IWCA Announces the January 2017 Research Grants

IWCA has chosen its research grant winners for the first half of 2017. Nancy Alvarez is the recipient of Ben Rafoth Graduate Research Grant for her compelling research, “Tutoring While Latina: Making Space for Nuestras Voces in the Writing Center,” and Julia Bleakney and Dagmar Scharold have been awarded the IWCA Research Grant for their project, “The Guru Mentor vs Network-Based Mentoring: A Study of the Mentoring of Writing Center Professionals.”

Many thanks to the Scholarship Committee members: Jordan Jenkins, David Shawn, and Scott Whiddon, and Chair Mike Mattison for their thoughtful consideration of the many fine proposals submitted.

Civil Discourse and Democracy

Amidst current political acrimony in the US and across the globe, the International Writing Centers Association reaffirms its long commitment to civil discourse, inclusive language, and collaborative practice. Writing centers “are inherently multicultural and multilingual sites that welcome and accommodate diversity. Writing centers inclusively serve all students, including members of underrepresented groups such as people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and people with a range of abilities, economic needs, and linguistic expression.… The International Writing Centers Association values diversity among its membership and seeks to serve a diverse membership responsibly and well” (“IWCA Diversity Initiative,” approved November 20, 2006). As such, the writing center community continues to uphold the ideals of democratic education and social justice.

Shareen Grogan
President, International Writing Centers Association

Upcoming Events

Collaborative, Summer Institute, and the 2017 Annual IWCA Conference in Chicago

Collaborative / Portland State University on March 15, 2017, 9am-6pm / There’s no better way to kick-off your CCCC adventure!

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 10-12, 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.

Award Winners

2016 Muriel Harris Outstanding Service Award

Paula Gillespie and Brad Hughes

2014-16 IWCA Outstanding Book/Major Works Award

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.

Best Article

Nowachek, 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.