Outstanding Major Award
Jayme Brown: 2013
The Right Place
Jayme Brown came to Syracuse University to be a broadcast journalist; she says that the plan was that someday she would sit behind the ESPN SportsCenter desk and yell about the New York Yankees. Instead, Jayme found her way to the Writing & Rhetoric major, and in 2013 she was awarded the Carol Lipson Award for Outstanding Major.
Jayme’s introduction to the major came when she was a sophomore in Writing Program Director and Chair Lois Agnew’s Style (WRT 308) course. Agnew describes Jayme as an exceptional student: “I was delighted by the pleasure she took in working with language, her determination to expand her range as a writer with each assignment, and the care she took with each word she wrote.” Though Jayme was nervous to be in a class with juniors and seniors, she says that Agnew made her feel like she belonged in both the classroom and the major. “Dr. Agnew spent time with me one-on-one and told me I was a better writer at nineteen than she had been. I didn’t believe her—and still don’t, for the record—but it was the shock of confidence that I needed. I was in the right place.”
Others agree that she had found the right place: Assistant Professor Patrick Berry’s nomination letter for the award included the following, “She is in my WRT 340, Advanced Editing Studio, and I have been impressed by her leadership, writing and editorial skills, and overall desire to do the best job possible. In a class of strong students, she really stands out." Assistant Director for Writing Technologies George Rhinehart added the following about her work in Digital Writing (WRT 302), "She was certainly proficient in the digital areas, but I found myself looking forward to her blog posts in the way I look forward to the new work of professionals. That happens with one student in a thousand. Jayme is a writer; the medium doesn't matter."
A number of other experiences in Writing & Rhetoric helped to shape Jayme as she moved through her coursework: working on creative nonfiction with Professional Writing Instructor Stephen Thorley, thinking about the ins and outs of plagiarism and copyright with Professor Rebecca Moore Howard, exploring the depths of digital communities with Associate Professor Collin Brooke. Jayme also appreciated the copyediting and proofreading experience that she gained from working on Intertext in Berry’s Advanced Editing Studio, which she described as “a fun but work-intensive resume builder.”
But Jayme discovered her passion through her fulfilling work in the Writing Center as part of Writing Center Administrator Ben Erwin’s peer consulting course. She spent a year working as a consultant and says that she never felt more gratified than when a fellow student left with more confidence in his or her skills: “Through my time there, I learned alongside my peers; I learned how to look at writing at both the micro and macro levels and how to both generate ideas and deal with sentence-level issues. My year at the center taught me how important one-on-one writing instruction truly is.”
To continue to pursue this passion, Jayme has recently accepted an offer to intern in the programs department at 826 Valencia. Jayme says she had long planned to apply to the organization so that she could help students aged 6-18 improve their writing skills and learn to love the craft. This fall she is focusing on writing instruction outside the classroom by working on creative writing assignments with 3rd and 4th graders at a K-8 dual language school in the Mission District.
Jayme describes this one-on-one work with student writers as a dream come true. “I credit every single one of my professors as well as my fellow students in the Writing Program with helping me find something I'm so passionate about—aiding others in learning to love writing as much as I do.”
—story by Emily Dressing
top: Professor Emeritus Carol Lipson presents Jayme with the award that bears her name.
bottom: Carol Lipson, Jayme Brown, and Writing Program Director Lois Agnew.