Graduate Students, Faculty Present at Writing Center Conference in Kentucky
Three M.A. in Writing students and two faculty members from the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences presented together at the 2012 Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference at Eastern Kentucky University, February 16-18. Conference participants included professionals and scholars from around the SWCA’s nine-state region and the country.
The graduate students—Cristine Busser, Sara Stanley, and Denise Pichardo—collaborated with Kevin Dvorak, Ph.D., associate professor and coordinator of writing center, and Shanti Bruce, Ph.D., associate professor and coordinator of writing program in the college. Their presentation, “Walking Out of the Center and into the Classroom: Using Writing Center Programs to Build Connections with First-Year Writing and WAC Programs,” discussed how writing fellows, embedded tutoring, and course-based tutoring programs provide writing centers with unique opportunities for working more closely with students and faculty than the traditional writing-center model.
Additionally, Pichardo delivered a second presentation, titled “Writing Standard Miscommunications Between Florida High Schools and the WPA,” which explored the differences between the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), College Board (creator of the SAT), ACT, and Writing Program Administrators (WPA) standards and how these differences impact writing-center work. This presentation was based on her M.A. in Writing thesis.
Busser, Stanley, and Pichardo are all part of the college’s new COMP Fellows program, which provides course-based writing assistance to students enrolled in specific COMP courses. The program is led by Dvorak, while Bruce teaches a course that works with fellows.
“The SWCA conference was a great opportunity for me to understand the role ‘research’ plays in the work faculty and writing centers do,” Busser said. “I never really knew the depth of the conversations that were taking place outside of the classroom and writing center until I had a chance to listen to and talk with similarly committed attendees from around the region.”