IWCA History

Brief History of the N/IWCA

by Jeanne Simpson

The National Writing Centers Association, which would later become the International Writing Centers Association, had its origins in the East Central Writing Centers Association in an effort led by Nancy McCracken and others. It was through ECWCA that the designation as an assembly of NCTE happened and also the vote to establish a national organization separate from the regionals. Vigorous discussions about the relationship between national and regionals reflected a fear that one or the other would suffer. However, the formal constitution was written and edited at the first board meeting at NCTE in Denver in 1983.

The name NWCA continued until the organization voted to change its name to reflect its constituencies more accurately. The shape and functions have changed somewhat over the years, but there has been unbroken continuity in board membership, election and terms of officers, and basic activities such as support of publication, awards, and administration of certain meeting times at the NCTE and CCCC conferences. Establishing a separate conference, unattached to either NCTE or CCCC, began in 1994, midway through the history of the organization. Eventually, the connection of the national (now international) conference with a regional conference occurred.

In sum, the National Writing Centers Association and the International Writing Centers Association are the same organization in terms of historical continuity. As with any organization, the N/IWCA reflects changes in personnel and philosophy. Like the Mississippi River–same river, different water every day.

A more thorough account of the development of NWCA is available in Joyce Kinkead’s Writing Center Journal article, “The National Writing Centers as Mooring: A Personal History of the First Decade” (WCJ 16.2 1996, pp. 131-143) available at the Writing Center Journal online archive.

Past Presidents of the N/IWCAssociation

National Writing Centers Association (NWCA)

Nancy McCracken (1983-84)
Jeanette Harris (1984-85)
Jeanne Simpson (1985-86)
Jay Jacoby (1986-87)
Irene Clark (1987-88)
Bonnie Sunstein (1988-89)
Julie Neff (1989-90)
Pamela B. Farrell (Childers) (1990-91)
Pat Dyer (1991-92)
Lady Falls Brown (1992-93)
Ray Wallace (1993-94)
Byron Stay (1994-95)
Christina Murphy (1995-96)
Joan Mullin (1996-97)
Al DeCiccio (1997-98)
Eric Hobson (1998-99)

International Writing Centers Association (IWCA)

Michael Pemberton (1999-2001)
Paula Gillespie (2001-03)
Jon Olson (2003-05)
Clint Gardner (2005-07)
Michele Eodice (2007-09)
Roberta Kjesrud (2009-11)
Nathalie Singh-Cochran (2011-13)
Kevin Dvorak (2013-2015; current past president)
Shareen Grogan (current)
Jackie Grutsch McKinney (current vice president)

Past Secretary/Treasurers of the NWCA

Joyce Kinkead
Nancy Grimm
Alan Jackson
Michael Pemberton

Past Secretaries of N/IWCA

Paula Gillespie
Leigh Ryan
Jill Pennington
Dawn Fels
Kerri Jordan
Alanna Bitzel (current)

Past Treasurers of N/IWCA

Michael Pemberton
Neal Lerner
Cindy Johanek
Ben Rafoth
Harry Denny
Neal Lerner
Kim Ballard
Karen Johnson (current)

Past N/IWCA Conferences

Available at

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