President: Lisa Bell (she/her), Utah Valley University
I have been fortunate to be a member of the RMWCA for many years, serving first as a writing tutor and then moving into administrative roles at two different institutions. This experience has allowed me to gain a better first-hand understanding of the many facets of writing center work. Beyond my work as a practitioner in this field, I have developed as a scholar of writing center studies, researching, publishing, and presenting on writing center work, as well as serving as a reviewer for publications within the field and serving on the board of IWCA. My service within RMWCA spans many years and many positions and projects, including developing regional directories, helping establish bylaws, hosting RMWCA conferences, building and maintaining the RMWCA website, serving as outreach coordinator, and participating as the RMWCA representative to the IWCA. Writing center work and community certainly is, has been, and will continue to be a vital and vibrant part of my experience as a writing center professional in the Rocky Mountain region.
Having been an active member of RMWCA for almost two decades, I see the need for both increased connection and sustainability within our vast and varied eight-state region. The current board of the RMWCA has already begun the work of strengthening the region by developing ways for writing center colleagues to engage and interact beyond the annual conference. As an organization, RMWCA is in an exciting period of change as we have implemented new membership structures and new offerings to RMWCA members. These efforts need to be sustained and refined, adapting to the needs of RMWCA members and growing along with the region. Increasing opportunities to for RMWCA members to connect with each other and helping provide a sure foundation for our collective work would be important aims of my work, if elected to this position.
If elected president-elect, I would work with other RMWCA leaders and members to continue exploring and expanding opportunities to connect and support writing center colleagues, scholars, and practitioners in their work. This would include continuing work with webinars, online book clubs, and the newsletter as well as updating our directories (secondary and post-secondary) and encouraging regional and sub-regional gatherings and conferences (online and face-to-face) to connect administrators and consultants or tutors across our eight-state region. These actions would also increase sustainability within our region by building upon existing programs and improving infrastructure and communication. Beyond working with existing leaders, given the president-elect’s responsibilities over RMWCA election, I would seek to invite and include RMWCA members to participate in elections, aiming for an increase in both voting and representation for within our diverse region.
President Elect: Katrina Bell (Colorado College)
Outreach Coordinator: Melody Denny (she/her), University of Northern Colorado
Treasurer: Shareen Grogan (she/they), University of MontanaI have directed writing centers since January 2001. I have experience with synchronous online tutoring and centers staffed with professional tutors. I have chaired IWCA conferences, and managed the IWCA budget as IWCA president. I would like to see RMWCA continue its outreach in the region and beyond. I hope it will continue to fund scholarships to attend conferences and to conduct research. I would monitor funds and recommend that all spending be consistent with RMWCA goals and mission.
Secretary: Katie Denton, University of New Mexico
I have worked in writing centers for the past ten years, and have served as a director for the past four years. I would like to create a more active community of New Mexico writing center professionals, and to connect New Mexico writing center professionals with the greater RMWCA community. If elected, I’d like to strategize the ways we can continue to use technology to connect with each other. Especially in the Rocky Mountain region, where our centers often have great distances between them, technology can help to unify us in what can otherwise be isolating (but otherwise such rewarding!) work. I’d like to help create social media groups, online meetups, and virtual community events that foster an inclusive community of writing center professionals.
Tutor Representative: Michael O'Donnell (he/him), Salt Lake Community College
IWCA Affiliate Representative: Rachel Herzl-Betz (she/her), Nevada State College
I’ve been working in Writing Centers for fourteen years. In that time, I’ve served as an undergraduate tutor, a graduate writing consultant, a Writing Fellows program leader, an outreach director at a Big Ten university, and (most recently) the Assistant Director of the Writing Center at Nevada State College. I’m also currently serving as the Nevada State Representative for the RMWCA. My research primary focuses on intersectional Writing Center accessibility for tutors, leaders, and visiting writers.
The IWCA Affiliate Representative primarily connects the Rocky Mountain Writing Center community with the larger IWCA conversation, which means giving our centers a voice on the national stage. Luckily, many of our practitioner-scholars are already major voices in those discussions, so we have room to build and grow. I want to ensure that all of our member institutions have the opportunity to benefit from IWCA opportunities and to ensure that national leaders know about our active projects. Just because a Writing Center is in Rhode Island or Florida doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the opportunity to learn from an innovation in Utah, Wyoming, or Nevada.
As the Affiliate Representative, I’d look forward to regular, sustained contact with our state representatives and with leaders from individual centers in the region. I want the communication lines to be clear (via email, video meetings, social media, and the rare carrier pigeon), so members know they are being accurately represented. That consistent communication can also ensure that regional centers know about IWCA opportunities connected to events, resources, and funding. Most of all, I’m excited to maintain a stellar IWCA exhibit for our regional conferences, because who isn’t psyched about a good exhibit?
Web Editor: Heather Graham (she/her), Salt Lake Community College
I have worked as a Writing Consultant at Salt Lake Community College for four years. I have also worked in the SLCC Academic Literacy Center and as a Writing Assistant and Publications Coordinator at the SLCC Community Writing Center. I have had the pleasure of working with a diverse variety of students and each session has helped me grow as a consultant and as a person.
The goals I would set for RMWCA are to engage, support and serve Writing Center tutors through information, conversation, collaboration, and community. I would work closely with the Executive Board to determine the best ways to reach members and tutors to meet the goals while also addressing their needs and building a strong community for everyone.
I will use my position as Web Editor to create and maintain a website to keep the RMWCA members, Writing Center tutors in the region and national and international colleagues up to date and engaged with information and content that will support and serve them in their communities and professional settings. I think that the website could help facilitate the goals to foster a brilliant community of professionals and provide encouragement and wisdom.
Past-President: Clint Gardner (he/him), Salt Lake Community College
Having worked in writing centers for nearly three decades, I have learned a great deal about writing center theory and practice, one-to-one instruction, peer tutoring, the role of writing centers at two-year colleges, as well as the uses of computers in composition classrooms and in the writing center. My role as Program Manager of College Writing and Reading Centers at Salt Lake Community College allows me to teach writing and reading to students from diverse backgrounds, as well as to teach tutors how to respond more effectively to their peers. My writing center research includes the impact of writing center work on peer tutors, two-year college writing centers, and online writing tutoring. I have also had the opportunity to serve the writing center community as a whole in the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) as Web Editor, Community College Representative, and as President. One of my goals is to bring writing center theory and practice to a broader and more diverse audience. As such, I am committed to anti-racism and social justice work. My work in writing centers, however, is tempered by my work with two-year colleges. I have served as Secretary and later Archivist for the Two-year College Association (TYCA) of the National Council of Teachers of English. Finally, because of my interest in peer tutoring in writing, which ties directly to social justice, I have been a long-term member of the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW), having served as the President of its Board of Trustees from 2014-2015.
Arizona: Nick Cenegy, University of Arizona
I currently direct the writing center at the University of Arizona's THINK TANK and coordinate other writing initiatives across campus. I'm brand new to this position. Prior to coming to Arizona, I spent several years as a writing center administrator at the Texas A&M University Writing Center. In addition to general supervisory duties at A&M's UWC, I created and led programs tailored for grad students. I have presented research at a variety of writing center and student services conferences, including several IWCA annual conferences. My sense of the RMWCA's recent activity is that there is a new (or renewed) interest in connecting writing support organizations from a variety of academic venues. I see this reflected in the 2019 joint conference with the C&W Writing Tutors Conference, as well as reflected in the revised language of the recent web redesign--i.e. "We define writing centers broadly...". I think this is a good direction and future goals for the RMWCA should further efforts to incorporate a variety of writing support communities. Since institutional structure so intimately influences the everyday operations of a writing center, it is of real and immediate benefit to encourage a robust exchange of models, ideas, and concerns about writing support administration and practice. The conversations I've had with secondary school writing center administrators, near-peer program coordinators, community writing center practitioners, and others who operate in a different context than mine, have been among the most important in helping to articulate how and why we do what we do in our center. I have the benefit of being new in my position and at my institution. Learning about other institutions and building relationships with writing support communities in the region are among my highest priorities. I see it as my responsibility to connect these groups. I have a genuine desire to understand how others have approached writing support in their contexts, and believe that such authentic interest yields valuable conversations. It can even serve as the basis for enduring relationships. My current efforts, from a university context, have already yielded burgeoning collaborations with local high schools and community colleges. By extending these nascent efforts to the broader region, I can help connect RMWCA members as well as identify writing support communities that (from my relative outsider position) appear to have not yet been invited into the conversation.
Colorado: Jason Schleuter, Arapaho Community College
I had my first contact with writing center work as a graduate teaching assistant at Saint Cloud State University using the writing center printer from my closet office. Even though I was fumbling my way through teaching College ESL working in ABE and struggling through my own coursework, it never occurred to me that I was trespassing through what was an invaluable resource to both me and my students. Semesters of study, teaching, and travel passed until I first experienced writing center work firsthand at the Technical and Community College, where I worked as an English Instructor. It was there that I began to interact with the writing center and see first-generation and refugee students succeeding with the help of such programs. Three years later, I would find myself coordinating writing center services at Arapahoe Community College, a place I have been for the past six years.
As English faculty and coordinator, I have sought to increase programming and access to students working to make our materials accessible, collaborating with faculty and targeting students enrolled in developmental and ESL classes. I have seen our extension campus offerings grow from two to twenty-six hours per week, added Saturday services at our main campus and watched our online usage nearly quadruple. I have also pioneered tutoring at two high schools, worked together with a neighboring language center and sought relationships with local colleagues through my service as treasurer and executive committee member of our local conference, CWWTC.
Over the past fourteen years working in higher ed, I have had my hands, head, and heart invested in multiple and sometimes competing projects. I have come to be comfortable with the tension of working alongside colleagues who I may also supervise or seeing the same piece of writing as a tutor that I will later evaluate as a faculty and felt the dissonance of knowing that the Writing Center is both a central part of student success but a peripheral, institutional priority. Coming to RMWCA, I understand the demands that faculty and writing center directors face. In my state representative role, I seek to sustain and facilitate those cherished conversations, the ones often born at our local/regional and national conferences with action and responsive involvement.
Idaho: Melissa Keith,
Nevada: Maureen McBride, University of Reno
I am currently the director of the University of Nevada, Reno Writing & Speaking Center and a 4th generation Nevada native. I originally started as the interim director in 2010, transitioned to the assistant director for a few years, and was given the directorship in 2015. Our writing center started with 12 consultants and is now at 55. We began by delivering approximately 3,500 consultations in 2010 and are over 12,000 consultations a year with an additional 17,000 student contacts via workshops and presentations. We added support for speeches and presentations in 2018 to support our campus-wide initiative. Our center is primarily funded with student fee monies; however, we have been adding other ways to financially support our center, such as curriculum delivery, to help grow the scope and reach of our support. I have served as an IWCA mentor, published writing center articles and chapters, and presented at several conferences. My writing center scholarship is focused on agenda setting, mentoring, and international student support.
Utah: Kelsey Hixson-Bowles, Utah Valley University
As the Coordinator of the Utah Valley University Writing Center, I primarily direct a growing writing fellows program. My writing center career started ten years ago as a writing tutor at Kansas State University. Since then, I have worked in writing center administration at Kansas State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Utah Valley University. While at IUP, I served on the Mid Atlantic Writing Center Association board and as graduate co-editor of The Peer Review. My research interests include writing center studies, transfer of learning, dispositions toward writing, and social justice in writing centers and writing classrooms. My most recent publications can be found in How We Teach Writing Tutors: A WLN Digital Edited Collection and Praxis: A Writing Center Journal.
I am looking forward to serving as Utah State Representative for RMWCA. My hope is to build on previous representatives’ work by helping Writing Center Administrators connect with one another via technology as well as face-to-face gatherings.
Wyoming: Francesca King, University of Wyoming