Universities are complex and delicate ecosystems. This truth is at the forefront of my mind in my role as a Writing Program Administrator, Writing Center Director, and faculty member. For though I get to enjoy and engage with the dynamic intellectual life and communities that populate the Wesleyan campus through the collegial life of a faculty member, I am also tasked with assessing, developing, and managing programs that speak to the writing culture(s) at Wesleyan.
As an administrator, it is easy to think that I carry with me the expertise and experience to develop and shape programs in the right way. However, it is precisely my expertise and experience that reminds me that administrative work must be undertaken in collaboration with the very many people who make up our campus communities. Any approach to University life must be grounded in listening carefully and treading lightly. And so, I do not rush to conclusions or quick fixes when it’s not required of me. Instead, to support, build, and sustain a diverse and engaged compilation of writing cultures, scholarly work, and pedagogical practices at Wesleyan, I work to maintain a spirit of possibility and an eye towards how our University ecosystem will respond to even the smallest changes to our cultures and practices.
Below, please explore some examples of the administrative work I’ve undertaken, often with the undergraduate writing center workers I’m lucky enough to labor beside. Please reach out if you’d like to talk more about how to organize around writing in ways that speak to your specific campus ecologies.
- Collaborative, grant funded creation of FYS@Wes: Worked with two undergraduate writing center workers to create a database for first-year seminar (FYS) faculty at Wesleyan to learn about writing pedagogy and share successful writing activities, assignments, feedback practices and more.
- Developed eight in-class writing workshops that faculty can either (1) request be taught by writing center faculty or undergraduate staff or (2) request materials for to teach/tweak independently.
- Co-developed a co-curricular writing program for the McNair program to assist students in writing personal statements.
- Worked with Director of Academic Writing and Professor of the Practice in TESOL to build a robust Faculty Resource Page
- Collaborated with the Wesleyan Office for Faculty Career Development to start a regular faculty writing retreat in the summer and winter.
- Convened a series of informal FYS faculty meetups that has now grown into a stipended meeting ran by our Director of Academic Writing. The space allows faculty to learn from each other and engage with general scholarship on writing and more focused discussion of first-year writing topics