Teaching Award to Waukesha Professor

Cassandra Phillips receives UW System's Highest Recognition
By UW-Waukesha
C. Phillips in Writing Lab
English Professor Cassandra Phillips
in UW-Waukesha's Writing Lab

C. PhillipsCassandra Phillips, Professor of English at UW‑Waukesha was recognized by the Board of Regents with a 2017 Teaching Excellence Award. The award is the UW System’s highest recognition for members of its faculty and academic staff and has a monetary value of $5,000. A faculty member at UW-Waukesha since 2000, Dr. Phillips teaches a variety of writing skills to students ranging from developmental writers to sophomore English majors. Her educational background includes a Ph.D. (Rhetoric and Composition) from the University of Louisville, a MA in Writing from DePaul University, and a BA in English from Kenyon College.

Phillips played a crucial role in creating a cohesive two-year writing program designed around strategies to support underprepared students who are transitioning to college-level reading, writing, and research. The resulting learning outcomes and competencies were used as the starting point for developing UW System definitions for college readiness in reading, writing, and research.

According to Greg Ahrenhoerster, Professor of English at UW-Waukesha and UW Colleges English Department Chairperson, “Like many of my colleagues, I've learned a great deal about how to better teach writing through working with Cassie for the past seventeen years. She is a rare combination of being both incredibly well versed in the theory and research in the field of composition studies and also pragmatic about the day-to-day realities of teaching first-year college students. Her classes are smartly constructed and she explains things clearly; it's no wonder her students love working with her.”

Phillips “enjoys helping students learn that writing can be empowering—and that effective writing can be learned.” She explained that “many students feel insecure about their writing abilities for a variety of reasons. They believe that a writing instructor’s role is to point out what is wrong with what they’ve written, and I appreciate being able to show them that my job is to help them assess and develop their writing for a specific audience and purpose. Shifting that mindset can be difficult, but it is an integral part of transferring critical literacy skills outside of the writing classroom.”

UW-Waukesha is located at 1500 N. University Drive in Waukesha. The campus offers the lowest tuition in the UW System, with tuition and fees for the spring semester (2017) at $2,572.58 for full-time students who are Wisconsin residents. Scholarship support is available through the UW-Waukesha Foundation as well as financial aid options. To learn more, visit the campus website at waukesha.uwc.edu or email wakadv@uwc.edu.


awards ceremony
Cassandra Phillips (L) and Joanne Giordana (R) 
with awards as Writing program coordinator
and developmental reading & writing coordinator




Sue Bausch, Regional Director of Communications