New(s) from the UW-Madison Writing Center!

The Chancellor's Convocation for New Undergraduate Students, UW-Madison.  Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications.

The Chancellor's Convocation for New Undergraduate Students, UW-Madison. Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications.

Welcome to a new academic year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writing Center! As our Writing Center re-opens on the first day of classes for the fall semester–on Tuesday, September 4–we’ll be eager to welcome undergraduate and graduate student-writers from across the University. And we’re delighted to have 26 talented new undergraduate writing fellows and 11 new doctoral-level teaching assistants and two new undergraduate receptionists join our staff of 105 wonderful colleagues. Based on suggestions from student-writers and from faculty and from our own staff, our Writing Center’s leadership team is always looking for ways to improve and innovate. Here’s a sampling of some of what’s new this semester. . . .

Dining area in the new Dejope Hall, where the Writing Center's new satellite location in the lakeshore residence halls will be.  Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications.

Dining area in the new Dejope Hall, where the Writing Center's new satellite location in the lakeshore residence halls will be. Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications.

Food service area in the new Dejope Hall.  Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications.

Food service area in the new Dejope Hall. Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications.

New Satellite Locations
In addition to our main location on the 6th floor of Helen C. White Hall, we have eight satellite locations in multicultural student centers, libraries, and residence halls across campus, as well as an extensive online writing center. Since the early 1990s, we’ve enjoyed a wonderful partnership with University Housing, offering undergraduate students consultations in numerous residence-hall locations. This semester we’re thrilled to open our satellites in the two stunning new dining halls on campus–Dejope Hall, in the Lakeshore Residential Area (replacing our long-time location in Lower Franks in Holt Commons), and in the Gordon Dining and Event Center, in the Southeast Residential Area (replacing our long-time location in Gordon Commons). Here’s a link to the schedule for those satellite locations.

New Workshops
Every semester we offer c. 60 sections of a wide range of Writing Center workshops, designed for undergraduate-student writers, for graduate-student writers, as well as for faculty, instructional staff and TAs. Here’s what we added to our lineup this past spring and this fall:

For more about our writers’ retreats, see this post on our blog from last spring.  And here’s a link to our full lineup of workshops for fall 2012.

Outreach

Helen C. White Hall, Home of the UW-Madison Writing Center.  Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications.

Helen C. White Hall, Home of the UW-Madison Writing Center. Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications.

Each semester, other University programs and students organizations and faculty across the University invite us to introduce the Writing Center to students across UW-Madison and ask us to collaborate with them to offer custom-designed writing instruction within courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels across campus. Here’s a sample of some of the many outreach presentations and resource fairs we’ve already done this fall:

  • graduate programs in biotechnology
  • division of continuing education
  • School of education
  • new graduate-student welcome
  • southeast residence-halls bash
  • school of nursing
  • LGBT campus center
  • undergraduate research scholars

And here’s a sample of the many departments across the university where we’ll be doing some co-teaching on writing together with faculty and teaching assistants across the university:

  • history
  • French
  • nursing
  • veterinary medicine
  • social work
  • rehabilitation psychology and special education
  • political science
  • library and information studies
  • international studies
  • environmental studies
  • public health
  • Spanish
  • psychology
  • languages and cultures of Asia
  • legal writing
  • curriculum and instruction

For more about our outreach program, see this post on our blog from last spring.

Undergraduate Writing Fellows
Undergraduate Writing Fellows work with student-writers and faculty in writing-intensive courses across the University. Here are the courses Fellows are working with in Fall 2012—

  • Economics 623: Population Economics
  • French 211: Sex and Gender in 20th-Century French Literature
  • Anthropology 120: Biological, Cultural, and Physical Dimensions of Landscapes
  • English 175: Literature and Politics
  • Psychology 411: Fundamentals of Clinical Psychology
  • History 242: Modern Latin America, 1898-Present
  • Philosophy 543: Contemporary Ethical Theory, John Rawls
  • Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies 401: Global Change
  • English 181: Monsters, Borders, and Bodies
  • Gender and Women’s Studies 533: Gender, Sexuality, and Reproduction: Public Health Perspective
  • Scandinavian Studies 296: Scandinavian Heritage
  • Languages and Cultures of Asia 357: Literature of Muslim Societies
  • Psychology 211: Psychology of Well-Being
  • Integrated Liberal Studies 203: Western Culture, Literature and the Arts
  • Jewish Studies 515: Holocaust: History, Memory, and Education
  • Business 365: Business and Society—History, Politics, Globalization
  • Art History 411 and East Asian 571: Confucius
  • English 169: Introduction to American Literature
  • Scandinavian Literature in Translation 235: The World of Sagas
  • Political Science 425: Citizenship, Democracy, and Difference
A Blackboard Collaborate whiteboard room with one of our instructors on video chat

Our Blackboard Collaborate whiteboard room

The Online Writing Center

In addition to offering some of the most widely used reference materials on academic writing (check our Writer’s Handbook), our Online Writing Center offers feedback on drafts via email for currently enrolled students and we offer synchronous online (chat) consultations for currently enrolled UW-Madison students. With help from several members of the DoIT team, we have upgraded our live online chat consultations to employ new software this fall—Blackboard Collaborate—which will allow for audio and video consultations. And for the latest on Writing Center events and workshops, check out our Twitter feed.

Madison Writing Assistance

Goodman Public Library South Madison Branch

Goodman Public Library South Madison Branch

With grant funding, the Madison Writing Assistance Program offers individual help with writing and with job applications to community members at various branches of the Madison Public Library and community centers across the city.  Community members bring drafts of resumes, job applications, letters to landlords, newsletters, recipes, and many other kinds of writing.  To learn more about Madison Writing Assistance, see this post on our blog from last winter.

Writing Across the Curriculum
Our WAC program has published a revised edition of its popular 300-page Sourcebook on Teaching with Writing, which features new assignments from faculty, instructional staff, and teaching assistants from across the University. Some of the sample assignments in the new Sourcebook come from these departments:

The 2012-13 UW-Madison WAC Sourcebook for Faculty

The 2012-13 UW-Madison WAC Sourcebook for Faculty

  • engineering physics
  • history
  • pharmacy
  • anthropology
  • journalism and mass communication
  • dairy science
  • psychology
  • integrated liberal studies
  • economics

And the WAC program has been a partner in planning and launching the Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence, a new a teaching and learning community for early-career faculty at the University. Ten new faculty from across the University are Faculty Fellows in fall 2012. For more information about our recent WAC initiatives, see this blog post from July 2012.

Thanks for your interest in what’s new in our Writing Center programs this year! Do you have comments or questions about any of our new programs or offerings? Suggestions for future offerings? Something that’s new with the writing center at your school or college or university? Please leave a comment! We’d love to hear your voice here.

more later,
brad hughes
director, the writing center
director, writing across the curriculum

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