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Michele ZugnoniCo-Director, Design Thinking and CommunicationAssistant Professor of Instruction, The Cook Family Writing Program


Michele Zugnoni teaches Expository Writing (Eng 105), Writing & Speaking in Business (Eng 282), and Writing in Special Contexts (Eng 106) in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the McCormick School of Engineering. In each of her courses, Zugnoni employs a student-centered, culturally responsive teaching approach. She encourages her students to draw upon their individual experiences and interests, thus enabling them to focus on their unique knowledge and strengths. Zugnoni teaches with two goals in mind: (1) Help her students learn to enjoy writing by engaging their own voice and knowledge; and (2) Teach her students fundamental writing skills important to their continued success in writing at the university level and beyond. Zugnoni strives to create a safe space in each of her writing classes, where students come to understand that they have a voice and their voice matters. 

Zugnoni graduated from UC Davis during the summer of 2019 with a PhD in Education, and a designation in Writing, Rhetoric and Composition. Zugnoni’s dissertation focused on the narrative experiences of first-generation college students, and in particular, how writing teachers can help first-generation students cultivate a sense of community and professional identity in the writing classroom. Zugnoni’s current research involves continuing her inquiry into first-generation narratives. She is also updating the International WAC/WID Mapping Project with data from universities across the U.S. Zugnoni has presented on both areas of research at national conferences. Most recently, she presented “Building Confidence for Success: Experience-Based Observational Writing in the First Year Composition Classroom” and “Encouraging Empowerment Through Expression: Creation of a Self-Reflective Writing Program for First-Generation College Students” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (2019 and 2018, respectively), and “The New Research Phases of the International WAC/WID Mapping Project” at the International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference (2016).

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