Roger Powell, PhD ‘12, director of writing center and institutional tutoring at Graceland University along with four student writing center tutors –Adelia Bristot Goes ’23, Maniya Watkins ’23, Daryn Nowlin ’22 (professional writing tutor/success coach), Hiraeth ’22– are attending the Iowa Writing Consortium Conference at the University of Iowa this weekend. The conference is a part of the professional development training given to Graceland writing tutors and it is an exciting opportunity to connect with other writing centers in Iowa and learn from each other.
“The field of writing center studies is often staffed by undergraduate tutors and is welcomes the ideas of tutors to make writing centers more accessible and safer spaces through the advancement of writing center knowledge. It’s vital that Graceland university writing tutors go to events like this one to participate in the conversation on how to better writing centers and their practices,” said Powell.
The theme of the conference is Lessons from Covid: Losses, Gains, Discoveries and Insights, Dr. Powell and junior Molly Sharp ’23 will each be presenting on their research and experience in writing centers.
Molly is majoring in English with a minor in Hispanic Studies, and will be presenting her senior thesis on how to start a high school writing center in a rural location. Along with the help of Roger Powell, she used her own experience growing up in rural Oklahoma and living in Lamoni as a student to better understand the needs of rural high schools. Molly explained that high school writing centers existbut they are often in private well-funded schools and metropolitan areas. Molly will share in her presentationhow a writing center would exist in a rural high school with less funding and her recommendations on how to start the program.
While her proposed approach is theoretical, she looks forward to implementing a program like this in the next year. When asked about her experience as a writing tutor, Molly said, “As an English major, I thought I knew a lot about writing, but since I became a tutor at the writing center, I realized that there is so much more to learn especially through the perspective of a tutor and even those who receive tutoring. I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn more from other writing center tutors and administrators and to contribute my thoughts and research as well.”
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