Honoring the Writing Center’s Instructors: 2021 Awards for Excellence in Teaching


Awards and Honors, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center Tutors

By the Writing Center Leadership Team TA Award Committee—For the past five years, the Writing Center has celebrated our excellent instructors by honoring selected students with teaching awards. Each semester, we have between 45 and 50 doctoral-level teaching assistants who work with our students in one-to-one writing instruction, provide outreach across campus, lead workshops, and more. To select our award winners, we invite our teaching assistants to nominate their colleagues or themselves for these awards. Nominees are invited to apply by submitting […]

April 27, 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

Ongoingness: Reflections from within a Pandemic


Graduate Students, Higher Education, The Online Writing Center, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center History, Writing Center Tutors

By Jennifer Conrad—When we entered the spaces of online learning a year ago, few of us could have guessed what the time would hold. On the one hand, this past year has been one of shared experience: all of us are finding our way through a global pandemic, with all of its uncertainty, political and social unrest, boredom, loneliness, and other associated experiences. On the other hand, this time has been one that is deeply individual: each of us passing time in our quarantine “bubbles.”

March 16, 2021

Spotlighting Our Instructors’ Dissertation Projects


Graduate Students, Student Voices, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Tutors

By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin—Just last month, I was hired as a Faculty Associate for the UW-Madison Writing Center, and I could not be more excited to join this amazing team of administrators and instructors! Joining a writing center team, in a lot of ways, feels like coming home. I started my journey in writing studies after working as an undergraduate writing consultant at the University of Central Florida […]

February 9, 2021

“Focus on the Now,” or Embodiment in a Virtual Dissertation Writing Camp


Graduate Students, Higher Education

By Calley Marotta and Jennifer Conrad—In May of 2020, two months after the sudden jump to online-only instruction necessitated by COVID-19, our writing center held its first virtual Dissertation Writing Camp. Co-sponsored by UW-Madison’s Graduate School and facilitated by Writing Center instructors, the central goals of this camp have always been to support writing and its production during a compressed timeline and to provide dissertators with a community of fellow graduate student writers engaged in the same effort. The decision to host this long-running camp online rather than in person felt provisional, and yet necessary amid so much upheaval.

November 10, 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

Writing Mentorships: An Experiment in Formalization


Graduate Students

By Aaron Vieth – This post is a reflection on one of the Writing Center’s many new initiatives this year. Beginning last summer, we have been piloting a new format for our ongoing appointments—what we are calling “writing mentorships.” It is the aim of this post to provide a bit of background on what practices these writing mentorships have grown out of, describe what writing mentorships look like, and share the trajectory of the mentorship program […]

December 17, 2019

A Valediction


Big 10 Writing Centers, Collaborative Learning, Events, From the Director, Graduate Students, Higher Education, International Writing Centers, IWCA, Peer Tutoring, Uncategorized, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center History, Writing Centers, Writing Fellows

By Bradley Hughes – In August of this year I retired from my career as Director of the Writing Center and Director of Writing Across the Curriculum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I had the privilege of directing the Writing Center for 35 years (from 1984-2019) and the Program in Writing Across the Curriculum for […]

September 23, 2019

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts


Community Writing Assistance, Events, From the Director, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Outreach, Peer Tutoring, Uncategorized, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Center Workshops

By Emily Hall and Nancy Linh Karls –

There’s a slight chill in the air. An enormous sea of red streams across University Avenue. The beat of “Jump Around” reverberates through the air. The signs are clear: school is back in session at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. […]

September 9, 2019