NCWCA Conferences

Since 2013, CWAC representatives have presented 25 different workshops and panels at the NCWCA annual conference. From personality tests to mission statements, these presentations cover anything and everything to do with writing center work.

NCWCA 2019:  at Santa Clara University ncwca 2019

"Internal and External Management Efficiency" ~ Rachel Telljohn and Tereza Joy Kramer

We recognize that an efficient management system makes for an engaged and mindful center. Our panel discussed the findings of our primary research to illustrate the benefits of a complimentary internal and external management process and how the two may be applied to a university’s mission statement.

"Discourse on Diversity: Why Inclusivity Matters in a Writing Center" ~ Mia Maramba, Joana Rowlands, and Amanda Caroll

People of marginalized identities often feel unsafe and unwelcome, and as a campus resource it is our primary function to best serve our diverse audience. In our roundtable discussion, we tackled inclusivity in centers and how best to create a safe space for all writers.

"Promoting the Writing Center Presence: Assessing and Re-evaluating Marketing
Techniques" ~ Sabrina Zehnder, Angelica Figueroa, Clayne Zollinger, and Seb Singh

A writing center’s presence on a campus is a commitment to helping writers grow. However, there can be misunderstandings about how a center serves its writers. During our presentation, we used our research to assess how we can better market our presence through varied forms of outreach to the campus community.

"Using Minimalist Methods for Social Justice Education in the Writing Center" ~ Kerry-Anne Loughman

The writing center is an excellent environment for social justice education through the usage of minimalist tutoring methods, as it allows for writing advisers to help students create strong writing practices while still preventing the spread of misinformation about identity-based oppression.



NCWCA 2018: (Un)Conference at Santa Clara University Group NCWCA

"Alternative Gender Pronouns in the Writing Center" ~ Kerry-Anne Loughman, Taylor Goldstein, Joanne Weber, and Lis Arevalo Hidalgo

How do writing centers inadvertently reflect the social construct of gender bias in language, and how can activists and educators inspire collaboration and change? We workshopped scenarios in the hopes of advancing the cause of grammatical dignity.

"Mind the Gap: Prioritizing Mental Well-being and Creativity through Mindful Practices in the Writing Center" ~ Mia Maramba, Maddie Campbell, Tereza Joy Kramer, Ross Bleile, and Ryan Shepherd

It's hard to be creative under pressure, and yet stress is the invisible companion of so many writers. What to do? We shared and brainstormed ways to incorporate mindfulness into our centers. We also took a break from the headiness of the conference to enjoy a brief mediation ourselves.

"Building Codes: Scaffolding Writing Through Interdisciplinary Engagement" ~ Camilla Marais, Joana Rowlands, and Sabrina Zehnder

Creativity is a valuable tool for professional and personal development yet maintaining a creative outlook under pressure can be challenging. In our lightening talk, we examined how interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration can promote both creativity and productivity within a writing center.

"Ducks in a Row: Forming Campus Connections through Writing Center Branding ~ Sabrina Barr, Darrion Carlyle, Nicholas Stillman, and Gabby Vanacore

We advocated for more creative branding of writing centers in order to create a stronger campus presence--increasing staff bonding and attracting more writers. During our workshop, we explored the effectiveness of branding and discussed how each center could develop or sharpen their "brand."



NCWCA 2017: Crossings: Exploring Shared Work in Writing, University of Nevada, Reno

"Taboo Topics: Becoming Comfortable with the Uncomfortable" ~ Sabrina Barr, Maddie Campbell, and Jewelisa Harrison

We discussed the process of integrating safe space pedagogy into writing centers and classrooms so dialogue can be more comfortable and productive. We did this by raising questions and suggesting some practical solutions based on primary and secondary research. View the Prezi here. Some of the presenters at the NCWCA 2017 conference in Reno, Nevada

"Building Codes: Scaffolding Writing through Interdisciplinary Engagement" ~ Katie Hill, Steven Weiser, Camilla Marais, and David Zumwalt

When writing outside of their discipline, many students stifle their own creative voices in order to meet specific writing guidelines. We explored how facilitated writing workshops and interdisciplinary dialogue can enable students to be both the architects and constructors of their own writing despite strict building codes. View the Prezi here.

"Whose Line is It Anyway? Collaboration and Intellectual Property" ~ Katherine Hahn, Sabrina Nguyen, and Tereza Joy Kramer

Where does collaboration end and plagiarism begin? Are ideas that are discovered during sessions partially the intellectual property of the adviser? Presenters shared data from interviews of advisers, students, and Academic Honor Council members on their views of collaborative writing. Participants workshoped ambiguous scenarios during writing sessions. View their presentation here.



NCWCA 2016: Santa Clara University

CWAC Staff at NCWCA 2016

"Writing Center Ecology: A Case Study on High School/Writing Center Collaboration" ~ Jaq Davis, John Ellis, Andy Kirkpatrick, Kierstin Kolte, Maria-Elena Diaz, Matthew Gahagan, Ruth Sylvester, and James Seo

Using our partnership with a local high school as a model, we propose an ecological approach to writing center work: one that recognizes the center within a dynamic network. We discuss using a needs assessment as a step toward a broader understanding of the “sites of writing”centers can serve. View the Prezi here.

"We are the Muses: Advisers as the Link Between Faculty and Students" ~ Jessica Allen, Ruth Sylvester, and Taylor Goldstein

Like the Muses of Greek Mythology, Advisers could serve as mediators between faculty and students. We share how we co-facilitated our center’s Interdisciplinary Faculty Assignment Design Roundtable and then surveyed Professors and students for reactions to sample prompts. Participants will engage in discussion and interact with Muses as mortals. View the Prezi here

"The Fitting Room: Dismantling the “One Size Fits All” Approach to Running a Session" ~ Juliet Brooks, Rebecca Patterson, Shane McCarthy, Kierstin Kolte, Margaret Birgen
For writers with learning styles outside the norm, advisers must adapt the standard approach. After conducting a student survey to better understand these students’ needs, we hope to equip advisers with tips and tricks that, rather than focus on correcting students’ weaknesses, help advisers draw out existing strengths. View the Prezi here.

"NCWCA Newsletter Technique-Sharing Workshop: try out Writing Circles and peer review pieces for potential publication" ~ Suzanne Schmidt, Joe Zeccardi, and Annie Keig

In this hands-on workshop, the NCWCA Newsletter editorial team will facilitate Writing Circles, demonstrating an innovative method for facilitated peer review. If possible, participants should bring 3 copies of anything they would like to workshop, including conference presentations or other writing they would like to turn into Newsletter articles. Download the PDF of the presentation here.



NCWCA 2015: Fresno State University

"Advising Nemo: Looking at Minimalist Advising from the Adviser's Perspective" ~Margaret Birgen, Heather Marsh, Madisonadvising nemo Chastain, Rebecca Patterson

What might a writing adviser struggle with during a minimalist session? Through discussion, interactive partner activities, and reflection, we will use Finding Nemo’s cast of characters to discuss the difference between minimalist and directive advising and how we can struggle against taking on the role of “experts” during particular scenarios. Click here to view the Prezi.

"'Safe Zones': Threatening and Non-Threatening Spaces" ~Caitlin Wire, Amanda Muna, Holland Enke, Ruth Sylvester

As writing advisers serving a diverse campus community, we believe our Center functions most effectively as a safe space. This presentation will identify and explore the relationships between social identities and perceived safe and unsafe spaces, with emphasis on the roles assumed by writing advisers in implementing them. Click here to view the Prezi, and click here for a detailed reflection on the advisers' research.

"Using Vernacular Language to Sail Through Brainstorms" ~Annie Keig, Andrew Kirkpatrick, CJ Cosas, Shane McCarthy, David Fujii

Sailing through brainstorming sessions can be difficult because writing advisers cannot use conventional strategies to assist writers to choose a focus for their paper. This workshop will incorporate improvised performances of typical brainstorm sessions. Participants will experiment with vernacular language and conversation to help writing advisers navigate through brainstorms. Click here to view the Prezi.

"Collaborative Leadership and Empowerment in the Center" ~Tereza Joy Kramer, Joe Zeccardi, Jaquelyn Davis, Madeline Bell, Reyna Olegario

Leadership can imply hierarchy—there are leaders and there are followers. But that ignores the inherent wisdom and opportunity of peer-centered work. How can we foster true collaborative community, with the invisible leadership espoused by Lao-tzu, while satisfying the practical needs of administrative leadership and training? Click here for a pdf of the PowerPoint.



NCWCA 2014: Sonoma State University

“Master Jedi 101: the Pedagogy of Minimalism and Writing in the Disciplines” ~ CJ Cosas, David Fujii, and Krista Varelalunch time

A Jedi master never pretends to know how her young “padawan” will fulfill the destiny. In the same way, a minimalist adviser offers questions and perspectives, never stealing control of the disciplinary subject or the expression. After discussing, participants were invited to role-play a Jedi Master or Sith Lord. Click here to view the Prezi.

“Matching Missions: Aligning your Center with the Philosophies and Needs of your Community” ~ Steven Colson, Jaquelyn Davis, Holland Enke, and Reyna Olegario

Saint Mary's writing center was failing to attract many students or meet community needs. Using a service-learning model, the center reevaluated its purpose and made practical changes, increasing usage and overall success. We presented this case study and guided participants to analyze how their centers align with their campus missions. Click here to view the Prezi.

“‘Stop, Collaborate, and Listen’ to Each Other: Guiding Students to Experience the Power of Small-group Writing Circles” ~ Audrey Agot, Somel Jammu, Tereza Joy Kramer, and Brittany Wason

Lamenting some students' disempowering habits, we created small-group workshops to steer them out of solitary struggle and into a place where they would re-authorize themselves. During this panel, we discussed grounding theories of collaboration and knowledge transfer and invited participants into Writing Circles to brainstorm collaborative pedagogies for their student populations. Click here to view the Prezi.

“The Burkean Whiteboard: Inspiring Creativity and Collaboration Among Students and Advisers” ~ Madeline Bell, Bridget Hanna, Samantha Ricci, and Victoria Stringer

This panel explored creativity and collaboration a la the Burkean Parlor. We discussed how to use art to create a conversation in order to topple the walls of perceived authority and promote student success. Participants cocreated a whiteboard to represent the group’s collective identity. Click here to view the Prezi.