.

Velasquez, a 30-year-old from Austin, Texas, didn't expect that the research would reach the level of publication. The trio has presented at an international conference and authored two manuscripts under peer review.

"It's been fun watching its progress," Velasquez said.

Rifenburg, associate professor of English, said he enjoyed this faculty-student collaboration, which was designed to examine the writing course through student and faculty perspectives.

"We saw how well the course was going and how well our teaching approach was working," he said.

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