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Faculty Accomplishments

Fall 2020

Fourteen DU Faculty Present at Prestigious Meeting

Fourteen DU Writing faculty had papers accepted for the annual National Council of Teachers of English Convention, though a blind review process with a 16% acceptance rate. The convention, which draws some 8,000 people annually, was scheduled at the Denver Convention Center, November 19-20. Executive Director of Writing Doug Hesse, a former NCTE President, served as Local Arrangements Chair. However, owing to COVID-19, the convention will be held virtually, with Trevor Noah as the keynote speaker.

  • Heather Martin: "On Common Ground: A 'Parallel-Process' Model for Writing-Focused Elementary-College Partnerships" with Ryan Kelley, 5th grade teacher at Charles Hay Elementary
  • Blake Sanz, John Tiedemann, Geoff Stacks, and Alison Turner (recent DU Ph.D. graduate): "Colorado Communities of Confluence, Historical and Contemporary: A Multimedia Exploration."
  • John Tiedemann: "Community-Engaged Writing During a Pandemic," with Veronica House (CU-Boulder) and Tobi Jacobi (Colorado State University).
  • Jennifer Campbell, David Daniels, LP Picard, and Blake Sanz: "Swimming Upstream: Critical Thinking and Writing in a Deluge of Digital Media."
  • April Chapman-Ludwig, LP Picard, and David Riche: "An Expansive Experience: Teaching Research as Confluence of Connections."
  • Russell Brakefied: "Reclaiming and Reinvention through Creative Writing and Fiction."
  • Doug Hesse: "Writing as Coping."

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

Russell Brakefield published "Flight Plans" in Yes Poetry, and "The Woodpecker" and "Bantams" in Entropy Magazine, accompanied by a photo made by Geoff Stacks.

Libby Catchings will publish "Stitching in Synch": Engaging the Sensorium through Digital Craft to Affirm Students' Hybrid Literacies" in the forthcoming book A Socially Just Classroom: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Teaching Writing across the Humanities. (Vuslat Katsanis and Kristin Coffey, Eds. Wilmington, DE and Malaga, Spain: Vernon Press).

Doug Hesse wrote "Aging Through the Thirty-Year Rise of Professionalized Writing Administration" in Talking Back: Senior Scholars and Their Colleagues Deliberate the Past, Present, and Future of Writing Studies. (Ed. Norbert Elliot and Alice Horning; University of Colorado Press) and "Breech Disciplinary Levees: Help Fix Democracy," in Pedagogy (20.2). Hesse has Afterwords forthcoming in two books, both from Utah State UP: "Sustaining What for Why?" (Toward More Sustainable Metaphors for Writing Program Administration, ed. Lydia Wilkes) and "Learning with Robert Scholes" (Reading and Writing in the 21st Century, ed. Ellen Carillo). His article "Stories, Celebrations, Tips, Trips, and Fights: Everyday Writing in a Climbing Community" appeared in the summer 2020 issue of The South Atlantic Review (85.2).

Juli Parrish published "'What Use Is This Diary?" Writing Traditions in the Back Smoker Diaries" in the summer 2020 issue of The South Atlantic Review (85.2). Parrish is also co-editor of the collection Literacy and Pedagogy in an Age of Misinformation and Disinformation, to be published by Parlor Press, as part of its Working and Writing for Change series, in January 2021.

Keith Rhodes wrote "Seeing Writing Whole: The Revolution We Really Need" in The Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning, vol 25. His co-authored article with Paige Davis Arrington, "Audit of a Profession: The Virtues of (Very Belatedly) Meeting Ann E. Berthoff's Challenge to Composition," is scheduled for Composition Forum, vol. 25.

Kara Taczak and Debbie Gale Mitchell published "Embracing the Ugly: Creating Generative Failure through Bullet Journals," in Failure Pedagogies: Systems, Risks, Futures. (Eds. Allison D. Carr and Laura R. Micciche. Lang Publishers). With Liane Robertson, and Kathleen Blake Yancey, she also published "Students' Theory of Writing: A Frame for Transfer to New Writing Contexts." Stories from First-Year Composition: FYC Pedagogies that Foster Student Writing Identity and Agency. Eds. Jo-Ann Keer and Ann Amicucci. (WAC Clearinghouse/Colorado State University)

Faculty Currently in National Disciplinary Roles 

Juli Parrish is co-editor of Literacy in Composition Studies, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal in its ninth year, and cofounder of the CCCC Special Interest Group on literacy studies.

Kara Taczak is co-editor of Composition Studies, founded in 1972, the oldest independent journal in the field.

David Riche is associate editor of Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition 2020Richard Colby, Rebekah Shultz-Colby, Keith Rhodes, Pauline Reid, April Chapman-Ludwig, and Dan Singer are assistant editors for that volume.

Dan Singer serves on the national advisory board of the Coalition for Community Writing.

Doug Hesse is a member of the WPA Consultant Evaluators Panel, a group he formerly co-directed.

Russell Brakefield is managing editor of Carve Magazine.

David Daniels is poetry editor of Crab Creek Review.


To maintain her research network in spite of the Conference on College Composition and Communication's Milwaukee's COVID-19 cancellation, Libby Catchings chaired a virtual session on prison literacies, bringing members from the Milwaukee correctional/reentry community into dialogue with prison writing practitioners across the country while also sharing resources and curricula.

In April, Kamila Kinyon organized a Zoom version of "Conversations in the Disciplines" for WRIT 1133 students with presentations by Alison Krogel in Languages, Kelly Fayard in anthropology, and Dinko Hanaan Dinko in Geography. Presenters discussed their qualitative ethnographic research in conjunction with text based/interpretive and/or quantitative methodologies.

Kamila Kinyon is currently working on a pedagogical paper with Alejandro Ceron in Anthropology and Dinko Hanaan Dinko in Geography about the role of ethnography in writing across the curriculum (WAC). They are planning to present this paper on an accepted but postponed panel at the International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference (IWAC).

Keith Rhodes published the article, "Seeing Writing Whole: The Revolution We Really Need," in the Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning. In the article, he argues that writing teacher scholars should view writing as an entire transaction, shifting more focus to teaching students to read a wide variety of texts expertly rather than striving to make effective communication entirely the responsibility of the writer. This argument follows both from the genuine nature of language (a socially-mediated, many-sided transaction that is not a matter of perfectible coding) and from the common social and commercial situation of writing (that people with less authority and preparation often need to write for people with more). This argument also allows writing teachers to honor the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) declaration of writers' rights to their own language and make writing pedagogy more inclusive of language difference.

David Daniels was named Poetry Editor of Crab Creek Review.

Winter 2020

Pauline Reid taught "Rhetoric and Composition for Political Crisis," within the Writing Program's writing minor. The course used classical, postmodern, and non-Western/indigenous rhetorical methods to examine how crises of politics and crises of communication intersect and how writing can become an imperative and productive response to such crises.

Doug Hesse published a book chapter, "Writing as Practiced and Studied beyond 'Writing Studies,'" co-authored with Peggy O'Neill, in (Re)considering What We Know: Learning Thresholds in Writing, Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy, edited by Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth Wardle (Utah State UP). Hesse and O'Neil argue that "writing studies" is an inaccurate name for a field that hasn't properly accounted for journalism and creative writing.

Hesse served as external reviewer and consultant for writing at Bentley University in Waltham, MA.

Hesse presented "Neglect and Abuse? Sure. But Maybe We Can Get Writing's Relationships Right This Time" at the Modern Language Association annual convention in Seattle, January 10. The talk, on a panel about relationships between literary studies and writing, reviewed the sorry history of composition within English departments but offered a rationale for better connections going forward.

Hesse served on the NCTE Task Force on Awards and authored the group's final report.

fall 2019

Keith Rhodes published "Feeling It: Toward Style as Culturally Structured Intuition" in the December issue of College Composition and Communication. The article reports on the results of a broader study, funded by a CCCC grant, looking into the effects of direct, structural style instruction on student writing. In Rhodes' portion of the study, direct instruction itself apparently has few, if any, lasting impacts, and students learn more from simply thinking intuitively about style and using basic terms like concision, flow, and voice. To work on style in that more intuitive way, the article discusses how teachers can turn to translingual approaches like code-meshing and imitation of dialects, broadening students' perspectives on stylistic possibilities.

Blake Sanz was a 2019 finalist of the Flannery O'Connor fiction award for his book of 16 short stories, The Boundaries of Their Dwelling, and "¡Hablamos!" is an example one of the short stories in the collection.

This fall, Rob Gilmor published the article "Writing, Archives, and Exhibits: Piloting Partnerships between Special Collections and Writing Classes" with the librarians, Katherine Crowe, Curator of Special Collections and Archives, and Rebecca Macey, Manager of Exhibitions and Programs, in the journal Alexandria: The Journal of National and International Library and Information Issues. The article discusses the benefits and challenges of an interdisciplinary partnership between a first-year writing class and the library to exhibit student work while also teaching students about information literacy, museology, archival theory, and writing.

Richard Colby and Rebekah Shultz Colby published "Game Design Documentation: Four Perspectives from Independent Game Studios" in Communication Design Quarterly in May. They interviewed four independent game designers to examine how the game design document operates as a meta-genre within a reciprocal relationship to design.

In July, Libby Catchings published an article titled "Bodily Instruments: Somatic Metaphor in Prison-based Research" in Reflections: A Journal of Community-Engaged Writing and Rhetoric in which she uses a critical race framework to locate discourses of whiteness circulating between the texts of prison-based scholar-practitioners and their imprisoned counterparts, considering how those rhetorical economies risk marginalizing prisoners in an already vexed space. She also recently joined DU Prison Arts Initiative (DU PAI) as affiliate faculty advisory board member; DU PAI promotes access to therapeutic arts programs that improve prisoners' quality of life and prepares them to make positive changes in their communities upon release.

In September, Heather Martin addressed incoming students and their parents at the 2019 fall convocation. Here is a short video clip of the event featuring Martin:

winter 2019

David Riche's article "Toward a Theory and Pedagogy of Rhetorical Vulnerability", which was published in Literacy in Composition Studies, won a place in the prestigious The Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition 2019 issue published annually by Parlor Press.

Kara Taczak was accepted to the Elon Seminar, Writing Beyond the University Research Seminar, that will be held for three consecutive summers at Elon University. They had 122 applications representing 16 countries and over a dozen disciplines; their acceptance rate was only 27%.

At the Conference on College Composition and Communication this March, Libby Catchings gave a presentation entitled "Prosthetic Performance: Digital Blackface and the Vexed Rhetorical Ethics of Teaching with GIFs," Keith Rhodes presented "Genre Roles as Rhetorical Actors' Studio: Anti-Paternalistic Stylistic Imitation," Richard Colby and Rebekah Shultz Colby presented "Performing Games/Performing Composition: Playing, Imagining, and Creating Embodied Rhetorics in the Writing Classroom," Rob Gilmor and April Chapman-Ludwig virtually presented "Embodied Archives: Writing Partnerships to Build Effective Transfer Student Community," Aubrey Schiavone presented "What's Social Media Got to Do with It? Students' Social Media Writing in and across Contexts," and Doug Hesse and John Tiedemann presented "Paper, Plates, and Tactile Performance." Juli Parrish facilitated a workshop on "Building and Running an Academic Journal: A-Behind-the-Scenes Workshop in Independent Publishing," Kara Taczak led a workshop titled "Performing Curriculum in the Classroom: Designing Teaching for Transfer (TFT) Courses for Diverse Campuses," and Richard Colby and Rebekah Shultz Colby ran a workshop entitled "Remix Performance in Games."

Libby Catchings joined the DU PAI (Prison Arts Initiative) as affiliated faculty. That project will both promote a shared culture of writing between DU and participating prisons, and with other PAI faculty interested in collaborative design of writing, reflection, and assessment practices.

April Chapman-Ludwig was invited to join the Courseware Faculty Advisory Board through OTL. The board provides faculty input on policy and issues related to the university's learning management system and other instructional technologies. She will be making recommendations and evaluating new instructional technology applications that integrate with LMS (e.g. VeriCite, Kaltura, Design Tools, NBC Learn, Respondus, etc.) She will be joined by Michael Myers (Business and Marketing), Barb Hurtt (Biological Sciences), Michael Keables (Geography and Environment), Kathy Kearns (OTL), and Susan Lutz (IT).


Russell Brakefield published the poetry book Field Recordings in March. He also has two forthcoming poems in The Southeast Review and The Literary Review later this spring.

In March, Richard Colby and Jennifer Campbell published "Servers, Cooks, and the Inadequacy of Metaphor" in the edited collection, WPAs in Transition: Navigating Educational Leadership Positions, drawing on how Campbell mentored Colby in becoming the next Assistant Writing Program Director.

While teaching the writing intensive course "Poetry & Pleasure," David Daniels was also a poet-in-residence at Goshen College for two weeks this spring. Additionally, his poem, "Pearl," was published in the spring issue of Rise Up Review.

Heather Martin published the essay "Divorce and Death-by-Crushing" in Argot Magazine this April.

Juli Parrish presented at the Colorado Wyoming Writing Tutors Conference this April with 11 undergraduate and graduate writing consultants. Here is a list of their panels:

Calling Fellow Travelers: Reimagining the Role of the Writing Fellow
Julia Fleming (MA, English)
Patrick Munnelly (MA, Professional Creative Writing)
Kyle Przybylski (MA, Clarinet Performance

Structure without Structure: Non-Institutional Professional Development in the Writing Center
Dennis Sweeney (PhD, English / Poetry)

Beta-Testing: Social Media and the Writing Center
Maggie Sava (Senior, Art History & English)
Sasha Strelitz (PhD, English - Literary Studies)

Writers' Groups and the Risks of Sharing
Zach Johnson (Sophomore, English)

Examining Oregon State University's Writing Across Borders and Kaplan's Theory of Contrastive Rhetoric
Erinrose Mager (PhD, English)

Expectations Met and Missed: Student Expectations of Writing Center Appointments
Madison Hakey (Sophomore, English)
Mikayla Peters (MA, English)

Reimagining Local Contexts: Reciprocity in Writing Center Partnerships
Juli Parrish (Writing Center Director)
Alicia Wright (PhD, English)
Jason Schlueter and Erin Campbell, Arapahoe Community College

2018, continued

Aubrey Schiavone will be giving a presentation on the "Silence and Listening as Rhetorics of Engagement and Resistance" panel at CCCC 2018 in Kansas City Missouri in March. Her presentation, titled "Rhetorical Listening as Inclusive Praxis," uses qualitative interview data to demonstrate that first-generation college students are adept at rhetorical listening—listening for the purposes of creating cross-cultural conversations, especially within the space of their college courses.

Russell Brakefield published two poems, "Drone Strike Over Western Slopes," in The Shallow Ends and,"Letter to Alan Lomax," in BOMB Magazine in January. This quarter he also had several poems published in anthologies: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 and Isle Royale from the AIR. Finally, in December, he published a short piece about Alan Lomax in Coldfront Magazine's Song of the Week series called "Oh Mary Don't You Weep."

Rebekah Shultz Colby, Richard Colby, and David Riche explored how ethos is constructed within gameplay at the Southwest Popular Culture Conference on Friday, Feb. 9. Rebekah Shultz Colby's presentation was titled "Examining How Metis and Phronesis Create Ethos in Gameplay" and examined ethos construction in the gameplay of the board game, Illuminati. Richard Colby's presentation was titled "Make America Nazi-Free Again" and examined Nazi ethos construction in Wolfenstein. David Riche's presentation, titled "Paratextual Rulebooks: Ethos, Identification, and What I Learned from Watching "Yu-Gi-Oh!," considered how adaptations based on trading card games create ethos within their larger franchises.

David Daniels gave an invited reading for a panel titled "Celebrating Waccamaw's 10th Anniversary" at the Association for Writer and Writing Programs (AWP) on March 8 in Tampa. He will also have poetry appearing in the print anthology, Waccamaw's 10th Anniversary.

Doug Hesse argued for the importance of teaching writing in humanities courses in a plenary session at the Modern Language Association Meeting in New York, January 5, 2018. The title of the session was "The Matter of Writing," and it also included Jonathan Alexander, Kris Blair, Doug Eyman, Deborah Holdstein, Andrea Lunsford, John Schilb, and Kathleen Yancey. His talk was titled "Writing and 'Creative' Writing." He also has five forthcoming articles and chapters, all of which grapple with literacy and writing instruction. For example, one article is titled "Writing as a Liberal Art, in an Age Neither Artful Nor Liberal" and is forthcoming in the Journal of Expanded Perspectives on Literacy.


Writing Program faculty take on diverse teaching, research, and service projects both within the Writing Program and in the broader DU and Denver communities. This issue features a selection of several of our faculty's most recent accomplishments.

Blake Sanz published the short story "Hablamos!" in Ecotone in January 2017.

Over a four month period, John Tiedemann and Blake Sanz partnered with Urban Peak to plan writing events for youth in Urban Peak's supportive housing programs, many of whom have aged out of the foster care system.

Richard Colby, for a special September 2017 issue of in media res on narrative in video games, published a video essay and commentary on the problem of narrative imperatives -- stories in games that claim they are very important, but which the player can ignore:

Jennifer Campbell, Zoe Tobier, Rob Gilmor, and Lauren Picard (LP) led panels at the 2017 Denver ComicCon this June. LP, Rob, and Zoe led the panel "It's a Trap!: Using Star Wars to Covertly Teach Rhetoric, Writing, & Critical Reading"; Jennifer co-facilitated her panel, "Shambling to Class: Zombies and the Liberal Arts," with former students from her zombie narrative-themed First-Year Seminar.

In Jennifer Campbell's WRIT 1133 class students research positive psychology or, in other words, happiness. Campbell published an article on her positive pedagogy in Composition Forum in Summer 2016 and presented about it at the annual meeting of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning in Estes Park, CO, with colleagues Zoe Tobier, Kanika Agrawal, and Lauren Picard (LP) in June 2017.

After conducting grant-funded research on style for many years, Keith Rhodes has developed and is teaching a Fall 2017 class for the Minor in Writing Practices in which students work intensively on the writing exercises found by recent scholarship (including Dr. Rhodes' own) to be most effective in developing writing. Some, like imitation, are ancient and venerable; some, like "sentence combining," are more recent and esoteric; all work on the central premise that writing is an ability improved mainly through informed practice while writing meaningful text.

Doug Hesse is finishing a 4-year term through presidential rotation for the National Council of Teachers of English, a 30,000 member organization of K-12 teachers and college professors. His presidential address was published in Research in the Teaching of English. He delivered keynote talks this summer and fall at the Two Year College Association, the Illinois Association of Teachers of English, and Expanded Perspectives on Literacy.


Pauline Reid recently published Reading by Design: The Visual Interface of the English Renaissance. The book discusses how the printed book as a medium brought the visual to the forefront while at the same time creating a crisis that questioned the relationship between vision and perception. Congratulations, Polly, for this scholarly achievement!

Congratulations to Libby Catchings, who has a new article coming out in the November/December issue of WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship titled "Consultation Length and Higher Order Concerns: A RAD Study." The article is a research study she conducted with Susan Cross.

Former Service Learning Faculty Member of the Year, Heather Martin received a Grand Challenges Scholars grant last spring to co-create a professional development program for the teachers at Charles Hay Elementary in Englewood. The program is scheduled to roll out this spring, with the support of Englewood Schools and the principal and vice principal at Charles Hay.

David Riche published "Toward a Theory and Pedagogy of Rhetorical Vulnerability" last year in LiCS: Literacy in Composition Study, an open access, peer reviewed journal that Juli Parrish has co-edited for six years. The article argues that instead of only viewing rhetoric through the lens of agency, we should also pay attention to how rhetorical messages are received and cultivate an understanding of rhetorical vulnerability, even when investigating especially agonistic rhetorics. Congratulations, David!

Congratulations are in order for Rob Gilmor and April Chapman, who are researching the DU transfer student community in a six-year longitudinal study. They are researching if WRIT 1133 has some impact on helping transfer students navigate DU, especially connecting them to campus resources and other transfer peers. They are using their research to create WRIT courses specifically aimed at meeting the needs of transfer students and plan to connect other transfer students to a dedicated DU Transfer Student Website. Gilmor and Chapman will be presenting their findings at CCCC's in 2019.

Kamila Kinyon is part of the Laboratory for Ethnographic Collaborations initiative, an initiative headed by Alejandro Ceron from the Department of Anthropology and involving fifteen people from multiple departments across campus who are currently planning a series of potential events—such as colloquia, brown bags, and writing workshops—as well as preparing a CILCA grant application for supporting ethnographic research and writing at DU by: 1) facilitating interactions and collaborations among faculty who do ethnography, 2) offering a space where students interested in ethnography can develop their ideas and skills through mentorship opportunities, and 3) offering students and faculty an "umbrella" for ethnographic research that helps build sustainable collaborations beyond DU.

a job well done - 2016

Dr. Sarah Hart Micke, who served as the Writing Center Assistant Director for the past three years, has returned to full-time teaching as a Teaching Associate Professor in the Writing Program, including her ongoing work teaching community engaged classes and co-leading the WRIT Engagement Program, which supports undergraduates teaching writing in local elementary schools.

In her time with the Writing Center, Dr. Hart Micke had a signifiant impact on undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty at DU. In addition to working closely with writing center staff, she oversaw our Writing Fellows program; coordinated outreach efforts; facilitated many dozens of workshops, trainings, and events; and worked regularly at our community site at the Gathering Place, a daytime drop-in shelter for women, children, and transgender individuals experiencing poverty and homeless.

Dr. Hart Micke's impact will be lasting, and the Writing Center will continue to feel the benefit of her collaborative and ethical approach to teaching and tutoring writing for a long time to come.

Professor Libby Catchings was recently awarded the 2016 Best New Scholar award for her article "Sponsoring True Feeling: Literacy, Parrhesia, and Civic Mythos in the Writings of Detained Youth." The award is given to a scholar whose first major research publication has been published in Written Communication, which is one of our field's most important journals known for publishing rigorous research. The award will be announced in the April 2017 issue of the journal. Congratulations, Libby!

 Juli Parrish, Doug Hesse, and Geoffrey Bateman published a study of writing across the curriculum in DU's Advanced Seminar program. "Assessing a General Education Writing Capstone: Research as Faculty Development" appears in Across the Discipline.


Two Writing Program Faculty Deliver All Campus Lectures Each year during Discoveries Orientation, all incoming students pick from six lectures to attend. These lectures revolve around a central theme of the University, and this year the theme was storytelling. It is an honor to be selected to give one of these lectures, and this year two Writing Program faculty members were chosen: Heather Martin and John Tiedemann. Congratulations to them both on this tremendous achievement! Links to both talks can be found below.

Shelter Stories by John Tiedemann

The Anatomy of a Story by Heather Martin

 Congratulations to Dr. Carol Samson, award-winning director of the play "The Tie That Binds." In October 2015, Carol adapted Kent Haruf's novel The Tie That Binds for stage performance at The SteamPlant Theatre in Salida, Colorado. The adaptation was nominated for multiple awards by the Colorado Community Theatre Coalition and Carol was awarded Best Director. 

carol tie that binds


Outstanding FSEM Instructor of the Year!

megan kelly
Congratulations to Writing Program faculty member Megan Kelly on winning Outstanding FSEM Instructor of the Year - a student nominated award for excellence in First Year Seminar instruction.


Heather Martin DU Writing Program Faculty Professor Heather Martin received the University of Denver’s award for “Service Learning Faculty Member of the Year,” joining her colleague Liz Drogin, who received that same award two years ago.  The entire Writing Program received the Community-Engaged Department of the Year Award in 2012.


Kara TaczakDr. Kara Taczak, Writing Program Lecturer, was recently announced to be the winner of the  Conference on College Composition and Communication  2015 Research Impact Award for the book she co-authored:   "Writing across Contexts: Transfer, Composition, and Sites of Writing."   Dr. Taczak will be honored at the CCCC Convention in Tampa in March. Congratulations Kara for this outstanding achievement and contribution to the professional work in the composition field!

David Daniels Kate Tufts Discovery Award Finalist

Congratulations to Writing Program Lecturer David J. Daniels for being a finalist for the prestigious Kate Tufts Discovery Award! This award is given annually to poets that show great promise and is one of the most distinguished awards in the field. David's first book "Clean" is a top five first book finalist. Congratulations David!