Tutors and Administrators Present at Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association Conference

April 8, 2013

Report by Leigh Ryan, Writing Center Director 

Thanks to the generosity of CLCS, on April 5 and 6, 2013, sixteen Writing Center tutors and administrators presented at the 24th Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association (MAWCA), hosted by California University of Pennsylvania.  In addition to the money awarded by CLCS, we received a grant from MAWCA.  Kristina Lykke and Lena Stypeck also applied to MAWCA and received travel grants.

Several tutors also received awards for their research projects:

Twenty Six LLC Award (for technology)  

Courtney Guth, Oliver Bulley, Douglas Kern for “Let’s Go to the Movies:  Workshopping  Xtranormal in Tutor Training” 

Awards for Exceptional Scholarship (there were 3, and our tutors garnered 2)

Erik Kozlik for “Breaking Bad: Productive Conversations about Poor Papers”

Lena Stypeck for “Expanding Our Own Thinking: Using Mnemonics in Tutoring Sessions” 


Shannon McGuigan – “Spread the Love” (partnering with high schools)

Abby Shantzis & Leigh Ryan – “Who We Are and What We’re Saying” (Tutor roles)

Jennifer Robinson, Kristina Lykke, Rachel Schoenfeld & Diana Alkire -  “Physical and Social Sciences in the Writing Center: How to Help Tutors Help Students”

Heather Lindenman & Thomas Earles – “What’s Style Got to Do with It?”

Lena Stypeck, Shirelle Ellis, & Robert Waldo – “Expanding Our Own Thinking”

Erik Kozlik - “Breaking Bad: Productive Conversations about Poor Papers”

Courtney Guth, Oliver Bulley, Douglas Kern  - “Let’s Go to the Movies:  Workshopping  Xtranormal in Tutor Training”

Presenting at and attending a professional conference is an extraordinarily rich experience for undergraduates.  Whenever I take a group of tutors to a conference they learn so much, and it changes their vision of what they do in the Writing Center to hear from and meet other undergraduates who also tutor students in writing.  Shepherding our tutors through the process of presenting at a conference is rewarding, but also an enormously time consuming activity.  It involves assisting tutors with crafting and submitting proposals, preparing and practicing presentations, familiarizing them with conference etiquette and culture, as well as coordinating all the travel arrangements.   I thank Heather Lindenman, Tom Earles, and Doug Kern for assisting me in doing this.  

Leigh Ryan

Writing Center Director

Note:  The work for this conference is ongoing. Two of these presentations were converted to posters for the University’s Undergraduate Research Day by Abby Shantzis, Courtney Ward, and Oliver Bulley.  In addition, Courtney and Oliver (who is graduating) have proposed a new version of their presentation for the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW) to be held in Tampa, FL on Nov. 1-3, 2013.  Abby continues  to gather data for her English Department Honors thesis with a proposal for a workshop at the same conference.   I serve on the Board for NCPTW, and we provide mentoring for any questionable proposals because most are submitted by first-time college and high school presenters.  I anticipate immediate acceptance of our tutors’ proposals, but am confident that, finally, both will be accepted.