Beth Newborg

  • Director, First-Year Engineering Composition Program

Beth Newborg is a Teaching Professor in the English Department. She is the director of the First-Year Engineering Composition Program (a collaboration between the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences and Swanson School of Engineering) and the outreach coordinator for the University of Pittsburgh Writing Center.

In conjunction with the Swanson School of Engineering First-Year Program, Beth developed the innovative English/First-Year Engineering Composition Program. Over two semesters of writing assignments, all first-year engineering students experience the scope and mission of Pitt’s required first-year composition courses, while writing about issues, ethics and innovations in engineering. The program has received national and international attention, with invitations for faculty workshops and keynote conference talks in Abu Dhabi, Portugal, Russia, and Brazil. 

As outreach coordinator for the University of Pittsburgh Writing Center, Beth gives talks and workshops to undergraduate and graduate students and programs in all University departments and schools and consults with faculty across schools on best practices in teaching and evaluating writing. Beth also presents several popular workshops in professional writing for the University Faculty and Staff Development Program.


In addition to directing the English/First-Year Engineering Composition Program, Beth teaches with the program.

Beth is also on the faculty of the Industrial Engineering Department of the Swanson School where she has developed and teaches Communications Skills for Engineers, an upper-division course focused on professional writing and public speaking.

She also teaches Language of Science and Technology for the Public and Professional Writing program. She has also taught Written Professional Communication, Writing Arguments, Seminar in Composition, Words and Images, and Literature and Ideas in Pitt’s English Department.

Writing and Publication

Beth has had papers published in the Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. In 2010. her paper (with Dan Budny), “Combining Freshman Introduction to Engineering with Freshmen Composition” won the North Central Section Best Paper Award. Beth has also had papers published in Proceedings of International Conference on Engineering and Technology Education (COPEC) and in ASQ: Quality Approaches to Higher Education.

Beth has had poetry published in various literary journals, including About PlaceThe Baltimore Review, and Calyx, as well as in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.