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 […]
By Julianna Peres—Recently, there has been a surge of conversations about intersectionality and inclusivity in Writing Centers (WC) within university classrooms and WC settings. WC Directors and tutors have been facilitating conversations about accessibility for neurodivergent tutees and have been discussing the nuances of racial awareness and social justice work in the WC space. More and more centers are changing the physical, electronic, and intellectual aspects of tutoring sessions so as to create a more accessible atmosphere for both tutors and tutees. […]
teaching excellence awards. We award one instructor an Award for Early Excellence, which is for instructors in their first two years with the center, and we award one instructor an Award for Advanced Excellence, which is for instructors who have been teaching with the center for more than two years. These awards specifically recognize our instructors’ one-to-one work with students. […]
By Angela Zito—Assessment is not everyone’s favorite thing to talk about, but it is one of mine. In this post, I’ll try to convince you that writing center assessment can be a worthwhile and invigorating process that places the things you care about most—inclusivity, student learning, accessibility, tutor education—front and center. Assessment projects urge us to ask ourselves, “Are we walking the walk, as well as talking the talk?” […]
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 […]
By Seth Umbaugh—e Tutoring Corona,” Brad Hughes provided an overview of our writing center’s practice of providing professional development opportunities for our graduate tutors through ongoing education. As the Writing Center’s TA Assistant Director this academic year, I worked with our administrative leadership team to coordinate an exciting series of ongoing education seminars (OGEs) that offered graduate tutors a range of professionalization opportunities and aided the development of our center’s values and pedagogical practices. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
By Bradley Hughes—This past November I was honored—and a little daunted—to have wonderful colleagues invite me to write a retrospective about this blog. Honored because as the editor of the blog from 2009 until 2019, I have loved what this blog does for its authors and readers, for the field of writing center studies, and for the UW–Madison Writing Center. Daunted because I knew it would be a lot of work and impossible to do justice to the richness of 300 posts. […]
An interview with Jennifer Fandel—Jennifer (Jen) Fandel worked as the Writing Center’s administrator from Spring 2017 through Fall 2021. Her work involved the wearing of many hats, including communications and marketing, budgeting, program coordination, mentoring a fantastic undergraduate receptionist team, and Writing Center operations and logistics. In January 2022, she joined UW-Madison’s Odyssey Beyond Bars program as a writing instructor and tutor coordinator. She has taught in prisons in Missouri and Wisconsin since 2016 through the St. Louis nonprofit Prison Performing Arts and the Wisconsin Prison Humanities Project, and has tutored with Odyssey Beyond Bars since its inception in 2019. She is a poet, gardener, and bicyclist (when the weather is warm).
By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin and Jennifer Conrad—Welcome to a new year and a new semester! We hope that your break offered everything you needed to start the semester feeling replenished and perhaps even energized. This time of year offers a chance to reflect on and evaluate our opportunities, successes, and habits to determine […]
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 […]
By Dorothy Mayne—Writing groups have many benefits and purposes, but the community they bring to the culture of writing on campus is one of their most praised features. In fact, it’s the first purpose that we mention on our writing group website: “At the Writing Center, we believe that community and accountability, along with setting achievable goals, play a significant role in completing major writing projects.” Meeting regularly with the same people to set goals, discuss weekly themes related to wellness, writing strategies, and more allows us to develop camaraderie with others across campus.
By Emily Hall—Graduate students and academic staff members from UW-Madison’s Writing Center, Writing Fellows program, and Writing Across the Curriculum regularly contribute to scholarly research in the fields of writing studies, writing center studies, writing and community literacy, computers and writing, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and more. Over the summer and through the fall, we have had a remarkable […]
Another Word is currently seeking proposals for blog posts. We seek proposals from writing center administrators, professional staff, undergraduate and graduate tutors, and those invested in writing center studies on a broad range of topics related to administering, tutoring, training, and working in the writing center.
By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin—Last week was the inaugural Online Writing Centers Association’s (OWCA) conference. OWCA is a new professional association (founded in 2020) with the mission of providing support to online writing centers, their professionals, and area of study. Starting off their first annual conference, OWCA’s call for proposals (CFP) invited presenters to consider a theme of interdependence […]
By Emily Hall and Nancy Linh Karls—Greetings from a new fall semester! As summer edges its way into fall, we find ourselves returning: not just the return that comes with the cycle of a new academic year but also a return to campus life that continued moving while its physical spaces seemed to remain suspended in time. […]
The Writing Center at UW-Madison is pleased to announce a return to in-person appointments this fall! We’ll be offering these in our main Writing Center and in our eight satellite locations across campus. Our main center opens on Wednesday, September 8, while satellite locations start up in week four of the semester, on Sunday, September […]
By Kyle Smith—This spring, Madison Writing Assistance (MWA)—represented by Associate Director Angela Zito, Assistant Director Weishun Lu, and myself, an MWA instructor—asked members of the Madison community to tell us about their relationship with writing. As the community-outreach arm of the UW-Madison Writing Center, MWA works with anyone in the Madison area who has a writing project they want to develop or improve. MWA’s patrons work with us on projects ranging from […]