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AMERICUS, Ga. (February 6, 2017) – Georgia Southwestern State University’s (GSW) Writing Center recently received the Southeastern Writing Center Association Christine Cozzens Research Grant in conjunction with Andrew College.

“In the spirit of collaboration, I reached out to Caroline Collins, the Interdisciplinary Writing and Reading Center (IWRC) director at Andrew College, to put our heads together to make our centers better,” said Lauren DiPaula, Ph.D., associate professor of English and Modern Language and Director of the GSW Writing Center.

Together, they applied for the Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) grant to help improve tutor training at GSW and Andrew College.

“The SWCA Christine Cozzens Research Grant and Initiative Program is designed to encourage collaboration among new and established centers, support professional development for writing center administrators and staff, and further writing center research and scholarship throughout the SWCA region,” states the SWCA website.

With the $500 grant split between both schools, tutors from GSW and Andrew College met twice, once on each campus, and discussed ideas for tutor training initiatives. From these conversations, they proposed to present their results at the upcoming SWCA conference to be held at the University of Mississippi in February.

Seven GSW students will present three presentations at the SWCA conference. They are Megan Vonier, a senior from Cordele; Jairus Whitley, a junior from Americus; Brigitte Locke, a senior from Reynolds; Brittnea Holland, a senior from Ogelthorpe; Ishmael Hutson, a freshman from Marietta; Marilu Pesina, a sophomore from Americus; and Kady Lankford, a senior from Ocilla. Two of their presentations will be in partnership with Andrew College.

For their third presentation, the GSW tutors will present their results on embedded tutoring, which was a pilot program where they placed two tutors in two composition classrooms during the Fall 2016 semester.

DiPaula, who is now the Georgia State Representative for SWCA, has taken a group of tutors to the SWCA conference every year since February 2012. In 2014, one of GSW’s tutors, Alison Cantrell, won the SWCA Undergraduate Tutor Award.

“Each year has been a terrific experience for our tutors, and something they always look forward to,” said DiPaula. “They learn more about professional conferences, they network, they engage in writing center scholarship, and they come back more invested in and full of ideas for our own center.”


SWCA is a member of IWCA, the International Writing Centers Association. Its purpose is to promote literacy, to further the theoretical, practical, and political concerns of writing center professionals, and to serve as a forum for the writing concerns of students, faculty, staff, and writing professionals from both academic and nonacademic communities.

GSW tutors

Caption: (l to r) Lauren DiPaula, Jairus Whitley, Kady Lankford, Brittnea Holland, Marilu Pesina and Ishmael Huston will present with Andrew College at the SWCA conference. Not pictured: Brigitte Locke and Megan Vonier.

- GSW - 



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