Megan Epperson, Laura Guebert, and Jessie Hedrick
For the second year in a row, the Racer Writing Center graduated a cohort of three new certified writing tutors from its internship program. The program, which began in 2015 thanks to a Golden Key Fellowship, aims to provide experiential learning and professionalization for students interested in working in writing centers and other writing-intensive careers after graduation.
Interested students are invited to apply during the spring semester of each year to complete the program the following fall.
Students who participate engage in a weekly one-hour class; they observe consultations; they work in the center for three hours a week; they design and present a workshop as a cohort to the campus community; then they write and submit a short article about writing center practice to an appropriate journal. After ten weeks of observation and study, interns begin consulting with clients in tandem with a seasoned consultant. By semester’s end, each intern consults with clients independently. This year’s newly certified Racer Writing Center consultants are Megan Epperson and Jessie Hedrick, who are both English majors, and Laura Guebert, a History Major. All three will return to the center as consultants in the spring semester.
The Racer Writing Center opened for consultations in 2011 thanks to a donation from Murray State Alumnus, Dr. Jesse Jones. Since then the Racer Writing Center has helped thousands of students, faculty, and staff with everything from ENG 105 essays to academic journal articles. Its staff is comprised exclusively of graduate and undergraduate students from Murray State University. The center serves clients in-person and online, allowing for its consultants to help distance learning students not only at regional campuses but anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
Its current director, Dr. Josh Adair, associate professor of English and coordinator of Gender & Diversity Studies, began managing the center in August 2013. Since creating the center’s internship program last year, he notes that six students have successfully completed it, and he hopes the program will be able to grow in future years.
“I am very pleased with the program,” he observes, “because it provides students who eventually want to teach or write professionally an opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience. It also encourages students to assist and learn from one another, demonstrating the importance of experiential, collaborative learning.”
In addition to directing the writing center, Professor Adair continues to excel in teaching and research. This semester he is teaching ENG 105 Critical Reading, Writing, and Inquiry; ENG 319/619 Gay and Lesbian Literature; and GDS 690 Seminar in Gender Studies. Continuing his work as a prolific researcher, Professor Adair published seven articles in 2016. He also writes a regular column for Coldnoon as a contributing editorial associate and recently signed a book contract with Rowman & Littlefield to co-edit a collection called Defining Memory: Local Museums and the Construction of History in America’s Changing Communities, Second Edition.
Congratulations to the newly certified writing consultants and to Professor Adair on his leadership with the writing center and his outstanding teaching and research!