One of WBH's missions is to provide a space for members to navigate our program and the larger field of rhetoric and composition. This past meeting, members gathered to hear from a panel on preparing for and taking PhD qualifying exams at TCU. Panelists included Whitney Lew James, Tim Ballingall, and Dr. Brad Lucas. Each presenter started by speaking generally about their exam experience, but most of the time was devoted to allowing WBH members to ask questions and (hopefully) dispel their own fears.
Panelists received and answered questions concerning such topics as: 1. How to choose exams committee members and a chair. 2. When to start thinking about exams. 3. Why panelists (if they had a choice) chose one exam format over another (i.e. portfolio exams vs. timed exams). 4. What general process panelists followed for constructing their lists, taking notes, and keeping track of all of the information.
Other faculty and students who had taken exams also weighed in, describing their experiences and reassuring those in the audience that exams do not have to be painful and, while certainly not fun, can be generative.
The Winifred Bryan Horner Rhetoric Society serves as the student chapter of the Rhetoric Society of America at Texas Christian University. In addition to sponsoring events that further rhetorical scholarship at TCU, the WBH Rhetoric Society also supports the Winifred Bryan Horner Reading Library in the TCU Graduate Instructor office. The WBH Rhetoric Society was founded by TCU English graduate students in 2011.