CRWP Leadership Team

Troy Portrait

Troy Hicks, Director

Troy Hicks is an assistant professor of English at Central Michigan University and director of the Chippewa River Writing Project. He teaches classes and conducts professional development workshops related to writing and technology. He is author of The Digital Writing Workshop (Heinemann, 2009) and a co-author of the NWP publication, Because Digital Writing Matters (Jossey-Bass, 2010). Also, he writes the blog Digital Writing, Digital Teaching, which explores issues related to teaching writing with new media for K–12 teachers and teacher educators.


Penny Lew, K-12 Co-Director

Penny Lew has been with Farwell Middle School since 2000, teaching primarily 8th grade English Language Arts, with experience in 5th grade Health Education, 7th grade Careers, 7th & 8th grade Diversity Education, and High School Alternative ELA. Her teaching focus is on literacy with an emphasis on young adult lit, and she recently participated in the Red Cedar Writing Project 2008 summer institute.

She received the MCTE teacher leadership award in 2004, and is her school’s department chair, building union rep, and yearbook advisor.


Kathy Kurtze, K-12 Co-Director

Kathy J. Kurtze is a high school teacher at Carson City-Crystal Schools.  She teaches 9th grade English and 10th-12th Creative Writing. She has also been involved in several committees for the Michigan Department of Education, assissting in authoring several MRA publications as well as the Michigan Genre Project.


Elizabeth Brockman, CMU Faculty Co-Director

Elizabeth Brockman came to the English Department at CMU in 1996. Before that time, she taught middle and high school English (grades 6-12) in public schools for nearly a decade in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. As a public school teacher, Elizabeth mentored student teachers, served as host teacher for field experiences, and worked with countless students from a broad range of ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. Elizabeth is the author of several pedagogical books and articles and has been published in such journals as English Journal, The Writing Instructor, Willa, Journal of Business Communication, Language Arts Journal of Michigan, The Ohio Journal of English Language Arts, and In Command.

Jamie Fockler, Administrative Assistant

Jamie Fockler has been with the English Language and Literature department since August of 2010 as the department’s Executive Secretary. Among her many duties in the English Department she handles financials for various English accounts and the Chippewa River Writing Project Grant; class scheduling; assists with curricular items; recruiting; and other duties as assigned by the department chair.

Updated: November 13, 2012