It has been an interesting three years tutoring at the University Writing Center (UWC) at St. Thomas University (STU) in Miami. In my first “tutor biography” on our writing center’s website, I called tutoring symbiotic, stating that I would learn as much from the students I tutored as they learned from me. Now, when I look back at what I wrote as a sophomore, I am still amazed at the opportunities that have come from my work at the UWC.
Last semester, I began researching the history of the Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA), and, in the process, began to learn more about the writing center world that I had become fascinated with. When I met Dr. Paula Gillespie one afternoon at the FIU campus to discuss the SWCA and to learn more about the Peer Writing Tutor Alumni Research Project, I became inspired to transfer the project onto a visual medium.
The Writing Center Alumni poster (see below) showcases the potential future for all writing tutors. It is my goal that this poster showcases what I feel are my own future possibilities because of the work that I have done within the field. The Writing Center Alumni poster represents the important abstract and tangible connections that inspired me to originally conduct more research on the field. These connections are not only fostered by the tutees that enter through our doors, but have also been experienced by the tutor alumni that have greeted them on the other side.
The poster was an integral part of my lunch-hour plenary, “SWCA at 30: Past, Present and Future,” at the 2011 SWCA Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and has been proposed by the SWCA executive board as a poster for members. At the 2011 STU Undergraduate Research Symposium, I was awarded the Dean’s Excellence in Research Award for both the research and the professional outcomes that have arisen from the project and the poster. Without my work at the UWC, such professional opportunities would have never been created.