State of the Phorum Address


Hello Phorum-ites!

As this year draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments over the past year. We’ve done a lot to uphold our mission statement “to evaluate, organize, implement, and develop services that meet the professional and academic needs of rhetoric graduate students,” and I’m sure this good work will continue into next year and beyond.

Part of what made this year so successful was the willingness of our Phorum officers to not only generate new ideas but also follow through on them to make them a reality. None of these accomplishments would be possible without them–or without the many others who contributed their time by attending and helping prepare for events.

Our major accomplishments this year include the following:

  • Our funding doubled. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Phorum Treasurer Phil Gallagher, we successfully received more money through our primary funding agent and we held a wildly successful bake sale last fall. These funds will enable us to pay for our networking and social events and establish a travel award.
  •  We are working to establish a travel award. This travel award will be sponsored by our fundraising efforts, and now that the homework is completed on how to set up this award, Phorum’s next steps will be to set funding guidelines in the coming year.
  • We designed and selected a logo. We can now use this logo to help identify our group around the department and the university.
  • We started a peer mentoring program. At the beginning of the year, Faculty Liaison Bremen Vance matched participating RPC and RCPC students into informal mentoring relationships, and we plan to continue this program in the fall.
  • We posted several Phor the Record entries. Begun last year and edited by Communications Officer Dale Grauman, we continue to post entries written by current and former RCPC and RPC students about professional development topics.
  • We held a writing retreat. Spearheaded by Phorum Secretary Lauren Malone, Phorum hosted a writing retreat intended to give folks a chance to write in a distraction-free environment. We hope to continue developing these retreats in the coming year.
  • We continued the Phorum Phling events. These events give us an opportunity to welcome new folks in the fall and celebrate each other’s accomplishments in the spring.
  • We started a Documents Repository. Over the past year, we gathered (with the author’s permission) RPC and RCPC students’ comprehensive exams questions, conference proposals, and reading lists. We hope to continue to add to these repositories and expand them to include more genres.

As you can see, we have really accomplished a lot this year, and we will continue to do great work in the coming year. I wish the incoming Phorum officers all the best, and I hope everyone takes a moment to recognize what great opportunities for professional development and support exist in our program.

Have a great finals week, everyone!

– Jill Grauman
Phorum President (2016-2017)