“I can’t believe it’s been twelve years,” remarked Dr. Kristin Risley, co-director of the Writing Center at University of Wisconsin–Stout, at the Writing Center’s open house on Wednesday, April 12. The Writing Center celebrated 12 years since its opening in the fall of 2005.
The center itself began with a vision and a select number of dedicated individuals. It was proposed to the Chancellor and the Dean at the time, John Murphy, in 2004. At that time, there was a broad tutoring center for all classes, but Risley—along with co-founder and Writing Center Co-Director Dr. Andrea Deacon—wanted something more specialized for the students at Stout.
To their delight, the proposal was accepted, and the Writing Center became active starting in 2005, initially located in a corner classroom on the fourth floor of Harvey Hall. In February 2014, the Writing Center was moved to its second location for the duration of the Harvey Hall renovations, the campus library. This past fall, it moved for the third time to its newest location: room 174 of Harvey Hall.
Over the years, not only has the location of The Writing Center changed, but the number of staff has made a drastic jump. “The initial staff numbered about eight to nine tutors, and now it has more than doubled to 18-20 tutors. We have an incredibly big and talented group of tutors,” said Risley in the open house ceremony celebrating the past 12 years and the move back to Harvey. The Writing Center also offers help for online students and is looking to offer online chat in the future.
Risley explains that the Writing Center has focused on a core mission consisting of four main objectives: “Number one is the center offers courteous and confidential help to all skill levels. Number two, to successfully address concerns of individual writers. Number three, enhance skills and confidence in writing. And lastly, number four is to enable skills for independence.”
The Writing Center promotes an open and honest environment for students to collaborate with a trained peer. This is important to the Writing Center because it gives students a second opinion on their work rather than their professor being their only resource.
“Our ultimate goal is to support the culture and teaching of writing on our campus,” said Risley.
The Writing Center is located in room 174 of Harvey Hall and their hours are Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., or in the evenings at satellite locations. To see a complete list of locations or to make an appointment, visit http://www.uwstout.edu/writingcenter/