The UMass Boston university-wide writing center officially opened its doors in fall 2022. The founding Co-Directors of the Writing Center, Dr. Florianne (Bo) Jimenez and Dr. María Carvajal Regidor were hired in fall 2021 as Assistant Professors in English and Writing Center Co-Directors. They spent their first year at UMB getting to know the needs of writers across the institution, building relationships and collaborations, providing new programming, and transitioning from a decentralized model of writing centers to a centralized model.
Before the university-wide Writing Center was established, UMB had multiple smaller centers that served UMB students. These included:
- The Writing Nook, which was housed in the English Department and served undergraduate students enrolled in English Composition and Communication courses,
- The Reading Writing and Study Strategies Center, located in Academic Support Services and Undergraduate Studies, and which offered “One-to-one tutorials and workshops focused on analytical language development” to undergraduate students across UMB.
- The Graduate Writing Center, also located in Academic Support Services and Undergraduate Studies, and which offered writing support to graduate students.
The Writing Nook was established in 2016 by Dr. Lauren Bowen and Dr. Matthew Davis. The Nook included training for tutors via a one semester course titled “Seminar for Tutors” which was taught by Dr. Bowen and Dr. Davis. In fall 2017, Daniel Messier took over teaching the Seminar for Tutors course. Dan was also Nook Coordinator from summer 2019 until spring 2022. Graduate students in English also served as Graduate Nook Coordinators and included Dani English, Benny Berger, Lauren Jo Alicandro, and Clarissa Eaton. Before 2020, the Nook only provided in-person services. In March 2020, Dan converted the Nook into an online-only writing center in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting in fall 2021, the Nook provided both in-person and online services. Previous to the Nook, a fellows program established in the 1980s through the English Department provided writing support.
This is a broad history of the Writing Center(s) at UMB. If you have information about any of these writing centers or other writing tutoring initiatives and would like to contribute to this history, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.