Twelve staff members of the CLC Writing Center, including Faculty Coordinator, Jenny Staben, attended the Midwest Writing Centers Association (MWCA) conference in Omaha, Nebraska from March 1 – March 3, 2018.  The theme of the conference was Social Justice in the Writing Center—Opening the Center for All.  In addition to two days of sessions, the conference included a keynote address by Dr. Shirin Vossoughi, Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences at Northwestern University entitled, “Writing as a Social Act: Epistemic Heterogeneity, Learning, and Educational Dignity.”

Three peer tutors—Diana Flores, Jaycob Lorenzana, and Stephanie Paredes—collaborated with Jenny Staben to give a presentation entitled “Codeswitching, Clarifying, and Connecting: The Importance of Multilingual Tutors.”  The panel focused on the importance of hiring multilingual tutors, especially at institutions that serve diverse populations.  Strategies for recruitment and retention of multilingual tutors were discussed and Diana, Jaycob, and Stephanie shared their experiences—focusing both on the challenges and skills they’ve developed.

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Four peer tutors—Anna Brunette, Jessica Cole, Sarah Emmerson, and Hannah Trychta—gave a presentation entitled “Valuing Difference: How Tutor Challenges Become Tutor Strengths.”  In this panel, tutors shared their individual histories involving academic struggles, learning disability diagnoses, and mental health issues and explained how these experiences both improved and complicated their work as tutors.

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Amy Chapin, a longtime specialist tutor, facilitated a workshop, “Specific Strategies Provide Social Justice for Students with Learning Disabilities,” that helped participants experience what school can feel like for writers with disabilities and provided the audience with examples of multimodal and other “equal access” tutoring strategies that are good for all students but particularly helpful for writers with disabilities.


Amy Chapin (r) role plays with Eleanor Price (l) from University of Iowa
A Visit to Lauritzen Gardens (Omaha, NE)
A Visit to Lauritzen Gardens (Omaha, NE)

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