Introducing our New Academic Staff Members

From the Director, Staff Introductions, Writing Center Academic Staff

From Nancy Linh Karls and Emily Hall—In August, 2020, thanks to the support of English department chair Anja Wanner, associate dean for humanities Sue Zaeske, and L&S Dean Eric Wilcots (among many others), UW-Madison’s Writing Center was fortunate to welcome five new, full-time academic staff members. During the summer of 2020, our search committee reviewed over 116 applications for “outstanding and energetic administrators/teachers” […]

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Welcome to Fall 2020 at the UW-Madison Writing Center!

Community Writing Assistance, From the Director, Higher Education

From the Directors—We are happy to welcome you to the Fall 2020 at UW-Madison’s Writing Center. In doing so, we’d first like to acknowledge the unique stressors of this semester. The Spring 2020 semester called for quick transitions to virtual and physically distanced services, surrounded by uncertainty and individual-level issues for us all in a global pandemic. […]

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What Makes a Writing Group? Undergraduate Writers Model Compassion and Acceptance

Collaborative Learning, Higher Education, Undergraduate Students, Writing Groups

By Mia Alafaireet—As an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri, one of the things I loved most about campus was that it seemed like there were endless places to write. There was the tried-and-true Bookmark Café, where you could count on the muted din of coffee cups to keep you focused. On a sunny day, you could find a spot under one of the many Bradford pear trees that studded campus. Or, if you were a little bit weird like me, you could sit on the edge of a flowerbed and write amongst the horticulture school’s newest arrangement of ornamental cabbages. […]

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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 […]

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How are you doing?

Uncategorized

Are you doing okay? What do your days look like right now? How’s your family? How’s your focus?

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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 […]

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Adapting to Our New Reality

Uncategorized

By Nancy Linh Karls and Emily Hall—The last two weeks have been tumultuous on many fronts, for our students, tutors, and staff at the UW-Madison Writing Center and at other writing centers around the country. We write this brief post to let you know of the decisions that we’ve made to adapt our writing center to the array of current challenges Our response, of course, may shift going forward, but this is our starting point for continued instruction this spring […]

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Time, Space, and Energy: Graduate Student Tutor Experiences in the Writing Center

Uncategorized

By Amanda Pratt—As graduate students who work in writing centers, we tend to juggle many responsibilities. Our coursework, our dissertation research, our other jobs—the classes we teach, the professors we are tasked with supporting, the programs we run. Our families and personal lives. Oftentimes, and especially for neurodiverse and otherwise marginalized graduate students, this balancing act compounds the unseen emotional and psychic labor of existing in the academy […]

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Writing with Others: Renaissance Coteries, the Writing Center, and Community

Collaborative Learning, Writing Center Theory, Writing Groups

By Emily Loney—When Sir Philip Sidney sent the manuscript of his prose romance, the Arcadia, to his sister, Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, sometime in the 1580s, he sent a letter along as well. Apologizing for the imperfections of his tale, Sidney tells Pembroke in his letter that the Arcadia was written for her, and he reminds her […]

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Madison Writing Assistance: Spotlighting Three Writers

Uncategorized

By Tim Cavnar—One of the many programs administered by UW-Madison’s Writing Center is called Madison Writing Assistance (MWA). MWA could be described in many different ways—a local literacy program, the Writing Center’s public outreach branch, a tutoring service. Co-founded by former Writing Center Director Brad Hughes in 1999 and offering writing tutoring out of Madison’s Goodman South Library branch, it has grown significantly since that time. Currently, MWA offers […]

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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 Warm Welcome: Getting to Know Our Writing Center Receptionists


Student Voices, Undergraduate Students, Writing Center Receptionists

By Jen Fandel – One of my favorite parts of my position as Writing Center Administrator is working with our undergraduate receptionist team. These are students who often come to us seeking employment early in their university careers, and, as the person who hires them, I highlight the Writing Center’s community as one of the many bright spots of the job. […]

December 2, 2019

Celebrating 50 Years of the UW-Madison Writing Center


Uncategorized, UW-Madison History, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center History

On November 8, 2019, the UW-Madison Writing Center hosted a day packed chock-full of activities and events to celebrate its 50 years on campus. To provide a taste of the Writing Center’s evolution over time, we’ve included the slide show that Emily Hall and Nancy Linh Karls, Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum Interim Co-Directors, provided during their afternoon remarks. […]

November 18, 2019

Mutual Empowerment In and Beyond the Writing Center


Higher Education, Uncategorized, UW-Madison Writing Center Alumni Voices, Writing Centers

By Michelle Niemann – Since 2016, I’ve been running what I think of as a one-woman writing center for faculty. I’m a “solopreneur,” one of those post-academics earning her living through a micro-business. My aim is not to grow the business or make a lot of money (why would I have gotten a PhD in English if that was ever the goal?), but to support myself by doing good work—work that institutions of higher education need done, even if they don’t always know it. […]

October 21, 2019

Introducing the Writing Center’s New Academic Staff Members


Community Writing Assistance, Disability and Writing Centers, Outreach, Staff Introductions, Uncategorized, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Workshops

This academic year, the Writing Center was able to hire three new academic staff members, all of whom are recent graduates of UW-Madison’s PhD program in English. Below, we’ve asked them to respond to a series of questions with the hope that you, our readers, will be able to get to know them through their words. […]

October 7, 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