Making College “Worth It” – Season 1, Episode 1

In a 2021 national survey of recent college graduates in the U.S., young professionals indicated that writing was very important to their daily lives, but only 80% reported developing the writing skills they needed while in college. How can college students prepare for writing they’ll encounter in the workplace?

Our panelists – Stephen Macharia (Strathmore University, Kenya), Amanda Sturgill (Elon University, U.S.), and Neil Baird (Bowling Green State University, U.S.) – share their international research on young professional’s writing experiences. They offer tips for students on how to make the most of college experiences to prepare for workplace writing, and they share recommendations for university faculty and staff on supporting students’ writing development.

View a transcript of this episode.

Meet Our Guests

Amanda Sturgill

Amanda Sturgill is an associate professor of communications at Elon University. She teaches students to write and edit in communications courses and to think through writing at levels ranging from first year to graduate students. She is particularly interested in how, post-graduation, students think about shaping the world through their audience-focused communication. Amanda is the author of Detecting Deception: Tools to Fight Fake News and the co-editor of Mind the Gap: Global Learning at Home and Abroad.

Stephen Macharia

Stephen Macharia is a Lecturer and Head of the Writing Centre at Strathmore University. He holds a PhD in Communication Studies (Moi University), a Master of Arts in Linguistics Degree and a Bachelor of Education (Arts) from the University of Nairobi as well as a Specialist Diploma in Digital Communication from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. His scholarship interests are in SoTL and Digital Communication.

Neil Baird

Neil Baird is an associate professor of English at Bowling Green State University, where he directs the University Writing Program. His current research focuses on writing transfer, and has appeared in College Composition and Communication, WPA: Writing Program Administration, and Across the Disciplines

Episode Credits

This episode is co-hosted by Jessie L. Moore, Director of Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning, and Sydni Brown, a senior at Elon University who is majoring in Communications Design and Strategic Communications. Making College “Worth It” is produced by Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning.

Episode art was created by Jennie Goforth, managing editor for the Center for Engaged Learning, and Nolan Schultheis, the Center’s undergraduate Podcast Producer.

Funky Percussions is by Denys Kyshchuk (@audiocoffeemusic) – Soft Beat is by ComaStudio.

Learn More about Research Featured in this Episode