Patrick Bizzaro, a faculty member in the
Department of English, has been selected for a Fulbright Scholarship.
Bizzaro won a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award to work at the University of the Free State in South Africa, assisting in the development of its writing program.
He is IUP’s 61st Fulbright Scholarship recipient.
“South Africa is a place of special interest to me, politically and practically, since it broke free of apartheid in the ’90s,” Bizzaro said. “In fact, the country has 11 official languages, but only two are relevant for what we might call secondary and post-secondary schooling, English and Afrikaans. As I understand it, people are increasingly choosing English as their language for public education because Afrikaans is viewed by some as the language of the ‘conquerors.’
“My job will be to assess the current writing program specifically at University of the Free State and then to suggest methods for setting up an integrated writing program, starting with development of a writing center.”
Bizzaro noted that English is the language currently used exclusively at University of the Free State. His wife, Resa Crane Bizzaro, also a faculty member in the English Department, will accompany him and assist in this effort.
Bizzaro has nearly 30 years of experience as a writing program administrator and has worked in various communities to improve the circumstances of those typically excluded by their language and language use from the benefits of post-secondary education.
“My larger objective is that my work will help those teaching at the university and working with students to learn contemporary ways of teaching language skills to their students. As we well know by now, language is related intimately to power, so the teaching done at University of the Free State serves to empower people and thereby improve their lives.”
Bizzaro joined the IUP faculty in 2008. He is a professor in IUP’s
doctoral program in composition and teaching of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
He has published nine books and chapbooks of poetry, two critical studies of Fred Chappell’s poetry and fiction, a book on the pedagogy of academic creative writing, six textbooks, and more than 200 poems in magazines. His essays frequently appear in journals such as College English and College Composition and Communication. His co-edited book on poet and pedagogue Wendy Bishop was published by Hampton Press in spring 2011.
Bizzaro came to IUP from East Carolina University, where he was the first director of the University Writing Program. While there, he was honored with the University of North Carolina Board of Governors’ Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award and ECU’s Scholar/Teacher Award, two of nine teaching awards he has won during his career.