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The Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association

Saturday Sessions

Session A: 10:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

A1 - Gaige 121

“Closing the Loop: Analysis of Genre in Writing Center Tutorials"

Margaret Ervin (Administrator), Justin Rademaekers (Administrator), and Andrew Heller (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This panel presents a qualitative analysis of over 3,000 tutorials to compare writers’ and tutors’ understanding of genre. This research has application for WAC assessment and for the importance of “transfer talk” in writing center tutorials.

A2 - Gaige 245

“Experimentation as Play: Applying Design Practices to the Writing Process"

Chloe Atchue-Mamlet (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This presentation explores ways to encourage and facilitate experimentation in the writing center by relating design principles to the writing process through play.

 “Managing Productive Relationships with Return Clients in the Writing Center"

Alyssa Zuback (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: Working with return clients presents unique challenges for tutors. By analyzing tutor and return client data, this presentation suggests methods to make future appointments with return clients more productive.

“Play to Learn, Play to Write: Transforming the Writing Center into an Autism-Friendly Makerspace"

Hailey Carone (Graduate Student Tutor)

Abstract: This presentation will highlight the potential the writing center has as a makerspace for students with autism by exploring theory, original research, and visual representation.

A3 - Gaige 246

“Grammar and Mechanics Tutoring Made Fun"

Olivia Hunt (Graduate Student Tutor), Jillian Klingerman (Graduate Student Tutor), Crystal Conzo (Graduate Student Tutor), and Deah Atherton (Graduate Student Tutor)

Abstract: This presentation will take a journalistic approach to tutoring grammar and mechanics and demonstrate how writing centers can make grammar tutoring more engaging by utilizing social media, comics, and games to teach grammar concepts.

A4 - Gaige 247

“When Play Comes at Great Risk: Establishing a Welcoming Writing Center Ethos at an Historically Black University"

Tristan Abbott (Administrator), Abosede Gbenga Akinbiola (Graduate Student Tutor), and Jameeka Gillis (Graduate Student Tutor)

Abstract: This panel discusses some of the unique challenges faced when seeking to create a welcoming writing center in a Historically Black College or University, including culture shock, emotional needs, and expectations of formality.

A5 - Gaige 244

“Community Writing Centers: Why We Need Them, and How To Create Them"

Julia Maier (Undergraduate Tutor), Charlotte Racioppo (Undergraduate Tutor), and Jessica Morris (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This round robin discussion aims to create awareness and foster dialogue regarding access--or lack thereof--to writing center instruction outside of traditional academic settings for the community at large.

A6 - Gaige 248

“Tutor, Teacher, Trickster: Who Is Really Teaching First-Year Writing?"

Jen Callaghan (Administrator), Sophie Byvik (Undergraduate Tutor), and Cheng Mun Chang (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This discussion focuses on the writing center’s relationship to first-year writing programs, specifically, on the transition from high school to college writing and the difficulties that arise in the process.

A7 - Gaige 308

“Future Educators as Fellows"

Emma Slotterback (Undergraduate Tutor) and Ariana Jones (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This presentation focuses on how Fellows programs within university writing centers allow pre-service teachers to play the role of educator. This panel of secondary education majors will share how their involvement in the Fellows program enhanced their education experiences.

A8 - Gaige 122

“Works in Progress”

"Improving Writing Center Support for International Students"   Donna Mehalchick-Opal (Undergraduate Tutor)

 "Building an Assessment Model, One Semester at at Time" Shane Winterhalter (Professional)

"The Effect of Transliteracy Approaches in Tutoring English Language Learners" Katie Jeffress (Undergraduate Tutor)

Group Leaders: John Nordlof and Lisa Zimmerelli

Abstract: This session is open to participants who submitted Works in Progress proposals.

Session B: 11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

B1 - Gaige 121

“Speech to Text: Using Voice-Recording Technology to Increase Self-Efficacy in the Writing Center"

Julia Mohn (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This presenter will describe how voice-recording technology can be used to increase the self-efficacy of students. Using voice recording technology in sessions can combat students’ anxieties about their own writing.

“My Professor Hates Me! Reaffirming Self-Confidence in The Writing Center"

Sarah Hampton (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: The insecurities developed by students after receiving professorial feedback can be detrimental to their growth as writers. writing center consultants using politeness strategies can overcome these insecurities and build self-efficacy.

“Cheerleading in the Center: Questions of Confidence and Gender"

Megan FitzGerald (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: Trends suggest women struggle with confidence in their writing ability. Consultants should understand this information and learn techniques to act as cheerleading-consultants in order to make more confident female writers.

B2 - Gaige 246

“What Gives?: The Give-and-Take of Doing New Things in Writing Center Administration"

Tom Earles (Administrator) and Clara Montague (Administrator)

Abstract: This panel discusses increasing ESL-centric and online tutoring, training, and compensation, and considers how to implement such initiatives without budget increases, facing possible resistance, or indifference from upper administration or other constituencies.

B3 - Gaige 249

“Utilizing Online Tutoring as an Efficient and Effective Way to Improve How Writing Centers Assist Students"

Terry Smith (Administrator) and Colleen Hendrickson (Administrator)

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the challenges and benefits of asynchronous online tutoring. The presenter will also outline their experiences with tutoring through Microsoft Word.

B4 - Gaige 247

“Putting the 'I' in Writing: Writerly Identities, Vulnerability, and the Writing Center"

Elizabeth Rowe (Undergraduate Tutor) and Lev Klarnet (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This panel will investigate how criticism of a writer’s work can be conflated with a criticism of a student’s own identity. The panel will some possible solutions for dealing with these types of situations.

B5 - Gaige 244

“Recipes for Assessment"

Ted Roggenbuck (Administrator) and Jessa Wood (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: In this round robin, participants are encouraged to bring their most and least successful recipes for assessment. Through open discussion and sharing knowledge, each recipe will be assessed and offered feedback.

B6 - Gaige 248

“How to Train Your Dragon---New Staff: Utilizing Games, Mentors, and Hands-On Activities to Overcome the Beast that is Training"

Cara Popecki (Administrator), Sufiya Abdur-Rahman (Administrator), Malika Hackley (Undergraduate Tutor), and Funmi Adenugba (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This roundtable discussion will give each participant new ideas to bring back to their own writing centers on how successfully training staff gets them engaged in their professional development with presentations from the writing center staff at Bowie State University on their intensive training process.

B7 - Gaige 308

“Exploring Identities: Diversity and Intersectionality in Writing Centers"

Tanique Philogene (Undergraduate Tutor) and Chris Lopez-Ashby (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This roundtable presentation will focus on the differing identities found within writing centers and will promote the implementation of programming proven to encourage an inclusive environment.

B8 - Gaige 245

“Jolly Good Fellows: Cultivating Expertise and Sustaining Peers in WAC Writing Fellows Programs"

Rachael Zeleny (Administrator) and Kristen Boyle (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This panel will discuss the results of field research, the collection of Writing Fellow artifacts, and of opinion surveys pertaining to the Writing Fellows program in association with WAC programs. The results will be discussed from the perspectives of  faculty, administrators, and students.

B9 - Gaige 122

“On Skyrim, Character Perks, and Intersectionality: A Strengths-Based De-Centering of Privilege"

Karen-Elizabeth Moroski (Administrator)

Abstract: This roundtable discussion will explore how character-development videogames like Skyrim de-center our understanding of how privilege might work in a writing center. Skyrim may belong to the Nords, but writing centers belong to all of us.

LUNCH: 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Boxed lunches will be available in the Multipurpose Room in Perkins

Carnival: 12:30 p.m. - 1:20 p.m. Gaige First Floor Lobby

“Learning Styles and Tutoring Strategies Challenge"

Kathryn Inskeep (Administrator) and Katherine Marzinsky (Graduate Student Tutor)

Abstract: What do juggling, napkin-folding, and yo-yoing have to do with  tutoring? Participate in our playful challenges that match activities to different learning styles to enhance tutors' versatility and improvisation skills.

“Let's Get Started: Spurring Writing with Games and Activities"

Rachel Saltzman (Undergraduate Tutor), Donna Mehalchick-Opal (Undergraduate Tutor), and Andrea Quinn (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: Getting reluctant writers started sometimes takes some creative play.  Come share in games and activities for one on one and group sessions.

“Escape the Cube"

Malcolm Evans (Graduate Student Tutor), Christina Maestroni (Professional Tutor), Richonda Fegins (Graduate Student Tutor)

Abstract: Using the analytical and problem solving skills seen daily in our centers,  navigate a series of puzzles and brain teasers, unlocking the keys to victory. Can you Escape the Cube?

“And Now Presenting: Marketing Identities for Academic Support Communities"

Megan King (Administrator), Arielle Phillips (Undergraduate Tutor), and Morgan Ditchey (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: Superhero masks, Bachelorette theme music, writing centers, and you! No idea how these things can go together? We invite you to find out and creatively promote writing center identity.

“Gaming in the Writing Center"

Yildiz Nuredinoski (Administrator), Hayleigh McAllister (Undergraduate Tutor), Gabrielle Hersey (Undergraduate Tutor), Olivia Barrett (Undergraduate Tutor), Sabrina Shacklett (Undergraduate Tutor), and Brianna McGuire (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: Shepherd University's writing tutors showcase various online and physical games they use in face to face and online tutoring sessions to have students explore challenging aspects of the writing process.

“Writing on the Wall: Team-Building in the Writing Center"

Elysse Meredith (Professional Tutor) and Miriam Laufer (Administrator)

Abstract: Discover how a whiteboard wall with weekly prompts, originally for students, became a trickster locus for staff creativity and team building, and learn how to incorporate this game into your center.

““Voyage Out”: Promoting Tutor Empowerment and Risk-taking via Training Games"

Brennan Thomas (Administrator), Molly Fischer, and Jodi Kutzner

Abstract: This carnival session showcases several training games designed to increase tutors’ awareness of discipline-specific writing conventions and encourage tutors to practice techniques for responding to anxious, basic, and multilingual writers.

“Gaming While Training: How and Why We Should Use Games to Train Writing Center Tutors"

Lindsay Betz (Professional Tutor)

Abstract: Although scholarship has yet to sufficiently discuss gaming in training tutors, this session theorizes how and why we should do so, specifically utilizing games like ping pong toss.

“Work Hard, Play Hard:  Creating a Collaborative Team"

Cody Janusko (Undergraduate Tutor), Ryan Mull (Undergraduate Tutor), Phoebe Harnish (Undergraduate Tutor), and Katie Jeffress (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: Our writing center works best when our tutors function as a collaborative team.  Our team-building focuses on loosely structured opportunities for fun, games, and fellowship.

“Thrills and Skills- A Fearless Public Speaking Workshop"

Robin Taub (Professional Tutor)

Abstract: Come put some public speaking fears to rest and learn some useful skills while having some fun.  Thrills and skills a fearless public speaking workshop offers students a chance to help reduce anxiety and improve on some basic skills.  So come spin the Whe

“Playing with Writing Concepts in the 2 Year Technical College"

Stacey Pounsberry (Administrator) and Nicole Truitt (Administrator)

Abstract: Come play a live-action board game and explore online arcades and old-fashioned games teaching citation, source evaluation, sentence structures, and grammatical concepts alongside global writing concepts during this interactive workshop.

“The Carnival Spirit of Creative Connections"

Emily Goff (High School Tutor)

Abstract: The Creative Connections club encourages otherwise highly demure and independent writers to broaden their horizons through collaborative games and activities.

Session C: 1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.

C1 - Gaige 245

“Stop Tutoring, Start Playing"

Michael Fotos (Graduate Student Tutor)

Abstract: This presenter uses performativity to disclose a new tutoring approach that is rooted in understanding the self and being resistant to tradition for the sake of discovery.

“By Any Other Name: Preferred Pronoun Usage in Writing Center Reports"

Justin B. Hopkins (Administrator)

Abstract: This session seeks to contribute to a growing conversation about LGBTQIA issues by examining the rationale behind and the results following my writing center’s policy of asking tutees for their preferred pronouns.

C2 - Gaige 121

“Reading Aloud and Higher-Order Concerns: An Assessment of Point-Predict"

John Nordlof (Administrator), Jill Murphy (Undergraduate Tutor), and Blake Plimpton (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This panel will demonstrate replicated research on a new tutoring method (point-predict) and how it can be used to address higher-order concerns in a tutorial more effectively.

C3 - Gaige 120

“Taking the Writing Center to New Places: Using Local Educational Institutions as Alternate Places for Tutoring"

Juliana Venegas (Graduate Student Tutor)

Abstract: As the writing field changes, so too must our approach to tutoring writing. This participant examines the potential results of partnerships between writing centers and museums.

“The Value of Modeling in Mentoring Young Consultants"

Joy Smith (Administrator), Emily Sweeney (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This session will look at the partnership between the writing center at Bloomsburg University and a new writing center at a local middle school. They will discuss how the existing consultants can help to develop those in training.

C4 - Gaige 308

“Writing-About-Writing Pedagogy as a Framework for Tutor Education"

John Boyd (Administrator)

Abstract: This presentation focuses on threshold concepts that help tutors better understand writing development and encourage learning transfer.

“Why Does She Keep Complimenting Me?: International Students and the Role of Culture in Writing Center Praise"

Robin Kim (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This presentation explores how L2 writers interpret praise as it is a common strategy used to engage writers in many writing centers.

C5 - Gaige 246

“Beyond the Writing Center: Developing an In-Class Tutoring Program"

Timothy Smith (Administrator)

Abstract: This presentation explores the development and trial of an embedded tutoring program. This includes the process, pitfalls, and successes.

“Breaking the Rules: A Graduate Writing Fellows Program Assessment”

Craig Medvecky (Administrator)

Abstract: This presentation will explore how and why graduate writing center administrators must build working relationships with graduate faculty that differ significantly from common working practices with undergraduate faculty.

C6 - Gaige 244

“You Must Be This Tall to Ride: Misconceptions and Interference with the Tutor-Tutee Relationship"

Catherine Wilson (Undergraduate Tutor), Justin Rechel (Undergraduate Tutor), Jessica Green (Undergraduate Tutor), Samantha Lelah (Undergraduate Tutor) and Samantha Steele (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This round robin focuses on obstacles that tutors face in rapport building, connecting with tutees, and getting down to the business of writing. More specific topics include non-traditional writers, sensitive topics, and the roles of a facilitator.

C7 - Gaige 247

“Out of the Margins but into the Spotlight: How Can We Retain Autonomy and Creativity While Becoming an Increasingly Visible Force on Campus?"

Rachel Liberatore (Administrator), Francheska Taveras (Undergraduate Tutor), and Danielle Kelley (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This roundtable will explore how centers can retain creativity while facing potentially restrictive changes such as moving to visible learning commons, implementing new online tutoring platforms, or facing shifts in professor expectations.

C8 - Gaige 248

“Role With It: Imagining Future Business Roles to Improve Speaking Skills"

Caron Martinez (Administrator), Shenandoah Showash (Professional), Zachary Avis (Undergraduate Tutor), Alex Merrill (Undergraduate Tutor) and Sofia Hinojosa (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This round robin will involve role-playing in teams, solving problems, and improving speaking skills through invention and imagination.

Session D: 2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.

D1 - Gaige 245

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students in Writing Centers"

Hannah Breckinridge (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This panelist will discuss the struggles that Deaf writers may face and how consultants who aren’t proficient in sign language can still have successful sessions with deaf students in the writing center.

Reel Fun: Creating a Writing Center Video"

Ron DePeter (Administrator), Doug McCambridge (Media Coordinator), Allan Kupersmith (Student)

Abstract: Three presenters share their perspectives on how collaborating on a writing center video can bond tutors, give media majors professional experience, and promote services to students, faculty and administrators.

D2 - Gaige 247

“Postcolonialism and the Idea of a Writing Center"

Samaa Gamie (Administrator), Madison Washington, Craig Watson,Onika Palmer

Abstract: This panel investigates postcolonialism in writing centers and the implications of play in displacing the oppressive mechanisms of language and power as well as presents activities that attempt to challenge linguistic norms and practices.

D3 - Gaige 120

“When Three Men and An Amplifier Showed Up: Adventures in Creative Writing Center Scheduling"

Mary Beth Simmons (Administrator)

Abstract: This presenter will highlight their writing center’s hilariously disastrous yet successful creative programs during their “after hours” community engagement programs.

“Set Down the Masks: Role Reversal and Revelry in a Workplace Writing Center"

Jessica Weber (Administrator) and Chantel Gerardo (Administrator)

Abstract: This presentation observes Federal Reserve employees who are hardwired for seriousness and professionalism and explores the use of play to step into the role of learner again to better workplace writing centers.

“The Play's the Thing: Bringing Shakespearean Acting Methods to the Writing Tutorial"

Molly Katz (Graduate Student Tutor)

Abstract: This presentation explores the key strategies used in Shakespearean acting and the benefits to  adopting them in the tutorial session.

D4 - Gaige 308

"Investing in Tutees' Voices: Empowerment and Empathy"

Marie Mencher (Undergraduate Tutor), Nouf Alshreif (Graduate Student Tutor), and Nickolas Gati (Undergraduate Tutor),

Abstract: This panel discusses motivational scaffolding as well as how tutors can increase rapport and solidarity with students. The presentation will also feature an electro-acoustic musical performance and discussion of music as a metaphor of empowerment.

D5 - Gaige 248

“Tutor and Tutee Perspectives on Tutoring, Teaching, and Scholarship: Are We Playing the Same Game?"

Yanar Hashlamon (Undergraduate Tutor), Monica Boothe (Graduate Administrator), Stephanie Arhin (Graduate Student Tutor), and Ariel Goldenthal (Graduate Student Tutor)

Abstract: Focusing on the value of multiple perspectives in our work, speakers propose that we make tutees active participants in our research, compare tutor and tutee accounts of the same session, and discuss the dimensions of tutoring that former tutors draw upon as first-year instructors.

D6 - Gaige 122

“Rethinking the Rules: How Can We De-Center Privilege in Our Writing Centers?"

Karen-Elizabeth Moroski (Administrator)

Abstract: This roundtable will focus on how we can make writing center values of inclusion and empathy more visible to LGBTQ+ students as well as students of color and students of various ability levels and backgrounds.

D7 - Gaige 244

“Playing Hurt: Helping Stressed and Distressed Students in the Writing Center”

Kevin Jefferson (Professional Tutor), Sarah Kennedy (Graduate Student Tutor), Maria Castro (Undergraduate Tutor), Dansen Mayhay (Undergraduate Tutor), and Emmie Lacy (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This round robin offers scenarios and guidelines for developing safe, empathetic responses to writers who choose the writing center as a site for safely discussing real distress.

D8 - Gaige 246

“Playing with Topics and Tools: Undergraduate Research as Intellectual Maker Space"

Leigh Ryan (Administrator), Michael Raup (Undergraduate Tutor),  Jessica Reed (Undergraduate Tutor), Olivia Sederstrom (Undergraduate Tutor), Tracy Staples (Undergraduate Tutor), Cynthia Crimmins (Administrator), Gabriel Cutrufello, (Administrator), Dominic F. DelliCarpini (Administrator), Alexis Hart (Administrator), and  Anissa Sorokin (Administrator)

Abstract: This roundtable brings together undergraduate researchers and mentors to discuss the beneficial impact of an annual, multi-institutional workshop that helps novice researchers move topic ideas toward valid, reliable, and informed projects.

D9 - Gaige 121

“Not Just a Game: Tutorials Where Everyone Wins"

Kasey Feather (Undergraduate Tutor), Lauren Runkle (Undergraduate Tutor), and Jake Springer (Undergraduate Tutor)

Abstract: This panel will feature an open discussion on rhetoric and how to handle conflict, such as lack of interest or a combative tone, in an educated manner in and out of the writing center.

Wrap-up and Ice Cream: 3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Join us back in the Multipurpose Room for a wrap-up and some Penn State Creamery Ice Cream!


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