Creating a Culture of Writing Success

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There's an old saying by writer Red Smith: "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."

Many students might very well agree with that sentiment.

Fortunately for IUP students, there is a great resource to help with becoming better writers, the IUP Writing Center. Students make good use of the facility and its tutors: The Writing Center helps more than 1,500 students each semester.

Ben Rafoth in his officeThe IUP Writing Center is directed by Bennett (Ben) Rafoth, a member of the IUP Department of English, who also holds the title of University Professor. (He was selected for this honor, which recipients hold for a lifetime, in 2010.) As the University Professor, he was the undergraduate commencement ceremony speaker in December 2010.

He is recognized internationally for his work with teaching writing, and during his tenure as University Professor, his projects included a book focused on better serving multilingual writers in writing centers and an online writing center, which is now offered through the IUP Writing Center. His most recent book is ESL Writers: A Guide for Learning Center Tutors.

The center, located in Eicher Hall, took its expertise "on the road" recently, when Dr. Rafoth; Mitch James, assistant director of the center; and Lindsay Sabatino, a teaching associate in the English Department, visited West Virginia University for a special colloquium last month focused on creating writing center learning cultures.

They joined 21 tutors and directors from WVU and Duquesne. IUP's presentation at the event focused on online writing centers. (IUP's online center was launched in September.)

Dr. Rafoth will continue to showcase IUP's Writing Center and its successes when he co-hosts the International Writing Centers Association Summer Institute in July 2012 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. This weeklong event is expected to draw writing center directors throughout the nation.

Our IUP alumni also are demonstrating what they've learned at IUP about teaching writing and writing centers. Columbia University recently published a new book on writing centers, The Successful High School Writing Center: Building the Best Program with Your Students, co-authored by Dawn Fels and Jennifer Wells, graduates of IUP's Composition and TESOL doctoral program.

And they did not forget about IUP and Dr. Rafoth in writing the book. He co-authored the first chapter with the former students.

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This page contains a single entry by Michelle Fryling published on December 9, 2011 7:18 PM.

There's No Place Like Home (Health Care) was the previous entry in this blog.

Student Success in Schools? Thank a School Counselor is the next entry in this blog.

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