Ben Rafoth delivered the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Midwest Writing Centers Association, held October 17–19, 2013, in Chicago.
This year’s conference marked the 30th anniversary of the association and was attended by more than 340 people, including writing center directors, tutors. and graduate students.
Rafoth’s speech to the association described the changing face of writing centers in the U.S. resulting from growing numbers of international students and non-native speakers of English, who now make up the majority of enrollment increases on college and university campuses. He called upon writing center directors and tutors to become more familiar with research in the field of second-language acquisition and its relevance to helping students write better.
For the past 23 years, Rafoth has directed the IUP Writing Center. In 2002, he received the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing’s highest honor, winning the Ron Maxwell Award for distinguished leadership in the field of writing centers. He has published three books on writing and has two books forthcoming. He has been a speaker and consultant on behalf of writing centers around the world, including most recently at King Abdulaziz University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.