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The Cal State Northridge Writing Project

"My notion of a failed writing workshop is when everybody comes out replicating the teacher and imitating as closely as possible the great original at the head of the table. I think that's a mistake, in obvious opposition to the ideal of teaching which permits a student to be someone other than the teacher. ... The successful teacher has to make each of the students a different product rather than the same. "

-Nicholas Delbanco


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Cal State Northridge Writing Project
Kathleen D. Rowlands, Director
Michael D. Eisner College of Education
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8265

Writing Project Staff Directory

Kathleen Dudden Rowlands Ph.D., Director Rowlands imageand Primary Investigator: An Associate Professor in the Department of Secondary Education at California State University, Northridge, Kathleen was a classroom teacher (grades 7-12) for 20 years. She has a doctorate in Composition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is the author of Opening Texts: Using Writing to Teach Literature (Heinemann 1990 published under her former last name "Andrasick") as well as a number of articles. She has more than 15 years of experience as Co-director of the Hawai`i Writing Project, and as Director or Co-director of fifteen summer institutes in Hawai`i (Honolulu and Maui), Houston, and American Samoa. She is the Director of the Reading Institute for Academic Preparation at CSUN, and has led a number of training sessions for the Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

Marlene Apfelberg M.A., Co-Director: Marlene Apfelberg retired from L.A.U.S.D. after over 40 years as an educator. After teaching in elementary, middle, and high schools, she was a Literacy Coach at Reseda High School, a Developing Readers and Writers Expert in Local District 1, and an English Language Arts Specialist in Local District 2. She has a B.A degree in Education from Temple University, an M.A. degree in Special Education: Reading and Learning Disorders from CSUN, and an M.A. degree in Educational Administration from CSUN.

Matthew Brown M.A., Co-Director: Matthew has his M.A. in Secondary Education, (English Focus) from CSUN. He has taught grades 7-12 grades over the past 14 years and is now the English Department Chair and Academic Dean at Santa Clarita Christian School. He is Teacher Consultant with the South Coast Writing Project at UCSB and works closely with the California Writing Project on the ISAW (Improving Student Academic Writing) program. He directs the Young Writer's Camp and the ISAW workshops for the Cal State Northridge Writing Project. Matthew has published articles in English Journal and in California English.

Ximena Miller, M.A. Co-Director: Ximena Miller has her M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from CSUN, is a National Board Certified Teacher, and by the end of the summer will be a Teacher Consultant for the UCLA Writing Project. A former literacy coach, Ximena is currently the English Learners' Program Coordinator at Monroe High School (LAUSD District #1) and recently returned to the classroom part time. She adds her specialized level of expertise working with ELL students to our program.

Anthony Pennay M.A., Technology Liaison: PennayTony Pennay is the Program Manager for the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Focusing on civic engagement, the Center hosts programming for students and teachers, holds professional development workshops, partners with civics and education focused organizations, and creates curriculum with an emphasis on using writing to promote and develop informed and active citizens. Tony got his start in education when he was selected to join the Teach for America program after graduating from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Literature and Film Studies. After two years in the classroom, he returned to school and earned his Master’s Degree in English from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa. A classroom teacher for ten years, Tony taught middle school Language Arts and Social Studies in public, private, and charter schools. In addition to his classroom duties, Tony served as Director of Curriculum Projects at Sinai Akiba Academy. He has published many short stories, articles, and book reviews, and his article “Techno-Literacy: A Boon for Writing Instruction in the Classroom” appeared in the September 2009 issue of California English.

Lisa Kleinhofer, M.A., Associate Director.Lisa Kleinhofer is currently the literacy specialist for the Animo Locke Family of High Schools in South Los Angeles, working extensively with seven of the schools; coaching school-site literacy coordinators, providing training in enhancing literacy instruction to all faculty members, and supporting English department collaboration sessions. Focused on improving adolescent literacy, she also organizes cluster-wide professional learning days with workshops led by leaders in the community. Prior to working for Green Dot Public Schools, Lisa served as an instructional coach for the Los Angeles Urban Education Partnership and supported the English department at Charles Drew Junior High School in South Los Angeles. She was a high school English teacher in private, public, and charter high schools throughout Los Angeles County for a number of years before becoming a coach. She is also a frequent guest lecturer for the University of San Diego Continuing Education program, covering topics ranging from effective usages of mentor texts to tools for creating college-going cultures in schools. Her focus is to build teacher knowledge and experience in the area of instruction through effective and strategic use of literacy strategies as well as innovative collaboration opportunities to rethink traditional instructional practices in urban schools.

Board of Directors The following teachers and university professors currently serve on the Cal State Northridge Writing Project Board of Directors. We add two Teacher Consultants from each Invitational Institute to serve for a two year renewable term.

Bonnie Ericson, Ph.D.: EricsonBonnie Ericson taught high school English in upstate New York prior to earning her doctorate and M.S. degrees at Syracuse University in Reading Education and English Education. She began teaching methods courses in English and Literacy in the content areas at Cal State Northridge in 1984 and has been the Chair of the Department of Secondary Education since 1999. Currently CSUN’s liaison with Northridge Academy High School, LAUSD Local District 1, she is the author of numerous articles and book chapters; in addition, she edited Teaching Reading in High School English Classes (NCTE, 2001).

Louise Davies M.A. Louise Davies completed her Master's at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Wroxton College in Wroxton, England. She meant to go for only a summer but ended up staying for 20 years, living 90 miles northwest of London. She also spent 10 years working in the arts as an opera stage manager. Since 1996 she has worked at the William S. Hart Union High School district in the Santa Clarita. She has served as Intervention Coordinator and English Department Chair. In addition to her work as a Teacher Consultant for The Cal State Northridge Writing Project, she works with The Master's College's Teacher Education Department in Santa Clarita as a master teacher and as a teacher evaluation panelist. She holds an administrative credential. In her spare time, she works with The Canyon Theatre Guild and the Upstart Crows Theatre Company.

Jim Harris

Jim Harris is an English/history teacher for the Monroe High School Law and Government/Police Academy Magnet. A former instructional literacy coach, Jim was also in charge of the LAUSD District One Social Sciences program and helped write 10th and 11th grade curriculum for the entire district. In this capacity, he organized and conducted professional development in district schools and at the Devonshire Professional Development Center, LAUSD. He is a published fiction writer and was a reporter, feature, and editorial writer for several newspapers in Ohio. He was the managing editor of The Suburbanite, a small suburban newspaper in Ohio. For some time he has worked on a book of historical fiction on the water war between Los Angeles and the Owens Valley in the 1920s. He has a BA in Political Science (minor in history), teaching credentials in both social studies and English, and a Masters degree in educational administration. In addition to teaching high school, Jim has also taught elementary and middle school, was an athletic director, and has coached basketball, soccer, and track. He is proud of his several undefeated teams that won league championships.

Juliet Herman: Juliet Herman, MEd. Juliet Herman earned her undergraduate degree from Mills College. After many years in the private sector, including working as a Congressional Liasion for the United States Department of Justice, Juliet gravitated toward education. She attended George Mason University's Graduate School of Education earning her MEd with a focus on English Curriculum. Her first teaching experience was in Washington DC where she taught English, Public Speaking and was head of the Drama Department. After relocating to Southern California she worked for several years in Pasadena schools, teaching both middle and high school. For the past several years she has been living and working in the Conejo Valley in Ventura County. Currently she teaches English at Newbury Park High School.

Jodene Kersten, Ph.D.: Jodene Kersten is an Assistant Professor at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, where she teaches literacy and multicultural education courses for K-12 credential candidates and advises students in the Masters programs. Prior to teaching at Cal Poly, she worked as a literacy specialist at a magnet middle school for culture, language and communication arts in Lansing, Michigan and taught elementary school in San Francisco and Lawndale, California for many years. Jodene has a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy with an emphasis in Literacy from Michigan State University and is the author of book chapters and articles in journals including the Reading Teacher, Language Arts and the Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching and Research. Her recent research focused on supporting elementary students struggling with reading and writing in an after school literacy-based program she developed in the San Gabriel Valley.

Grace Warren M.A.: WarrenGrace Warren is an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Secondary Education at California State University, Northridge. She has a B.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. in English from CSUN, and both Secondary and Reading Specialist Credentials from CSUN. She has taught middle and high school English, reading and creative writing in Los Angeles and in Palm Beach County, Florida for over 30 years. As a Teacher Concultant with both the CSUN and USC Writing Projects, she was Co-Director of the USC Writing Project for two years. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to research the art and literature of the Japanese-American Internment Camps led to her collaboration with the National Park Service to create an interdisciplinary curriculum for the Manzanar National Historic Site. Ms Warren has also worked with secondary students on playwriting activities which incorporate the theme of disability. Her students’ plays received awards from VSA arts of Florida, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.