Special to the Journal
AMERICUS — ‘Every writer needs a reader’ is the unofficial motto of the Georgia Southwestern State University Writing Center. The Writing Center has seven ‘readers’ and writing consultants who assist students from all disciplines in strategies for all aspects of the writing process free of charge. Alison McCarter is one of the GSW writing consultants, and she has been awarded the 2014 Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) Undergraduate Tutor Award.McCarter, an English and professional writing major from Buena Vista, Ga., has been a writing tutor since Jan. 2011. Since then, she has become an instrumental part of the GSW Writing Center designing fliers and brochures, giving presentations, and, in the words of the Writing Center Director Lauren DiPaula, Ph.D., being “an excellent writing consultant.”
Last November, McCarter was nominated for the SWCA Undergraduate Tutor Award by DiPaula and her fellow tutors. Founded in 1981, SWCA promotes literacy and hosts annual conferences throughout the Southeastern to serve as a forum for the writing concerns of students, staff, faculty, and writing professionals. Additionally, SWCA gives out awards each year to recognize an achievement of a writing director or supervisor and to recognize the excellence of writing tutors from three categories: undergraduate, graduate, and professional writing tutors. The winners represent the best from the SWCA region which includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and the American Virgin Islands.
“Part of Alison’s strength as a consultant comes from her research on writing centers. Alison has become a writing center scholar—choosing to pursue writing center scholarship in her courses ever when such scholarship was not already part of the curriculum,” said DiPaula. “Her fellow consultants recognize her as an effective consultant and dear colleague.”
Peers who have received assistance from McCarter also recognize her as an effective consultant.
“I went to the writing center discouraged about an assignment,” remarked a past writing center client. “Alison was able to calm me down and talk about ideas that I could include in my paper. I was so thankful I went to the center for help!”
Part of what makes McCarter an effective tutor is her passion and desire to help others.
“My favorite thing about being a tutor is knowing that I help people,” said McCarter. “Writing can be frustrating, so knowing that I made it a little easier for someone makes me feel good about what I do.“
Besides assisting students in one-on-one writing consultations, McCarter and the rest of the staff of the Writing Center give workshops and presentations on various composition topics.
“Alison’s range of knowledge about writing centers and writing studies has only grown due to her presentations,” said DiPaula. “She has researched and presented on plagiarism and research paper strategies. But she has also presented with us at SWCA two years in a row.”
This year’s meeting will be in Greenville, N.C. McCarter will be presented with the 2014 SWCA Undergraduate Tutor Award during the conference, as well as present with her peers their third conference presentation, “Consulting At the Crossroads: Faculty-Writing Center Relationships and Discourse.”
“It is an honor to be both the recipient of this award and to be able to present at the SWCA conference for the third year in a row,” remarked McCarter.
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