Trixie Smith, Director
I’m Trixie G. Smith, Director of The Writing Center and a member of the faculty in Rhetoric & Writing as well as the Center for Gender in Global Contexts at Michigan State University. Since joining the faculty at MSU in August 2007, I have taught WRA/ENG 395 Writing Center Theory and Practice (formerly ENG 391) AL 891 Writing Center Theory and Administration, AL 878 Composition Studies, and AL 980 Queer Rhetorics. I’m excited to begin teaching for the Women’s Studies program, including the core course for our soon to be finalized LGBTQ concentration.
After earning a BA in English and Elementary Education from Mobile College, I spent several years teaching middle and high school students in southern Alabama. I then headed to The University of South Carolina where I earned an MA in English (Renaissance Drama), an MLIS in Library and Information Science, and a PhD in Composition and Rhetoric, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. My teaching and research are infused with issues of gender and activism even as they revolve around writing center theory and practice, writing across the curriculum, writing pedagogy, and teacher training. Likewise these areas often intersect with my interests in pop culture, service learning, and the idea that we’re just humans learning with/from other humans (you know, with bodies, feelings, lives outside the academy). I love it when my interests are able to intersect in faculty workshops, conference sessions, and professional development in the writing center.
Recent publications include Movies, Music, and More: Pop Culture in the English Studies Classoom (with Joseph Darowski, Fountainhead Press, 2011), the textbook The Pop Culture Zone: Writing Critically about Popular Culture (with Allison Smith and Stacia Watkins, Cengage/Wadsworth, 2009), and Teaching in the Pop Culture Zone: Using Popular Culture in the Writing Classroom (with Allison Smith and Rebecca Bobbitt, Cengage/Wadsworth, 2009). Other publications include a chapter in (E)merging Identities: Graduate Students in the Writing Center, several articles in Southern Discourse, and COMPbiblio: Leaders and Influences in Composition Theory and Practice (with Allison Smith and Karen Wright, Fountainhead Press, 2007) — a reference book focusing on the career arcs of leaders in composition studies. Upcoming work includes The WAC/WID Handbook (with Allison Smith in 2012), a second edition of The Pop Culture Zone in 2014, and a chapter in Supporting Faculty Writing, co-written with members of one of the faculty writing groups facilitated out of The Writing Center. I am also one of the series editors for the Fountainhead Press X Series for Professional Development.
You can email Trixie at email@example.com.
Grace Pregent, Associate Director
I’m Grace Pregent, one of the Associate Directors of The Writing Center at Michigan State University and affiliate graduate faculty in Rhetoric & Writing. Since joining MSU, I’ve taught WRA/ENG 395: Writing Center Theory and Practice and am looking forward to teaching WRA 495: Organizational Storytelling. I’m interested broadly in rhetorical narrative theory and higher education and particularly in the connections between storytelling, institutional memory, and strategic planning.
I received my PhD in English (2020) from Loyola University Chicago, and I also have an MA in English from the University of Dallas (2010) and an MS in Higher Education Administration from the University of Dayton (2014). Some of my recent publications have appeared in Evelyn Waugh Studies, The Thomas Hardy Review, and Victorians. I’m honored to be a recipient of the William and Mary Burgan Award from the Midwest Victorian Literature Society and to serve on the board of the East Central Writing Center Association.
Before joining the Spartan community, I worked in writing center administration at Loyola University and coordinated several study abroad programs. When not teaching, traveling, or being present in the writing center, I’m usually spending time with my husband and children, enjoying the beautiful state of Michigan, and training for my next marathon.
You’re welcome to connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Karen-Elizabeth Moroski-Rigney, Associate Director
I’m Karen-Elizabeth Moroski-Rigney, one of the Associate Directors of The Writing Center. I just joined Michigan State University in Fall 2019! Previously, I had been English & WGSS faculty at Penn State (University Park) where I also coordinated the Undergraduate Writing Center at Penn State Learning. Here at MSU, I’m also one of the inaugural Faculty Accessibility Fellows and a 2019-2020 CAL Leadership Fellow. I’m deeply interested in questions of accessibility and intersectionality — I want to know how the field of writing and writing center studies can continue to engage the digital and the accessible in a pedagogically and personally complex world.
I completed a master’s degree (2013) and doctorate (2017) in Critical Theory (specializing in affective neuroscience, trauma, and the writing process) at Binghamton University. After my PhD, I returned to my first love: Writing Center work. I’m very active in service work for the field of writing center studies! I am an Associate Editor for WAC Clearinghouse; I serve on the board of the International Writing Center Association (IWCA); I spent two years as the elected Secretary and an executive board member for the Mid-Atlantic Writing Center Association (MAWCA) and am the current secretary of the Michigan Writing Center Association (MiWCA); I chaired the scholarships and travel grants committee for IWCA in 2018. Further, I gave a keynote address entitled “Toward a Translingual Writing Center” at the Southeastern Writing Centre Symposium in Toronto in December 2018.
In 2019, I had several peer-reviewed articles published: a colloqium in the Spring 2019 edition of WPA Journal; an article in the Pre/Text special edition on queer rhetorics (Vol 24); a chapter included in a recent edited collection entitled the Pedagogical Potential of Story (Peter Lang, 2019). Still in the pipeline to publication is a chapter in Holly Jackson’s Sharing Spaces and Students: Employing Students in Collaborative Partnerships. My work has also been featured in WLN Blog and Slate.com.
You can email me at email@example.com.
Colton Wansitler, Interim Assistant DirectorMy name is Colton Wansitler and I am very excited to join the Writing Center at Michigan State University as the Interim Assistant Director. To reflect my interdisciplinary background, writing center research currently focuses on music and how it affects productivity in the center, as well as queer time/theory and how we can use that to navigate present times. In 2019, I was a part of a team that published an article in the WCJ titled “Creating a Research Culture in the Center: Narrative of Professional Development and the Research Process.” Additionally, I have presented at IWCA, ECWCA, and MiWCA covering topics of music, productivity, policy, procedure, and effective handbooks.
Colton Wansitler is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Flute Performance, as well as a Masters in Arts and Cultural Administration at Michigan State University. Previously he received his Masters of Music from MSU and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan – Flint. Apart from working as a freelance musician in Michigan, he frequently performs with Pure Winds, which is a professional woodwind quintet based in Lansing, MI. Colton has appeared as a soloist at the Chautauqua Institute as well as performed with the Chautauqua Summer Music Festival Orchestra. He is also the recipient of the University of Michigan – Flint concerto competition two years in a row. In his free time, Colton enjoys watching Harry Potter movies with his dog, Zeke, and recently he has become a biking enthusiast.You can contact Colton at firstname.lastname@example.org.