MAWCA 2018 Conference Schedule
Friday, March 23rd
3:00-5:00 Business Hall
5:00-6:30 Business Hall Hub
MAWCA Board Meeting
6:30-7:30 Business Hall, Room TBD
Tutor Open-Mic Night: Rowan Writing Center, Campbell Library, Room 131
Saturday, March 24th
Breakfast and Registration: 7:30-8:30 Eynon Ballroom, Chamberlain Student Center
Keynote: 8:30-9:30 Eynon Ballroom, Chamberlain Student Center
Registration: 9:30-11:00 Business Hall Hub
At a Glance:
Conference Wrap up: 3:00-3:30 Business Hall
Session A: 10:00-10:50 Business Hall
“Changing Culture, Changing Narratives: New Directors and Resistance to Change”
Karen-Elizabeth Moroski, Jane Nesmith, Elaine MacDougall, Kerri Rinaldi, and Lucy Manley
Penn State University, University Park
Featuring several writing center administrators, this panel discusses challenges and opportunities new administrators face when navigating changes within their Writing Centers. Panelists will discuss their own experiences as new Writing Center administrators, and share specific, replicable strategies for professionalizing or seeking community.
“Narrating Past Privilege Through Social Identity”
Tanya Ramsey and Dómenique Brown
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
This roundtable offers interpersonal reflections of identity and privilege to better tutor-client relations via social conflict theory, evaluating and co-creating best practices to strengthen the author’s voice within narrative compositions.
“Comin' In From the Cold": Using Tutor Identity to Create Individualized Writing Center Plans for Activism and Social Change
Shenandoah Sowash, Caron Martinez, Neisha-Anne Green
Many who work in writing centers have experienced injustice because of our (perceived) identities. What role do those identities have in our activism? In this session, participants will discuss how identity impacts activism, leaving with a framework to begin building a plan of activism for their writing centers.
“Framing Linguistic Diversity as an Asset”
Donna Mehalchick-Opal and Michael Fotos
We hope to complicate conversations of Linguistic Diversity by reacting to narratives that challenge traditional tutoring practices and call forth a subversive practice that employs nuance to the tutorial.
“Writing Centers and Faculty Writing Retreats: Fostering Community, Productive Writing, and Increased Faculty Support”
Emily Carson and Mary Beth Simmons
The faculty writing retreats hosted at our Writing Center have garnered tremendous enthusiasm. This success reflects a much-needed, much-appreciated means of community building across disciplines and ranks.
“The Creolization of the Writing Center” Kimberly Clarke
George Washington University
This paper explores the creolization of writing centers as a means of heeding Jackie Grutsch McKinney’s call for “re-envisioning the boundaries of writing center work.”
“Mapping Translingual Literacy: Possibilities for Tutor Preparation” James Wright
University of Maryland, Baltimore
This presentation describes a tutor training activity that draws on reflective practice and literacy mapping to foreground social justice implications of a translingual orientation to contemporary writing center work.
“Navigating Translingual Tutorials: A Journal, An Apology and a Chance to Get it Right”
Banan Althowaini, Penn State University, University Park
This panel presentation by a graduate student in TESOL will frame the challenges faced by tutors who work with translingual writers, and will provide reasonable, replicable actions tutors can take to create welcoming and productive environments for international students who might otherwise be unfamiliar with westernized tutorial cultures.
“Power, Experience, and the Individual Tutoring Creative and Personal Writing”
In this round robin, we discuss how we can tutor creative/personal writing in a way that is observant of power dynamics, intersectional identities, and our role as facilitators, not fixers.
"’I Knew You'd Understand What I Was Trying to Say’: Self-Reflection and Shared Identity in the Writing Center”
Nicole Finocchio, Aisha Wilson-Carter, and Jamel Hudson
This roundtable explores the ways in which tutors and tutees can share identities. These commonalities shape sessions to be both productive and empowering, but at times uncomfortable, for the tutor.
“Hear me Out: Creating Safe Spaces for Students of Color”
Jouvanna Brame and Alicia Espinal-Mesa
Loyola University, Maryland
Attendees should be ready to actively listen and actively engage in discussion on how the writing center space can become a safe and welcoming space for students of color.
“Writing Administrator as Activist: Transforming Expectations and Pedagogical Strategies for Multilingual Student Writers”
Rachel E.H. Edwards and Carla Mannix
Our presentation provides a pragmatic and research-based approach to transforming faculty expectations and pedagogical strategies for multilingual student writers, thereby disrupting the privileged narrative of higher education.
“The Spectrum of ESL Writers: A Heuristic Approach to Providing Practical, Differentiated Support for ESL Students in Post-ESL Programs and Higher Level Undergraduate Courses”
Penn State University, Berks Campus
This presentation gives writing tutors a framework to understand the needs of ESL writers and how to continue to support their writing/learning as they advance past their ESL programs or preliminary courses.
“Cultivating Slowtime, or What I Learned on Summer ‘Vacation’”
James Berkey and Liz Mathews
Penn State, Brandywine
Summer months afford opportunities for writing center transformation: learn how we cultivated “slow time” to implement recursiveness and develop autonomy for our Writing Studio throughout the year.
Session B: 11:00-11:50 Business Hall
“Bridging the Gap: Establishing Collaborative Relationships with Developmental Writers through In-Class Tutoring”
Timothy Smith, Jay Barnica, Nicole Bollinger, John Zukowski, and Marissa Kopp
HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College
Explore the impact of an embedded tutoring program as tutors and administrators share strategies for engaging students, partnering with faculty, and developing activities to empower developmental student writers.
“Minoritized Writing Associates: Our Contributions and Relations to Writing Discourse”
Fayola Fair, Jovanté Anderson, and Kamini Masood
Writing Associates of marginalized identities must balance existing as minoritized members within writing discourse, as well as authorities of writing. This panel includes three Writing Associates who will explore the tension between these two positions through a moderated discussion.
“A Higher Order Concern: Service Work Through the Writing Center”
Daniel DeLuise, Julia Taormina, Rowan University, and Mary Aruffo, Glassboro Public Schools
Writing tutors are a valuable resource, especially in the K-12 learning community. Our presentation will show the benefit of service work in the Writing Center and how tutors can make a difference in their local schools.
“Centering Narratives: How Tutors Can Foster Empathy and Reflection in Composition Classrooms” Eileen Brumitt, Meg MIkovits, Cara McClintock-Walsh
Northampton Community College
This panel discusses a cross-institutional tutoring partnership designed to foster empathy among students in a summer writing class through tutor-facilitated workshops on oral storytelling and structured exchange of personal narratives.
“Writing Center Tutoring and its Place in the Writing Process”
Michael Heiss, Hofstra University
This Data Dash is a study proposal that examines who uses writing centers and what part of the tutoring experience motivates students to more proactively use writing center tutoring.
“Empowering Nontraditional Students” Susan Edele, Jazmine Lampley, Lindenwood University
One Writing Center’s mission to support graduate students and empower them to do their best writing by validating their voices and supporting their writing needs.
“We're Here, We're…Queer? Challenging Language to Define Sexuality and Gender in Writing Centers” Caitlin McLaughlin, Drexel University
My research examines language like “queer” and “LGBT” to define students in writing centers. I will identify gaps in the literature through qualitative methods and seek to fill those gaps.
“By A Name, I Know Not What To Call Thee: Preferred Pronouns in Writing Center Report” Justin Hopkins, Franklin and Marshall College
Expanding on my MAWCA 2017 presentation, I add new data and analysis to my examination of responses to my Writing Center’s policy to ask tutees for their preferred pronouns.
“Is the Writing Center a Tool of Empowerment or an Instrument of Oppression: Investigating Writing Centers and Identity in Graduate Tutor Training?”
Kerri Rinaldi, Immaculata University
This presentation examines how tutor training that investigates the intersection of identity and writing center work can contribute to challenging systemic oppression in academia.
“Playing the Game: Interrogating Privilege, Power and Possibility”
Danielle Fruehan, Veronica Garis, Amanda Snook, Penn State University
As an alternative to the Privilege Walk, come play our Privilege Board Game! Players will roll the dice and experience the ways intersectionality, precarity, and privilege shape our opportunities and learning skills.
“Call to Action: Taking Activism Beyond the Center”
Andrea Efthymiou, Tyler Thier, Nicholas Rizzuti
Our panel understands engagement as activism within the center and beyond, looking at writing center interactions within our spaces but also across international borders and in increasingly high-stakes writing situations.
“Mini-Regional Think Tank (Anyone can do it)”
Margaret Ervin and Julianna Balmer
West Chester University
The purpose of this presentation, in roundtable format, is to encourage MAWCA members, especially newer members, to take the leap to become a mini-regional host. Attendees will leave the roundtable with resources and a plan for next steps toward a mini-regional.
“Human Rights Praxis in the Writing Center: Access and Activism through Social Work Scholarship”
Benjamin Morgan, Marquetta Bond, and Virginia Carr
West Chester University
This presentation describes recent social work and writing center initiatives at WCU in Philadelphia, where practice has been challenged and informed by Human Rights principles.
“Racism in the Authority Complex” Daniel Israelsson, George Washington University
Through analysis of how race entered into a session’s the balance of authority, I analyze how consultants should consider how aspects of identity can factor into their session’s authority complex.
“Motivation and Mentorship Extending the Reach of Tutoring Among Black Women in the Writing Center” Candace Chambers, independent scholar
This session will explore the impact of the laboring between Black women tutors and clients in writing centers in the areas of identity, language discourse, and mentorship.
“Student Stories: The Effectiveness of Writing Center Practices” Tanique Philogene and Christian Lopez-Ashby, Loyola University, Maryland
Lunch and Story Sessions 12:-1:00
Story Sessions (On-Going)
“Notes from a Stranger in a Strange Land”
Olivia Hardy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
“The Veritable Value of Voice: Understanding Student Fears in the Presence of Academia” Matthew Parsons, Immaculata University
Discover why students are anxious when writing for academic audiences, and how empowerment of the writer helps to conquer the source of their fears.
“The Poetry Within: Organizing a Poetry Workshop for Writers of All Abilities”
Emily Goff, York College of Pennsylvania
College writing centers can be transformed into havens of uninhibited creativity through workshops. Ideally, my poetry workshop will empower individuals, regardless of their “disabilities,” to unleash their unique human voices.
“The Writing Center: A Space for Intercultural Communication and Constructive Dialogue”
Jamel Hudson, Jennifer Davis, Morgan Parker, Ashley Vernola, Hofstra University
Three members of the Hofstra Writing Center worked together to construct video footage that highlights the intercultural communication that developed between an African American Male student, and a Jewish American Female Tutor.
“My Experience Volunteering: Extending Tutor Obligation and Checking Educational Privilege” Devon James, Rowan University
This story will provide an overview of my experience volunteering for a Community Literacy Organization, and consider a Writing Center’s responsibility to its surrounding community.
“The Writing Center "F" Word: Friendships” Chelsea Watts, Penn State University, Berks
“F” is for friends who share their narratives. Join the discussion about friendships among Writing Center tutors and how their personal stories and relationships help to maintain an inclusive and cohesive environment.
“Merging the Creative Writing Class and the Writing Center” Maddie Carroll, Rowan University
I share the efficacy of current pedagogical approaches to tutoring creative writing in the writing center and look at how writing centers and creative writing programs can work together to benefit creative writers.
Labtime (ongoing, Business Hall Hub)
“Uncovering Faculty/Student Dynamics in a Writing Fellow Program”
Danielle Saad, Lauren Gough, Taylor Gough, Meghan Steffey, Alvernia University
Undergraduate student researchers who serve as writing fellows seek survey participants and feedback on interview questions to evaluate a four-year old writing support program at a small liberal arts university.
Session C: 1:10-2:00 Business Hall
“Understanding the Full Impact of Writing Center Outreach Workshops”
Ryan MacDonald, Katie Branca, Darcy Gagnon, and Jenna Kahn, George Mason University
Administrators and tutors from George Mason University’s writing center present data and findings concerning the impacts of their growing outreach program on the university and the center itself.
“Identity, Privilege, and Activism: Cultivating Spaces of Community for First-Year Writers”
Meg Mikovits, Mike Guarino, Na'im Pretlow, Vaughn Tempesta
Panelists share their experiences and strategies on incorporating and navigating often challenging discussions on themes of identity, privilege, and activism in the learning discourse community of the college composition classroom.
“Does Tutoring Impact the Writing Quality and Complexity of ESL and Basic Writers?”
Brian Hutchison, Deah Atherton, Karen Johnson
Using a mixed-methods design with three unique instruments, we will share how tutoring impacts writing complexity, creativity, and quality for graduate international writers and undergraduate basic writers.
“The Stories We Must Share: The Role of Narrative in Revision, Compositional Rhythms, and Civic Conversations in the Writing Center”
Jason Hoppe, Helen Schroeder, Maya Kuang, and Danny Nguyen
United States Military Academy
This panel considers how storycraft and specific narrative methods can transform student attitudes about revision, the role of diverse compositional rhythms in the writing process, and serious civic conversation.
“A Narrative of STEM Students Homing into Writing Centers”
Morgan M. Douglas, Rowan University
In this story session, I share hard-copied and digital resources vital to redirecting the signaling processes of STEM students’ academic success as they “home” into the writing center.
“Bridging the Gap Years: Non-Traditional Students in the Writing Center”
Kerrin Smith, University of Baltimore
This presentation will investigate the writing challenges unique to returning students and older students, and will hypothesize that that a heavier emphasis on genre theory can help this demographic succeed in writing-intensive courses.
“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Asynchronous Online Tutoring”
Tom Earles, University of Maryland
This presentation will discuss the challenges and successes the UMD Writing Center took in planning and implementing asynchronous online tutoring, and ultimately, how effective students and tutors find our approach.
“Spanish Tutoring: Observations of Tutoring Writing in a Foreign Language”
Luz Mueller, George Mason University
This presentation explores a new Spanish writing tutoring program, introduces three distinct types of Spanish language writers, and discusses the transfer of learning that occurs when English speakers write in a second language, specifically Spanish.
“One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: One Center's Struggle to Stay Woke”
Janel McCloskey, Drexel University
This session explores the challenges of enacting anti-racist pedagogy in the writing center with emphasis on successes, failures and the need for this work to be focused and ongoing.
“Re-imagining Writing Centers for Chinese International Students in America”
Soo-Jin Kweon, George Washington University
This paper analyzes the shortcomings of the current writing center model in accommodating the needs of the ELL student population in order to provide a better environment for international students.
“Personal Activism: Catalyzing Change through Questioning”
Sufiya Abdur-Rahman, Funmilayo Adenugba, Moniesha Lawings, and Christine Ramroop
Bowie State University
Students see a variety of injustices in the world but may not have voice to speak on them. In this discussion, learn how to help students access their suppressed voices.
“Trauma, Triage, and Trust, Embodied Activism in Tutor's Responses to Uncovered Embedded Narratives of Crisis”
Marilyn Buono, Joseph Chillman, Tom Buqo
This roundtable examines unspoken critical narratives of writing center clients struggling with disabilities, mental health issues, or both, offering problem-solving strategies as well as opportunities for discussion.
“Postcolonialism in Writing Centers and the Narrative of Activism”
Samaa Gamie, Tadia Nicholson, Lynnazia Davis, and Craig Watson
The panel investigates the role of postcolonialism and anti-racist pedagogies in framing writing center activism and presents approaches and activities through which the WC can empower traditionally marginalized students.
“Stop Chasing Followers: Using Social Media Science to Promote F2F Networks”
Craig Medvecky, Loyola University, Maryland
This presentation will examine the principles behind the use of internet based applications (i.e Web 2.0) for the purposes of successfully marketing the writing center both online and face-to-face. 
“Spaces of Possibility: Counterarguments and Emerging College Scholars”
Vivek Freitas, United States Military Academy
Tutors are physical manifestations of scholarly discourses defined by interactions with other scholars. This paper argues that by focusing on counterarguments, tutors can build positive and scholarly associations with the activist task of creating spaces attuned to diverse voices.
“Writing Centers' Activism: How to Help Writers Embrace Their Voice”
Simone Hunter-Hobson, George Washington University
Analyzing a session in which a Palestinian writer hesitated to reveal her background in a personal statement, I examine tutors’ motivational scaffolding techniques to help writers unapologetically embrace and write about their identities.
Session D: 2:10-3:00 Business Hall
“Connection, Cooperation, and Collaboration: Building Community in the Writing Center”
Katelyn Snyder, Autumn Paul, Kendal McLaughlin, Meg Mikovits, Moravian College
This presentation explores ways that writing center tutors and writing fellows can instill a sense of community among student writers by emphasizing collaboration and encouraging a culture of peer support.
“Scribes or Serfs?: Professional Writing Tutors in Theory and Practice”
Sarah Marshall, Lauren-Elise Kadel, Luke Swinson
Thomas Jefferson University - East Falls Campus
We will discuss narratives about professional tutors in our own institutional contexts, and then identify specific practices we might change, narratives we might re-shape, or questions we might further explore.
“Teaching Ariel to Fight off Ursula: Helping Students Reclaim Their Voice”
Willmaria Miranda and Christina Mastroeni, Kean University
The path to helping a student find their voice is a challenging one. Confidence from the beginning steps of the writing process allow the student’s voice to become louder.
“Defining and Embracing Otherness in the Writing Center Environment”
Samantha Lelah, Baillie Dougherty, Morgan Dean, Emily Grenier, Laura Kincaid, Mikaela Langdon, Kwame Sekyere, Rowan University
We discuss and define “Otherness” in the Writing Center environment. We draw from our personal experiences to provide strategies for approaching and discussing otherness during tutoring sessions. How can we work with students to embrace their otherness in their writing and therefore, progress into unique, established writers. We welcome and value your feedback as well!
“Mind the Gap: Exploring the Spaces Between Writing, Identity & Culture”
E. Mairin Barney, Lauren Campbell, Jodie Fair, Sharea Harris, University of Baltimore
Panel members explore and define what we have identified as a “gap” between student experiences and university expectations and identify an ethical role for writing centers that validates diverse learners.
“Fear Unveiled: Using Jane Tompkins’ Theory to Empower Writing Centers”
Ron DePeter and Margaret Villari. Delaware Valley University
Jane Tompkins’ critique of the fear-based “performance model” is applied to writing centers, with reflections and alternatives which unveil fears and contribute to effective, reflective tutoring, teaching, and emotional well-being.
“The Power of Silence and Stillness in Writing Center Conversations”
Elaine MacDougall, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Some of the best insights are found during periods of silence and stillness. How can Writing Tutors utilize silence and stillness to create mindful, non-judgemental sessions with their peers?
“Empowering Writers Through Music” Isaiah Jordan-McIntyre, Valley Forge Military College
This presentation uses brain-based research and writing tutoring experience to discuss strategies and tools for using music in tutoring sessions.
“Intercultural Learning and Campus Activism through Writing Tutoring”
Samuel Santiago, Gio Bradley, Trinity Golden, Penn State, Abington
How does tutoring writing with international students function as activism which can help desegregate culturally divided student bodies? This roundtable discusses diverse cultural interactions as a benefit of tutoring.
“Seeing Tutors in 20/20: A New Vision for Recognizing Tutors as Students”
Emily Baqir and Alexandra Roland, Salisbury University
We present findings from a survey of our tutors about how supported they feel in the writing center. Then we open the discussion to learn how other centers support tutors.
"Empowering Writers Across Linguistic and Cultural Differences"
Kristin Lindgren, Barbara Hall, Deanne Battle, Elom Tettey-Tamaklo, Catheline Phan, Haverford College
This roundtable aims to open a discussion about strategies for communicating the value of linguistic and cultural diversity, affecting institutional change, and negotiating expectations of “correctness.”
“Narratives of Writing Center Spaces: A Case Study of Changes to Kutztown University's Writing Center”
Kristina Fennelly, Patricia Pytleski, Heather Flyte, Kutztown University
This session will examine the recent administrative changes that prompted the Kutztown University Writing Center's move from its own confined space to a shared space in the university library.
Conference Wrap up: 3:00-3:30 Business Hall