Faculty Members Promoted to Rank of Principal Lecturer
July 12, 2021 English
Lyra Hilliard, Danuta Hinc, Justin Lohr, Scott Moses, and Pam Orel have been promoted to rank of Principal Lecturer
Congratulations to our faculty recently promoted to the rank of Principal Lecturer. Candidates for appointment to the rank of Principal Lecturer have demonstrated excellence in the areas of mentoring, program development, scholarly research and/or creative work. Principal lecturers also have a record of service of distinction to the department, the college, the campus, and/or the profession.
Lyra Hilliard received her MFA from Goucher College and MS in American Studies from Utah State University. Since 2009, she has regularly taught courses in Digital Rhetorics and Multimodal Writing, Advanced Composition, and First-Year Writing (English 101) for the department’s Professional Writing and Academic Writing Programs. Since 2016, she has served as the Coordinator of the Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program, and since 2013, as the Academic Writing Program’s Online and Blended Coordinator. English’s successful pivot to virtual instruction at the start of the pandemic would not have been possible without her leadership in online and blended learning, her care as a mentor, and her remarkable skill set. Along with her colleague Scott Moses, she designed web-based pedagogical materials, culled resources for online teaching, created course templates, and mentored instructional faculty at all ranks at the most challenging of times.
Ms. Hilliard has been a recipient of several high-profile awards, including the department’s Professional Track Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, the TLTC’s Elevate Fellowship, and UMD’s Provost’s Excellence Award for Professional Track Faculty. In Fall of 2018, the Conference on College Composition and Communication (4Cs) awarded her a $11,000 Emergent Researcher Award to support research on the design and delivery of online writing courses. She regularly presents at the field’s leading conferences (CCCC and the Computers & Writing Conference) and has published articles (in The Internet and Higher Education) and book chapters (in the forthcoming collections Making Administrative Work Visible and PARS in Practice) on composition studies and digital pedagogy. The significance of her contributions to the fields of composition studies and digital pedagogy has earned her the position of Chair in the 4C’s Standing Group on Online Writing Instruction.
Danuta Hinc received an M.F.A. from Bennington College, a Post Graduate Studies degree from the Institute of Literary Studies at the Polish Academy of Science in Warsaw, where she completed a dissertation on Czesław Miłosz, and an M.A. in Philology with a specialization in Education from the premier university in Poland, Gdansk University. Since 2011, she has taught Technical Writing, Advanced Composition, and Business Writing in the department’s Professional Writing Program. Currently, she is the only faculty member in our department who teaches the extremely popular Non-Fiction Narrative Writing course.
Ms. Hinc is an accomplished and prolific fiction writer. Her novel To Kill the Other, which was published by Tate in 2011, will be republished through Plamen Press in 2021. In this work, Ms. Hinc explores the decades leading up to the 9-11 terrorist attacks through the eyes of a boy who grows into one of the attackers. In March 2015, NPR interviewed her about the novel, and this interview was re-broadcasted in August 2015 as one of the best interviews of the year. Ms. Hinc has just completed her second novel For the Wife Who Comes After Me and is currently working on a third novel, Barbarian in the Garden. The novel is based on her involvement with the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s. She is currently translating into Polish The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel. Ms. Hinc has served on an impressive number of committees, including Coordinating Committee, the General Education Assessment Professional Writing Program Grading Criteria Committee, and the Advancement, Evaluation, and Promotion (AEP) Committee. Ms. Hinc was instrumental in establishing the first-ever formal PTK mentoring program within the English department and worked alongside myself and colleagues for over two years in conceiving and instrumentalizing the program. She also co-authored the 2017 38-page PTK Recommendation Report to the Chair. Ms. Hinc has served as the PTK representative within the Departmental Assembly, and she is a member of the Faculty Research and Writing Group on Women in Professional Writing that focuses on the intersection between feminist studies and professional writing. As a participant in the year-long ADVANCE program for Inclusive Excellence (2015-2016), Ms. Hinc contributed to a group that focused on inclusion work across UMD’s various colleges and programs.
Justin Lohr received his MFA in Creative Writing from University of Maryland and Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish from St. Joseph’s University. Since 2010, he has taught an impressive range of courses in the English Department’s Professional and Academic Writing Programs. Mr. Lohr has distinguished himself as an innovative and empathic instructor dedicated to forging connections between the Writing Programs and the local community. He developed the enormously popular and highly successful ENGL 292/388C: “Writing for Change,” an ongoing collaboration between UMD students and students at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville. The partnership centers on the college students serving as mentors to the high school students and working with them in developing multimodal activism and advocacy performance pieces that are then presented at a public performance held annually at the university. This course has had an enormous impact on the students who enroll in it and in broadcasting the meaning and value of public writing. The service and outreach performed by “Writing for Change” stand as a testament to Mr. Lohr’s creativity and commitment to writing instruction as a form of social justice.
In recognition of his sustained track of exemplary teaching, Lohr has been awarded the UMD Provost’s Excellence Award for Professional Track Faculty Teaching in Spring 2018 and in Spring 2016, the Department’s Teaching Excellence Award for Professional Track Faculty. He is also the recipient of a Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative Grant and a Writing Programs Award. In addition to being an exemplary instructor, Mr. Lohr has been a dedicated administrator. From 2014-2016, he served as the Academic Writing Program’s Assistant Director. In this role, he mentored AWP instructors and participated in the design and implementation of Professional Development Day. He also served on the committee that revised the AWP textbook Fearless Writing and on the English 101 Curriculum Review Committee. Mr. Lohr made substantive contributions while serving on the Committee to Review the Undergraduate English Major, the Professional-Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award Selection Committee, and the Professional-Track Faculty AEP Committee. He has also long served as the Editor-in-Chief of Interpolations, the annual journal that publishes the best writing from the university’s English 101 classes. Mr. Lohr pursues an active research agenda and is building a strong reputation in the fields of community literacy and community writing studies. He has published three co-authored pieces in these fields, including two peer-reviewed articles, analyzing the “Writing for Change” course and strategies for engaging with community partners. He regularly presents his research at major national conferences in the field of composition studies, including the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference, the Conference on Community Writing, and the Watson Conference.
Mr. Moses received an M. Sc. in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and holds an MA in English from Boston College. He is currently completing his doctorate in the University of Maryland’s Technology, Learning, and Leadership Program. Since 2009, he has taught courses in Technical Writing, Writing for the Health Professions, and Academic Writing (English 101) for the department’s Professional and Academic Writing Programs. Since 2013, he has served as the Professional Writing Program’s Online and Blended Coordinator. English’s successful pivot to virtual instruction at the start of the pandemic last spring would not have been possible without his leadership in online and blended learning, his care as a mentor, and his remarkable skill set. Along with his colleague Lyra Hilliard, Mr. Moses designed web-based pedagogical materials, culled resources for online teaching, created course templates, and mentored instructional faculty at all ranks in the department at the most challenging of times.
Since 2013, he has trained and mentored dozens of faculty colleagues in integrating new digital technologies into the writing classroom, emergent digital pedagogies, and novel assessment models. The expansion of PWP’s course offerings to blended and online formats is an important part of the program’s accessibility and equity initiatives; quite simply, the delivery of these research-informed course designs from instructors trained in online writing pedagogy would not have been possible in terms of its current quality and quantity without Moses’s leadership. Mr. Moses’ mentoring of faculty has positively impacted the learning experience for students in concrete ways, helping them to collaborate and compose in what has become the new workplace reality: learning how to learn to use new strategies and new technologies to facilitate project-oriented, multidisciplinary teams. Scott Moses has also made exceptional contributions to the university’s General Education program. He serves on four campus-level committees, including the Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Committee and the TLTC's Learning Analytics Research Group. He serves on the ARHU Technology in Teaching Committee. Mr. Moses' professional development work on digital pedagogy for Writing Programs, the college, and campus is reflected in his active research agenda as indicated by numerous book chapters, refereed journal articles, and conference presentations. He is the recipient of the Provost’s Excellence Award for Professional Track Faculty and an Elevate Fellowship from TLTC. In addition to his indefatigable commitment to the Professional Writing Program, Mr. Moses is an active member of the department. He regularly attends department assemblies and has been extensively involved in efforts to revise the undergraduate curriculum. He is currently serving on the Ad Hoc PTK Executive Committee.
Ms. Orel received a Master’s in Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Monmouth University. Over the course of her career, she has worked within and outside of the academy in public relations, IT software development, and as an instructor of Business Writing and Technical Writing. Since 2012, she has taught Technical Writing and Business Writing for the English Department’s Professional Writing Program while also serving as a tutor for the University of Maryland’s Student Athlete Program. Over the past year, she served on the University of Maryland’ Disability Summit and has become an advocate for the learning needs of neurodiverse students and mentoring needs of neurodiverse faculty. Recently, she participated in the Neurodiversity Faculty Learning Community under the aegis of TLTC.
The red thread running through Ms. Orel’s teaching career is a commitment to diversity that captures various categories of at-risk students and the different needs of instructors. She has served on several departmental committees, including the PTK Appointment, Evaluation, & Promotion Committee; the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility Committee; and the PTK Executive Committee. In addition, from 2016-2019, Ms. Orel served on the University Senate as one of ARHU’s PTK representatives. Since 2014, she has volunteered with the Honor Board, in service to UMD’s academic integrity. Moreover, Ms. Orel twice participated in UMD’s ADVANCE program, once in 2015-2016 as part of ADVANCE PTK Faculty and again in 2020-2021 as an ADVANCE Leadership Fellow. In spring 2019, Ms. Orel served as a member of the PTK Mentoring Working Group, tasked with developing the protocols for the department’s first-ever comprehensive PTK mentoring program. In spring 2020, the first semester she was eligible to participate, she mentored three newly hired PWP instructors. During the pandemic, she also worked with the Director of the Professional Writing Program to provide curricular and pedagogical support to instructors. In this role, she regularly reviewed online course modules and lesson plans, in addition to maintaining connections between the program administration and individual instructors, providing guidance in a challenging period. She is currently Co-Chairing the PTK Executive Committee (PEC). This fall, she worked tirelessly with committee members in formulating the mission and charge of this new standing committee and leading the committee in reviewing the eligibility and goals of the Mentoring Program’s newly revised Performance Improvement Plan for those PTK faculty in need of intensive mentoring. She and co-chair, Alex Calloway, will lead us in the year ahead on the creation of the department’s PTK Faculty Merit Plan.