Who We Are
Dr. Rebecca A. Kaminski: Director
Dr. Kaminski founded the Upstate Writing Project (UWP), an affiliate of the National Writing Project (NWP), in 2001. The UWP offers an annual summer institute that has trained 300+ Teacher Consultants for SC schools. In 2016, she established the Clemson Center of Research for Writing and Literacy (CRWL). Dr. Kaminski’s recent work has been driven by her commitment to improve the teaching of academic writing and college readiness in South Carolina’s highest need school districts. In 2013-2016, she received a grant for UWP partnered with 6 rural school districts across the state. The College Career Ready Writing Program (CRWP) provided effective professional development that changed teacher practices and improved the argument writing of students in grades 6-12. Dr. Kaminski has just received a new 5-year grant College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) that will extend the UWP work into 4 additional rural school districts along the I-95 corridor. Her goal is to assure more teachers have the ability to teach college and career-ready writing with a specific emphasis on writing arguments based on nonfiction texts; an important skill every young adult needs. Rebecca is on the Literacy faculty in the College of Education and teaches undergrad and graduate courses relating to writing and literacy. Dr. Kaminski’s research focuses on improving students’ writing in grades K-12. Dr. Kaminski has published several articles on her work in major journals including the Research in the Teaching of English, Professional Development in Education, The Journal of Literacy and Technology and Journal of Research in Rural Education.
Dr. Sarah Hunt-Barron: Co-Director of Grants and Research
Sarah Hunt-Barron has been part of the Upstate Writing Project since 2008. A teacher-consultant, she has worked with middle and high school students focused on argument writing for the past five years as part of the i3 C3WP work. An assistant professor of literacy at USC Upstate, she is the co-editor of Reading Matters, the journal of the South Carolina Affiliate of the International Literacy Association and her work has appeared in a several books as well as a variety of journals, including the Journal of Literacy Research, The Teacher Educator, and the Journal of Research in Rural Education.
Erin Rigot: Youth Writing Camps Coordinator
Mrs. Rigot is a sixth grade Communications (ELA) teacher at League Academy in Greenville, SC. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Middle Level Education from Presbyterian College in 2010 and her master’s degree in Teaching and Learning from Clemson University in 2014. She believes in the power of writing and enjoys sharing her passion for the classroom with other teachers as an Upstate Writing Project Teacher Consultant. She also loves instilling a love of reading, writing, and speaking with her students within her Inspired Authors Club and during summer camp as the UWP Youth Writing Camps Coordinator. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her husband, her son Emerson, and dog Scotch.
Heather Sox: Program Coordinator
Heather Sox is a fifth grade teacher at Fork Shoals School in Greenville County. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her master’s degree in Literacy from Clemson University and has taught for eight years. She is a Teacher Consultant with Upstate Writing Project and a Digital Teacher Leader for her school. Her focus as a teacher is engaging students in meaningful, engaging instruction while encouraging them to believe in themselves. She has presented at school, district, and state conferences on literacy strategies and technology. Education is a huge part of her life, but when she’s not teaching or learning, she loves to read, travel with friends, and spend time with her dog Carson.