A Writing Center and Community Confluence: Moving the Writing Center into the CommunityJames P. Purdy, Dusquene University

This presentation will discuss an initiative to establish a community embedded location of the Duquesne University Writing Center. After providing a description of the Community Writing Center, the presenter will share lessons learned from the process of and challenges encountered in proposing this Community Writing Center. Viewers will learn tips for pursuing similar community engaged initiatives.

Open the Zoom Video with the link below:


8 Thoughts to “A Writing Center and Community Confluence: Moving the Writing Center into the Community”

  1. Julie Forgione

    Your talk has the urgency and ring of current events. Creating a “community-embedded location,” of civic engagement: Duquesne University becoming a resource for youth, their families, and black and brown communities. What a great idea! Instead of being theoretical and taking on just (just!) the university’s culture in a quest to be more about social justice, this is direct action: practical, tangible. I love the idea of a literary magazine for adult participants. Your tips are useful, like the section about gaining allies and engaging them in collaboration for the success of your project, including applying for funding, like for tutor wages. I appreciate your presentation and what you have set out to do.

    1. Jim Purdy

      Dear Julie,
      Thank you for your kind comments! I appreciate your feedback. This seems like a good time for action!

  2. Leigh Ryan

    Thank you for taking us to Pittsburgh, if only virtually! When I directed a writing center, I had always wanted to do more with a center in the community. All I was able to do was a number of one-time events, like workshops for college essays or resumes or things of that sort. I’m impressed with what you were able to accomplish and especially glad to see that you’re working with younger children. Congratulations of a job well done!

    1. Jim Purdy

      Dear Leigh,
      Thank you very much for the kind response. It has been a long road–and during a pandemic is not the ideal time to be getting this initiative off the ground–but I’m so excited to be expanding our Center to the community.

  3. Travis Adams

    Jim, thank you for sharing your ideas and lessons learned. It sounds like a great extension of the campus writing center. Your presentation made me think about a conversation I had earlier this week with the students in the Writing Center Theory/Pedagogy course. We found ourselves talking about the role writing centers play in the larger community both on and off campus. Part of that conversation got into the surprising lack of community literacy resources in the Omaha area. Your presentation helped me think about how a campus writing center might position itself–and secure support for doing so–in relation to that community literacy work amidst university strategic plans. And you’ve got me thinking about how we might partner with other units on campus to help a range of our efforts be more sustainable, as too often our community partnerships fizzle when the tutor or tutors most engaged in those partnerships graduate. Thanks again.

    1. Jim Purdy

      Dear Travis,
      Thank you for your kind response. I’m so glad! Yes, sustainability requires collaboration. I could not do this alone. Good luck in expanding your writing center into Omaha.

  4. Maria

    My name is Maria Miller and I attend Wittenberg University. I really enjoyed your presentation and learning about DuQuesne’s writing center! I think it is so neat that your advisors get to peer mentor writing coaches at middle schools/ offer workshops for adults. This is interesting in thinking about how that could look in my community. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jim Purdy

      You’re welcome, Maria. Thank you for your comment. We’re still in the beginning stages, but so far it is very exciting.

Comments are closed.