Dr. Thia Wolf


First-Year Experience Director; Professor of English

Phone: (530) 898-6579
Email: cwolf@csuchico.edu
Office: Meriam Library 171

About Thia

Thia Wolf has served as director of the First-Year Experience Program since 2006.  Her work focuses on curriculum development for first- and second-year students using Public Sphere Pedagogy (PSP), a methodology developed by Wolf in concert with colleagues Dr. Chris Fosen and Dr. Jill Swiencicki.  This method focuses entering students' research on public issues and connects that research to public arenas for discussion, dissemination, reflection, and "next-steps" planning activities.  Examples of PSP projects at CSU, Chico include the Town Hall, the Chico Great Debate, and the UNIV 101 Public Event.  Assessments indicate that PSP demonstrably improves students' academic and civic engagement and positively affects first-year students' developing self-concepts.

Wolf's work has been supported by system grants and, since 2007, by multiple grants from the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Charles Engelhard Foundation's Bringing Theory to Practice Project.


  • B.A. 1978, UC Santa Barbara
  • M.A. 1981  English, Miami University at Oxford, Ohio
  • Ph.D. 1986  English: Composition Studies, Miami University at Oxford, Ohio

Recent Publications

 "Using Sustainability Wedges to Advocate for Change in Student and WPA Work." Co-authored with Jill Swiencicki and Chris Fosen. Going Public: WPA as Advocate for Engagement.  Eds. Shirley K. Rose & Irwin Weiser.  Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 2010.

 "Civic Engagement in Academic Writing at Chico State."  First-Year Civic Engagement: Sound Foundations for College, Citizenship and Democracy.  Co-authored with Jill Swiencicki and Chris Fosen.  Ed. Martha J. LaBare.  The New York Times, 2008.  34-5. 

"Classroom-Based Tutoring and the Problem of Tutor Identity."  Co-authored with David Martins.  On  Location.  Eds. Candace Spigelman and Laurie Grobman.  Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 2005. 

 "One Writing Center's First Steps Onto the Web." Co-authored with R. Mark Hall.  The Writing Lab Newsletter 28.3 (2004): 1-6.