Disquistion Bootcamp - June 12-16, 2017
GCFW Presents at IWAC
Most of our Graduate Center for Writers staff presented at the biennial International Writing Across the Curriculum, the top conference for WAC/WID (writing across the curriculum/writing in the disciplines), which was held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on June 23-25.
Our writing center is on the cutting edge of efforts to improve graduate-level writing in the US. We have developed an innovative writing center that mixes “disciplinary writing consultants” (strong writers in a discipline who we train to be writing consultants) and “generalists” (consultants outside the students’ discipline). This blend of consultants and the cross-training we do in our ongoing professional development have made us particularly effective at working with students who need both the guidance of interlocutors with disciplinary knowledge and support of generalists in communicating clearly to all audiences.
Our presentation was titled Helping Graduate Students Become Successful Writers: A Graduate Writing Center Deploys both Disciplinary Writing Consultants and Generalists. In it, we
1) described how our Center developed in response to NDSU graduate writing needs,
2) discussed how disciplinary consultants help students to develop as scholars and help faculty to address student writing needs, and
3) explained how generalists are key in training disciplinary consultants.
Phil Bode Presents at CCCC
GCFW writing consultant Phil Bode recently presented What’s My Name?”: The Need For Research and Discussion on the Effects of ESL Branding in Writing Centers at the College Composition and Communications Conference in Houston, Texas. He was part of a panel titled If You Build It, Will They Come? Extending the Writing Center Inside and Outside Our Walls and presented alongside NDSU English & Education Professor Kelly Sassi and English graduate student Heather Flute.
This panel focused on how writing centers can increase inclusivity and support Native American students' rhetorical sovereignty. Phil’s focus was on how the label of "ESL" (English as a Second Language) can cause significant harm to a person's identity as a writer, thinker, speaker, and researcher, since "ESL" is typically marked by negative writing habits. He also determined that writing consultants can struggle with their writing center work since they can sub-consciously apply negative traits to "ESL"-labeled writers. Phil suggested that writing centers and programs work to re-examine how writers and students, especially those who are multilingual, are labeled by their institutions so that writers and students can become more confident and composed in their work.