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    • Wed, February 12, 2020
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Online (Link to be sent one day before discussion)

    "Black Bodies, Black Language: Exploring the Use of Black Language as a Tool of Survival in the Writing Center"
    (The Peer Review, 2.2) 

    Writing centers, Faison notes, are positioned as “anti-institutional” yet at the same time they reify systemic inequities such as racism, homophobia, sexism, and classism rather ironically by being a “safe space” or a “cozy home” as Grutsch-McKinney identified (2005)—a seeming protection against the institution at large.  The primary focus of the piece is on how black tutors—in order to ensure their own safety--navigate the space of a predominantly white writing center through the use of black language. Using interviews, Faison explores how tutors negotiate the inequity of not being able to write in academia in their own black language, the perils of putting on metaphorical “white face” while writing, as well as how that helped them to better respond to black students they worked with. Students who speak dialect variants are usually required to change and adapt, versus speakers of so-called standard white dialects rarely change or adapt. Faison’s participants also address white colleagues usually unaware and unchecked macroaggressions, and how they typically respond:  through non-verbal communication. Faison concludes by encouraging readers to adopt a “black lens” to understand “how linguistic oppression functions in the writing center.” She also encourages black tutors to continue to find solidarity with their fellow black tutors through use of black language, and identifies writing center practices that could address inequities. This article will be useful for writing centers to address inequities within their staff, and build better awareness of the lived experiences of tutors of color.

    Dr. Wonderful Faison

    Dr. Wonderful Faison is an Assistant Professor of English and Foreign Languages and Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma.  She received her PhD in the Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures program at Michigan State University. Her research centers on African American Language, African American Rhetorics, Cultural Rhetorics, and Queer Rhetorics.

    • Wed, April 08, 2020
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Online: link to be provided one day prior to event.
    Truckee Meadows Community College has had great success with embedded tutoring (ET) and supplemental instruction (SI) in terms of enhancing student success. We have piloted ET in face-to-face instruction as well as online instruction in developmental, first-year composition, and literature courses. This webinar will be comprised of four parts: 1) an opening activity in which we propose questions to engage the audience by asking attendees to explain why they’re attending this session, to define their understanding of and experience with embedded tutoring, and to write 1-2 questions for the panel; 2) a presentation to offer context and provide history of the ET/SI program at our institution; 3) a panel discussion comprised of faculty and tutors who have participated in the program; and 4) a closing activity to include a moment of reflection where attendees will include three takeaways (things to implement/research/follow up on/etc). Michelle Montoya will facilitate the presentation by leading the group in the opening activity, by presenting on the history and success of the program (student grades, completion of the course, continuation into future courses, and graduation), by introducing the panel and moderating the panel discussion, and by closing with a reflection activity.

    Michelle Montoya worked as a writing tutor at Truckee Meadows Community College and at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she earned a bachelor's in English Writing. While working in the private sector, she obtained a master of arts in organizational management from the University of Phoenix campus in Reno. Since starting back at TMCC in 2008, she has been the Writing Center Coordinator, has taught Developmental English and Tutoring Student Writers, and has served on the board of directors for the Northern California Writing Centers Association. She is nearing completion of a PhD in Educational Leadership and is now the Tutoring and Learning Center Coordinator over writing across the curriculum and all non-STEM subjects.

    • Fri, June 05, 2020
    • 10:00 AM
    • Sat, June 06, 2020
    • 3:00 PM
    • Salt Lake Community College Taylorsville Redwood Campus, Salt Lake City, Utah
    • 28

    Writing Center personnel and pre- or post-transfer students are invited to attend the RMWCA Inter-Institutional Transfer Students and Writing Centers Symposium on June 5-6, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah to learn about and discuss what Writing Centers at both universities and two-year colleges can do to support transfer students in their transitions.  Discussion at the symposium will result in collaboratively-written vision, policy, and best practices statements for the support of transfer students and Writing Center work. A key goal of the symposium is that these statements may be put to practical use at participants’ institutions. As researchers who focus on community colleges and transfer students, Dr. Romeo García (University of Utah), Clint Gardner (Salt Lake Community College), Dr. Christopher LeCluyse (Westminster College, Salt Lake City), Dr. Lizbett Tinoco (University of Texas A&M, San Antonio), and Dr. Christie Toth (University of Utah) will facilitate the discussion with symposium attendees. A special presentation will be given by students who have experienced transfer.

    As alternative educational spaces that provide support to students from across the institution, writing centers seem to be a good location to assist students in easing their institutional transfer. However, little research is available regarding both transfer student identities and transfer-and-receiving institutional partnership and writing centers. Only two studies (Ellis, 2013; Gere et al., 2017) mention writing centers as sites of both difficulty and access for transfer students. This lack of research into transfer students and writing centers leads directly to the critical question that drives this symposium on inter-institutional transfer and writing centers: What policies and best practices can writing centers adopt in order to assist transfer students to successfully transfer and complete bachelors degrees?

    Symposium attendees will benefit in four distinct ways:  

    1. They will learn the conditions of transfer students at various institutions in general and in our writing centers in particular.

    2. They will be apprised of the relevant research on institutional transfer and writing centers.

    3. They will participate in the collaborative development of policies and best pedagogical practice statements that can be taken back to their home institutions.

    4. They can build relationships with other institutions to help facilitate students who are transferring.

    5. They can develop ideas for further research leading to publication on writing centers and inter-institutional transfer.

    The symposium is hosted by Salt Lake Community College, University of Utah, and Westminster College, and will be held on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus of Salt Lake Community College  (4600 South Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, Utah).  The event is open to all interested in inter-institutional transfer and Writing Centers. Need-based travel scholarships are available, and can cover cost of registration as well as other travel needs. 


    Ellis, M.M. (2013). Successful community college transfer students speak out. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 32(2) pp 73-84. DOI: 10.180/10668920903304914.

    Gere, A.R., Hutton, E., Keating, B., Knutson, A. Silver, N and Toth, C (2017). “Mutual adjustments: Learning from and responding to transfer student writers.”College English 79(4)

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