WC tutors to present at ECU

Shante' Johnson, Staff Writer

From February 6-8, a group of Francis Marion University’s (FMU) Writing Center tutors will be participating in the Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) Conference at Eastern Carolina University (ECU) in North Carolina.  Four current FMU tutors, Lucas Berry, junior English major, Tiara Felder, senior English professional writing major, and senior English majors Melody Pritchard, and Brooke Rogers will attend the conference to present.

      Prior to being accepted to present at the conference, each presenter or presentation group had to submit a proposal which followed the theme, “Our Language, Ourselves: Rethinking our Writing Center Communities.”

      “Melody and Brooke did a really fantastic job with the proposal,” Felder said.  “I think that presenting on the unity and connectedness that our writing center has with the rest of the university could help other centers achieve the same if they haven’t already.”

      Berry, Felder, Rogers and Pritchard worked on the presentation separately, focusing on their assigned topics to create one unified presentation that would display the openness in FMU’s Writing Center as well as how it was achieved and is being maintained. 

      For some, there was a lot of overlap between their topics and their jobs in the Writing Center.  Brooke Rogers’, Social Media Manger for the Writing Center, section of the presentation will show how tutors use social media at Francis Marion.

      “I will be discussing the different methods that writing centers can [employ] when using social media, the benefits of using social media to reach a larger audience and why social media can create a stronger sense of community on campus and online,” Rogers said.

      In addition to the Writing Center’s increasing social media awareness, the students will also talk about online tutoring in their presentation.

      “I have been online tutoring for a few semesters now and I think that our online tutoring is an essential part of what we do at the Writing Center,” Felder said.  “It allows students who can’t come in during our normal hours to receive help as well.”

      Some of the students who will attend this conference have described almost a dual benefit from participating in the conference and being a Writing Center tutor.   

            “Presenting is important professionally and as a student,” Berry said.  “Working at the writing center has helped me in two different ways. First, it helped me become a much better writer myself by constantly practicing and teaching different parts of writing I was unfamiliar with. Second, I have gotten better at teaching people; I have learned a lot of patience while working there.”