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

Reflecting on Tutor Training in Times of Crisis


Classes, Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Racial Justice, Social Justice, Tutor Training, Undergraduate Students, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Centers

By Stacie Klinowski, University of Massachusetts Amherst—”I think about that reading all the time when I’m tutoring. Literally all the time,” one undergraduate tutor told me as we discussed one of her sessions that I had observed. The reading in question, “Peer Tutoring: A Contradiction in Terms?” by John Trimbur, was something that this tutor had read two years previously when taking a class to prepare to work in our writing center. 

June 6, 2023

From Tension to Agency: Supporting Multilingual Writers in the Writing Center


Diversity and Inclusion, Multilingual Writers, Peer Tutoring, Tutor Training, Writing Center Theory, Writing Centers

By Kerri Rinaldi, Immaculata University—Over the past few semesters, the tutors at the writing center I direct have expressed a desire and a need for more training on supporting multilingual writers. I heard their requests, but at first, I wasn’t sure how much additional training time to devote to this topic. After all, our small campus (2,500 students) has an even smaller population of international students and multilingual writers (just 1-5% of all students). And, my tutors […]

May 16, 2023

The Queer Tutor: Affirmation of Identity Through Writing Center Work


Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Queer Theory, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Molly Ryan, Virginia Tech—I remember my first day of writing center tutoring distinctly: I can see the desk I selected, third from the front by one of the large windows on the outer wall of the second floor of Newman library at Virginia Tech. I remember the brightly colored Crayola markers laid out for tutors, selecting the black marker to write my name on my identifying tag, and then […]

May 2, 2023

Empathetic Listening and Collaborative Learning: My Experience as an International Writing Center Tutor


Collaborative Learning, Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Multilingual Writers, Peer Tutoring, Social Justice, Tutor Publications, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Kuhelika Ghosh—When I work with international undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Writing Center, I often find myself taking a moment or two to acknowledge the specific challenges that the student shares with me. During some of these conversations, I end up briefly sharing my own experiences during my undergraduate degree when I struggled with writing within certain academic genres as a new international student. I still remember the first time I […]

March 21, 2023

I’m So Sorry, English Is Not My First Language


Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Multilingual Writers, Social Justice, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Robert Zatryb, University of Connecticut—‘I’m so sorry, English is not my first language.’ Have you ever heard this sentence in your tutoring sessions? Have you read it among the information provided by the student writer ahead of the appointment? I certainly did, with a surprising regularity and always in a similar, apologetic wording. To some tutors and administrators, this tone might go unnoticed and be trivialised, but it actually should be very striking. The writers are […]

March 7, 2023

“Try and Fight that white Supremacy:” Tutors on Antiracist Praxis


Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Racial Justice, Social Justice, Tutor Training, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Center Research, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Faith Thompson, Salisbury University—After Victor Villanueva’s 2006 catalyzing speech at the International Writing Centers Association Conference, calls for antiracist practices at writing centers have been echoed by many scholars such as Frankie Condon, Laura Greenfield, and Neisha Anne-Green. These calls have offered insight into ways that racism shows up in writing centers, including student work brought to tutors that perpetuate racism and racist ideologies […]

February 21, 2023

Learning to Tutor for Racial and Linguistic Justice: Reflections from the UW-Madison Writing Fellows Program


Diversity and Inclusion, Tutor Training, Undergraduate Students, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Fellows

By Keli Tucker with her English 403 class—The UW-Madison Writing Fellows program, directed by Dr. Emily Hall, is a peer tutoring program that selects exceptional undergraduate students to provide writing support to other undergraduates who are enrolled in a course with writing. Writing Fellows are assigned to courses in a variety of disciplines, including history, biology, gender and women’s studies, and many more. Under the guidance of the faculty teaching the course, Fellows help students […]

February 1, 2023

Neurodivergency in Writing Center Design: Where is it?


Disability and Writing Centers, Diversity and Inclusion, Student Voices, Undergraduate Students, Writing Centers

By Maya Osaka, University of North Carolina at Charlotte—”Sorry, can you repeat that?” // My client begins again—this is the second time I’ve asked them to do so during our session, and as their voice begins to fade away I know I’ll likely have to ask them to repeat themself for a third time. It is humiliating. With each moment where I struggle to pull their voice out of the never-ending tsunami of sensory stimuli it’s being washed away in, I can’t help but to think about… the lights, actually. Their dull fluorescence soaks into every bookcase, desk, and notepad. Even the grooves in the fabric covering of the cubicle walls, each detail drenching my brain in a haze of static.

November 15, 2022

Writing Center Affiliates’ Recent Conference Participation 


Diversity and Inclusion, Events, Graduate Students, IWCA, Multilingual Writers, Peer Tutoring, Social Justice, Writing Center Conference, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Center Research, Writing Center Tutors

By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin—The first in-person International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) Conference since 2019 was held from October 26 to 29, 2022 at Vancouver, British Columbia. Sherry Wynn Perdue, IWCA president, wrote, “Attended by almost 500 members from all over the world, our annual conference offered presenters and attendees an opportunity to converse and conspire, so we may reconceive our roles as […]

November 8, 2022