Serious Researchers Only… Undergrad Research Week 2015

On Sunday, senior Honors students officially kicked off Undergraduate Research Week 2015 by presenting their theses. On Tuesday, two events took place: paper and poster presentations.

At the paper and poster presentations, the writing, research, and visual aids were certainly impressive! Though, the best part for me was the opportunity to interact with student-researchers and see final projects. In the Writing Center, we pride ourselves on talking to you when you’re in-process. When we meet, you’re still considering your topic from multiple angles. There’s so many rhetorical decisions still left to make. It’s exciting to be a part of your development, but the downside is we hardly ever get to see how your presentations, papers, and projects turn out in the end. I think it’s now safe to say that Bellarmine students are doing a fantastic job polishing projects and actively participating in the conversations of their disciplines!

On behalf of the Writing Center, I want to say “thank you” to the student presenters. It takes confidence and a leap-of-faith to bring one’s work to the public’s attention. I also want to acknowledge the faculty mentors and the administration for making this happen!

Now… what’s in the works for next year?

More photos from the paper and poster presentations

Remembering that Writing is an Art: Reflections on SWCA-KY 15

Last Friday our Bellarmine Writing Center was able to attend a conference with profIMG_2235(2)essionals and undergraduates from other university writing centers in Kentucky. The SWCA Writing Center Conference at the University of Kentucky was the first writing center conference I have ever attended. I have been to many conferences before, but never one that focused on the role of writing centers. The theme was Creativity, Collaboration, and Community, and each presenter touched on these aspects of a writing center in unique ways. As a staff, we gained valuable new insights on presentations from other writing centers on such topics as their success and downfalls of different social media projects or dealing with stress (for writers and consultants).

We had the chance to share our own experiences as well. We presented on one way we approach addressing misconceptions about academic writing at Bellarmine. Specifically, we introduced the Prezi presentation that we created for Freshman Focus classes. Analyzing our presentation and outreach helped us to look at our community here at Bellarmine and how we have embraced these themes of creativity, collaboration, and community without necessarily realizing it.

While it was extremely exciting and valuable to bounce ideas off of the other writing centers as we shared common and different experiences, my moment of real clarity came during the keynote speaker presentation. This “speaker” was not one individual but a collective panel of creative minds sharing their art and experiences with us. Everything from paintings of cakes, to poems, to free verse hip hop and acappella performances was displayed in the name of creativity, collaboration, and community.

But how does all of this relate to writing centers? It reminded me that a writing center is not a hospital. Writing assignments are not wounds. Students that come to see us are not patients, and we are not nurses or doctors. In the stress and complications of being a student, we often lose sight of what writing is and all of the beauty behind it. Whether it is a scientific report, persuasive research essay, or fictional narrative, our writing is a work of art. Each of us is an artist with something beautiful to create when we write, even for academia. As consultants, it is not our job to fix writing, but to uplift and help it be appreciated in the best way possible. Our collaboration with fellow students can help us all reflect and develop as writers, and we can build upon our campus community by helping appreciate and grow our creativity through our writing endeavors.

Our misconceptions of writing come from many places, but perhaps the most important one for a writing center to combat is the lack of realization that every single thing we write is a creative expression worth appreciating. We are all writers, and it would be a shame to never acknowledge that even the most mundane of assignments truly is a unique and beautiful thing we have created. A writing center exists to help improve writing, but it should also serve as a reminder that writing is a work of art and acknowledge the artists, our students.

Dara Ricketts

More photos from SWCA-KY 15

Bellarmine Writing Center Begins Blogging!

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As a new initiative in Fall 2013, the Bellarmine Writing Center will be blogging about all things Bellarmine and writing. If you’re looking for insider tips and advice for writing inside or outside of your classes, this is the space. Our consultants want to blog with respect to the current campus climate and needs. So, we need you to let us know what’s on your mind. We invite your questions, comments, and suggestions so we can find out what will help you most. Above all, The Bellarmine Writing Center is a space to try out your ideas and receive honest feedback. We hope to make our blog an extension of that.

Comment to let us know what you would like us to blog about.