Sitting in Tyler 102, I eagerly waited for Intro to Professional Writing, my first Professional Writing and Information Design (PWID) class, to begin. Students filed in, some greeting the professor, and took their seats at the rows of tables facing the projector. Excitement cascaded through me. This is it; I’m finally here!
The Intro to Professional Writing Class
Intro to Professional Writing quickly became my favorite class of the semester. Right off the bat, we learned about writing for God’s glory and the nature of creativity. Okay, I thought. This is pretty cool to start off with such a strong biblical foundation.
We then jumped straight into what a PWID major does. Before beginning PWID, when someone asked me what my major did, I would vaguely explain that “well, uh, you see…this major is about…writing professionally and designing informationally.” You would think that I knew what I was getting into when I decided to major in PWID, but I didn’t really have any specific idea of what PWID does—all I knew were general career options in writing and editing. Thankfully, this class quickly taught me the basics of PWID: what kind of skills I’d be learning and what types of jobs I could pursue after graduation, providing an important foundation for future PWID classes.
A Tight-Knit Community
Intro to Professional Writing also introduced me to my first PWID friends. This was my first semester on campus, and I, an introvert who struggles with inevitable awkwardness in every social encounter, didn’t have many friends on campus yet. While I was eager to meet people in my major, it was a daunting task to initiate conversations with my classmates outside of the classroom.
It helped that the class was small. With six students in total, there weren’t that many people to get to know. That’s why, a few weeks into the semester, we all decided to grab lunch together after class. I quickly found out that my classmates were kind, funny, creative people! Soon it became a tradition for several of us to trek to Cedarville’s café, Stingers, for an hour-long lunch before our next classes.
We quickly bonded over writing, personality theories, and being new to Cedarville and the PWID major. I learned that these girls were the only people I know with whom I could have a passionate, hour-long discussion about fonts, analyzing the benefits of serif versus sans serif fonts and groaning over the widespread use of Apple Chancery and Lobster. After we learned that PWID students bear the nickname “PWID Squids,” we even bought an adorable stuffed squid named Nathaniel who became our class mascot. [insert picture]
I quickly discovered that the entire major is like that. Coming into PWID, I was worried that I would feel like an outsider to the group. While I had read about the strong community embedded in PWID, I didn’t know if I would truly feel like a part of it—especially not in the beginning. Yet here I am, in only my second semester at Cedarville, and I have found my people.
The Excellent Professors
I may be biased, but I think that we have some pretty outstanding professors—and my classmates would agree with me. Both Dr. Carrington and Professor Wingerter genuinely care for us and work diligently to prepare us for life after graduation.
This semester, I took my first in-person class with Dr. Carrington. Since that first class in January, I have grown to appreciate his humble expertise and authentic heart for the Lord. He welcomes our questions and always strives to make sure we understand the assigned projects. When we do group work in class, he regularly visits each group to see how he can help. Whenever I email him with a question, he always responds promptly with helpful information.
Dr. Carrington begins every class by asking for prayer requests, and he follows up on them later. Recently in class, I asked for prayer about an interview I had later that day, and he asked me to let him know how it went. After the interview, when I emailed him to let him know that it went well, he rejoiced with me and asked me to keep him updated with any more news.
I first met Professor Wingerter at that first day in Intro to Professional Writing. She had us go around the room and tell our name, year, and if we were a toothpaste, what kind we would be. With her warm, welcoming manner, I instantly knew that I would enjoy being in her classes. She always makes herself available to her students if they have any questions, whether about class projects or for PWID advice in general. I recently emailed Professor Wingerter to ask a question about my portfolio, and she responded within the next two hours.
Professor Wingerter also cultivates a biblical environment in her classes. Like Dr. Carrington, she begins each class by asking for prayer requests and praises, and she always follows up on them later. Often, she will point the class discussion towards how we can glorify God in our work. For example, in the class Professional Portfolio Development, she asked us if we could—or even should—show our faith in a cover letter. This resulted in a class discussion about how to boldly declare our faith in a professionally appropriate way.
It makes such a huge difference in the program to have skilled, caring professors who want us to succeed both professionally and personally. They provide godly examples for us to follow, whether academically, professionally, or spiritually. Our caring, hardworking professors ensure the excellence of the PWID program.
A Lasting Impression
Now that I have been a part of PWID for almost two semesters, I can say that I chose the right major. The helpful introductory class, the welcoming community, and the quality professors set PWID apart as a major that’s more like a family than a degree program. More than that, though, PWID is giving me the skills and experience I need to pursue God’s calling in my life. Every day, I learn more about what it means to “write professionally and design informationally”—all for the glory of God. From that first day in Tyler 102 until now, I am increasingly grateful for God’s grace in giving me PWID.
About the author
Jenna Gulick is a senior Professoinal Writing and Information Design Major.