By Jadiete Javier || Contributing Writer
In January of 2017, the writing center will officially receive the Martinson Award of Excellence for Writing Program Administration Initiative in Liberal Arts which they were presented with last week. The center received recognition after the Director of the writing center, Professor Daniel Frick, applied for the award on the basis of the In Class Workshop initiative.
The initiative originally started in 2001 when the center was based in Keiper. The in class workshops were inspired by the concepts in “The Idea of a Writing Center” by Stephen North. North claims that writing centers are typically deemed “grammar fix it shops”. Frick wanted to create an initiative which would be obvious in its’ benefit and supported by both students and faculty.
Working in conjunction with the faculty, the tutors create a presentation on the topic the professor sees fit. After presentations—which tend to focus on hooks, theses, and structure—about four tutors will use the remainder of their time to work with students. Frick describes the workshops as “just as important as the one on one tutorials” by making the center visible to some who wouldn’t typically seek help.
Once the center began to expand, it became clear that the center could no longer depend on recent graduates to stay in Lancaster and help the center. The administration decided to support the center and add the Assistant Director of the writing center. With a full-time position, which today is held by Justin B. Hopkins, the initiative thrived. The center went from having 100 to 170 workshops a year, which has now become their standard. Just in the last year, there were over 3,100 personal visits. Although writing centers are typically viewed as a place to help transition from high school to college writing, the initiative, in conjunction with assistance with grant applications, 25% of the visits are from upperclassmen.
With incredible numbers and amazing success, Professor Frick notes that the initiative and the 2017 Martinson award has resulted in a “moment to celebrate”. Congratulations to Professor Frick, Mr. Hopkins, and the writing tutors the students here are forever grateful!
Freshman Jadiete Javier is a Contributing Writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.