Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I loved the balance of IUPUI that felt small enough to have a sense of community but large enough for many exciting opportunities. I heard about the wonderful professors at IUPUI from friends who previously attended the university. I also knew I wanted to work as a T.A. and the University Writing Center on campus offered me the chance to continue my love for Writing Center theory as a graduate consultant and T.A.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
Through the support of my professors and bosses at the UWC, my research into graduate writing support was accepted for two conferences—the East Central Writing Center Association Conference (ECWCA) in 2020 and the International Writing Center Association (IWCA) Collaborative at the Conference for College Composition and Communication (CCCC) which was moved to 2021 due to COVID-19. Presenting at the ECWCA conference alongside other IUPUI students was an amazing opportunity to demonstrate the incredible work able to be done at IUPUI as well as meet experts in my field. I am greatly looking forward to the IWCA Collaborative at the CCCC this year!
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
I think it is the same thing that drew me to IUPUI. I grew up in the country and never really enjoyed trips to Chicago and other cities that just felt overwhelming. Somehow, Indianapolis offers many museums, restaurants, cultural events, and other opportunities while still feeling accessible. I loved exploring the city with family and friends, especially down along the canal.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
Right now, I am completing IRB-approved research into graduate student writing support in order to develop UWC programming that will meet some of those needs, especially since COVID-19. I am able to work with the Graduate Office to develop and advertise these programs which is an amazing opportunity to build cross-campus relationships. Already our programming has grown from a short graduate writing group and a run of a write-on-site at the end of the Fall ’21 semester, to two offerings of the write-on-site every week and two writing groups that will run the entire semester. This work is also the foundation of my thesis, allowing me to dive into the theory of graduate student writing processes while seeing how it plays out in these groups.
Because of my passion for this research, I had the chance to become the Graduate Writing Coordinator at my work and love joining with some of the other graduate consultants at the UWC to grow and ground this programming so it can continue after I graduate. Working collaboratively to serve a community each of us is so attached to is incredible, and I love that IUPUI and the UWC gave me the chance to do this work. This past Fall semester, I worked as the T.A. for the Writing Center Theory and Practice course. Though jumping into a semester that was completely online was tricky, working with Dr. Marilee Brooks-Gillies was an amazing opportunity. I was able to see first-hand her expertise and compassion at work as she designed the course to meet the unique needs of the semester and the students. I aided her in research about how to effectively run an online course (especially one that previously had many in-person elements to it), navigated how to keep the students informed and connected to the UWC community, and assisted in creating assignments that would drive home the concepts of the course and provide a foundation for when the students became University Writing Center consultants.
I am currently serving as the Graduate Student Representative on the East Central Writing Center Association board and have loved being a part of an organization that cares so much about students, faculty, and staff and is constantly looking for how to better serve and support them. We are working hard to prepare for when conferences are allowed to be in-person again, and I am preparing to run one of the ECWCA book clubs on the book The Things We Carry: Strategies for Recognizing and Negotiating Emotional Labor in Writing Program Administration. I am excited to meet with Writing Center members from across the East Central area as we learn from each other.