Claremont, Calif. (October 9, 2017)—Pitzer College Writing Center Fellows Sophia Rizzolo ’19 and Hunter Sidel ’19 have been awarded National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW) grants. The two Writing Center fellows are teaming up to lead a workshop “Identity and Improving our Ability to Reach our Peers” at the NCPTW 2017 conference. The conference, titled “Reaching Out: Revising Writing Center Spaces and Identities,” will be held at Hofstra University in New York from October 12 to 15.
Rizzolo and Sidel’s workshop will be a seminar-style conversation with other peer tutors about improving practices of inclusivity within writing centers by recognizing the role their own identities play in the process.
“We want writing fellows to become more cognizant of their identities,” Sidel said. “We think that reflecting on this dynamic helps improve our pedagogies and effectiveness as tutors.”
Rizzolo, an international and intercultural studies major, won a NCPTW Burkean Parlor Grant, which supports tutors who are making significant contributions to peer tutoring practices. Sidel, a history major, won a NCPTW La Beca Grant, which supports tutors who are contributing to writing center pedagogy.
The Pitzer College Writing Center conducts more than 1,500 free consultations with students, alumni and staff on campus each year. Peer writing tutors like Rizzolo and Sidel help other students at all stages of the writing process—from brainstorming ideas to putting the finishing touches on a final draft. They also travel around the country and the world to develop and share effective peer tutoring techniques.
In the spring, Sidel and then-Writing Center Fellow Divya Bambawale ’17 led a workshop to explore how writing tutors’ identities affect their work at the Southern California Writing Centers Association (SoCalWCA) Peer Tutor Conference. In 2016, SoCalWCA selected seven Pitzer Writing Center Fellows to give presentations at its annual conference. In 2014, three fellows won Institute for Global/Local Action & Study fellowships to attend the European Writing Center Association Conference in Germany and Poland.
The National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing promotes the teaching of writing through collaborative learning. The NCPTW offers peer tutors the opportunity to contribute in professional and scholarly ways to the larger writing center community and provides forums for tutors to share and present research at national and international conferences.