The Undergraduate as Administrator: Recollections and Lessons of a Graduating Senior

Gannon, Andrea Theresa
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"The Teaching of Writing,” an upper level rhetoric and composition course that I took on a whim during my first year at Southwestern University (SU), was the spark that ignited my career path in writing centers. Although I was hesitant in the beginning, I was intrigued by the course description, which promised exploration of writing center pedagogy as well as an on campus job for qualified students. After taking the class, I participated in an internship at SU’s Debby Ellis Writing Center (DEWC), which eventually led to a job as a consultant, and subsequently, my current position as an assistant student director. It is from the undergraduate viewpoint of a client, intern, consultant, and student director that I explain how the DEWC has adapted writing center theory to meet shifting student needs at SU, a small liberal arts college with fewer than 1400 undergraduate students. Additionally, in order to increase my understanding of how the DEWC operated before my time as an administrator, I interviewed two former DEWC assistant student directors, Leslie Lube and Graham Oliver, to learn how they successfully applied graduate student writing center pedagogy to an institution that consisted of undergraduate consultants assisting undergraduate clients. Their experiences as administrators helped shape DEWC processes at SU from 2009 to 2011, providing me with a firm foundation to build on during the 2012 and 2013 school years."