Writing center invites new director

New writing director Colin Payton

Max Bertrand

New writing director Colin Payton

by Max Bertrand, Staff Writer

The writing center is welcoming a new director, Colin Payton, who was hired in January after the position sat vacant for several months, making room for new possibilities within the writing center in Dunn Library. 

Payton previously worked at the Iowa State writing center. 

The school sent out applications for potential individuals when going through the hiring process. In return, they got recipients from around the country. As a writing fellow, sophomore Will Keck was part of the interview process.

Discussion is going around about improving the writing center now that there is a set director. The writing center’s hope is to enhance the knowledge of the writing consultants to better help students coming in for assistance.

“I received no training. I was shown how to set up an account to schedule meetings, and then I was set to go. And so now that I have been through it and trial and error, I have learned a lot,” senior writing consultant Lucy Cockrell said. 

Cockrell has also been a writing consultant since the fall of 2020. Cockrell said she believes that Payton will do a lot for future writing consultants. She discussed how they may be starting a class to help further that training. There has also been a better support system for tutors to have a more robust communication network with consultants to get better feedback. 

Another goal would be not just to assist students, but faculty by helping faculty provide better writing prompts to the students and better resources for assigning papers. Solid writing is essential to students getting a better grade on a paper and improving their craftsmanship within their writing. 

“Helping not only the students but also the faculty provide better writing prompts to students, providing them with better examples or resources to use when assigning papers,” Keck said. 

Payton has had a lot of meetings with faculty members and first-year foundation classes. One of the discussed points was on issues they see and how to improve the writing center. Writing consultants are also really excited for future consultants.

Payton has already started observing sessions and working individually with students.

Having Payton running the writing center will allow for more hours because some students who use the writing center as a work-study are unavailable for certain times due to the limited hours they can work each week. 

Students can schedule a time at the writing center by going to the writing center website through SC Connect. Biographies are available on the consultants, so students can pick who would be best suited for helping them with their papers.