Tel: 801-585-9126

Anne McMurtrey, Conference Director

University of Utah

Writing Center

J. Willard Marriott Library

Room 2701

295 S 1500 E

Salt Lake City, UT 84112

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2018 RMWCA Mini-Regional Conference

Salt Lake City, Utah
30 March 2018

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A Full Day of Professional Development and Fun

The Rocky Mountain Writing Centers Association (RMWCA) is a regional chapter (covering AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT & WY)  of the International Writing Centers Association.  This mini conference will act as a space for administrators and tutors to learn, share research, give and receive support, and develop as writing center professionals. Most attendees will be from Utah insitutions; however, particpants from other states are very welcome to attend.

Program Format:


This conference will consist of panel and individual presentations, as well as roundtable discussions.  Each session will be 75 minutes in duration.


Panel and Individual Presentations:

Each session will consist of three 15-20-minute presentations that share a common theme or question, followed by a Q & A period. Presenters can choose to submit an entire panel (with 3 speakers) or submit individual proposals that will be combined into a panel by the program chair. 



One to three presenters will provide introductory framing for a conversation and will facilitate a discussion among attendees. Often in roundtable sessions, the framing takes 10-15 minutes, providing context, personal anecdotes, research questions, or scenarios. Then, the remaining hour is dedicated to conversation.

The Conference

30 March 2018
09:00 am - 4:00pm

Apply to Present

You will be notified if your proposal is accepted by early January 2018.


You will need to email your application materials to Anne by December 15, 2017.

In the subject line of your email, write "Conference Application - <name of your institution>"

In the body of your email, please list the following information:

  1. Names of all speakers

  2. Institution name(s)

  3. Contact information of all speakers

  4. Role(s) within your writing center (undergraduate tutor, graduate tutor, eTutor, coordinator, director, etc.)

  5. AV Needs for Presentation


Then, attach a Word document with

  1. a program abstract describing your presentation or roundtable session in 50 words or fewer. What will it address, and what can attendees expect to hear or experience?

  2. a proposal of your individual presentation, panel presentation, or roundtable in no more than 450 words.

  3. a title for your presentation.


Please use 12-point, Times New Roman font, 1.5 spacing, and 1” margins, and submit your materials in one, single email.


Stop, Collaborate, and Listen

Sometimes professional inspiration comes when we least expect it – and from unlikely sources. One such unlikely source is the 1989 hip-hop hit “Ice Ice Baby.”  In the song, Vanilla Ice tells us to “stop, collaborate, and listen” – good advice, one might argue, for Writing Center tutors, directors, and staff.


Numerous questions about the work of our centers can be entertained as we look at Ice’s first verb: stop.


  • What practices do traditional writing centers need to stop doing to better serve their clients?

  • What assumptions should we stop operating under if we are to meet the needs of modern students?

  • What might writing centers do to win back students who have stopped coming to the writing center?

  • How might writing center administrators help tutors to stop thinking of themselves as experts, impostors, or editors?

  • How might we think of the verb as a reminder to take heed of our present state?


We should also consider Ice’s second verb: collaborate. While at first glance it is obvious that writing centers are spaces ripe with collaboration, it becomes more complicated when we consider writers’ authority, issues of intellectual property and plagiarism, co-authoring, and faculty concerns. As writing center staff, we might consider the following questions:


  • What does ideal collaboration look like?

  • What are the limitations of collaboration?

  • How does collaboration help writers to become stronger writers and not just produce better individual pieces of writing?

  • How does physical space impact collaboration?


And how might we address Ice’s last piece of advice: listen


  • What have you heard in your writing center that is essential for other writing centers to know or reflect upon?

  • What listening practices best serve native and/or non-native speakers of English?

  • Who at your university should be doing the listening and to what end?

  • How might meditation and mindfulness play into the listening that tutors do?

  • What does it mean to listen, and what does it look like?

  • What narratives do writing centers mythologize, and how might the listening to them work against our mission?

  • Can tutors listen if they have their own agendas (or plans to address higher-order concerns first)?


We invite proposals that address this theme directly, as well as writing center scholarship that focuses on post-colonialism, technology and online writing centers, assessment, tutor training, and working with specific populations. Ideally, presenters will find a way to connect their research to the conference theme.


Proposals should be thoughtful, well-researched, and polished. 


Submissions are due no later than December 15, 2017.

Call for Proposals

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm planning to drive to the University of Utah. Where can I park without getting a ticket?

  • You will need to purchase a $5 U-permit or $10 A-permit all-day guest pass here. You will park in the A or U Lots next to the Union Building. You can also choose to park in the Visitor Parking lot at the Union at the rate of $20/day.  Another option is to book a room with a hotel that has free shuttle services or take public transportation from your hotel. (This plan is subject to change.)

What happens if my plans change and I cannot attend?

  • If you are registered but cannot attend, please let Anne know, and she will remove you from the conference schedule. However, your registration fee is non-refundable. Please make sure you can attend before paying your fee.

What dates do I need to know?

  • December 15, 2017: Proposals due

  • January 31, 2018: Acceptance/rejection letters emailed to presenters

  • February 9, 2018: Registration fees due (email director if you'd like to pay later)

  • March 30, 2018: Conference

Who can I contact if I have questions not listed here?

  • Anne McMurtrey, the Conference Director, can be reached at (801) 585-9126.

Where within the University of Utah will the conference be held?

  • The A. Ray Olpin Union Building, Saltair Room and other meeting rooms

What about lodging?

Options on/near campus:

  • University Guest House

    • Approximately $125/night for two queens

    • 30 rooms are blocked out for Thursday and Friday nights. Identify yourself as a RMWCA Mini Regional Conference attendee. Call 801-587-1000.

  • Marriott University Park - $145/night for 1 King or 2 Queens and free parking and shuttle. Call 1-800-228-9290 and reference the RMWCA Mini-Regional Conference with your reservations agent.


Or arrive sustainably (Lyft/Uber/taxi/TRAX) to campus and enjoy staying at a downtown hotel of your choosing! (Though a bit pricey, we recommend Kimpton Hotel Monaco, Grand America Hotel, or Little America Hotel.)

Pay Here

Conference Fees:

Students: $40

Directors/Assistant Directors/Coordinators: $60

Your fee covers all conference materials, a light breakfast, and a catered lunch.

Everyone planning to attend the conference - presenters, listeners, and all participants need to register (by paying the conference fee here).

If possible, please register by February 9, 2018.

Student - $40
Admin - $60

Conference Program

Friday, March 30, 2018


Light breakfast and opening remarks in the Saltair Room

Pick up printed program, name tag, and materials in the lobby/corridor

9:30 - 10:45am

Session 1 Concurrent Sessions -

Speakers: Nichelle Pomeroy and Bayli Luebke; Jennifer Dees, Karlee Stauffer, and Isaac Gustaffsen; Becca Purse, Danny Daw, and Michela Miller; Samantha Foote; Hakan Erdagoz; Nkenna Onwuzuruoha; Elaine Sheehan; Andrew Bumstead; Audrey Saxton




Session 2 Concurrent Sessions -

Speakers: Hannah Miller, Laine Goddard, and Sarah Julian; Julia Prince; Emma Croft; Shelby Wayment and Hannah Bergstrom; Rebecca Johnson; Christopher LeCluyse; Ardell Broadbent; Alyx Tibbitts; Stephanie Pointer; Alayna Een; Tara Greene, Elizabeth Wharton, and Jillian Payton; Charissa Che; Tyler Olsen


Catered Lunch in the Saltair Room


Session 3 Concurrent Sessions -

Speakers: Alice Lopez, Alexandria Degrauw and Dalton Rees; Sam Jacob; Maren Johnson, Anessa Rogers, and Joshlin Sheridan; Gwyneth Allred and Nicholas Muranaka; Sarah Bischoff; Anika Argyle and Eliza Broadbent; Bayli Luebke; Sami Safiullah; Joseph Allred, Abby Ensign, and Kendall Becker; Michael Guo; Christine Crane; Arielle Badger Newman; Mirinda Whitaker; Rhiannon Jakopak




Session 4 -

Closing remarks, activities, and survey in the Saltair Room

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