Union to host statewide writing center conference

On Sept. 24, Union College will host the fourth annual Nebraska Writing Center Consortium meeting featuring guest speaker Dr. Rasha Diab, assistant professor of rhetoric and writing at the University of Texas-Austin.

In addition to delivering the keynote address for the conference, Diab will also give a talk titled “Embracing the Rhetoric of Peace: Insights from Indigenous Practice/Practices” for an Academic Assembly on Thursday, Sept. 23, in Woods Auditorium at 10:30 a.m. Worship credit will be given for attendance.

Focusing her doctoral research on the Arab reconciliatory practice of suhl, Diab recently completed a dissertation titled Sulh and In(ter)vention: Sadat’s Peacemaking/Peacebuilding Rhetoric (1977) and Its Reception. Diab has received two Fulbright Scholarships (1997, 2002), and has taught writing, language skills and English as a Foreign Language.

The Nebraska Writing Center Consortium was formed in 2006 to be a forum for writing center directors and staffs across the state to network, discuss and learn from each other. Tanya Cochran, associate professor of English and director of Union College’s Studio for Writing and Speaking, believes that, in addition to bringing educational professionals from across the state to Union’s campus, hosting the conference will provide the Studio’s peer tutors with professional growth opportunities. “It isn’t enough just to be a good student or a good writer or speaker; a peer tutor must also know how to teach others,” she said. “Meetings such as the NWCC offer both directors and tutors a local and affordable chance to learn more about inspiring and supporting student writers.”

The Studio, formerly the Hagen Writing Center, has provided peer tutors to help students improve writing skills since 1981. “Our student tutors offer one-with-one consultations on any portion of the writing or speaking process—from generating ideas to drafting to delivery or final drafts,” explained Cochran. “Although the consultants are not professional editors, they help students with issues related to organization and style as well as grammatical and mechanical accuracy. They are, simply put, walking and talking resource guides for student writers and speakers.”

The Nebraska Writing Center Consortium meeting will be held in the Lang Conference Center in the Ortner Center from 9:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Schedule of events

9:45 a.m. -10:45 a.m. “Invisible Disabilities/Diversities: LD Students and the Writing Center,” Shawnee-Porter Room
Facilitated by Debbie Forshee-Sweeney, Union College

“Sparking the Imagination: Creativity and Working with Creative Writers, ” Hagen Room
Facilitated by Mike Mennard, Union College

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. “World Englishes: ELL Students as Writers,” Shawnee-Porter Room
Facilitated by Bobbi Olson, University of Nebraska

“Across the Curriculum: Strategies for Educating Colleagues about the Writing Center,” Hagen Room
Facilitated by Katie Stahlnecker, Metropolitan Community College

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. “Toward a Peaceable Rhetoric and Pedagogy: An Academic Dialogue,” Presidential Dining Room (Eat at the Union Market or bring your own lunch.)
Rosha Diab, University of Texas-Austin
Tanya R. Cochran, Union College

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. “New Technologies, New Tactics: Working with Writers in the 21st Century,” Shawnee-Porter Room
Facilitated by Tony Jasnowski, Bellevue University

“Get Tutored: A Session for Consultant Writers,” Hagen Room
Facilitated by Tanya R. Cochran