Mark Brazaitis is the recipient of the Caperton Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing, which recognizes a tenured faculty member for excellence in the teaching of writing. Established in 2007, the award was made possible by the generosity of former West Virginia Governor and College Board president Gaston Caperton. Caperton’s intent was to “increase awareness of the need for improved writing skills,” identifying writing as a critical issue necessary to maintaining America’s competitive edge in the global market.
Brazaitis is a professor in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of English. For more than two decades, he has demonstrated excellence in writing – including two novels, five collections of short stories and a book of poems – as well as the teaching of writing at WVU. Brazaitis views writing as the foundation for thinking and wants everyone to be better, more versatile writers. He has taught a wide range of students – from English, business and engineering majors to community members, high school students and professionals – and is the long-time director and annual instructor at the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop. Regardless of the students’ level of writing skill, Brazaitis uses the same method for discussing the work, providing feedback and ensuring they have the opportunity to experience being a successful writer.
As the recipient of the 2022 Caperton Award, Brazaitis will receive $5,000 in professional development from the Caperton fund.