Faculty member wins national award for dissertation

YSU faculty member Ana Wetzel.

Ana Wetzel

Ana Wetzl, an adjunct faculty member in YSU’s English department, has loved language and writing from an early age.

That love has driven her for years, culminating recently with the James Berlin Memorial Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Wetzl, who accepted the honor at the CCCC’s annual conference in St. Louis, won the award for the dissertation she wrote for her Ph.D. at Indiana University of Pennsylvania titled, “L2 Writing in the L1 Composition Course: A Model for Promoting Linguistic Tolerance.”

“This is a terrific honor,” said Gary Salvner, English chair. “The Berlin award is one of the most prestigious national honors in this field.”

The award is granted once a year to a graduate whose dissertation improves the educational process in composition studies, or adds to the field’s body of knowledge, through research or scholarly inquiry.

“I was aware of the award because one of my colleagues last year earned honorable mention,” said Wetzl. “I said, ‘OK, I should try too.’ I could not have done this without the support of my colleagues and department here at YSU.”

The focus of Wetzl’s dissertation was to see how native English speakers accept and react to the writing of non-native speakers. “I was able to show that with more frequency, subjects understand and have more acceptance for these texts,” she said.

Wetzl, a native Romanian, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pitesti in 1999. She met her husband, Christopher, also an YSU alumnus, while he was stationed in Romania as a member of the Peace Corps; she was a Peace Corps instructor. They have been married 10 years. Wetzl went on to earn a master’s degree at YSU in 2006 and a Ph.D. from IUP in 2011. She is currently a part-time faculty member at YSU teaching introductory composition classes.

Wetzl has an active interest in graduate teacher education and hopes to continue research in that area. She would also like to work more with non-traditional students, saying she finds the different mix of students “very interesting.”