The Gail E. Hawisher & Cynthia L. Selfe

Caring for the Future Scholarship

Recipients Past & Present


Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to award our first Hawisher Selfe Scholar in 2012 and are looking forward to many more years of support.

2019 Winner
Natalie Santiago, Northern Illinois University
C&W HSCF Mentor, Erika Sparby, Illinois State University  

candace chambers Since I began my PhD program at Northern Illinois University, I frequently overheard scholars discuss their exceptional experiences at Computers and Writing. Erika Sparby, Jessica Reyman, and Michael Day affirmed that the conference would feel like a second home for me – a space where I’d finally feel welcome and present in the academic community. The sense of community at Computers and Writing was particularly salient in Michael Day’s shirt collection photos, which popped up on my social media news feed annually, showcasing every shirt produced for the conference. I wanted to be a part of the rich tapestry of history and community that the assemblage of shirts represented.

Last year, Erika Sparby (my GRN mentor) encouraged me to participate, but I was unsure if I’d have the means to do so. The Gail E. Hawisher & Cynthia L. Selfe Caring for the Future Award provided me with those means, and the experience exceeded my expectations. I felt a strong sense of support and camaraderie from the moment I started my first GRN round table to the moment I said “goodbye” to Lydia Wilkes from my car as I was preparing to embark on my trip back to Illinois. I’m grateful towards those who continue to contribute to the award, the C&W volunteers and coordinators (who are nothing short of the most helpful and gregarious individuals I’ve come to meet), and my mentors for encouraging me to attend a formative conference in my academic career.

2018 Winner
Ana María Cortés Lagos, Syracuse University
C&W HSCF Mentor, Patrick Berry

ana maria cortes lagosI want to thank the Computers and Writing community and the organizers and contributors to the Hawisher and Selfe Award for a wonderful welcome and an exciting conference. A special mention to my mentor, Patrick Berry, for his steadfast support. I attended Computers and Writing on the first year of my doctoral studies, and also my first year navigating U.S. academia. Indeed, Computers and Writing was the very first conference I attended here in North America, and it proved to be a friendly and warm introduction to a scholarly territory I had only viewed from the distance. The people I heard from and the conversations I had the opportunity to engage in set me on a path of exciting inquiry, self-interrogation and exploration about the meaning and place of technologies and play in writing and composition scholarship. I hope that this conversation becomes an ongoing one in the years to come and that it grows to build bridges across borders. 

2018 Winner
Liana Esperanza Clarke, Florida State University
C&W HSCF Mentor, Stephen McElroy

candace chambersThe Computers and Writing conference was my first conference—both attending and presenting—in my graduate career. I was nervous about being lost and feeling like I didn’t belong, but my worries were eased when I received the Hawisher and Selfe Caring for the Future Award. Not only did this award help me financially, but it also provided me with great mentors at the conference and allowed me to meet others in the field. I felt supported, welcomed, and encouraged by scholars that I had looked up to. The Hawisher and Selfe award allowed me to see that what I had to say was important and valued within the field. I am beyond grateful that this was my first experience in the professional academic world because it confirmed that this is where I belong. Thank you so much to all those who contributed to making this such a pleasant experience!

After completing her M.A. degree at Florida State, Liana went on to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Arizona in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English.

2017 Winner
Candace Chambers, University of Alabama
C&W HSCF Mentor, Amber Buck

candace chambersI am thankful for those who contributed to the Gail E. Hawisher & Cynthia L. Selfe Caring for the Future Award because their selfless contributions allowed me to engage and network with other scholars in the field of computers and writing. As a first time attendee at the Computers and Writing Conference, I was immersed in a family of scholars. The scholarship provided in the sessions gave me confirmation that I was in the right place. I was able to meet those who I had only read about in textbooks, and the experience gave life to the field I am learning more and more about. I look forward to cultivating and strengthening the relationships formed at the Computers and Writing Conference. I hope others are provided with this same opportunity!

After completing her M.A. degree, Chambers accepted a position as a Public Affairs Specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture/ Natural Resources Conservation Service in Mississippi. She is currently the Chief Academic Coach at Educational Writing Services, and is also pursuing her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, Urban Literacy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


2016 Winners (first year your donations supported 2!)
Victor Del Hierro, Michigan State University
C&W HSCF Mentor, Bill Hart-Davidson

victor del hierro"After seeing all my favorite people attend C&W the last couple of years, I finally made sure to apply and attend. Few conferences are rejuvenating experiences but I really left Rochester so recharged and motivated to get to work. Especially as a graduate student, the conference and the GRN really were wonderful spaces of mentorship. I made my way home eager to tell all my friends to apply for next year. I want to pay forward all the blessings because so many folks told me the same while at C&W. Big up to everyone involved with Selfe & Hawisher award. Big Up to former winner Joy Robinson for her mentorship at the GRN. Big up to Cindy and Dickie Selfe, glad to have caught their last C&W before retirement. Big up to Gail Hawisher. As a Chicanx Hip Hop scholar Computers and Composition is such an important space to develop scholarship and build with like-minded generous scholars."

Dr. Del Hierro now serves as an  Assistant Professor at the University of Florida.

2016 Winners (first year your donations supported 2!)
Anna Knutson, University of Michigan
C&W HSCF Mentor, Melanie Yergeau

anna knutson"When I won the Hawisher-Selfe Caring for the Future award, I had just achieved candidacy in the Joint Program in English and Education at the University of Michigan. Although I had long been interested in the intersection of technology and literacy, I had not yet had a chance to attend Computers and Writing. As a graduate student, immersing oneself in new scholarly communities can feel daunting at times; however, this award provided me with support and encouragement to attend my first C&W. When I arrived, I found that the intimate, community-oriented feel of C&W was incredibly nurturing and warm, and my experiences attending the conference and participating in the GRN provided me with a great deal of support as I developed my dissertation project. In Rochester, I found mentorship and inspiration in the new connections that I made during the conference, as well as the existing relationships that I was able to reinforce while visiting with colleagues from other universities. I look forward to returning to Computers and Writing for many years to come. Thanks to all who make this award possible!!"

Dr. Anna V. Knutson now serves as Assistant Professor of English and Director of First-Year Writing at Duquesne University.

2015 Winner
Joseph Cirio, Florida State University
C&W HSCF Mentor, Moe Folk

joe cirio"I will certainly remember my first experiences at the 2015 Computers and Writing conference as warm and welcoming for many years to come. The University of Wisconsin-Stout campus was an ideal venue for my first C&W because its unassuming intimacy and closeness mirrors that of the conference’s community, attributes in which the conference seems to take pride. The sessions themselves were of course engaging, but for me, it were those moments between sessions, in the backchannels, that are most memorable: having dinner with graduate students from Purdue whom I had never met before but were kind enough to offer seats at their table when the restaurant was full; bumping elbows with personal idols as well as new friends as I hopped around town, post-sessions; receiving helpful feedback and suggested readings from dorm-mates about my presentation and research interests; and the mentorship of Moe Folk who made sure that my time at C&W was comfortable and productive. He ensured that I felt part of something special, and I am grateful for his mentorship and the opportunities made possible by the Hawisher-Selfe Caring for the Future award."

Dr. Cirio now serves as an Assistant Professor of Writing and First-Year Studies at Stockton University.

2014 Winner
Janine Butler, East Carolina University
C&W HSCF Mentor, Michelle Eble

janine butlerJanine Butler is a PhD student at East Carolina University. Describing her work, she says "As a deaf woman who communicates through American Sign Language and English, I highly value writers' linguistic identities and our individual perspectives on communicating through multiple modes. ... I intend to further enhance the visibility of deaf rhetorical practices by showing how individuals capitalize on the affordances of new media to make communication accessible."

Dr. Butler now serves as an Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.


2013 Winner
Joy Robinson , Illinois Institute of Technology
C&W HSCF Mentor, Karl Stolley

joy robinsonJoy Robinson is a PhD candidate at the Illinois Institute of Technology where she studies "virtual teams and teaming using a game environment as the crucible for the research." She has this to say about her HSCF experience: "I want to thank all of the kind and caring individuals who populate the Computers and Writing community. Through the opportunity to attend the conference and the Gail E. Hawisher & Cynthia L. Selfe Caring for the Future Award, I have a much better understanding of the issues, concerns, and scholarship that connect, inspire, and energize this community. It was indeed an honor and privilege to meet many of the luminaries that inhabit this space. Being able to put faces to the articles and books I have read and be a part of the conversation was priceless and awe-inspiring. I plan to pay forward the support I received at the conference to the new comers of the future and as a newly minted Ph.D., I look forward to many opportunities to do so."

Dr. Robinson now serves as an Assistant Professor of Technical Writing and New Media at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.


2012 Winner
Laura Gonzales, University of Central Florida
C&W HSCF Mentor, Stacey Pigg

bixlerI wanted to take the time to thank all of the wonderful people who sponsored the Hawisher and Selfe Caring for the Future Award this year. As you know, I am relatively new to computers and writing research in general, and I must admit that I was a little intimidated by the thought of attending a conference in a field that is so new to me. However, I was amazed by the humility and kindness expressed by all the people I encountered during my time in Raleigh. In particular, it was an honor to meet Dr. Hawisher and Dr. Selfe, and to be so warmly received by them. I think that the benefit of this award, among many others, is that it gave me the opportunity to be acknowledged (and encouraged) as a newcomer before even arriving at the conference. It became clear to me, even from the first few minutes of the GRN, that the community of this conference is constantly engaging new students and researchers, and is supporting individuals who have interests in contributing to the field. Being a shy person in general, I would have never been comfortable enough to introduce myself to such esteemed scholars without the support of my mentor and without your own kind introductions. As I continue working and researching, and as I begin progressing toward a PhD program in the field, I only hope to be of such support to a future student in my position. Being honored with an award that represents a welcoming and successful community has really inspired me to continue my academic pursuits.

Dr. Gonzales now serves as an Assistant Professor of Digital Writing and Cultural Rhetorics at the University of Florida.