1993 Distinguished Lecture Series: Barbara Olds

Barbara Olds


Barbara OldsBarbara M. Olds is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Liberal Arts and International Studies at Colorado School of Mines, where she has taught for the past eighteen years.

She has participated in a number of curriculum innovation projects and has been active in engineering education, technical communication, and assessment communities. Dr. Olds has received the Brown Innovative Teaching Grant and Amoco Outstanding Teaching Award at Mines and was the Mines Faculty Senate Distinguished Lecturer for 1993-94. She was a Fulbright lecturer/researcher in Sweden in 1999.


The basic theme of my talk was to explore the subject of research in the field of writing. At the time of the lecture, there were still many people who believed that writing was purely a skill. If one learned the proper “rules,” e.g., grammar and mechanics, and the proper “formulas,” e.g,. templates for memos, letters, reports, etc., one was a writer.

Clearly, there is much more to effective writing than rules and formulas as researchers from Aristotle to the present have recognized. My lecture was designed to introduce CSM faculty to some of the interesting scholarly work being done currently in rhetoric and composition.