IUP Writing Center director Dr. Ben Rafoth and three Writing Center tutors visited West Virginia University on November 12, 2011, for a special colloquium focused on the theme of creating writing center learning cultures. Twenty-one tutors and their directors from Duquesne University, WVU, and IUP attended the invitation-only event.
According to Dr. Rafoth, the event afforded everyone an opportunity to learn about research and practice in writing centers at the three universities. Tutors and directors from each of the three schools made presentations on online writing centers (IUP), conceptual learning spaces (Duquesne), and re-imagining the pedagogical theories that inform tutoring (WVU).
Besides Dr. Rafoth, also attending from IUP were Mitch James, assistant director of the IUP Writing Center, and Lindsay Sabatino, a teaching associate in the English Department. Both are Ph.D. candidates in IUP’s Composition and TESOL doctoral program. Melissa Faith Lutz, a senior English major and tutor in the Writing Center, also attended the colloquium and presented with the IUP team.
“This annual colloquium showcases the cutting-edge work at three universities in our region with very innovative and professionally active writing centers,” said Dr. Nathalie Singh-Corcoran, director of the WVU writing center.
Drs. Rafoth and Singh-Corcoran are co-hosts of the International Writing Centers Association Summer Institute in July 2012 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, near Pittsburgh. The Writing Centers Summer Institute attracts writing center directors from across the U.S. and around the world for one week of intensive study, planning, and discussion. Dr. Singh-Corcoran is president of the International Writing Centers Association. Dr. Ben Rafoth’s most recent book (with Shanti Bruce) is ESL Writers: A Guide for Writing Center Tutors.
The IUP Writing Center, located in 218 Eicher Hall, assists over 1,500 students each semester with their writing assignments. An innovative online writing center was launched in September and is open to all IUP students.
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