Matt Vetter (English Composition and Applied Linguistics) and Melanie Holm (English Literature and Criticism) received an ACPAC Technological Innovation and Exploration Fund grant for their proposed project "Meeting Owl Audio/Video Conferencing Tool for Remote and Distributed Meetings in English Graduate Programs' Professionalization."

Vetter and Holm serve as Placement and Professionalization Coordinators for four English graduate programs: PhD in Composition and Applied Linguistics and MA in TESOL (Vetter); PhD in Literature and Criticism and MA in Composition and Literature (Holm). In this role, they work to support English graduate students' job preparation by offering 12-15 workshops per year, individual job counseling, and compiling and sharing professionalization resources.

The ACPAC funds will be used to purchase the OWL Office Starter Pack, which includes three audio-video conferencing hardware tools to facilitate remote, distributed, and hybrid face-to-face conference meetings. The Meeting Owl tool provides an inclusive video conferencing experience with 360-degree video and audio for increased presence and interaction. Furthermore, Meeting OWL can identify and automatically activate mic and camera on a speaker in a conference room, thus facilitating increased vocal and gestural participation in conference meetings. This hardware tool will also allow Vetter and Holm to continue their current strategic goal of increasing engagement in online/distance programs by improving the communicative quality of video-conference workshop meetings.

Department of English