University of Vermont

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Foundational Writing & Information Literacy

Ancient Tradition Meets Information Age

Why Foundational Writing and Information Literacy?

What is fake news? What is real? Who decides which is which? How do we communicate what we know to those for whom it matters? Why might it matter, and how do we reach them? How do we learn and grow from perspectives that are different from the ones we have always held? How do we expand what we believe? How do we explore other ways of being in the world?

Now more than ever, The University of Vermont promotes the values and practices of information literacy, of critical reading, and of theoretically-grounded approaches to writing and revision.

Thus, students are required to complete a Foundational Writing and Information Literacy (FWIL) course, preferably in their first year at UVM. Doing so will set you up for increasing intellectual sophistication in later courses, in the community, and throughout your life.


People of FWIL

Foundational Writing and Information Literacy takes a combined effort of teaching faculty, library faculty, and students working together in different classroom settings with different curricula. We share four common learning goals: rhetorical discernment, information literacy, critical reading, and substantive revision. Below are some of the people of FWIL, those who make the learning possible and the work meaningful.

FWIL Committees and Fellows

The FWIL Committee meets monthly, with faculty representatives from the library and all FWIL paths (the College of Arts and Sciences, English, and the Honors College).

Click here to Meet the Members of the (2017-18) FWIL Committee

Jamie Abaied, Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences

Caroline Beer, Associate Professor of Political Science

Daisy Benson, Library Associate Professor

Jean Bessette, English GTA Supervisor / Assistant Professor of English

Sue Dinitz, Director of the Writing Center / Senior Lecturer of English

Nancy Fawley, Director of Information & Instructional Services / Library Associate Professor

Ian Grimmer, Associate Dean of Honors College / Senior Lecturer of History

Jenny Grosvenor, Lecturer of English

Patricia Mardeusz, Library Associate Professor / Instruction Librarian

Libby Miles, Director of Foundational Writing and Information Literacy / Associate Professor of English

Deb Noel, Senior Lecturer of English

Peter VonDoepp, Associate Professor of Political Science


FWIL Fellows for Critical Reading spend the academic year focusing on how to better teach Critical Reading at the first-year level in their FWIL courses. Fellows come from all 3 of the FWIL paths (CAS, English, and Honors), and are creating sample materials useful to the entire FWIL community.

Click here to Meet the Members of the (2017-18) FWIL Critical Reading Fellows

Caroline Beer, Associate Professor of Political Science

Paul Besaw, Professor of Music and Dance

Jean Bessette, English GTA Supervisor / Assistant Professor of English

Thomas Borchert, Associate Professor of Religion

Tyler Doggett, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Thomas Noel, Visiting Instructor of Chinese

Kate Nolfi, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and the Honors College

Holly Painter, Lecturer of English

Helga Schreckenberger, Professor of Gender and Women's Studies, German, and Russian


Eli Review in FWIL. Initially funded through a Provost's Office "Engaged Practices Innovation" Grant, and in partnership with Writing in the Disciplines, interested FWIL faculty are implementing Eli Review, a pedagogical technology facilitating the teaching of better student-to-student feedback.

Click here to meet faculty who have used Eli Review in FWIL course

Michael Ashooh (HCol)

Dan Fogel (TAP)

Susanmarie Harrington, (TAP)

Libby Miles, (TAP)

Deb Noel, (ENGS 1, TAP)


FWIL Pilot Project The FWIL requirement became a reality thanks to the hard work and valuable insights of the 2012 FWIL Pilot Project, headed by Nancy Welch.

Click here to meet the Pilot Project team.

Nancy Welch, English

Daisy Benson, Bailey Howe

Deborah Blom, Anthropology

Bill Mierse, , Art History

Becky Miller, Biology

Deb Noel, English

Thomas Patterson, CDAE

Alison Pechenik, Computer Science

Lisa Schnell, Honors College

Cynthia Reyes, Education

Taylor Sacco, English

Peter VonDoepp, Political Science

Jackie Weinstock, Leadership and Development Science



Upcoming Events

FWIL Faculty Fellows

Thursday, August 24

12 PM - 1:15 PM

University Heights North 1 119

FWIL TAP Faculty Lunch

Wednesday, August 30

11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

Fulwiler Room, 302 Bailey/Howe

FWIL TAP Faculty Lunch

Thursday, August 31

11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

Fulwiler Room, 302 Bailey/Howe

FWIL Committee

Wednesday, September 6

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Location Old Mill 219

FWIL Faculty Fellows

Monday, September 11

12 PM - 1:15 PM

University Heights North 1 119

FWIL Committee

Wednesday, October 4

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Location Old Mill 219

FWIL Faculty Fellows

Monday, October 16

12 PM - 1:15 PM

University Heights North 1 119

FWIL Committee

Wednesday, November 16

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Location Old Mill 219

FWIL Faculty Fellows

Monday, November 13

12 PM - 1:15 PM

University Heights North 1 119

FWIL Committee

Wednesday, November 29

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Location Old Mill 219

FWIL Faculty Fellows

Wednesday, December 13

12 PM - 1:15 PM

University Heights North 1 119

Last modified September 03 2017 12:42 PM