Introverted Engagement: Exploring the Experiences of Shy Writing Center Tutors


Higher Education, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy

By Shannon Mooney—Many years ago, while I was working as an undergraduate tutor, students from a local high school visited our writing center as they worked towards implementing a center at their school. During a group lunch, one of the high schoolers posed a question to our writing center’s tutors and staff: How do tutors who are shy or introverted manage their anxiety or nervousness when interacting with so many different people in writing center spaces? As a shy tutor, I should have attempted to answer the question; instead, […]

August 9, 2022

“No, Thank You”—Your Friendly, Neighborhood Writing Center Chimera 


Higher Education, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Staff

By Molly Parsons—I am the assistant director of a writing center at a regional public college in the Northeast. My title, “assistant director,” is a recent upgrade (from “program assistant”) and an acknowledgment of my advanced degrees (I have a PhD in English and Education). The pay and terms of my position are otherwise unchanged—I am a part-time, adjunct staff member and earn the same salary and benefits (none) as I did before the title change. I occupy two distinct but conflated positions: I am both an academic (by job description) and an hourly, contingent employee (by pay and job security). I’m a veritable chimera […]

July 19, 2022

Pandemic Transitions: Be(com)ing a New Writing Center Director During COVID-19


Covid, Higher Education, Writing Centers

By Amanda May, New Mexico Highlands University—Picture it: Tallahassee 2020. I was preparing to send my dissertation to the committee for my defense after a tumultuous final semester as assistant director. No part of writing center experience or scholarship prepared me to help transition from in-person services to fully online services in response to the pandemic, facing challenges similar to those described by Marilee Giles and colleagues. To make matters more difficult, I was also on the job market. […]

June 7, 2022

Vulnerability and Mutual Disclosure through the Use of Personal Pronouns in the WC Space


Social Justice, Tutor Publications, Undergraduate Students, Writing Center Tutors

By Julianna Peres—Recently, there has been a surge of conversations about intersectionality and inclusivity in Writing Centers (WC) within university classrooms and WC settings. WC Directors and tutors have been facilitating conversations about accessibility for neurodivergent tutees and have been discussing the nuances of racial awareness and social justice work in the WC space. More and more centers are changing the physical, electronic, and intellectual aspects of tutoring sessions so as to create a more accessible atmosphere for both tutors and tutees. […]

May 17, 2022

Honoring the Writing Center’s Instructors: 2022 Awards for Excellence in Teaching


Awards and Honors, Writing Center Tutors

teaching excellence awards. We award one instructor an Award for Early Excellence, which is for instructors in their first two years with the center, and we award one instructor an Award for Advanced Excellence, which is for instructors who have been teaching with the center for more than two years. These awards specifically recognize our instructors’ one-to-one work with students. […]

May 10, 2022

“Are We Walking the Walk?”: Undertaking Writing Center Assessment


Writing Center Research

By Angela Zito—Assessment is not everyone’s favorite thing to talk about, but it is one of mine. In this post, I’ll try to convince you that writing center assessment can be a worthwhile and invigorating process that places the things you care about most—inclusivity, student learning, accessibility, tutor education—front and center. Assessment projects urge us to ask ourselves, “Are we walking the walk, as well as talking the talk?” […]

May 3, 2022

Course-Embedded Programming and the Need for Clear Expectations


Collaborative Learning, Higher Education, Peer Tutoring, Student Voices, Undergraduate Students, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Ava Hutt, Kailie Settles, and Caroline Shutt,Transylvania University Writing Center—University writing centers offer a myriad of benefits for students. But like many useful academic resources outside of actual courses, it can be difficult to sell Transylvania University students on the idea of peer tutoring, especially given conflicts with time: clubs, athletics, off-campus jobs, and more. In an effort to combat this reluctance, and as a way to help assist students transition into college writing, Transylvania University Writing Center began implementing a Course-Embedded Peer Consultant initiative in 2014. Course-embedded consultants (known as “CECs”), like Writing Fellows or Writing Associates at other colleges, work […]

April 26, 2022

Learning Together Through Ongoing Education


Collaborative Learning, Graduate Students, Tutor Training

By Seth Umbaugh—e Tutoring Corona,” Brad Hughes provided an overview of our writing center’s practice of providing professional development opportunities for our graduate tutors through ongoing education. As the Writing Center’s TA Assistant Director this academic year, I worked with our administrative leadership team to coordinate an exciting series of ongoing education seminars (OGEs) that offered graduate tutors a range of professionalization opportunities and aided the development of our center’s values and pedagogical practices. […]

April 14, 2022

Hearing Accessibility in a Conversational Practice


Collaborative Learning, Disability and Writing Centers, Diversity and Inclusion, Tutor Training

By Natalie White—A good writing center aims to be accessible to all students, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or disability; however, many of the conventional methods passed down between centers are based on those without barriers to communication. This tutoring style leaves students who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing (HOH) in a complicated position. However, a great writing center not only sees where barriers lie, but actively works to deconstruct them, especially […]

April 5, 2022

Showcasing Our Writing Fellows’ Research


Peer Tutoring, Undergraduate Students, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Fellows

Each year in the spring semester at UW-Madison’s Writing Center, Writing Fellows and Writing Center instructors hold a joint staff meeting where Fellows share original research about one-on-one writing tutoring. The Writing Fellows Program is a course-embedded peer tutoring program. Writing Fellows take a peer tutor education class course […]

March 29, 2022