News and Announcements
Summer Institute / Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel, Vancouver, BC, June 19-23, 2017 / SI leaders offer presentations and facilitate workshops on a variety of writing center topics. Leaders also work one-on-one with participants throughout the week. Participants from around the world are encouraged to apply.
2017 Annual IWCA Conference / Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, Chicago, IL, November 10-13, 2017 / Writing Center work requires crossing borders and boundaries, infiltrating new systems, understanding the code, and sometimes a little sleight of hand. Join us in Chicago for a conference dedicated to understanding all our secret work.
Katrina Bell, Southern Illinois University (PhD student) and Colorado College (Assoc. Director of the Writing Center)
Congratulations to Katrina Bell, who has been awarded the first IWCA Dissertation Grant for her project “Tutor, Teacher, Scholar, Administrator: Perceptions of Current and Alumni Graduate Consultants.” As Katrina describes it, this “three-part project contributes to the emerging sub-field of writing center studies that focuses on graduate writing consultants. [The] study provides a snapshot of the current state of professional development for writing center consultants at the graduate level and the future of writing center administration.” The grant committee unanimously agreed that Katrina’s application stood out among a strong field—we are heartened and thrilled with the future of writing center studies given this crop of applications—and we look forward to learning of the results of her research.
Paula Gillespie, Florida International University
Bradley Hughes, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tiffany Rousculp, Rhetoric of Respect: Recognizing Change at a Community Writing Center
Rousculp presents a significant way of thinking about community writing centers that moves the role of the center from one of “empowerment” to one of respecting the purpose and agency of the writers who use the center.
Nowacek, R. S., & Hughes, B. (2015). Threshold concepts in the writing center: Scaffolding the development of tutor expertise. In L. Adler-Kastner & E. Wardle (Eds.), Naming what we know: Threshold concepts of writing studies (pp. 171-185). Logan, UT: Utah State University Press.
The extended discussion [in “Threshold concepts”] on “expert outsiders” can be particularly useful to student tutors who may feel pressured to be insider experts on any given discipline. The emphasis on tutor outcomes (what they will gain through training) grounds the discussion in a manner that allows for consideration of assessment of tutor training processes, something that is increasingly important in program reviews. The references to explicit teaching are useful, especially in that many of us are coming from minimalist theories, and have student tutors who are struggling with some of the more indirect ways of teaching that are common in WC discussions.