About Us

The Independent Writing Departments and Programs Association (IWDPA) represents primarily departments and programs whose curricula and activities explore the production of written communication—exclusively or in relation to other modes of signification—and /or engage in the study of writers and the activity of writing in contemporary and historical contexts. It welcomes all types of freestanding academic units – from departments to programs to centers.

Its goals are to

  • represent a diverse and geographically dispersed body of independent writing programs and departments
  • foster communication among independent writing programs and departments
  • investigate, clarify, and communicate the needs and interests of independent writing programs and departments
  • promote collaboration among independent writing programs and departments in defining outcomes, generating research, and developing best practices for teaching and administration
  • build and nurture alliances between independent writing programs and departments and related programs such as first year experience, Writing Centers, and WAC/WID
  • support the growth of independent writing departments and programs by assisting those interested in creating such units in their home institutions
  • investigate and promote discussion of and collaboration among undergraduate majors in writing and rhetoric

View the IWDPA Constituion

Who are We?

The IWDPA’s Executive Board and Executive Committee are elected positions that run for three (3) years. Elections and nominations are announced and organized via the IWDPA’s Freewrit listserv. If you’d like to be added to the listserv, select Contact Us from this website and send us your information.

Current Executive Committee (Term Running from 2018 – 2020)

Office Name Institution
President Sue Pagnac Central College
Vice President Jan Rieman U of North Carolina at Charlotte
Past President Alice Myatt U of Mississippi

Current Executive Board (by term)

Name Institution Term
Laurie A. Pinkert U of Central Florida 2017 – 2020
Justin Everett University of the Sciences 2018 – 2021
Keri Franklin Missouri State U 2018 – 2021
Cynthia Nahrwold U of Arkansas at Little Rock 2018 – 2021
Anne-Marie Womack Tulane U 2018 – 2021
Carey Clark U of Central Arkansas 2019 – 2022
Denise Comer Duke U 2019 – 2022
Caroline Dadas Montclair State U 2019 – 2022
Jen Talbot U of Central Arkansas 2019 – 2022

Secretary (Appointed)

Abhi Rao Iowa State University 2018–2020

Web Designer (Appointed)

Lauren Malone
Iowas State University 2018 – 2020

Emeritus Members

In 2019, the IWDPA Executive Board approved the status of Emeritus Member in order to recognize outstanding contributions to the association. Emeritus Members are members for life.


Barry Maid
Arizona State University