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

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

Booked but Can’t Read: “Functional Literacy,” National Citizenship, and the New Face of Dred Scott in the Age of Mass Incarceration


Racial Justice, Social Justice, Tutor Publications, Writing Center Tutors

By Mckenna Kohlenberg—For Black men in the contemporary age of mass incarceration, the consequences of functional illiteracy are devastating. 70% of America’s adult incarcerated population and 85% of juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, which extends beyond the ability to read and includes the development of problem-solving and critical-thinking skills one needs to access knowledge, communicate, and participate effectively in political processes, the economy, higher education, and other 21st century exercises of democratic citizenship. […]

September 29, 2020

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

Conversation Starter: Social Media and the Writing Center


Big 10 Writing Centers, Community Writing Assistance, Events, Higher Education, International Writing Centers, Outreach, Social Justice Committee, The Online Writing Center, Uncategorized, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Receptionists, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Center Workshops, Writing Centers, Writing Fellows

by Jennifer Fandel – I have two words of advice on using social media in the Writing Center—embrace it!

December 12, 2018

Writing Center + ESL Program: Collaboration in Support of Multilingual Writers


Multilingual Writers, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Karen Best – The ESL Program and the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are both housed in Helen C. White hall, just one floor apart. However, despite this close proximity, our floors remain mostly separate, our staff distinct. Either you work in the ESL Program on the 5th floor or the Writing […]

December 3, 2018