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

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

The Peace of the Dancing Mind: Co-Creating the Writing Center as a Quiet, Slow Space 


Higher Education, Peer Tutoring, Writing Center Theory, Writing Centers

By Mary O’Shan Overton—In her acceptance speech at the 1996 National Book Foundation Medal ceremony, the novelist Toni Morrison said that “There is a certain kind of peace that is not merely an absence of war. It is larger than that. […] The peace I am thinking of is the dance of an open mind when it engages another equally open one—an activity that occurs most naturally, most often in the reading/writing world we live in.” I am interested in making space for that kind of peace. In fact, as a writing center director, I feel an ardent responsibility to do so. […]

March 22, 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

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

Continuing the Discussion: Tutoring and Social Justice in Virtual Spaces


Covid, Peer Tutoring, Social Justice, Student Voices, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers, Writing Fellows

By Veronica Hayes and Faith Kim—One year ago, the annual Joint Staff meeting between the University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate Writing Fellows program and the Writing Center marked the last time the Center’s full staff gathered in person before students were sent home and our work shifted online. At the annual meeting, Fellows typically give presentations on the research they conduct in their Writing Fellows tutor education seminar, English 403. Those presentations lead to collaborative and meaningful exchanges between Fellows and Writing Center instructors, who appreciate the opportunity to engage with original research on tutoring. […]

April 13, 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

Undergraduate Research as Transformation: Writing Fellows Build and Share Knowledge


Big 10 Writing Centers, Collaborative Learning, Peer Tutoring, Undergraduate Students, Writing Fellows

By Brenna Swift—Hello from the UW-Madison Writing Center as the summer term begins! In this uncertain time, we have both continued to serve our students and considered the ways our work might fit into the big picture—of a transformed world, of education for social justice, and of new practices in teaching of writing. As one of the assistant directors of the undergraduate Writing Fellows program and an instructor for English 403, our peer tutor education class, I have found myself thinking […]

May 18, 2020