John Lauckner, MA student in the DRPW program, writes:
This past July, I headed to the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, Philadelphia, PA, for the annual Writing Program Administrators Conference. With me were Writing Center director Trixie Smith, assistant director Dianna Baldwin, graduate students Elena Adkins and Marilee Brooks-Gillies, and undergraduate students Whitney Orth and Barbra Elenbaas.
The conference itself was designed for people involved in writing programs to share their experiences, ideas, and advice for other people interested in writing. This year many of the workshops, panels, and presentations had to do with digital writing. It was very interesting to sit in and discuss this topic, and many others, with people who are very knowledgeable and passionate about their areas of expertise.
While attending the conference was fun, our purpose for being there was to present at a session about mentoring. Our presentation–“Cultivating Spaces for Bunnies in the Garden OR Purposeful and Organic Mentoring Toward Community”–was discussion based and looked at several of our personal experiences with mentoring at the Writing Center. We discussed different types of mentoring, both natural and intentional, and how to create a space where both are present.
While learning and sharing hold their own special kind of rewards, I also find one of the best aspects of conferences is that you’re often able to explore the city where they’re held, and this was no exception. The days and nights were full of good food, and even included a visit to a former state penitentiary. It all made the 1290 mile trip a fun and memorable experience.