The WRC is a vibrant intellectual community of thinkers, writers, and learners. Together, we ask writing-related questions and seek to find answers through secondary and primary research. The WRC is a unique place where faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students engage in inquiry-based research together.

Interested in supporting writing-related or student-led research? Consider making a gift to the WRC!

WRC Directors and Tutors Present at SWCA

In February 2024, WRC Directors, Drs. Katie Garahan and Jan Rieman, and undergraduate tutors, Maya Osaka and Bree Johnson, presented their research at the Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference in Decatur, GA.

Title: Cultivating One Center’s Undergraduate Research Movement: Student Work in Embodiment, Emotion, Disability, and Accessibility 

Abstract: As practitioner-researchers, tutors are uniquely positioned to address pressing writing-related questions, particularly those related to diversity, equity, and inclusion within academic spaces. This presentation explores the process of cultivating a culture of undergraduate research in UNC Charlotte’s Writing Resources Center. The Directors explained their process of supporting undergraduate practitioner-researchers during a semester-long Writing Center Theory & Practice course and mentoring them in the research process as they tutor in the Center. The two undergraduates shared their innovative research related to embodiment, emotion, disability, and accessibility. Bree’s project is titled “Creating an Emotionally Mindful Writing Center” and Maya’s is “Disability & Design in the Writing Center.”

WRC Undergraduate Tutor Research Award

This award funds a tutor’s ongoing writing center-related research and/or conference expenses up to $1500, which includes a $250 stipend payable upon completion of the project. This award is made possible by Tonya Wertz-Orbaugh and the late Dave Orbaugh. For the inaugural year (2023-2024), the WRC awarded two undergraduate researchers:

Bree Johnson, “Building an Emotionally Intelligent Writing Center”

Bree’s research is focused on integrating emotional/mindfulness training into our writing center, and watching over the course of an academic year how this training  influences and helps both tutors and clients in the center.

Maya Osaka, “Disability and Neurodiversity in Writing Center Design.”

Maya’s project will explore the way that disability and accessibility are conceptualized in Writing Centers from the perspective of Writing Center tutors and directors.

Current Projects

Wr”I”te: A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group

This group of students is passionate about promoting linguistic diversity at Charlotte. They meet twice per month and are currently creating multilingual promotional materials, including accessible videos, flyers, and website information.

Accessibility in the Writing Center

WRC consultants are engaged in group and individual projects that will contribute to the accessibility of the WRC for both students and tutors. Student projects focus on mindfulness and emotion management, neurodivergent tutors and physical space, and methods for supporting writers with ADHD.

Marketing, Promotion, and Outreach

Our team is committed to reaching all Niners! Therefore, we plan to employ evidence-based methods for marketing, promotion, and outreach. The director and an undergraduate tutor are developing an outreach project that will help us understand which departments we currently support and how we can reach those we’re not yet supporting.

ARticles and Presentations

Katie Garahan, Jan Rieman, Maya Osaka, and Bree Johnson, “Cultivating One Center’s Undergraduate Research Movement: Student Work in Embodiment, Emotion, Disability, and Accessibility.” Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference. Decatur, GA. February 2024.

Katie Garahan, Justine Jackson Stone, and Brynn Miller, “Developing Purposeful Practices for Introductory Presentations.” Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. vol 20, no. 3, 2023, pp. 41-59.

Maya Osaka, “Neurodivergency in Writing Center Design: Where Is It?” Another Word: From The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2022.

Katie Garahan and Tonya Wertz-Orbaugh, “Perception and Promotion: Developing a RAD Study of Student and Faculty Barriers to Writing Center Engagement.” International Writing Center Association Conference. Vancouver, BC. October 2022.

Katie Garahan and Justine Jackson Stone, “Data-Driven Guidance: Using Feedback to Forge Powerful Relationships with Tutors, Students, Faculty, and Staff.” Mid-Atlantic Writing Center Association Conference. Online. March 2021.

Katie Garahan and Becky Crews. “Educating Tutors to Engage in Writing Center Workshop Purposeful Practices.” WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship, vol 43, no. 9-10, 2019, pp. 18-25.

Becky Crews and Katie Garahan. “The Role of the Tutor in Developing and Facilitating Writing Center Workshops.” How We Teach Writing Tutors: A WLN Digital Edited Collection, edited by Karen G. Johnson and Ted Roggenbuck, 2019.