Writing with Personality

Let’s be serious for a second – writing is not always easy or fun. You would think that your wit in person would come through inherently on paper or on screen, whatever your medium… Not so, I declare. I find myself to be a pretty decently snarky and clever gal in conversation, but I have my days where I sit in front of a freshly written paper and just berate myself. For like. An hour. “How on this sweet,  green earth did I think that was canny or insightful? What the hell does that sentence even mean? Is that SERIOUSLY supposed to be a creative metaphor? Garbage. Seriously. Have a nap. Wake up competent. Thanks.” 

My subconscious can be really harsh…

And then there are other days where I write as if I’m just regurgitating information in my own words. It’s disgusting. It’s practically word vomit. It’s unfocused, boring, and stiff. No one wants to read that.

My point is – write with your personality! It shouldn’t be horribly informal if it’s for a class, but we should still get the idea that you’re probably an interesting and insightful person. Unless you’re not, then…sorry, I guess. You should have had more Kool-Aid or something.

I’m not sure if I’ve made it obvious enough, but I’m kind of a smart aleck in person. Shockingly, people like that. Take your signature character trait and use it to your advantage in writing! There’s no magic method to finding your ‘self’ in your writing, so why not play and practice a little? Try writing a paper as formally as you can, then write it as if it’s the biggest joke in the world. Is there a happy medium that you can find?

I know I’m not the only one who would like to be mildly entertained while reading something informative! Learning new things is a lot easier when it’s also fun, guys.

You are the expert

As the BPS student services coordinator it is my job to connect with students, to help identify any roadblocks, as well as document factors that bolster academic success.  Student input is what helps us refine and direct BPS programming and supports.  It is essential to the success of BPS, and I enjoy checking in with students more than any other aspect of my job.

This past week I spoke with several BPSers about how classes were going.  Their insights proved to me just how important their voice is and how potentially powerful the blog forum would be to share these insights with all BPS students.

For example, I spoke with two students who, in my opinion, gave an excellent overview of e Books, including: their experience with them, the pros and cons, and their recommendations for use.  Their insights were just as meaningful as any I’ve read, and because they were unique to our program, they became more relevant to me than other more generic applications that I have read on-line.  I am still hoping one of them will write a blog…hint, hint.

When confronted with the task to write, most students say “I don’t blog” or “I don’t know how to blog”.  It couldn’t be easier.  Send an email to professionalstudies@uwec.edu with a couple of paragraphs you would like to share.  It doesn’t have to be written like a newspaper article.  Write like you speak, like I am doing now.  If you share something cool that you have read somewhere, write down where you found it, so we can look it up as well.

Then just cut and paste whatever you wrote into the body of an email, or attach it in a Word document.  Not interested in writing, but wanting to pose a topic for discussion on the blog, email me that as well.  We will do the research and begin the conversation.  Chime in at any time by clicking on “comment” which is located directly below the post.

That’s all there is to it.  You can do it.

Getting to Know You… Part III

Today, we’re going to highlight your Academic Program Director and Academic Adviser, Kate Lang.

Kate is the academic director for the Bachelor of Professional Studies program. We asked Kate a few questions.

Where did you grow up? 

Hinsdale, IL

What was your major in college?

Comparative and Regional Studies/Arab Studies

What made you come to work for BPS?

I believe public higher education needs to do a better job of serving adult students. I also love an administrative challenge.

What drives you?

It might not be healthy, but I am driven to get things done.

What’s your favorite color?


Favorite song?

I’m not sure I have one. Lately, I’ve been listening to the Kinks.

Got kids?

I have two sons, ages 9 and 12, two stepdaughters, ages 23 and 30, and a stepson, age 25.

Got pets?

I have a 13-year-old cat. I spend a lot of time babysitting the neighbors’ German shepherd puppy and adult chocolate lab.

Got milk?

Only with cereal.

If you could go anywhere in the world for an all-expenses paid 2 week vacation, where would you go? 

The south of France – but I’d want to start with a long weekend in Paris.

Who is your favorite student services coordinator at UWEX? 

Alia :)  (Hear, hear!)

Thanks to Kate for answering our questions. Stay tuned for another exciting installment of Getting to Know You!

Getting to Know You Part II

Welcome to Thursday BPSers!

It’s “Get to Know Your Program” Day.

Today, we’ll highlight your Program Manager, Emily Johnson.

Emily has worked for UW-Extension for a year and a half and started working on the BPS program in March. We asked her some questions about herself and here are her answers. Enjoy!

 Where did you grow up? In the middle of a cornfield in south-central Illinois. The closest town was Ramsey, IL, and its population was about 1,000. Since then I’ve lived in the St. Louis area, really southern Illinois, southern Minnesota, and in Madison, WI.

 What was your major in college? BA in English & History, MA in History, and MA in Library & Information Studies. I’m done with college now.  :-)

 What made you come to work for BPS? The opportunity to help adults continue their education and enrich their lives.

 What drives you? Access to information. Being trained as a librarian, I’m all about helping people get the information they need to write a paper, fill in their family tree, or get a job.

 What’s your favorite color? Blue

 Favorite song? Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giants. But I love all kinds of music.

 Sports? St. Louis Cardinals baseball.

 Books? Yes, please. My husband and I own at least 1,100.

 Food? Anything with cheese. I live in the right state!

 If you could go anywhere in the world for an all-expenses paid 2 week vacation, where would you go?  I have 2: 1) London – I’ve always wanted to go  OR  2) Seeing a baseball game in as many ballparks as I can :D

Join us!

Hey there BPSers!

Join your fellow students in an online community. Be a part of your blog! Your contributions and comments are welcomed and encouraged.


  • Tips on studying, writing, or researching.
  • Holiday recipes, crafts, or gift ideas.
  • Motivation and inspiration for academic success.


  • Was the blog helpful?
  • Do you agree/disagree?
  • Other suggestions?



  • A blog is a conversation. Try to write the way you speak.
  • Keep it short.  Blogging is an exchange of ideas.
  • Invite comments.  Encourage your classmates to read and comment on your blog posting.
  • Remember, none of us are professional writers. We blog to create community and have a dialogue with you.

Getting to Know You…

Welcome to Thursday BPSers!

It’s “Get to Know Your Program” Day.

Today, we’ll highlight your Student Services Coordinator, Alia Dayne.

Alia just started working with the BPS program in August and has quickly become a fixture for the students and program developers. We asked her some questions about herself and here are her answers. Enjoy!

Where did you grow up? Tough question, I was born in Okinawa, Japan…I have lived in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Colorado…but Wisconsin is my home. (I was a Navy Brat)

What was your major in college? BA Journalism, MS Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology, Certificate in School Counseling

What made you come to work for BPS? Educational Access and Equity :)

What drives you? My 3 children personally, educational access and equity professionally, caring for others mentally, laughing emotionally

What’s your favorite color? Red and Pink

Favorite song? Impossible question…umm My favorite genre is R&B.

Got kids? Jada 13 (8th grade), Javian 11 (6th grade), JayAllen 7 (1st grade)

Got pets? Kolby my shih tzu-Maltese mix; Snowy, a Himalayan kitty; Some fish in my future :)

Got milk? Soy :)

If you could go anywhere in the world for an all-expenses paid 2 week vacation, where would you go?  I’ve always wanted to take my kids to Atlantis in the Bahamas!

Source: Alia Dayne

Get to Know Your BPS Program People

Welcome to Thursday, BPSers! Hope your week has gone well and you’re getting ready for a relaxing weekend.

Today, we’re going to take some time to learn more about the people behind the BPS program.

Your professors for the Fall 2011 courses are highly accomplished and leaders in their fields. Who are they?

Mary Hoffman

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication and Journalism at UW-Eau Claire

Mary earned her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas. She has also co-authored a book titled Organizational Rhetoric: Situations and Strategies.

Nicole Schultz

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Journalism at UW-Eau Claire

Nicole earned her Ph.D. in Communication Studies and Women’s Studies from Bowling Green State University.

Cynthia Hofacker

Senior Lecturer, Business Communication Program at UW-Eau Claire

Cynthia earned her Master of Science in Teaching (MST) from UW-Eau Claire.

Nancy Hanson Rasmussen

Lecturer, Department of Management and Marketing at UW-Eau Claire

Nancy earned her Ed.D. from the University of St. Tomas. She’s the author or co-author of several articles about workplace accessibility.

Tune in next week for more about the people (and places) of BPS.

Source: http://professionalstudies.wisconsin.edu/about-the-program/faculty.aspx