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Education and Student Life News

New CAE Director Named

The Office of the Associate Provost for Education and Student Life is delighted to announce Jane (Jennie) C. Ariail, Ph.D. has accepted the position of Executive Director of Academic Support Services in the Division of Education and Student Life (ESL) at the Medical University of South Carolina.  Dr. Ariail assumed the duties of the position effective July 1, 2009.  She was chosen from an exceptionally strong pool of local candidates.

 Dr. Ariail earned her B.A. degree in English from Columbia College and her Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of South Carolina.  After working for several years as an Instructor in English at the University of South Carolina (USC), Dr. Ariail became the Director of the Writing Center at USC in 1994, and remained in that post until 1997 at which time she joined the MUSC faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library Science and Informatics.  From 1997 until 2007, she served as the Associate Director of the Center for Academic Excellence/Writing Center (CAE/WC) at MUSC and, subsequently, served as the Associate Director of CAE until she assumed her new position as the Executive Director of Academic Support.  In 2003, Dr. Ariail was promoted to Associate Professor and in 2009, she was promoted to Professor of Library Science and Informatics at MUSC.

 Dr. Ariail has been instrumental in the creation of MUSC’s successful program of academic support, unparalleled nationwide.  To her credit, the CAE and WC have a significant presence in all six MUSC colleges where upper level students are recruited and trained to be supplemental instructors.  Hundreds of students receive supplemental instruction each term and board-certifying exam reviews are provided.  She has developed strategies to assess students’ learning styles and adapt their individual styles to become more effective and efficient learners and successful test-takers.  She has taught writing skills to students one-on-one and in workshops, and worked with faculty to improve test writing skills and enhance students’ critical thinking skills.  She has also helped many faculty create effective on-line syllabi and learning activities.  Her interest in teaching is reflected in her work with the Faculty Development Domain of the Creating Collaborative Care (C3) interprofessional education initiative.

 Dr. Ariail is at heart a teacher who remains active in the classroom including co-designing and co-directing an approved interprofessional longitudinal course, “Making Clinical Connections:  Writing the Health Care Experience.”  She has conducted numerous workshops and class presentations on topics related to writing including an on-line, small group Writing Studio© for a doctoral level, grant-writing course in the College of Nursing.

 As a reflection of Dr. Ariail’s creativity and outstanding productivity, she has received numerous honors and awards dating from 1995, when she received the Elliott Teaching Award at USC.  She has been nominated for the Special Appreciation Award by the College of Medicine students no fewer than seven years in a row, most recently in 2007.  Furthermore, in 2009, Dr. Ariail’s colleagues at MUSC selected her to receive among our highest academic awards:  the MUSC Foundation Teaching Excellence Award in the Educator-Mentor:  Scholarship/Academic category.  This award is particularly fitting given that Dr. Ariail has served as a writing consultant to faculty leading to over $1 million in grant funding to MUSC.

 Dr. Ariail is an active scholar.  Her book, In the Center:  Affect and the Writing Process, will be published by Erlbaum Press/National Writing Center Association Press in Fall 2009.  She has co-authored two book chapters, five journal articles, and countless educational materials.  She has presented her work at 26 national conferences and two international conferences.  The titles of her works (e.g., “I Am Bound for the Promised Land” and “Who Let the CATs Out?”) bring her subjects to life and intrigue the learner.  Her oral presentation skills are equally spellbinding.

 Dr. Ariail is also a lifelong learner and active student having recently been selected to attend writing workshops at Sarah Lawrence College and participating in the Association of Writers and Writing Programs annual conference in Atlanta.  Her considerable skills as an administrator and her promise as an emerging leader at MUSC lead to her being selected to participate in the Trustees Leadership Academy, 2007-2009, positioning her for her new leadership role.  Furthermore, she is expanding her own skill set to the international community and through her foresight and work, the CAE/WC is finalizing a contract with King Abdullah International Research Center, King Saud Bin Abdullaziz University for Health Sciences (KAIRC/KS-AU-HS) in Saudi Arabia.  This contract will result in a two-year contract for over $600,000 and will create an on-line CAE/WC for that University.

Dr. Ariail’s creativity, passion, and dedication to helping our students succeed is felt by all who work with her.  No doubt many MUSC alumni view her as being instrumental in helping them to reach their professional dreams.  Dr. Ariail is a seasoned administrator and an unfailingly excellent role model for her peers.  We are delighted she accepted her new leadership position as the Executive Director for Academic Support.  Please join me in welcoming Dr. Ariail to this position.

November 27, 2012


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