Consultants, Current and Former Directors, Present at NCPTW 2017
On October 12-13th, Robert Koch, Rachel Silsbee, Kathy Cain, and Writing Consultants Sandra Hovsepian and Caitlin Saad attended the National Conference for Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW) Conference at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where they presented “Shifting Times, Shifting Identities: The Evolution of the Writing Center from the 80s to the Present.”
In this presentation, the group discussed the changes that the Merrimack College Writing Center has seen from its conception to the present. Former Writing Center Director Kathy Cain provided insight about the creation and evolution of the Center as it reflected both theoretical shifts in the field and political shifts on campus. The current Writing Center Director, Rob Koch, discussed the Center’s current position within the institution and projected what types of training and pedagogical shifts would be necessary to prepare both consultants and students for the Information Economy. The current Writing Center Assistant Director, Rachel Silsbee, served as Interim Director for the 2016-2017 academic year, so she shared her experience keeping the Center moving forward during its leadership transitions, while students Sandra Hovsepian (2018) and Caitlin Saad (2018) shared their experiences dealing with the constant change in the Center throughout their undergraduate careers at Merrimack. The audience was comprised of approximately 40 people from the field, including deans, directors, faculty, and writing consultants, and a lively discussion on the placement, support structures, and challenges for writing centers in academic commons spaces followed.