Dr. 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

Dr. Grace Pregent, Associate Director

I’m Grace Pregent (she/her/hers), one of the Associate Directors of The Writing Center at Michigan State University and affiliate faculty in Rhetoric, Writing, and American Cultures and in Global Studies. Since joining MSU, I’ve taught WRA 395: Writing Center Theory and Practice and WRA 495: Organizational Storytelling and am co-teaching WRA 495: Community Literacies and Engagement Across Borders and WRA 899: Writing Center Administration. I’m also the Co-Director of the Community Writing Center and the Program Director for Community Literacies in Canada.  

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 The Writing Lab NewsletterEvelyn Waugh StudiesThe Thomas Hardy Review, and Victorians. I’m interested broadly in rhetorical narrative theory and higher education and particularly in the connections between storytelling, management, and strategic planning. Currently I’m the Conference Chair for the 2022 ECWCA Conference.

Before joining the Spartan community, I worked in writing center administration at Loyola University and international programming. When not teaching, traveling, or being present in the writing center, I’m usually spending time with my family, enjoying the beautiful state of Michigan, and training with friends in RunGR.

You’re welcome to connect with me at

Dr. Karen 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

You can email me at

Nick Sanders, Assistant Director

I’m Nick Sanders (he/him/his), Graduate Assistant Director of the Writing Center and doctoral candidate in Rhetoric and Writing. I am originally from Upstate New York, where I completed my Associates from Fulton-Montgomery Community College and my Bachelor’s in English Literature from The College of Saint Rose. Additionally, I completed my Masters in English from the University of Maine Orono, with a concentration in college writing pedagogies.

Since joining MSU in 2018, I’ve worked in the center in a variety of capacities as a graduate consultant and community engagement coordinator, TRiO SSS writing engagement liaison, and graduate writing group facilitator. In addition to collaborating with community and university writers, with Grace Pregent, I have supported the creation of the Community Writing Center, a partnership with East Lansing Public Library committed to enriching the lives of community members through community literacy programming and tutoring. At MSU, I’ve had the opportunities to teach WRA 395, Writing Center Theory and Practice, WRA 101, Writing as Inquiry, co-teach ENG 406/819, Antiracist Writing Pedagogies with Dr. April Baker-Bell in addition, to teaching the summer writing course with TRiO Excel. I’m excited to continue working with our consultants, coordinators, and community members, particularly around issues of intersectional linguistic justice and disability justice.

My professional interests are positioned at the intersections of antiracist pedagogy and administration, community literacy, critical whiteness, and teacher/consultant education. Ultimately, my work seeks to promote equity-driven institutional cultures around teaching and learning that amplify, enrich, and champion students’ learning, languages, identities, and needs. Some of my publications are to appear in the edited collection, Public Feminisms: Community Engagement through Writing, Research, and Activism (with Grace Pregent and Leah Bauer), as well as Writing Center Journal (with Trixie Smith) and Writing Spaces. I also present regularly at national and regional conferences, such as East Central Writing Center Association (ECWCA), International Writing Center Association (IWCA), and Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).

You can email Nick at