Members of Hofstra’s Writing Center staff explored the connections between narrative and activism at the Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association’s (MAWCA) 2018 Conference, where they participated in panel discussions and presented research. The group, led by Writing Center Director Andrea Efthymiou and Assistant Director Marilyn Buono, was comprised of faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students.
“Regional conferences like this offer tutors opportunities to engage in conversations about the work that they do, comparable to professional conferences in any field or career,” said Dr. Efthymiou of the event, which was held in March at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ.
“Writing center conferences also create spaces for tutors to present their institutional research to a larger audience,” she said. “Most importantly, though, tutors have a great time bonding with each other and meeting tutor-colleagues from other institutions. We always bring back exciting ideas after conferences. In this recent case, we’ve come back from MAWCA with an action plan for developing inclusion initiatives at the Hofstra Writing Center.”
Hofstra participants and their presentations included:
I Knew You’d Understand What I Was Trying to Say: Self-Reflection and Shared Identity in The Writing Center
Writing Center Tutor Nicole Finocchio ‘19, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Writing Studies Aisha Wilson-Carter, and Adjunct Instructor of Writing Studies Jamel Hudson facilitated a round table discussion about the ways tutors and their students can share racial, emotional, and educational identities.
Writing Center Tutoring and Its Place in the Writing Process
Adjunct Instructor of Writing Studies Michael Heiss presented a research project that examined who uses writing centers and what part of the tutoring experience motivates students to be more proactive about using writing center tutoring.
Call to Action: Taking Activism Beyond the Center
Dr. Efthymiou; Tyler Thier, a graduate student pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing; and Nicholas Rizzuti ‘18, a Writing Center tutor, presented a panel on tutor civic engagement in writing centers, at tutors’ institutions, and across international borders.
The Writing Center: A Space for Intercultural Communication and Constructive Dialogue
Jamel Hudson, Learning Specialist Jennifer Davis, and Writing Center tutors Morgan Parker ‘19, and Ashley Vernola ’19 produced a short film about the intercultural communication that developed between an African American male student and a Jewish American female tutor.
Trauma, Triage, and Trust, Embodied Activism in Tutor’s Responses to Uncovered Embedded Narratives of Crisis
Dr. Buono; Joseph Chilman, adjunct assistant professor of English; and Tom Buqo, a PhD student in psychology, facilitated a roundtable that explored narratives of writing center clients struggling with disabilities, mental health issues, or both, offering problem-solving strategies and opportunities for discussion.