Special Campus Memo: Janet Carl Retirement

Dear Grinnellians:

Janet Carl, director of the Writing Lab, is retiring from her position after an impressive 21 years on Grinnell College's staff. Janet has a long history of service to both the College and the larger communities of Grinnell, Poweshiek County, and the state of Iowa. She began her career at the College in 1977 in the Student Affairs Office where she held the position of Associate Dean. In 1980, Janet took a hiatus from campus life, first to serve as Representative in the Iowa House and then as Executive Director of the Special Advocate Program under the aegis of the State Supreme Court. She then spent 10-plus years heading a variety of departments at Mid-Iowa Community Action - including the Family Futures Project, Head Start Staff Development, Move the Mountain Leadership Center, and Resource Development - demonstrating her strong commitment to social justice.
In 2000, Janet returned to the College to begin working as a Lecturer in the Writing Lab. In this capacity, Janet tutored students from every division at every phase of the writing process. She served on the team that rewrote the curriculum for the Writing Lab courses. She single-handedly designed the Oral Communication and Professional Writing courses, which have greatly influenced students across academic divisions. She also pioneered the research, design, and launch of the Lab's original webpage.
When Judy Hunter retired as director of the Lab in December 2011, the College called on Janet to step in as Interim Director. Ultimately named permanent director, in her seven years of service Janet has expanded the Writing Lab's reach. She has encouraged professors to partner with Lab instructors in classrooms around campus, particularly in the Tutorial. She has overseen the extension of student-instructor contacts in the Writing Lab to more than 5,000 per year and has broadly expanded the Writing Mentor Program, which pairs peer mentors with faculty in specific courses to provide assistance in writing-related assignments. She has led the campus assessment of how and how well we teach students to write, and envisioned and co-directed the project that created the Grinnell Guide to Writing, Speaking, and Research. She leaves behind a rich legacy of prioritizing writing and speaking as essential skills for Grinnell graduates, a legacy upon which alumni undoubtedly draw for their work and service.

Please join me in thanking Janet for her outstanding service to the College and in wishing her all the best in her retirement. There will be a reception for Janet from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16 in Grinnell House, 1011 Park Street.

Michael Latham
Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the College

Share / Discuss