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7th Annual Northeast Ohio Writing Centers Association Conference

Meeting of the Minds: Exploring Collaboration in the Writing Center

Saturday, February 22, 2014, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Kent State University, Moulton Hall, Kent, OH


Conference Theme

It is a truism that writing centers are collaborative spaces.  Our work with students, as well as with each other, is founded in the shared problem-solving of invested co-learners.  For our 2014 Spring conference, we will revisit and unpack the many ways that we function collaboratively: directors with staff members; staff members with one another; staff members with students; writing centers with other institutional parties (administrators, departments, libraries, other centers, student organizations, etc.); writing centers and communities off campus.  How do these collaborations emerge and evolve?  Where and how do we engage in momentary "flash" collaborations, perhaps in the face of a sudden problem, challenge, or issue?  Where and how do we more systematically shape long-term collaborations with well-defined goals?  How do our collaborations evolve into other, perhaps larger efforts?  When do our collaborations prove "lucky" or serendipitous?  When do our collaborations fail-or lead to unforeseen results? 

Call for Proposals

The NEOWCA invites proposals for posters, roundtables, panels, and workshops designed to explore the nature of our collaborations.  We also invite writing centers to bring copies of handouts and other useful resources for an ongoing resource exchange that will take place throughout the conference.

We will accept proposals for 50-minute panels, roundtables, and workshops.  "Double" sessions of 100 minutes may also be requested. Our breakout rooms will accommodate roundtables, panels, and workshops.  All rooms have computer/projector access for presenters and facilitators, and most can also function as full computer labs for hands-on activities.

Workshops, panels, and roundtable sessions should be interactive and invite participation from the audience.  Please refrain from reading papers or PowerPoint slides "at" participants. Consider various discussion formats, the use of scenarios, group activities, etc.

Poster sessions may be looped MS PowerPoint presentations on laptops (not provided), science fair-style backboards, or traditional posters.  Posters can be left on display all day, but time will be designated for a specific poster session following lunch, when the creator(s) of the poster will be on hand to further discuss their topic informally.

Topics of possible interest might include, but are not limited to, the following:

·         The Role of Mentoring in Tutor Training/Development

·         Incorporating Constructive Criticism into Tutoring Sessions

·         Deploying Our Individual Tutoring Strengths—Pinch Hitting in Tutorials

·         Keeping Up With Scholarship: Reading/Discussion Groups in the Writing Center

·         The Writing Center as a Community

·         Tutor-Devised Initiatives/Projects

·         Collaborating on Educational Materials: Brochures, Pamphlets, PowerPoints, etc.

·         Collaborating on Website Design

·         Social Media as a Means of Collaboration

·         Collaboration in Online Tutoring

·         Collaborating on/with Technology

·         Team Research Projects in the Writing Center

·         Researching and Resolving "In-House" Problems/Needs

·         Devising and Delivering Classroom Workshops

·         Collaborative Communications: List-Servs, Group Journals, Threaded Online Discussions, Wikis, Blogs, etc.

·         Attending/Gleaning/Sharing Conference Information with Colleagues

·         Claiming Ownership of the Writing Center – Making the Space Our Own

·         How to Get What We Want – Professionalism, Stakeholders, and Strategies

·         "Meeting the Minds" of Administrators, Faculty Members, or Staff Members

·         Joining Hands: Partnering with Libraries, Departments, other Centers, and/or Student Organizations

Proposal Deadline

The deadline for proposals is 11:59 p.m., Friday, January 31, 2014. We prefer that you submit via e-mail with the subject line "NEOWCA Proposal," and include the text of your proposal in the body of the e-mail in addition to including it as an attachment:

Information to Include in Your Proposal

1.      Name(s):

2.      E-mail address:

3.      Phone:

4.      Institutional Affiliation(s):

5.      Identification: Student Tutor; High School Faculty or Professional Tutor; Writing Center Director or College Faculty

6.      Type of Session: Workshop, Roundtable, Panel, Poster

7.      Session Title:

8.      50-word Program Description:

9.      500-word Proposal:

10.  How do you intend to engage and involve the audience?

Anyone proposing or participating in a potential session must register for the conference by the Feb. 14, 2014 registration deadline.

Individuals who will not be able to attend may consider creating a poster and sending it with a colleague who is registered for the conference; a proposal is still required. When registering for the conference, non-presenters will also have an opportunity to sign up to serve as a panel moderator or roundtable/workshop facilitator if they would still like to be more involved in the conference.  

Direct conference/registration questions to:

Jeanne R. Smith, Writing Commons Director

Kent State University



Direct questions about proposal submissions to:

Jay D. Sloan, Writing Center Director

Kent State University at Stark