Writing centers

= Audio Available Online
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Dr. Smitherman Clark earned her PhD in the English department in 2007, where she held a position as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) from 1998-2003. As a GTA, Smitherman Clark was hired as one of the first Assistant Directors. She describes the early formation of the University Writing Center by Carol Mattingly, Ruth Miller, and English department PhD GTAs. Smitherman Clark was highly involved with the Writing Center Research Project (WCRP), particularly conducting oral histories of founding writing center scholars and promoting the WCRP at conferences. She discusses the writing center's space on Ekstrom's third floor and the technology used in the center, such as Google, transcription machines, and AccuTrack. She also talks about her experience in the PhD program with a focus on rhetoric and composition. Finally she discusses her current role as the Writing and Communication Center Director at the University of Central Arkansas.
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Detmering discusses her work at the Writing Center.
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Dr. Debra Journet was a faculty member in the English department from 1988-2015 and served as chair from 1995-2003. In this interview she discusses her initiative, as chair, to create the University Writing Center as a result of a SACS enforcing their 18 credit hour rule, which created a staffing crisis for English 101 and 102 and an excess of first-year MA GTAs. Journet negotiated with the A&S Dean, Provost, and English department to create a Writing Center, seven TT lines, and an agreement across the English department for all faculty to teach FYC. She discusses the hiring of Carol Mattingly as a senior faculty member and founding Writing Center Director. She discusses her perception of the writing center as a place where non writing trained faculty can send students for help with grammar, lightening their load. She also discusses her talk at the Association of the Departments of English.
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Dr. Dan Keller discusses his work in the University Writing Center.
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Dr. Jennifer Marciniak earned her PhD in the English department in 2019, where she also held a position as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA). As a GTA, Marciniak served as an Assistant Director of the Virtual Writing Center (VWC) for two years (2012-2014). In her role, she tutored distance education students, conducted the first virtual dissertation writing retreat, and reached out to faculty. In this interview, Marciniak mentions several formative examples of her tutoring, including working with personal statements, students with disabilities, and nontraditional learners. She describes vivid memories of the consultants' office at the Ekstrom 3rd floor location. She also mentions the technologies used for virtual and in-person tutoring including Tutor Track, iPads, and Google Hangouts. Finally, Marciniak reflects on the impact of the UWC in her professional trajectory.
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Carol Matingly served as the Director of the University Writing Center from 2000-2007. She is a graduate of the UofL English PhD program. She was recruited for the Director position by Debra Journet, who was her dissertation director, while Dr. Mattingly was at Louisiana State University. Dr. Mattingly helped conceptualize the new University Writing Center, including the selection and design of the space on the 3rd floor and working with the sculpture designer. Soon after she began the position, the Writing Across the Curriculum program was moved administratively to the University Writing Center's purview, which included responsibility for evaluating transfer credits and administering workshops for faculty and students. Dr. Mattingly describes the slow build up of cliente, her relationship with the English department, promoting the writing center to faculty across the university, the community amongst consultants, students' rejection of free regular coffee, and her approach to the writing center practicum (English 604). She also discusses the origin and purpose of the Writing Center Research Project (WCRP).
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Dr. Amy McLeese Nichols earned her MA and PhD in the English department (graduated in 2019), where she held a position as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) from 2012-2017. As a GTA, she served as the Assistant Director of the University Writing Center (UWC) from 2015-2017. In this interview, she describes how, through her Assistant Director role, she worked with Bronwyn Williams (UWC) and Brian McAdams (Family Scholar House [FSH]) to connect the UWC and FSH. She initiated and facilitated both writing tutoring and workshops at FSH. McLeese Nichols describes the intentionality behind this community partnership, including prioritizing sustainability, going slowly, identifying and working with the partner's needs, and developing trust. She discusses how her experience and knowledge with the UWC and community literacy informs her current work as the Writing Center Director at Berea College. At Berea, she applies her knowledge of community literacy through offering onsite tutoring "identity-based" centers on Berea's Campus and draws on the UWC's value making the writing center a welcoming and hospitable place. Finally, she compares the UWC's third and first floor location, noting the benefits of the first floor's ability to foster interactions between consultants and administrators.
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Dr. Brice Nordquist discusses his work in the University Writing Center.
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Dr. Barrie Olson earned her PhD in the English department (2012-2014), where she served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and held the role of Assistant Director of the Writing Center from 2010-2012). During these two years, Olson worked with both Writing Center Directors Drs. Mary Rosner and Bronwyn Williams. She discusses the transition between directors. One of Olson's projects, under Bronwyn's direction, was to help design the first dissertation writing retreat, which she calls "a labor of love," which she later attended as a participant. Olsen also describes her motivation to help create a blog for the writing center, with the goal of making the writing center more visible and approachable. In reminiscing about her experiences, she cites the Ekstrom third floor space as being called the "tree house," and formative professional relationships with other Assistant Directors Laura Detmering and Ashly Bender. In Olson's current role, as a director of an educational non-profit, she draws on her writing center work in understanding disciplinary genres to translate expectations for K-12 literacy educators.
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Dr. Iswari Pandey discusses his work in the University Writing Center.