“This is a roundtable that brings together representatives from the four major journals in the field of writing center studies. Each person will talk for a few minutes about their particular journal’s mission and philosophy and will share recommendations for publication. Attendees will have an opportunity to speak with journal representatives in a Q and A format in the second half of the roundtable. This is a great opportunity for prospective authors to learn about publishing trends in the field of writing center studies and to meet some of the editors who help to shape these academic conversations”
Please welcome to the blog our new associate editor for the Middle East and North Africa, Anna Habib – editor.
Anna S. Habib is the Associate Director of Composition, at both the George Mason University home campus and at the branch campus in Songdo, South Korea & coordinator and instructor in the Graduate Writing Across the Disciplines courses for INTO Mason, Mason’s pathway program for graduate and undergraduate international students.
Anna S. Habib was born in Beirut, Lebanon, during the civil war to a Lebanese father and American mother. When she was four years old, her family fled to the neighboring island of Cyprus where she grew up in a community of refugees from surrounding countries. As a bi-cultural, bi-national child from a post-colonial context, she grew up with English, Arabic and French as native languages and Greek as a second language. These intercultural, translingual experiences inspired her to pursue a BA in English with a concentration in Cultural Studies, and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at George Mason University. She graduated from the MFA program in 2006. Her thesis, which she hopes to continue working on someday, is titled “A Block from Bliss Street: Growing up as a child of the Lebanese civil war.” She is currently pursuing her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric also at Mason, where she served as the Associate Director of the Writing Center for five years until she transitioned to her current position as Associate Director of Composition for Multilingual Writers.
Her research and publications have focused on the experiences of multilingual writers adapting to the expectations of the U.S. academy, faculty perceptions of writing by multilingual students, and designing writing courses that are attuned to the diverse needs of this population. She is currently working on an auto-ethnography that aims to explore and theorize individual experiences of trauma and displacement.
Please welcome to the blog our new associate editor for Europe, Dr. Stephanie Dreyfürst – editor.
Dr. Stephanie Dreyfürst, Director, Academic Writing Center,
I became interested in genre during my studies of German literature of the early Enlightenment period and have been doing research about historical genres as part of my job as director of the Writing Center at Frankfurt’s Goethe university.
Please welcome to the blog our new associate editor for Asia, Lingshan Song – editor.
Lingshan Song, Assistant Director, Writing Center
Lingshan is the assistant director of the Writing Center at Mississippi College (MC). She also teaches freshmen composition courses and the tutor training course at MC. Her research interests include writing center theory and practice, ESL tutoring, and cultural studies. Currently she has been a strong advocate for advancing writing center movement in China and connecting writing center professionals from China and US. Lingshan also serves as Outreach Coordinator on the Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) board, TESOL Representative for the Association of Christians in Writing Centers (ACWC), and Oversea Representative for the Writing Center Association of China (WCAC).
As a native Chinese, Lingshan is trilingual (Mandarin, English, and Fuzhou Dialect). She enjoys reading, writing, teaching, travelling, making friends from different countries, and exploring diverse cultures. She feels honored to join the WLN editor team this year and very much looking forward to contributing to the community that seeks to connect writing centers across borders.
This week’s post is an introduction of our new co-editors, Ann Gardiner, Director of the Writing and Learning Center at Franklin University Switzerland and Brian Hotson, Director of Student Academic Learning Services in the Studio for Teaching and Learning at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada. In their conversation below, they speak to their own experiences coming to writing centers, their own practices in academic writing, and their outlook for the blog. You can contact Ann (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Brian (email@example.com) with any ideas for the blog.
Q:How did you arrive at your current position? Ann: To make a long story short, I would say that I went through several side doors to arrive at my current position at Franklin University Switzerland, where I have been Director of the Writing and Learning Center since 2010. With a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, I started my academic career as a professor, but I always worked closely with writing centers and even created one during my first academic appointment in Germany. In a sense, I became a specialist in general education courses, and I found that I really enjoyed helping students how to write better, read better, think better. In my two previous teaching appointments prior to coming to Franklin, I regularly taught writing and was teaching writing courses at Franklin as an adjunct when my predecessor at the Writing and Learning Center took an extended maternity leave. The replacement position became a permanent position in 2010, and I have been happily here ever since.
Brian: Unlike Anne, I started outside academia before my first writing centre position in 2008 at the writing centre at Queen’s University in Kingston (Ontario). I worked for many years in academic publishing, as a writer, project manager, and editor, among other things, mainly for Nelson Education. I also spent ten years as a writer and director/producer in educational television. Writing centre work came as a suggestion to me from a friend: I needed a job while completing my Master’s. We moved our family to Halifax in 2009, and in 2010, the directorship of the centre at Saint Mary’s University came available. It seems to really bring together my working skills and experience together.
Q:What do you like best about working in writing centres? Brian: Students and sentences. I spend a lot of time thinking about both. I like getting to know the students as a person–when I can–what they want to do academically, as well as how they’re going to take all their experiences and knowledge away with them. There’s great satisfactions to witness a student’s progress in, through, and out of the school. It’s humbling and satisfying!
Ann: As Director of the Writing and Learning Center, I have also gotten to know my tutors well too. Like Brian, I find it extremely rewarding to watch a student or tutor progress. I regularly have fantastic discussions with my students, tutors and academic mentors, who are upper-level students who help professors in their first year seminar courses and whose training I help coordinate. As I mentioned, I really enjoy helping students become better learners, and there is never a dull moment with this endeavor. We are a very small school at Franklin with about 400 students, and as a result I know my students well.
For my first project at CWCAB, I’d like to solicit and share the creative writing of writing center tutors and administrators here on the blog. I’d love to read poetry and short non-fiction/fiction pieces about writing center work, but I’m just as interested in creative work that’s more abstractly inspired by the practice and pedagogy of tutoring writing. Maybe you have a poem inspired by an interaction with a student in the writing center. Maybe you wrote a reflective profile of yourself as a tutor. Maybe (fingers crossed!) you composed the first writing center rock opera. Whatever it is, however you got there from writing center studies, we want to read it.
Every week the blog editors would like to highlight a few activities, materials or events related to writing centers from around the globe. We intend this to be a simple, fun weekly list of good reading/memes/links around the web by/for/about writing centers. You can help us by sending us links or those tidbits of information that make our readers smile.
So for this first post I spent some time on Pinterest and entered the keywords “writing+center” first and found a great number of virtual writing center spaces curated by parents and teachers for elementary and middle school children. I then added another keyword to the search “university+writing+center” and I came across three digital spaces from three universities. The writing consultants at the University of Nevada, Reno writing center started 12 boards and have so far compiled 138 pins. Why not check out the UNR writing center space on Pinterest now? The board titles range from “Writer’s Block,” “Writing Humor” to ‘Real World Writing.”
The IUP Writing Center has 18 boards so far that include information for “IUP Faculty” but also “Just for Laughs,” “Staying Productive” to “Writing in the News.”
Recently, the editorial staff of the Writing Lab Newsletter posted a call for an editor for this blog. We greatly appreciate the interest in this position and all the excellent applications. And we are delighted to announce that the position has been filled by two exceptionally qualified candidates:
Josh Ambrose, WLN Blog Editor. Josh is the Director of the Writing Center at McDaniel College where he also teaches multiple classes within the English department; he previously worked at the Writing Center at George Mason while completing his MFA in creative nonfiction. He has a proven interest in communicating across borders and looks forward to many great conversations ahead.
Steffen Guenzel,WLN Blog Associate Editor. Steffen joined the Center for Writing Excellence at The University of Central Florida in the summer of 2012. He received his doctorate in 20th century American Literature from the University of Alabama in 2006 after completing a Masters in secondary education (English/Russian/Education) at Leipzig University, Germany, and a year as a Fulbright exchange student. Currently, in his research he examines higher education developments in Germany and Europe in regard to the writing center movement and WAC-related initiatives with the idea to continue to build bridges and connect people.
Both have impressive academic credentials and share our vision of this blog being a space that allows writing center specialists to transcend borders and share, learn, collaborate, and meet each other. Josh and Steffen have a long list of projects to invite you, in Josh’s words, to “explore writing center-minded narratives/approaches [that reach] across borders.
Recently, we posted a call for applications for the position of editor for this blog, and we thank the excellent pool of candidates who applied. Because of this, we are about to close the call, so if there’s anyone who is interested, please let Alan Benson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Muriel Harris (email@example.com) hear from you soon.