Academic support director to present research

Tom Truesdell, director of academic support at Northwestern College, and six students will present at the Midwest Writing Centers Association Conference Oct. 17–19 in Chicago.

Truesdell will present his research, “Answering the Research Call: Writing Center Dissertations, 1979–2009.” Truesdell sought to obtain a more informed understanding of writing center research through examining trends in dissertations about writing centers written over the past 30 years. “There have been multiple calls for writing center professionals to conduct research on writing center work because this is a relatively young field,” explains Truesdell. This includes researching the roles that writing centers play in writing instruction, the effect they have on tutors, and how these centers operate.

The Northwestern students will give a presentation entitled “Future Matters: How Career Aspirations Affect Writing Center Work.” The tutors will discuss how their career goals influence their approach to writing center work. They will expand on how their career aspirations motivate them to tutor, shape the methods they use and determine their takeaway from their tutoring experiences.

The student presenters included Deborah Admire, a senior writing and rhetoric major from Pipe Creek, Texas; Abbie Amiotte, a junior writing and rhetoric major from Colorado Springs, Colo.; Briana Baughman, a senior elementary education major from Sioux City; Kinbrae Bezdicek, a senior English teaching and Spanish major from Jackson, Minn.; Natalie Church, a senior writing and rhetoric major from Crete, Neb.; and Jen Hoover, a junior English teaching major from Sanborn, Iowa.