Honoring the Writing Center’s Instructors: 2024 Awards for Excellence in Teaching

Awards and Honors, Writing Center Tutors

Since 2016, the Writing Center has recognized the outstanding contributions of our teaching assistance through teaching excellence awards. Our team of over 30 highly skilled teaching assistants, who are enrolled in either master’s or doctoral degree programs, provide one-to-one writing instruction to students. In addition to this, they actively participate in campus-wide outreach initiatives, lead […]

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Embedded Meditation and Mindfulness: An Intentional Turn in Tutor Training

Peer Tutoring, Tutor Training, Undergraduate Students, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Fellows

By Lucy McInerney and Jenna Morton-Aiken, Brown University—If you were to walk into the Writing Fellows training classroom at Brown University at three minutes past 1:00 p.m. on any given Tuesday, you would find a darkened room littered with the bodies of students in repose. As you blinked down in confusion at the student closest to you, her head propped […]

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Not Quite Your Writing Clinic: Experimentations with a Caring Writing Curriculum amid “the Liberal Education Crisis”

Tutor Training, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Shaoxuan Tian, Wesleyan University—I forget when and how Lauren—my supervisor and colleague at Wesleyan University’s writing center—and I started to use the phrase “writing trauma.” // “Another sad one with some writing trauma,” she commented on one response to the “How do you describe your relationship with writing?” question in our Writing Mentor program’s application. […]

Continue Reading

Reuniting in the Write Place: Rediscovering Community at the IWCA Collaborative

IWCA, Writing Center Conference, Writing Centers

Introduction by Jennifer Conrad and Ellen Cecil-Lemkin—The 2023 IWCA Collaborative took place in Chicago on Wednesday, February 15 and marked our first return to in-person conferencing since 2019, the year prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The original call for proposals centered on a consideration of “writing center relationships, partnerships, and coalitions,” as well as the benefits of shared embodied presence with colleagues across the field of writing center studies. For us, there was a special energy about returning to a shared physical space, getting to see […]

Continue Reading

A Warm Welcome for Our New Teaching Faculty

From the Director, Madison Writing Assistance, Staff Introductions, UW-Madison Writing Center Alumni Voices, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Staff, Writing Centers

In August 2023, thanks to the support of English Department and the College of Letters & Science (among others), UW-Madison’s Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum programs welcomed two full-time teaching faculty, Abigail (Abby) Letak and Seth Umbaugh. 

Continue Reading

“Is this going to be hard?”: Reflections on My First Year Teaching Composition as a Writing Center Coordinator

Higher Education, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Theory, Writing Centers

By Tabitha Fisher,  Pennsylvania State University—It’s September 2022, and I’m standing at the front of my classroom, walking through the questions my students posted online in response to the new assignment. At Penn State, nearly all instructors new to the department teach English 15, the university’s first-year writing course in rhetoric and composition. This is my first semester teaching after two years as the Writing Center Coordinator. […]

Continue Reading

More Than a Feeling: Finding the “Felt Sense” Through Tutoring

Higher Education, Peer Tutoring, Tutor Training, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Centers

By Elizabeth Parfitt, Penn State University—As a writing center administrator, I observe 15-20 new writing tutors each semester to provide them with constructive feedback toward their development as tutors, scholars, and writers. […] It’s a part of my job that is time consuming but a highlight. When I’m sitting next to a writer and tutor, watching them move an idea forward, I feel connected to the writing center and the possibilities that tutoring affords. I feel confident that the work we’re doing is making a difference on campus. This overt emotional connection to the work might also explain why I honed in on a curious trend during my observations this past year. […]

Continue Reading

Still Stocking the Bodega

Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Multilingual Writers, Racial Justice, Social Justice, Writing Centers

By Dr. Nancy Effinger Wilson and Samuel Garcia, M.A.—In “Stocking the Bodega,” Nancy discusses changes she made to the Texas State University Writing Center in order to create a panethnic, heteroglossic, communal, cosmopolitan, and transgressive third space writing center. On the writing center’s home page, for example, she added a link labeled “Englishes” that included definitions of various Englishes. Just as the writing center publicized the fact that this was an LGBTQ+ and veteran-friendly space, Nancy wanted to declare the writing center “language friendly.” […]

Continue Reading

Writer’s Dual: Student Support in a Hybrid World

Higher Education, Technology, The Online Writing Center, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Daniella Peinado, Dava Newell, Lisa Diethelm, and Jessica Jones—Supporting students’ writing online has been a topic of conversation in writing centers for decades. Muriel Harris discussed incorporating technology into writing centers in 2000, and in 2009, Neaderhiser and Wolfe reviewed ways writing centers were using new technology tools to support writing centers. The Academic Support Network (ASN) at Arizona State University (ASU) has developed a dual-modality tutoring model which taught us how to identify our core goals for supporting student’s writing to then use available technologies to adapt and meet those goals. […]

Continue Reading

A Writing Center at Sea

Higher Education, International Writing Centers, Technology, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Marina De Greef, Tobi Jacobi, and Sarah Neve—Writing Tip of the Day: Map out which writing tasks you can accomplish before each port to make upcoming port/class turnarounds manageable. Gather a few sources and make an outline or commit to writing a few paragraphs before stepping off the ship (Dean’s memo, March 16, 2023). Writing centers have a storied history as shape shifters, […]

Continue Reading

Nomadic Pedagogy and the Writing Center

Covid, Higher Education, Technology, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Mario Ramirez-Arrazola, University of Oklahoma—In writing center work, It is hard to refrain from thinking about the writing center as the client’s endpoint, and yet it is important to recognize the varied movements and progressions that bring writers to us. Before entering the space of the writing center, they have had to travel through a journey of self-contained experiences, which affected them in either grand or negligible ways. When they walk out, perhaps never to be seen again, their stories don’t stop there. […]

Continue Reading

Show Your Work(flow)

Peer Tutoring, Technology, Tutor Training, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Joseph Franklin, New York City College of Technology—I am writing this at a bamboo table and simple folding chair combo. I am using Microsoft Word on a Mac laptop mounted on a Roost laptop stand and using a Logitech ERGO K860 keyboard that supports my wrists. I am playing instrumental music by Grandbrothers through Sennheiser PXC 550 noise canceling headphones and I have notifications turned off on all devices. These tools (and others) have been curated […]

Continue Reading

Honoring the Writing Center’s Instructors: 2024 Awards for Excellence in Teaching


Awards and Honors, Writing Center Tutors

Since 2016, the Writing Center has recognized the outstanding contributions of our teaching assistance through teaching excellence awards. Our team of over 30 highly skilled teaching assistants, who are enrolled in either master’s or doctoral degree programs, provide one-to-one writing instruction to students. In addition to this, they actively participate in campus-wide outreach initiatives, lead […]

May 14, 2024

Embedded Meditation and Mindfulness: An Intentional Turn in Tutor Training


Peer Tutoring, Tutor Training, Undergraduate Students, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Fellows

By Lucy McInerney and Jenna Morton-Aiken, Brown University—If you were to walk into the Writing Fellows training classroom at Brown University at three minutes past 1:00 p.m. on any given Tuesday, you would find a darkened room littered with the bodies of students in repose. As you blinked down in confusion at the student closest to you, her head propped […]

April 2, 2024

Not Quite Your Writing Clinic: Experimentations with a Caring Writing Curriculum amid “the Liberal Education Crisis”


Tutor Training, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Shaoxuan Tian, Wesleyan University—I forget when and how Lauren—my supervisor and colleague at Wesleyan University’s writing center—and I started to use the phrase “writing trauma.” // “Another sad one with some writing trauma,” she commented on one response to the “How do you describe your relationship with writing?” question in our Writing Mentor program’s application. […]

March 12, 2024

Reuniting in the Write Place: Rediscovering Community at the IWCA Collaborative


IWCA, Writing Center Conference, Writing Centers

Introduction by Jennifer Conrad and Ellen Cecil-Lemkin—The 2023 IWCA Collaborative took place in Chicago on Wednesday, February 15 and marked our first return to in-person conferencing since 2019, the year prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The original call for proposals centered on a consideration of “writing center relationships, partnerships, and coalitions,” as well as the benefits of shared embodied presence with colleagues across the field of writing center studies. For us, there was a special energy about returning to a shared physical space, getting to see […]

February 27, 2024

A Warm Welcome for Our New Teaching Faculty


From the Director, Madison Writing Assistance, Staff Introductions, UW-Madison Writing Center Alumni Voices, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Staff, Writing Centers

In August 2023, thanks to the support of English Department and the College of Letters & Science (among others), UW-Madison’s Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum programs welcomed two full-time teaching faculty, Abigail (Abby) Letak and Seth Umbaugh. 

January 30, 2024

“Is this going to be hard?”: Reflections on My First Year Teaching Composition as a Writing Center Coordinator


Higher Education, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Theory, Writing Centers

By Tabitha Fisher,  Pennsylvania State University—It’s September 2022, and I’m standing at the front of my classroom, walking through the questions my students posted online in response to the new assignment. At Penn State, nearly all instructors new to the department teach English 15, the university’s first-year writing course in rhetoric and composition. This is my first semester teaching after two years as the Writing Center Coordinator. […]

December 12, 2023

More Than a Feeling: Finding the “Felt Sense” Through Tutoring


Higher Education, Peer Tutoring, Tutor Training, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Centers

By Elizabeth Parfitt, Penn State University—As a writing center administrator, I observe 15-20 new writing tutors each semester to provide them with constructive feedback toward their development as tutors, scholars, and writers. […] It’s a part of my job that is time consuming but a highlight. When I’m sitting next to a writer and tutor, watching them move an idea forward, I feel connected to the writing center and the possibilities that tutoring affords. I feel confident that the work we’re doing is making a difference on campus. This overt emotional connection to the work might also explain why I honed in on a curious trend during my observations this past year. […]

November 28, 2023

Still Stocking the Bodega


Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Multilingual Writers, Racial Justice, Social Justice, Writing Centers

By Dr. Nancy Effinger Wilson and Samuel Garcia, M.A.—In “Stocking the Bodega,” Nancy discusses changes she made to the Texas State University Writing Center in order to create a panethnic, heteroglossic, communal, cosmopolitan, and transgressive third space writing center. On the writing center’s home page, for example, she added a link labeled “Englishes” that included definitions of various Englishes. Just as the writing center publicized the fact that this was an LGBTQ+ and veteran-friendly space, Nancy wanted to declare the writing center “language friendly.” […]

November 14, 2023

Writer’s Dual: Student Support in a Hybrid World


Higher Education, Technology, The Online Writing Center, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Daniella Peinado, Dava Newell, Lisa Diethelm, and Jessica Jones—Supporting students’ writing online has been a topic of conversation in writing centers for decades. Muriel Harris discussed incorporating technology into writing centers in 2000, and in 2009, Neaderhiser and Wolfe reviewed ways writing centers were using new technology tools to support writing centers. The Academic Support Network (ASN) at Arizona State University (ASU) has developed a dual-modality tutoring model which taught us how to identify our core goals for supporting student’s writing to then use available technologies to adapt and meet those goals. […]

October 31, 2023

A Writing Center at Sea


Higher Education, International Writing Centers, Technology, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Marina De Greef, Tobi Jacobi, and Sarah Neve—Writing Tip of the Day: Map out which writing tasks you can accomplish before each port to make upcoming port/class turnarounds manageable. Gather a few sources and make an outline or commit to writing a few paragraphs before stepping off the ship (Dean’s memo, March 16, 2023). Writing centers have a storied history as shape shifters, […]

October 17, 2023

Nomadic Pedagogy and the Writing Center


Covid, Higher Education, Technology, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Mario Ramirez-Arrazola, University of Oklahoma—In writing center work, It is hard to refrain from thinking about the writing center as the client’s endpoint, and yet it is important to recognize the varied movements and progressions that bring writers to us. Before entering the space of the writing center, they have had to travel through a journey of self-contained experiences, which affected them in either grand or negligible ways. When they walk out, perhaps never to be seen again, their stories don’t stop there. […]

October 25, 2022

Show Your Work(flow)


Peer Tutoring, Technology, Tutor Training, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Joseph Franklin, New York City College of Technology—I am writing this at a bamboo table and simple folding chair combo. I am using Microsoft Word on a Mac laptop mounted on a Roost laptop stand and using a Logitech ERGO K860 keyboard that supports my wrists. I am playing instrumental music by Grandbrothers through Sennheiser PXC 550 noise canceling headphones and I have notifications turned off on all devices. These tools (and others) have been curated […]

October 4, 2022