The WAC Clearinghouse

2003 Summer Institute for Writing Center Directors

The International Writing Centers Association is very pleased to announce the first annual summer institute for writing center directors and other writing center professionals. The leaders and co-chairs, Paula Gillespie and Brad Hughes, are excited to invite you to consider attending, and hope you will call this to the attention to friends and colleagues who might be interested. Here's a quick overview followed by the details for those who are interested.

Who: The CO-chairs are Brad Hughes of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Paula Gillespie, Marquette; institute leaders are Muriel Harris, Jon Olson, Neal Lerner, Pam Childers, James Inman, and Jill Pennington.

What: An intensive week of discussions, workshops, and mentoring on writing center administration, pedagogy, research, and politics. The Institute is inspired by WPA's summer workshop, the Computers in Writing-Intensive Classrooms workshop, institutes for the learning center community, and National Writing Project Summer Institutes.

When: Sunday, July 27 (an evening welcome and reception), through Friday, August 1, 2003 Where: Madison, Wisconsin. For Why, please read on. For more information, visit

How much: Registration will be $450.00 plus lodging and transportation costs and some meals.

The long version:

IWCA has long wanted to give new (and experienced) university, community college and secondary writing center directors the chance to meet for an intensive week with veteran directors. The institute will offer in-depth introductions to--and the chance to discuss the latest about--such important topics as:

Because, as we know so well, few schools can provide experienced writing center colleagues to serve as mentors for the many new (or new-to-the-institution) directors, IWCA has agreed to sponsor the institute to provide this much-needed opportunity for professional development and mentoring within the community.

This first institute will take place at the University of Wisconsin ( in Madison, Wisconsin, a school with a strong PhD program in composition and rhetoric. The UW Writing Center is a large and well-established center with a rich history, innovative outreach, multiple venues, an OWL, extensive cross-curricular programs, and a curriculum-based (writing fellows) program.

This institute will be chaired by Brad Hughes (University of Wisconsin - Madison) and Paula Gillespie (Marquette University), along with institute leaders Muriel Harris (Purdue University), Jon Olson (Penn State University Park), Neal Lerner (MIT), Pam Childers (The McCallie School), James Inman (University of South Florida), and Jill Pennington (Lansing Community College). These leaders come from schools of various sizes and writing centers of different types; they are people who can serve as experienced mentors not only to university writing center directors, but to secondary and middle school as well as community college staffers. The institute will offer presentations, in-depth discussions, breakout groups for special interests, and mentoring throughout the week.

The University of Wisconsin's Pyle Center (, the site of the institute, is located right on Lake Mendota, a block from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Writing Center, a block from the student union, a few doors down from the institute's hotel, and a block from State Street, a vibrant pedestrian mall that connects the university and the Capitol Building, rich in used book stores, eclectic shops, and a wealth of ethnic cuisines. You won't need shuttles to get you around; you won't even need a car, though parking will be free at the conference hotel.

To ensure good discussion and individual attention, the institute will be limited to 40 participants, so the first to register will be assured of places. Please call this institute to the attention of colleagues of yours who might be interested, or seek funding to attend yourself. Bring your family! Bring the sunscreen! And get ready for an intensive week of conversation, participation, and fun.

Further details are available at; registration information will be available soon.

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