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Composition Program

The English Department welcomes students to the Composition Program. The work that students do in their composition courses will develop their thinking, writing, and communications abilities, and their capacities to do well in other college courses.

Matt Newcomb, Coordinator
(845) 257-2732
JFT 702A

Joann Deiudicibus, Assistant
(845) 257-2727
JFT 702

Composition Program Handbook

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» Top Ten Policy List (MS Word Document)
Please use this reference list to be sure you meet your Composition I and II requirements to graduate.


Composition Program Faculty

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Mary Fakler (M.A., SUNY New Paltz)Mary Fakler


Classroom technology, collaborative writing

Mary Fakler earned her B.A. (1991) and M.A. (1994) at SUNY New Paltz. Her research interests include collaborative writing, classroom technology, William Faulkner, and the Japanese Internment experience. She has published broadly on the topic of writing: “Voices Merged in Collaborative Conversation: The Peer Critiquing Computer Project” Electronic Collaboration in the Humanities: Issues and Opinions (2004); “Global Conversations: Internationalizing the Peer Critiquing Computer Project” Technology in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: An International Conference (2000); “Voices Merged in Collaborated Conversation - The Peers Computer Project” Leveraging Learning - Using and Affording Technology (1996); “Modes of Writing: The Murder Trial” Instructor’s Manual to Accompany LEGACIES (Carley Bogarad and Jan Schmidt, eds.) (1995). Other recent articles of interest involve literary criticism and personal narrative: “On Considering Tim O’Brien” in The Voice (2002) and “Disabling my Disability: What I Learned from Zhi,” “To Write or Not to Write,” and “Moments,” in The Write Time (2002). “Spiritual Meditation” Maryknoll (1999). Fakler’s personal interests include music, dancing, reading, the beach, lighthouses, her family and her students.

Penny Freel (M.A., SUNY New Paltz)Penny Freel


Composition/ ESL & SWW

Penny Freel received her B.A. in English Literature from Marist College in 1992 and her M.A. in English Literature from SUNY New Paltz in 1995. She taught at the University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, Japan from 1995-2003.







Rachel Rigolino (MA, SUNY New Paltz)Rachel Rigolino


Developmental writing, service learning

Immediately upon graduation from Vassar College, Rachel Rigolino became a teaching assistant in the English Department at SUNY New Paltz. Upon receiving her MA from New Paltz, she became an adjunct instructor and, later, was appointed to a full-time instructorship. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Rigolino is the coordinator of the Supplemental Writing Workshop (SWW) program for first-year Composition students as well as the editor of the Composition Program's student journal, New Voices, New Visions. Rigolino's areas of interest and scholarship include: the use of technology in the writing classroom; experiential learning; and African American literature.



Jan Schmidt (Ph.D., Syracuse)
Jan Schmidt

Composition, theories of writing, contemporary women's literature, creative writing, Holocaust studies

Dr. Jan Zlotnik Schmidt is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of English at SUNY New Paltz where she teaches courses in composition, theories of writing, autobiography, creative writing, women's literature, and Holocaust studies. An expert in the field of composition studies and writing across the curriculum, she has given presentations and workshops at the local, regional, and national level. Her poetry has been published in many journals including Kansas Quarterly, Cream City Review, Syracuse Scholar, Alaska Quarterly Review, Home Planet News, and Phoebe. She has published two volumes of poetry-We Speak in Tongues (the Edwin Mellen Press, 1991) and She had this memory (The Edwin Mellen Press 2000); two collections of autobiographical essays-Women/Writing/Teaching (SUNY Press 1998) and Wise Women: Reflections of Teachers at Midlife, co-authored with Dr. Phyllis R. Freeman (Routledge 2000); and a multicultural, global literature anthology, Legacies: Fiction Poetry, Drama, Nonfiction (co-authored with the late Dr. Carley Bogarad and Dr. Lynne Crockett), which is about to go into a fourth edition. She has been teaching both an undergraduate and graduate Holocaust literature course in the Departments of Jewish Studies and English for several years.

Pauline Uchmanowicz (M.F.A., Iowa Writers’ Workshop; Ph.D., Rhode Island)Pauline Uchmanowicz  

Associate Professor

Composition, creative writing, contemporary literature, cultural studies, writing theory

 Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, emphasis in Rhetoric, Composition, and Cultural Studies

Pauline Uchmanowicz is Associate Professor of English and Coordinator of the Composition Program at SUNY New Paltz. Her poetry chapbook Sand & Traffic (Codhill Press) and her textbook Considering Cultural Difference (Longman) were published in 2004. Her poems and essays have appeared in many national publications, including Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, Ohio Review, Indiana Review, Massachusetts Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Z Magazine. Her scholarly articles appear in College English, Writing Program Administration, Literature and Psychology, and elsewhere. Pauline is a widely published freelance feature writer in the Hudson Valley, regularly contributing to Chronogram, Upstate House, Catskill Mountain Guide, and Woodstock Times. She received a SUNY New Paltz Athletes Faculty Appreciation Award in 2002 and a SUNY-wide Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2004. Research Interests: Writing Theory and Writing Program Administration, World Poetry, Graphic Literature, Cultural Studies.