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Academics

Writing Center to Expand its Reach Through Fellows Program

by Mariah Parker, Multimedia Editor

Charlotte Mitchell, Writing Fellows Graduate Intern, consults with student Becky Holcomb. Photo by Josh Reiss

After much research and development, the Writing Center will launch its new Writing Fellows program this coming fall.

The program comes in response to faculty concerns about the quality of writing seen in their upper-level courses. According to Writing Center staff, only 25% of the student body utilizes their services. The Fellows program hopes to reach out to upper-level students and meaningfully incorporate Writing Center support into the classroom.

Student writing fellows will be paired with faculty teaching College Composition II courses, capstone courses, and other courses at the 200 level and above. The Fellows will provide students with in-depth, written feedback on preliminary drafts, hold individual conferences with students, and collaborate with faculty to create a shared understanding of assignments, expectations, and writing processes.

Last year, senior Charlotte Mitchell began designing the program as a part of her Creative Writing internship. After graduating, Mitchell received a grant from Vice President of Academic Affairs Paula Garrett to turn the program design into reality.

“I’ve been getting everything ready for next semester: training, teaching workshops, running the application process for faculty, facilitating faculty development, various odds and ends,” Mitchell says of her sixteen-week stint as Writing Center intern.

A new Writing Fellows Program Coordinator will take Mitchell’s position in the coming fall. During their sixteen-week appointment, the Writing Fellows Program Coordinator will work closely with fellows, faculty, and the writing center director to ensure that the program meets its goal of supporting students’ growth as writers in their disciplines.

The application review process, overseen by Mitchell and Writing Center Coordinator Julie Wilson, is nearing its final stages.

Of the current Writing Center staff, four students have been chosen for the fall. Junior Mary Hricik will assist Brian Olechnowski with NSS Research Design; senior Illinca Popescu will work with Angela Phillips’ Arab Women’s Literature class; junior Regina Cherene will cover the Social Work Field Orientation Seminar with Lucy Lawrence; and junior Courtney Newsome will work with students of Research Craft/Design with Siti Kusujiarti.

“I really believe in this program. It feels good to be working toward something that will strengthen the quality of writing on campus,” says Mitchell.

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