University of California, Riverside

Inland Area Writing Project

A Little History

The IAWP was founded in the late 1970s as one of the first sites of the California Writing Project, the new statewide network that followed the model created by Jim Gray's Bay Area Writing Project. Until 1992, the IAWP office was administered through the UCR Extension. In that year, it moved to its new home in the UCR English Department, and in 2009 it joined the University Writing Program. John Briggs, Professor of English, has been the Director since 1992.

From the early 1990s until 2008, Plender served as Assistant Director. 's energy, ideas, and many contacts in the region allowed the project to prosper. She greatly expanded its High School Outreach program, led most of the Summer Institutes, and created the Annual Advanced Institute. Her work as a docent at the Palm Springs Art Museum led to the creation of Writing Project programs that engaged students in the Coachella Valley. Her legacy continues. Other key figures since 1992 have been Jean Bristol, our Focus Group Leader for Reading/Writing Connections and Using Mentor Texts; Phyllis Dinwiddie, our Focus Group Leader for Writing Camps; Julie Brett, the university Co-Director of many summer institutes; Syd Tibbetts, leader of many year-round institutes; Rick Hartwell, Senior Teacher Consultant; and many others: Cora Lee Brown, Jason Fowler, Marilyn Donahue, and a number of experienced Teacher Consultants who have served several times as summer facilitators and members of special committees. English Department and University Writing Program staff persons Susan Brown, Cynde Sanchez, and Chris Deviny have offered vital support over the years. Today we are fortunate to have Ninetta Papadomichelaki serving as IAWP Managing Director.

From a relatively small operation in 1992, the IAWP has won over $2,000,000 in federal and state grants in the last sixteen years. It has grown to include a large number of teacher-leaders. What we do today is the result of the contributions of volunteers: their experience, ideas, experiments, and energy.

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Inland Area Writing Project
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