Chasing the Sun: What’s New in the UW-Madison Writing Center

By Brad Hughes.

Brad Hughes is the director of the Writing Center and director of Writing Across the Curriculum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is delighted to be starting his 30th year directing the Writing Center.

Alumni Park and Memorial Union Terrace construction, with Helen C. White Hall in the background. Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications.

Alumni Park and Memorial Union Terrace construction, with Helen C. White Hall in the background. Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications.

Welcome to a new academic year at UW-Madison’s Writing Center! With contributions from my wonderful colleagues, I’d like to celebrate some of our program’s accomplishments during the summer of 2013 and share some of our plans for the fall.

Summer in Madison always means construction on campus. The historic Memorial Union—one of two student unions on campus, right next door to our Writing Center’s home in Helen C. White Hall on the shore of Lake Mendota—is in the midst of an exciting (but seemingly endless) multi-year remodeling and reconstruction project. Because of that construction, Helen C. White Hall looks as if it’s under siege, encircled by road detours and fenced-off sidewalks. But student-writers have still been finding their way to us all summer long. And our staff have been busy collaborating and venturing out—as always—to offer instruction across our campus and around the city of Madison. Here are a few highlights of what we were up to during the summer and what we’re looking forward to this fall . . .

Exciting New Looks

  • During the summer, our Writing Center blog, Another Word, underwent a dramatic makeover, thanks to Mike Shapiro. As you read our blog, please try resizing your windows on whatever device you’re using, or try turning your smart phone or tablet a different way and watch the screen resize! Our new WordPress theme, Zoren, uses “responsive web design,” which means that it does a great job of resizing our blog for different screen sizes and resolutions on tablets and laptops and mobile devices. Our new theme’s design also allows us to feature a large photo at the top of every post. We hope you like it!

The previous design of our blog, in use since its debut in 2009.

 

The new design of our blog.

The new design of our blog.

  • Please take a look at our new page for all of our locations and hours, which consolidates information from four other pages, integrates our Twitter feed, maps our locations, and features images from all of our different locations. Redesigning a single page may seem like a small thing, but a lot of care and thought and creativity went into that redesign to communicate crucial information in an appealing and clear way.
  • Starting in May 2014, our Writing Center will undergo a dramatic remodeling of our computer classroom, thanks to an Instructional Lab Modernization grant from the University. The new space will feature a glass wall to open up that space to the main room of the Writing Center, a large central conference table with Macbook computers, half-round tables for consultations around the perimeter of the room, and web-conferencing equipment so we can use that room for video chats with guest speakers for our Madison Area Writing Center Colloquia.

The Summer Writing Center

Mary Fiorenza

Mary Fiorenza

We were very lucky to have Mary Fiorenza, the associate director of English 100, share her talents with the Writing Center by directing the Center during the summer of 2013. Some highlights from a great summer:

  • Our dedicated summer staff was booked nearly solid for most of the 3-week and 8-week sessions, working with seniors on medical school applications, students in summer classes, incoming undergraduates getting a head start on their Wisconsin Experience, and graduate-student dissertators making headway on their projects. Besides one-on-one tutoring during the day, we served students in our College Library satellite location two nights each week, tweeted, ran workshops, did Outreach, and supported a dissertation camper via Skype after she returned home to Minnesota.
  • Our summer Outreach staff worked with a dozen different programs and classes, co-teaching sessions for undergraduates and pre-college students in the Schools of Education, Medicine and Public Health, and Engineering; training undergraduate counselors in the PEOPLE program to provide useful feedback on writing; and pitching the Writing Center’s services to courses in Comm Arts, History, and Consumer Science.
  • Thanks to generous support from the UW-Madison Graduate School and from the Mellon Foundation, the Writing Center held three very successful summer dissertation camps again in May and June of this year, led by Nancy Linh Karls, Virginia Piper, Kevin Mullen, and Kristiane Stapleton.

Madison Writing Assistance

  • Our Madison Writing Assistance (MWA) Program, led by Elisabeth Miller and Nancy Linh Karls, is a community-literacy project, providing thoughtful, responsive readers to help members of the Madison community who are working on all kinds of writing. MWA offers this assistance in six different sites across the city: Sequoya Library, Goodman South Park Library, Pinney Library, Meadowood Neighborhood Center, Hawthorne Library, and Lakeview Library.
  • Thanks to funding from the Evjue Foundation and from the Anonymous Fund at UW-Madison, MWA ran for an 8-week session during the summer of 2013. MWA instructors held roughly 100 sessions addressing writing projects from a novella based on the story of Cupid and Psyche to letters to doctors and landlords to FAFSA applications to memoirs to poetry to—as always—many, many resumes, cover letters, and job applications.
  • We partnered with the Goodman South Park Library to hold the 10th annual Celebration of Writing on Saturday, June 22nd. The event featured an Open Mic and three free writing workshops: a Spanish poetry writing workshop, an English poetry writing workshop, and a writing workshop for kids.

Writing Fellows

  • Again this summer, a group of our undergraduate Writing Fellows worked with the Summer Collegiate Experience Program, a wonderful summer academic program for incoming first-year undergraduates.
  • During the fall semester, 55 undergraduate Writing Fellows will be working with student-writers and faculty in a wide range of writing-intensive courses, including courses in Philosophy, Education Policy Studies, Global Studies, Hebrew Studies, Geography, French Literature in Translation, Political Science, Languages and Cultures of Asia, Psychology, Classics, Library and Information Studies, Scandinavian Studies, Curriculum and Instruction, and English.
Sailboats on Lake Mendota near Helen C. White Hall, UW-Madison, after a storm. Photo: Jeff Miller.

Sailboats on Lake Mendota near Helen C. White Hall, UW-Madison, after a storm. Photo: Jeff Miller.

 

Writing Across the Curriculum

This summer, the L&S Program in Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) was very busy with workshops and consultations.

  • During the University’s Teaching and Learning Symposium in May, we showcased faculty from Library and Information Studies, Biology, Digital Studies, and Chemistry who teach with writing in innovative ways, and we gave attendees a chance to plan and share ideas for their own writing assignments.
  • As facilitators for the Teaching Academy’s Summer Institute at the University’s Arboretum in June, we consulted with faculty members in Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Pharmacy, Life Sciences Communication, and many other departments, and we offered several workshops for participants on teaching with writing.

Stephanie White, assistant director of WAC, at UW-Madison Teaching and Learning Symposium, May 2013

  • We offered WAC workshops on designing effective writing assignments and on responding to and evaluating student writing through the University’s Delta Program, a community of graduate students, post-docs, instructional staff, and faculty dedicated to professional development in teaching and learning.
  • Stephanie White, who has just finished her two-year position as assistant director of the WAC program, was a guest speaker in an online inter-institutional course focused on teaching online classes, an online course sponsored by CIRTL.
  • Over the summer, the WAC program continued to be an active partner in the wonderful campus teaching-and-learning program for new faculty, MTLE—Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence.
  • Last week, the WAC program designed and led training for 75 graduate TAs from across campus who are teaching their first writing-intensive (Comm-B) course this fall.
  • We introduced the WAC Program and the Writing Center during an orientation for all new faculty from across campus.
  • Along the way, we’ve consulted with faculty and TAs in Political Science, Communication Arts, Library and Information Studies, the School of Business, Pharmacy, Kinesiology, Mechanical Engineering, History, Journalism and Mass Communication, Hebrew Studies, Nursing, Languages and Cultures of Asia, Counseling Psychology, French, Gender and Women’s Studies, Classics, and more.

 

Professor Ethelene Whitmire, School of Library and Information Studies, on Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Panel at Teaching and Learning Symposium (TLS), May 2013

Professor Ethelene Whitmire, School of Library and Information Studies, on Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Panel at Teaching and Learning Symposium (TLS), May 2013

Dr. Michelle Harris, Biocore Program, on WAC Panel at TLS

Dr. Michelle Harris, Biocore Program, on WAC Panel at TLS

Professor Jon McKenzie, English and Digital Humanities, on WAC Panel at TLS

Professor Jon McKenzie, English and Digital Humanities, on WAC Panel at TLS

 

Professor Catherine Middlecamp, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, on WAC Panel at TLS

Professor Catherine Middlecamp, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, on WAC Panel at TLS

 

The Odyssey Project

This fall we’re delighted to launch a new partnership with the University’s wonderful Odyssey Project, which is led by Professor Emily Auerbach. Two of our Writing Center consultants, Sagashus Levingston and Kevin Mullen, will be working with Odyssey students on writing projects throughout this academic year. As its website explains, “The UW-Madison Odyssey Project provides adults” in the Madison community “facing economic barriers with a chance to start college.” “Odyssey provides 30 students each year with a challenging college humanities class with award-winning faculty. Students receive free tuition, textbooks, childcare, and a weekly dinner through support from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, grants, and private donations. Adult students read, write about, and engage in lively discussions of Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King, Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, Gandhi and more. Through exposure to these great works of literature, philosophy, history, and art, Odyssey students gain six credits in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, skills in critical thinking, a sense of empowerment, and a voice.”

UW-Madison Odyssey Project, Class of 2013.

Graduation for the UW-Madison Odyssey Project, Class of 2013.

 

New Website for Using CS/CR Builder in Writing Center Tutor Education

During the summer, we created a website to help writing center tutors and professionals learn to use new software (CS/CR) for creating simulations to use in tutor education.  CS/CR is a free authoring program, developed by the Writing Center and the Engage Program in the Division of Information Technology at UW-Madison, that tutors and directors can use to develop simulations of tutorials and of critical-reading activities. You can then incorporate these web-based simulations into part of tutor education. For more information about CS/CR and to try out some sample simulations, see–

  • wln_logoHughes, Bradley, and Melissa Tedrowe. “Introducing Case Scenario/Critical Reader Builder: Creating Computer Simulations to Use in Tutor Education.” The Writing Lab Newsletter 38.1-2 (2013): 1-4. Print.
  • Our new website on Using CS/CR Builder in Tutor Education (2013).

 

uwmadison_writingcenter_cscr_website_screehshot_sept2013

 

Fall Outreach

  • Our Writing Center’s outreach program, led this semester by Mattie Burkert, takes tutors from our staff into classrooms and meetings across campus to introduce the Writing Center to students and to co-teach custom instruction about writing—planned and taught collaboratively with course faculty and TAs—in courses across campus.
  • Our Outreach team has already participated in 16 resource fairs and orientation events during Welcome Week before classes began. Over the course of the week, we interacted with over 1000 students from diverse disciplines such as Pharmacy, Biotechnology, Social Work, Urban and Regional Planning, Nursing, and English.
  • This fall, our instructors will be giving presentations and co-teaching writing lessons in classrooms all over campus, from introductory-level undergraduate courses in Classics, Global Studies, and Environmental Studies, to seminars for upper-level undergraduates in History, Political Science, and Religious Studies, to graduate courses in Public Health and Education, Biomedical Engineering, and Curriculum and Instruction.
  • We will also be leading sessions focused on skills like resume-building and cover letters for job-seekers in fields that include Business, Neuroscience and Library and Information Studies.
  • Finally, we are working with faculty and classroom instructors across the university to help them improve their feedback on student writing, as well as to develop strategies for helping students use the Writing Center to the fullest.

The Return of Senior-Thesis Writing Groups

After a successful first year under Stephanie White and Elisabeth Miller’s leadership, the senior-thesis writing groups will be back this fall! This year Chris Rogers and Michelle Niemann will coordinate these  self-sustaining writing groups. In informal weekly meetings, seniors working on theses in a variety of fields will support each other through the challenging process of presenting their high-level research in a compelling way. For more about our senior-thesis writing groups, see this blog post from last spring.

A New Ongoing-Education Project

Experienced tutors on our staff have to complete an ongoing-education project each semester. This fall, one of the options for this ongoing education will give a group of tutors the opportunity to gather in-depth feedback from students about their experiences in our Writing Center. Tutors will lead and record small focus-group sessions with students who have come to the Writing Center at least once to find out what was helpful and what wasn’t, why they came back or why they didn’t. In a spring staff meeting, all Writing Center staff will watch parts of the filmed focus group conversations and reflect on what we can do better.

 

We’ve got a great lineup of blog posts coming your way this fall, written by our current staff and by former tutors. New posts appear each Monday during the academic year, so please stop by regularly!

Thanks so much for reading these updates about our Writing Center’s programs. While you’re here, would you please add a comment to this post? What’s new with your writing center? What do you think about the new look of our blog? And if you have any comments or questions about what we’re up to in Madison, please join in this conversation by adding a comment. We’d love to include your voice here. Best wishes for a great academic year!

36 thoughts on “Chasing the Sun: What’s New in the UW-Madison Writing Center

  1. What a great post to kick off the semester, Brad! It’s wonderful to see all of the exciting work that the Writing Center has been doing–and will continue to engage in this fall–around UW Madison and the Madison community. And what a beautiful new look for the blog!

  2. I love these annual updates, Brad, for showing how many ways the UW–Madison Writing Center can grow in a year—they’re like the doorway against which a child gets measured on every birthday. It’s also a pleasure to see how the Writing Center’s growth is responsive not only in its web design but also in seeking out ways to serve important needs on campus.

    Mike Shapiro
    Coordinator, UW–Madison Writing Center

  3. Thanks for this post, Brad! It’s wonderful to see all the ways the Writing Center is reaching out to such a wide variety of faculty, students, and community members. As someone whose Writing Center teaching has been based in Helen C. White Hall and undergrad dorms, I love to be reminded that WAC training is helping TAs across the disciplines develop their writing pedagogy, that community members are meeting with Writing Center instructors in libraries and community centers around Madison through MWA, and that Writing Fellows are working with incoming first-year students through the Summer Collegiate Experience. I’m especially excited to see how our new partnership with the Odyssey Project unfolds.

    Michelle Niemann
    Assistant Director, UW-Madison Writing Center

  4. Great post. I’d like to attest to your excellent contribution to the Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence program. Your help at this summer’s session on assignment design helped me make great strides with a research project assignment for my Digital Media Law and Ethics class. The session was hands-on, so I made critical changes to the assignment in the moment. When I returned almost 3 months later to prep courses, there were all my beautiful annotations of Brad and Sarah suggestions. The redesign wrote itself. Thanks for all your efforts to help us work effectively with our students!

  5. Thanks, Brad, for your help in launching a partnership between the Writing Center and the UW Odyssey Project. Now in our 11th year, we have students who have gone from homelessness to graduate school, from incarceration to meaningful work in the community. We are so glad that a grant-funded program (spearheaded by Assistant Director Laurie Greenberg) will let us have Writing Center fellows on our staff to help our students gain greater literacy and writing fluency. Thanks!

  6. Exciting and inspiring, Brad! I love the website redesign (and those sailboats make me nostalgic here in landlocked Iowa). The range of ways the Writing Center is engaging with the university community and beyond is just amazing. Since we are still getting our operation off the ground here but have been doing quite a bit of outreach, I’m thinking that finding a way to showcase the various venues we’ve been visiting, as you do here, might encourage even more to take advantage. I’ll be pondering this.

    Rachel Azima
    Director, Writing & Media Center
    Iowa State University

  7. Thanks for this post! It’s great to hear about everything folks have been working on all summer. And it’s so fun to see the Writing Center up and open again today here on campus. :)

  8. Thanks for this post, Brad! I have my first shift of the year tomorrow morning, and now I am more excited than ever to get underway. Cheers to your 30th year!

  9. Thanks, Brad, for sharing this news! And thank you for collaborating with the Odyssey Project. I am very excited to be connecting with Odyssey students through writing. The conversations, the discovery, the mentoring and support that takes place over a written piece is invaluable. Emily and her team are doing good work with that program. I’m glad to be a part of that work. Odyssey and the Writing Center, what an amazing collaboration!

  10. The new design looks fantastic! The large format photos simply look cool! And overall design is very clean and professional! The flexible design works great, by the way! Congrats to Mike for for all his hard work! And as always, everyone in the Writing Center is doing super exciting and important work, and I love hearing about it in Brad’s updates! (Could I use more exclamation marks? Yes! Every time I talk about the Writing Center!)

  11. It looks like another action-packed semester Writing Center–so much happening, and in so many places. I’ve been lucky enough to participate in some of these programs and am always amazed by the number of ways that the Writing Center and WAC programs reach across the university to connect faculty, students, and the community. And, to echo Sagashus, I’m incredibly excited to be working with the Odyssey Program this fall–I am sure that it is going to be a dynamic and fruitful collaboration.
    So thanks Brad, for all the work that you do to make these connections happen. And great work on the website as well–it looks terrific!

  12. Wow—what a semester (and year) is ahead of us! I’m so looking forward to some of the new things I will be working on this semester, and it sounds like the computer classroom is going to be a great place to test out flexible pedagogy in the main center.

  13. To echo the sentiments expressed above, the UW Madison Writing Center with Brad at the helm is amazing in the number of activities it has and the amount of good it does for writing and writing pedagogy. I’m especially impressed with the Madison Writing Assistance and Odyssey Projects. You have an Outreach Team? My goodness–all we have here at Iowa is myself and a teaching assistant!

    Carol Severino, Professor, Department of Rhetoric, and Director of the Writing Center, the University of Iowa

  14. Brad, this is amazing and very impressing! I remember you saying “I am always looking for ways to improve the writing center” and me thinking: “How and why? This place offers more deep learning possibilities than you can believe”. And still – you and your team did not only provide fantastic summer programs but still go on with new things. Congratulations and have a happy start into the new semester!
    Best regards from Germany

  15. Thank you for the enlightening post, Brad. Prior to reading your article, I was certainly aware that the Writing Center sponsored many workshops and partnered with many programs across campus, but I was certainly not aware of just how many workshops and just how many programs the center had its hands in–wow! As a Writing Fellow, I had the chance to attend an OGE (an ongoing education session) in which Elisabeth Miller talked about the MWA program, and I found myself impressed and intrigued with the work she was doing. I didn’t even know that the Odyssey Project existed–what a great partnership for the Writing Center. I’m not going to lie–I may be just a tad jealous of the outreach opportunities our lovely graduate students have in the Writing Center. It’s something I certainly look forward to becoming involved with as I consider graduate school somewhere down the road. :)

  16. Thanks for sharing all of these exciting updates, Brad! It’s a privilege to be part of such a vibrant and multifaceted Writing Center. And I love the new blog design!

    -Mattie Burkert
    TA Coordinator of Outreach, UW-Madison Writing Center

  17. Brad, thanks for the mention of our partnership with you through Madison Teaching & Learning Excellence! The mentoring you have provided around assignment design, peer writing, and so many other topics continues to prove invaluable to our early-career faculty participants. Nearly every week, the MTLE Faculty Fellows mention something they learned from you. Sometimes it’s specific to writing, such as a tip about scaffolding a writing assignment with appropriate feedback; other times, it’s more general, like a connection to an instructional resource or an example of excellent faculty teaching at UW-Madison. Many thanks to you and your team for your continued, cross-campus commitment to teaching and learning on campus. We’re looking forward to our continuing partnership!

    Sarah Miller, Associate Director
    Emily Utzerath, Program Coordinator
    Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence
    UW-Madison

  18. Can I express a little awe here? I continue to be floored, each and every semester, by how much the Writing Center and its many passionate, talented contributors get done. A beautifully redesigned new blog? Done. New programs and partnerships with even more groups around campus? Done. Detailed plans for a brand-new, cutting-edge, student-focused computer lab? Done. And, of course, all of that while still teaching and aiding students, faculty, staff, and community members all over Madison.

    But what I think gets me about all this is the fact that these things happen, not for prestige of the program or for self-gain, but because the people involved care about this teaching. They really, really care. Correction: they really, really, really, really, really, (and just for good measure) really care. It’s no surprise, then, that the Writing Center keeps growing the way that it does, expanding its services and locations and partnerships to serve more and more people. But it’s also no less impressive to me every time I come back for the semester and find out we’re growing even further. (Honestly, this is the kind of thing that makes me think that I need to recalibrate my idea of what “productive” means.)

    So, here’s looking forward to another great year!

  19. I’ll echo what others have said about the new design: It’s fantastic! Not only is it great to have a design that works on various mobile devices (I tested it on my Kindle Fire and my Android phone, in addition to my Mac), but I’m betting that it is better addresses the accessibility (WCAG) guidelines.

    I didn’t know about the senior thesis writing group. I’ll be sending a student their way next week.

    Assistant Professor of English, Affiliate, Digital Studies, UW-Madison

  20. What a terrific post, Brad! I’m always so darn impressed with how many diverse functions one Writing Center can serve, and the ways the wonderful faculty give their time and energy back to students and the Madison community! I hadn’t heard of the Odyssey Project before, but it sounds like a perfect pairing with the Writing Center.

    The blog reformatting looks excellent and I couldn’t be more excited to resume Fellowing this fall. SCE was a blast and the action continues — thanks so much for all the hard work you do to make these things possible!

    Undergraduate Assistant Director
    Writing Fellows Program, UW-Madison

  21. I’ll echo what Tim and Jenna have already said: I’m impressed by the array of programs offered by the Writing Center, and I’m to represent the Center again as a Writing Fellow this fall! I will be checking this blog for updates on the Writing Center’s projects and collaborations. I’m especially excited by the new partnership with the Odyssey program. I loved having Sagashus as a TA; I’m sure she and Kevin will do excellent work with Professor Auerbach and her students.

    I’m also excited by the update on the strong start with fall outreach. I definitely hope to replicate this aggressive approach when we start our work to recruit new students to the Writing Fellows Program.

    Also, congrats on 30 years, Brad!

    Undergraduate Assistant Director
    Writing Fellows Program, UW-Madison

  22. Yep, the Writing Center is a campus gem. Just this morning I got a message from a student who is working on an essay for Teach for America. He’s coming a bit late to my class today because he’s got an appointment at the Writing Center first. Hate to say it, but I think he made the right decision. Go Brad and congratulations on your 30th year!

    Professor, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison

  23. Congratulations Brad as you begin your 30th year at the helm of the Writing Center! Biocore treasures its relationship with Writing Center and WAC. You have truly enriched our TAs’ professional development in assessing student science communication, and have helped me to improve my skills as a mentor and teacher.

    Your choice of WAC assistant directors over the years (Rebecca Lorimer, Stephanie White, and now Elisabeth Miller) has been impeccable. All of them have helped us be more objective and thoughtful about the way we think about, teach, and evaluate scientific communication. Biocore LOVES working with all of you; come play in our sandbox anytime :o )

  24. This new blog design is fantastic. I continue to be so proud to have my roots in the these programs. The constant innovation at UW-Madison is particularly inspiring today as I plan the training for UMass-Amherst’s undergraduate outreach team. Oh the possibilities!

    And to Michelle–Thank you for the kind words. I miss working with the Biocore team, who I –truly– still talk about all the time.

    Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center, UMass-Amherst

  25. Exciting to hear about the ongoing strength and expansion of the writing center. And the redesign is great. Many good wishes for this next academic year! :-)

    Beth Godbee, Assistant Professor of English, Marquette University

  26. This post makes me miss the UW-Madison Writing Center community even more than I already do, and especially the first staff meeting(s) of the term, where we find out what everyone in the Center has been up to since we met and what the Center’s goals are for the upcoming future. I feel so fortunate to have been trained not only at that Center, but by peers and students who contribute so much to creating a strong, visible writing culture at Wisconsin. And it’s so nice to see Fellows posting on the blog, too–I miss them!

    Cydney Alexis, Assistant Professor of Writing Arts, Rowan University

  27. Brad! I am so struck by how the Writing Center and the Writing Across the Curriculum Program are supporting a culture of writing on campus, in the community, online, in so many ways and forums. The breadth of the writing center’s reach, the wide range of partnerships, the development of these new projects–it’s extraordinary. Great to have an update on all this important work.

    Assistant Professor, English Department, Program in Composition and Rhetoric, UW-Madison

  28. Thanks for this post, Brad, and this glimpse into all things Writing Center as of the start of the semester! The new blog layout is inspiring (speaking as someone recently involved in a website redesign who wishes he could step back in time a bit), as are the new initiatives and partnerships you’ve mentioned here. I know I’m not the only one inspired, too. One of my colleagues asked me just yesterday how much I knew about the CS/CR tool, so it looks like we’ll be thinking about ways we could put it to use here at Vanderbilt.

    Most of all, though, congratulations on starting year 30 at the helm of the Writing Center!

    Assistant Director, The Writing Studio, Vanderbilt University

  29. It’s so exciting to see all that’s going on at the Madison Writing Center! I’m especially happy to see that the Writing Fellows are now involved in the Summer Collegiate Experience.

    I’ve been looking for something new and Web-based to have my writing advisors use when they don’t have appointments this fall, and I’m definitely going to have them try out your sample CS/CR modules. Thanks for sharing that in advance of the newsletter.

    And many congrats on 30 years, Brad–it’s hard to believe! Best wishes for the new academic year.

    Julie Christoph, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching, University of Puget Sound

  30. What a fantastic resource! And what an array of amazing programs and people associated with the Writing Center. I am so grateful you and your WC colleagues are on this campus.

    Professor Kathy Cramer, Department of Political Science, UW-Madison

  31. What an amazing way to showcase the multitude and diversity of UW-Madison’s writing center activities and accomplishments!!!!! I’m so impressed!

    Director of the Writing Center, Northern Illinois University

  32. Every time I read this blog–or, I should say, every time I hear anything about UW-Madison Writing Center initiatives–I have the same reaction: I bow down. This time, after getting up off the ground but while still in a state of reverence, I sent the blog’s link, plus an excerpt from where Brad describes tutor involvement in the Odyssey Project, to one of my own grad tutors who is interested in writing centers and adult literacy.

    I do so admire this writing-centered, thirty-year, energizer director who keeps on inspiring the rest of us in the field with leading-edge initiatives that make connections across an epic range of academic and non-academic interests: digital literacy (CS/CR web writing, Instructional Lab Modernization, and workshops through the Delta Program), community literacy (the Madison Writing Assistance Program), the Writing Fellows Program, the WAC Program (the Teaching Academy’s Summer Institute held in the Arboretum of all places–how cool is that?!), adult learning (the already mentioned Odyssey Project), Team Outreach, senior-thesis writing groups, and ongoing-education projects for peer tutors. It takes intelligent vision, rhetorical savvy, impeccable professionalism, sustained energy, scholarly substance, and graceful public relations (like “Chasing the Sun: What’s New in the UW-Madison Writing Center”) to grow such a state-of-the-art, multi-faceted writing center in times of plenty, let alone during pinched times of economic recovery. As I hit send on this comment, I again bow down.

    Jon Olson, Associate Professor of English, Scholar in Residence for Writing and Communication at Penn State Learning, and Director of the Graduate Writing Center in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, The Pennsylvania State University

  33. I thought I was the Writing Center’s biggest fan until I read the other replies to your blog post! In my twelve years teaching at the UW, I have encouraged thousands of students to use the Writing Center, and every one has become a more successful and confident writer. I’m thrilled that the Writing Center is extending its resources across campus and the Madison community. Thanks for the inspiring update.

    Professor David Zimmerman, UW English Department, Co-Director of TA Training

  34. I’m just joining the choir here about our fantastic Writing Center and everyone who has contributed to it. I remember when the Writing Fellows Program was launched, and many other superb innovations. I too have sent students to the Writing Center for decades! Congratulations Brad and thanks for this post that’s prompted replies from many people I remember well from their graduate school days! I look forward to more!

  35. Congratulations Brad and to the entire Writing Center and WAC family on 30 (!) years and a great new web resource!

    Just browsing through the array of activities, accomplishments and plans for the next year is inspiring. Here in Biocore and MTLE, we feel so fortunate to be included in all the fun and games. To the amazing team at the Writing Center— ROCK ON!

    A special thank you to Brad for sharing your patience & time, for fostering the spirit of collaboration, and for your ruthless quest and passion for excellence as we work together to build MTLE. As of August 2013, we graduated our first cohort of 10 MTLE Fellows. Thanks to your work with Sarah McDaniel on our curriculum committee and in workshops & personal consultations, most of the 34 MTLE Fellows are now implementing robust writing and research assignments in their courses. A special toast to you for your commitment to the idea and to the experiment!

    Associate Director Biocore
    Co-Director, Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence Program

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