THE WRITING CENTER
“If you write, you belong here!” That’s the motto of Trinity’s Writing Center, housed within the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric. Located at 115 Vernon Street, the Writing Center opened its doors in 1989 as a one-on-one tutoring program for all student writers. Each year, a select group of students join the staff as writing associates and tutor their peers to improve writing skills and confidence. Thirty-four writing associates currently work at the center, constituting a diverse group of students from different majors and backgrounds. Often booked back-to-back with appointments, writing associates work to improve others’ writing, not just for better grades but to make the students better writers. In the past five years, the number of tutoring appointments per year has grown from approximately 350 to more than 1,750. Each fall, newly selected writing associates must take “RHET 302. Writing Theory and Practice” before working in the center; the class explores theories, histories, and best practices of effective tutoring. Tennyson O’Donnell, director of the Writing Center since 2012, teaches the course. He is credited with expanding the center to offer hours at two campus satellite locations and with completing a major interior renovation of the main location. O’Donnell says that beyond the long-standing history and the impressive number of student appointments are the dedicated and driven people who work at the Writing Center. “While they are some of the busiest people on campus,” O’Donnell notes, “they collectively represent a unique blend of intellect and kindness that forms a strong and supportive academic community.”
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