Roger Powell, PhD

Roger Powell, PhD

Writing and Tutoring Center Director


BA in English - Graceland University
MA in English - University of North Dakota
PhD in English: Composition and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) - Indiana University of Pennsylvania


I believe good teaching involves imagining the type of student who will leave my classroom. When I sit down to develop a syllabus, assignment or even a daily lesson, I think about what my students will be like when the course is done – what they will learn, be able to write and how this course might contribute to an understanding of their life. Therefore, my pedagogy values helping students holistically develop as students and writers (or tutor in the Writing Center). This holistic development of students means several things: 1.) building transferrable writing skills and knowledge they need to be successful in other writing contexts; 2.) developing students’ awareness of how they learn through teaching them about their dispositions towards writing and learning; and 3.) helping students develop as individuals through writing about meaningful topics or engaging in meaningful writing projects. This philosophy has served me well, which is evidenced by the Exemplary Teaching of Language and Literacy Award I won while teaching at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

I have also applied this philosophy to my administrative work with tutors, and I aim to not only develop the tutors I train as good tutors but also help them grow professionally and personally. I’ve done this by taking tutors to conferences, engaging them in research on tutoring that also would help their later careers and by having them work with individuals in their fields. Tutoring develops so many skills that are applicable later, so I do my best to facilitate that skill acquisition.

My research informs my practice in teaching and administration by examining composition pedagogy and theory, writing center pedagogy and research, responding to student writing, learning transfer, dispositions, and writing development. My co-authored and solo-authored articles have appeared in The Peer Review, Composition Forum, WAC-GO Newsletter, Praxis: A Writing Center Journal and WLN’s digital edited collection, and I regularly present at CCCC and IWCA.

Along with three amazing colleagues (Dana Driscoll, Jen Wells and Katherine Rothschild) from across the U.S., I just received a $10,000 research grant from the CCCC Research Initiative to study how students at various, diverse institutions transfer their writing knowledge and skills to other academic or personal contexts. In addition to this project, I’m hard at work on several articles about different topics: responding to student writing, promoting growth mindsets in composition classrooms, self-efficacy and tutor education/professional development, and an autoethnographic work on my experiences with the Writing Center at Graceland.

In addition to my scholarly work, I write fiction and poetry. My poetry has appeared in Red Flag Poetry and Works and Days. I am currently revising several short stories and drafting a novel for publication as well.

When I’m not reading, writing, teaching or engaged in duties associated with my director position, I’m avidly following Kansas City Chiefs football, hanging out with my awesome wife Meghan and/or with the rest of my family/friends, traveling, or hiking/backpacking (a newly formed hobby of mine).

Office Location

FMS Library, Lower Level

Mail Location

FMS Library, Lower Level