Writing Across the Curriculum Award
It was a tough assignment, teaching writing to a group of Applied Tech students more interested in gears than grammar. “They were burning through adjuncts,” recalls Mike Doolin, adjunct associate professor of English and geology and recipient of the 2007 Outstanding Writing Across the Curriculum Award. “Basically you’ve got a room full of 18-year-old boys with socket wrenches in their hands who don’t want anything to do with writing. From the first day of class it was utterly clear to me that a conventional approach was just not going to work.”
Doolin was president of a local Corvette club in the 1980s. He also has just about every tool known to man. “And I know how to use them,” he says. So he used his affinity for the automobile and his mechanical know-how to come up with assignments that combined the car culture with different aspects of the writing process. By the end of the year, the majority of his students acknowledge their initial reservations about the class and then thank Doolin for giving them a better shot at a career.
Doolin also incorporates writing-optional assignments into his Great Mysteries of the Earth class. He authored The Success Manual for Adult College Students based on his 15-year trip to a bachelor’s degree, and he advises hundreds of MCC students each year, many of whom are returning adults.
Doolin, who lives in Rochester, is married to MCC professor Ann Tippett, MCC associate professor of English, and has four daughters. He enjoys writing science fiction and operating his ham radio.