URS Conference Stories: Sage Cooley


In the Summer of 2023, Sage Cooley (2025) was able to use a URS Conference Grant to attend and present at the International Writing Across the Curriculum (IWAC) conference at Clemson University.

At IWAC, Sage presented the results of a pilot study to increase genre integration and reduce activity system competition in a multi-section engineering first-year design class (EGR 101). Their work showed how navigating inter-activity system communications intentionally and metacognitively increases the versatility of students’ rhetorical agility and their ability to adapt both writing and engineering self-efficacy beyond the first year and into their workforce transitions.

When asked how the conference experience shaped their perception of their research, Sage expressed how interest in their research work helped them feel more confident: "I met several academics during this conference who expressed interest in my research because they come from school with engineering programs. Some individuals expressed interest in collaboration on the project, at which point I recognized that my work can easily be advanced through sharing knowledge across geographic locations and disciplines."

Are you interested in presenting your research work at a conference? Check out our URS Conference Grants to see if you are eligible to apply for funding.