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

New Tutors Enrich Our Writing Center


Big 10 Writing Centers, Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Staff Introductions, Updates, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Emily Bouza—During this academic year, we have added many new tutors to the Writing Center that have brought an increased diversity of perspectives and experiences to our team. We now have tutors from fields including Applied Linguistics, Art History, African Cultural Studies, Composition and Rhetoric, Curriculum Instruction, English, English as a Second Language, Folklore Studies […]

February 8, 2022

Allyship & Co-Conspiracy in an Antiracist Writing Center


Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Racial Justice, Social Justice, Tutor Training, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Gabrielle Isabel Kelenyi and Seth Umbaugh—This fall, the Writing Center offered an ongoing education group (OGE) about being an ally versus a co-conspirator in an antiracist writing center, which was co-facilitated by the TA Assistant Director of the Writing Center, Seth Umbaugh, and the TA Coordinator of Multicultural and Social Justice Initiatives, Gabrielle Kelenyi. We assembled […]

December 7, 2021

Developing a Multimodal Toolkit for Greater Writing Center Accessibility


Disability and Writing Centers, Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Writing Center Research, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin and Lisa Marvel Johnson—As several scholars have already pointed out (Dembsey; Hitt; Kiedaisch and Dinitz to name a few), historically, the scholarship on disability in the writing center is… not great (to put it lightly). It’s seeped in ableism by positioning disabled writers as “other” and problems that need to be solved. This framing leads to positioning disabled students “as so radically different from other students that they are beyond help—that they require too much time, resources, or special knowledge” (Hitt). This perspective, however, goes beyond ableism that occurs on an individual level. […]

April 20, 2021

When a Dean Writes: Celebrating Black & African American Campus Writers for Black History Month


Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Social Justice Committee

By Gabrielle Isabel Kelenyi, on behalf of the Writing Center’s Antiracism Standing Committee, and featuring Dean Eric Wilcots—Writing happens. It happens everywhere and all the time, even when we’re not writing an essay. Furthermore, writing is important because we use it to communicate important ideas and information, to express ourselves, to make the particular more universal, to reach out and connect with one another. […]

February 23, 2021

Reflecting on a Virtual Semester


Collaborative Learning, Community Writing Assistance, Diversity and Inclusion, Events, Higher Education, Madison Writing Assistance, Outreach, Peer Tutoring, Social Justice, Writing Center Workshops, Writing Fellows, Writing Groups

From Chrissy Widmayer—Looking back on the Writing Center’s Fall 2020 semester, I am awed by all that we have been able to do. Alongside our students, we grappled every day with new challenges posed by the pandemic, adapting to an entirely online slate of services this semester, and sought to maintain the high level of professionalism we always offer. I am grateful for the patience our students have shown as we’ve adjusted to our new methods of teaching and so pleased with the reciprocal culture of care the Writing Center has fostered this semester. […]

December 15, 2020

NaNoWriMo & AcWriMo: A Month-Long Celebration of Writing is Just the Beginning


Community Writing Assistance, Diversity and Inclusion, Events, Madison Writing Assistance, Outreach, Writing Centers, Writing Groups

By Gabrielle Isabel Kelenyi—What comes to mind when you think of the Writing Center? Perhaps you think of a place where you can receive help with your writing; a place where you can take your writing to the next level; a place where you can brainstorm ideas for a first draft, get feedback on a second draft, and put the finishing touches on a final draft… before submitting it to be evaluated by a professor, a TA, an admissions committee, a potential supervisor. That is, the Writing Center is typically thought of as a place where writers can receive short-term and long-term assistance with academic writing. But what if the Writing Center could be more? […]

November 24, 2020

Translingualism: An Alternative to Restrictive Monolingual Ideologies in Writing Instruction


Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Multilingual Writers

By Emily Bouza, Tim Cavnar, and Keli Tucker—Multilingual students should be celebrated for what they bring to academia. In this post, we hope to share what it looks like to support multilingualism in education. Emily’s section will cover different frameworks for understanding multilingual practice, Tim’s section will discuss language ideologies as a framework for thinking and talking about language and writing, and Keli’s section will propose a translingual disposition as a possible move toward a more inclusive writing center pedagogy.

October 27, 2020

An Approach to Understanding and Designing an Inclusivity Statement


Collaborative Learning, Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Social Justice Committee

By Chris Castillo—The inclusivity statement is an increasingly prevalent genre in academic and nonacademic spaces. Inclusivity statements have become staples in most academic institutions—and even within specific departments in those institutions. The individual departments that take the initiative to develop inclusivity statements make it a point to […]

April 6, 2020