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A colonial-style brick building shopfront has a embedded signage reading Gunter-Smith Center for Community Engagement, followed by the York College of Pennsylvania logo.

7th Annual
Naylor Workshop
for Undergraduate
in Writing Studies

September 24 – 26, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Naylor Workshop on Undergraduate Research (UR) in Writing Studies. But even before that cataclysmic event, we had planned to address the other, longer-standing, pandemic of inequities that restrict access to this high-impact educational practice. As Alexandria Lockett, Alexis Hart, and Rebecca Babcock note in their chapter in the Naylor Report on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies (2020),

while participating in UR has shown to have a “dramatic impact” on historically underserved students (Ishiyama 2001, 40), these very students have decreased access to HIPS, in large part because marginalized students continue to face serious structural constraints including “invalidation, stereotypes, invisibility, lack of connectedness, hostility, and microaggressions” (Mendoza and Louis, 2018, 19).

This marginalization is called out not only in the chapter on Access, but also throughout the Naylor Report; there are consistent calls for more “capacious” and “consequential” research that matters to undergraduates.  However, we also knew that just calling out these deficiencies was not an adequate response. Deliberate action is needed, and real opportunities exist.  

The 2021 Naylor Workshop on Undergraduate Research set out to continue that work.  As Lockett, Hart, and Babcock also note:

As the Introduction to [the Naylor Report] suggests, because of the nearly universal presence of required writing courses at post-secondary institutions, “few other fields of study have the opportunity to welcome students with a vast range of interests, abilities, and aspirations into the academy and to play such a crucial role in their post-secondary experiences.” But with that opportunity comes the responsibility to acknowledge the diversity and intersectional identities of students who enter campus writing spaces and to make undergraduate research (UR) in writing—as well as its methods and work products—inclusive of those lives and those interests. 

The workshop, introduced and facilitated by Dr. Sheila Carter-Tod, featured student work that challenged the field of Writing Studies to consider the ways in which our pedagogies, our campus spaces, our curricula, and our standards often ignore the full identity of our students. Their work helped us to see ways that we have limited the available forms of expression that we include in our practices. It also helped students to imagine the ways that their work might be contained in a wider set of genres than are usually included in “scholarship” or traditional “research.”

2021 Naylor Workshop (outdoor photo)
Students and mentors talking at PeoplesBank park

ExploreWorkshop Details

  • Plenary Speaker

    Plenary Speaker

    As the Naylor Workshop continued its focus upon Writing Studies research that also supported consequential social justice work, we invited Dr. Sheila Carter-Tod, a prominent expert in Writing Studies whose research areas address race, equity, and intersectionality, as our plenary speaker and workshop leader. Not only did Dr. Carter-Tod deliver a powerful opening address, but she advised the Naylor team on ways that we might do better toward inviting and welcoming a more diverse group of participants. She also led many of our group sessions, helping participants to work toward their research goals. 

    The 7th Annual Naylor Workshop for

    Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies

    September 24 – 26, 2021

    York College of Pennsylvania 

    2021 Naylor

    Plenary Address by Dr. Sheila Carter-Tod, Executive Director, University Writing Program and Associate Professor of English, University of Denver

    Sheila Carter-Tod, Ph.D, at the time of her visit, had been recently named the Executive Director of the University Writing Program and Associate Professor of English at the University of Denver. Previously, she had been an Associate Professor of English, at Virginia Tech where she was director of composition for five years. After directing the composition program, she was Director of Curricular and Pedagogical Development for the College Access Collaborative (a unit which aims to increase academic preparation, access and affordability for first-generation, low-income, underrepresented minorities (Black, Latino, and Native American), women and students from rural and inner-city communities). She has published articles and/or reviews in Writing Program Administrators Journal, WLN, CCCs and Reflections, textbooks as well as chapters in several edited collections.  She has served as an editorial reviewer for numerous publishers and journals. Additionally, she has been elected to a number of leadership roles within NCTE, CCC and CWPA. In her research teaching, service and outreach, she has worked to create equitable, visible and accessible governance structures. Her current research focuses on teacher professional development as a sustainable method for transfer and pedagogical explorations of race and rhetoric.

  • Undergraduate Researchers

    Undergraduate Researchers

    Our vision for the 2021 Naylor Workshop on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies proceeded from our responsibility as writers and as teachers of writing to better understand the multiple pandemics of COVID, racism, and challenges to democracy. While the 2019 Naylor Symposium began that work the 2021 Workshop continued that work by explicitly inviting a wider range of undergraduate researchers—and topics—into that conversation. As is evident from the work of those researchers below, undergraduates (and their mentors) from around the U.S. answered that invitation.

    Undergraduate Research Participants

    Jerrell Alston, Claflin University

    Rachael Baca Lucero, University of Texas at Permian Basin

    Sophie Barnes, York College

    Paul Carrillo, University of Texas Permian Basin

    Rebecca Case, Juniata College

    Alexis Castillo, University of Texas of the Permian Basin

    Raine Cox, Berry College

    Elizabeth Crouse, Elon University

    Jordyn Dees, Florida State University

    Briona Diaz, Hofstra University

    Nicolas Fay, Penn State University (Berks Campus)

    Isabella Fiorito, Wittenberg University

    Tonyce Jackson, Washburn University

    Janessa Harris, Berry College

    Troi Howell, Penn State University- Berks

    Abby Madar, Juniata College

    Krysta Mayfield, University of Texas of the Permian Basin

    Linden Morse, Montana State University

    Christopher Robert Dyrland-Marquis, Montana State University

    Michael Shott Jr., Penn State Berks Campus

    Michaela Schulist, Marquette University

    Jaalah Simpson, Berry College

    Susan Steadham, The university of Texas at Permian basin

    Victoria Troupe, Pennsylvania State University

    Lauren Warrenfeltz, Montana State University

    GE Zirkle, Juniata College

    With the support of mentors and peers, students brought to their research fresh questions and new insights. The section below is but a sample of the questions and topics that students were thinking about during the workshop:

    • What is the relationship between the idea of the American Dream and American literature through time?
    • I am interested in researching language and how we use it, specifically AAVE (African American Vernacular English).
    • I intend on researching the history of cultural development throughout the Black diaspora and how the colonization of Black art forms, specifically Black music affects the diaspora, particularly Black Americans.
    • I intend on focusing my project on the impacts of disparity caused by different forms of media messages especially through childhood toys and advertising. I hope to understand, even partially, the transformative effect pervasive gender norms have on the development of children within various racial and ethnic groups. Additionally, I would like to investigate the impact of how non-conformative toys have impacted childhood development and esteem.
    • I would like to study the lack of prevalence of certain genres in literature courses at the high school and college levels. For example, genres like sci-fi, romance, and Young Adult literature. Why are these genres so hard to find in classrooms and how does this affect student participation and understanding of literature?
    • Why are neurodivergent and mentally ill tutors underrepresented in writing center study?
    • My research question is about audience characteristics in diaries and autobiographies. I am trying to learn how the audience can impact the author and the writing.
    • How can secondary English teachers prepare students to meet racially biased state requirements in testing while allowing students to fully embrace their native dialects in writing within the classroom?
    • My research seeks to tackle: how does the rulings of the Supreme Court impact the rights, privileges, and freedoms of Indigenous people? I find that the judicial branch is less commonly studied when looking at the causes of marginalization, segregation, and disenfranchisement of people of color.
    • Is the meat and big agriculture industry pushing more people away from consuming meat and dairy products?
    • My research question revolves around the concept of digital authority in campus writing centers. Historically, centers of education (and by extension writing centers themselves), have presented an issue of institutionalized authority. In writing centers, this dynamic is often combatted by using undergraduates to tutor the students with the intention of representing writing centers as nonhierarchical and nonthreatening collaborative environments. In an in-person setting, peer tutors can be held accountable for what they do and say by others present in the space the session is taking place in. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual modes of delivery have become more prominent in writing centers, and it becomes necessary to address the presence of a new kind of “digital authority” in these spaces. So what does it mean to have authority in an online space? And what are its implications on learning?
    • I want to know more about the effects of code-switching. Specifically in relation to Black and Brown Americans in the Criminal Justice system. Does it affect the way that the jury sees us and influence their decision on a verdict? Does it affect the way you see me as a writer and applicant?
    • My research question is how can parasocial relationships or deep emotional connections with fictional characters affect a reader's (or viewer, or player) empathy?
    • I am planning on looking at how people use language to create the illusion of inclusion. For example people often say things like "this is a safe space for all" and/or "all are welcome." While this sounds nice, most of the time there is no follow through on making a space safe or welcoming to minorities and those who are oppressed; the focus is on the "all."
    • My current research explores the exclusion of high-achieving black high school students from black counter spaces in predominantly white high schools on the basis of their status as “high-achieving.” It largely attributes this exclusion to the low number of black students in Honors and AP courses, since proximity plays a large role in the formation of black counter spaces.
    • Can a brain be retained to write at collegiate level after a severe traumatic brain injury?
    • How did James Baldwin use rhetorical techniques in order to bridge the gap between himself and his white counterparts in order to effectively convey his experience as a Black Person in America.
    • I was thinking about focusing my research question on scientific writing and accessibility within the general population. How can academia make medical journals and research studies more accessible to the general public?
    • How does hip hop "save lives" in marginalized communities? What are the therapeutic aspects of hip hop as an art form / culture, and how do they function on a personal level? How does hip hop use language to create speech communities?
    • How do we address socioeconomic identity in the writing center in order to meet the needs of students of a low socioeconomic status? In an age of intersectionality, it is necessary that we consider all different aspects of identity in the writing center and examine how they connect with each other. How can we start a conversation about the topic in our centers, what kind of resources can we offer these students, and what kind of tutoring styles should we be open to?
    • I am attempting to better understand how community colleges act as crisis resource centers by disseminating important information and resources to bilingual adult learners specifically during the COVID health crisis.
    • How might public policy discourse around inclusion and social and racial justice be improved by broadening public understanding of the principles for cooperative and constructive discourse in Public Rhetorics?
    • Teaching writing skills to children in foster care, especially those in high school who may age out of the system and become an emancipated youth.
    • Through my research, I am hoping to learn more about the historical, contextual events that happened in the past that still effects aspects of today (especially policing in America). By learning about these events, I am hoping to make connections between the past and present and to understand how it became possible for this glaring dehumanization of Black people in "post-race" America.
    • For my research, I have been looking into online activism, specifically in social media, and I would like to research how certain conventions within social media inherently complicate activism.
    • My research question is based on the gentrification of African Americans since the emergence of the twenty-first century. I would like to learn more about how systematic racism plays a major role in this ordeal and how the community can combat these situations before they occur. I would also like to learn the tactics used to claim property of land and devaluing certain areas.
    • How do immigrants and their children from a non-English speaking country negotiate literacy and a language barrier in a new country?


  • Mentors


    In 2021, considering our themes of diversity and social justice, we made a special effort to invite mentors with experience in that work. It was, frankly, not difficult to do, as our field has such a rich array of scholars interested in equity and justice.  And while there is no doubt a dearth of faculty of color nationally in all fields, we did benefit by both our colleagues of color’s insights and those of allies who know how crucial this work is.  The list of mentors and their methods of research below also helped students to find appropriate individuals to help them move their research forward—something noted in many of the comments.


    Whitney Jordan Adams, Clemson University

    Research Focus and Methods: First-year writing, rhetorical theory, anti-racist pedagogy, ELL, WAC, CXC

    Whitney Jordan Adams earned her PhD in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design from Clemson University. At Clemson, Dr. Adams was the assistant director of the writing center and helped to create the Visual Information Design Center, where both students and faculty can go for assistance with visual presentations, visual rhetoric, and graphic design. Currently, she is the Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at Berry College in Rome, GA. She studies the rhetorical construction of white supremacy, focusing on the Alt-Right, Accelerationism, and the rise in white nationalism. Additionally, she studies how symbols reproduce ideology connected to resentment rhetoric. Her courses focus on issues related to race, community activism, anti-racist pedagogy, and the rise in misinformation and the digital divide. You can listen to Dr. Adams discuss her research and activism on a recent episode of the Big Rhetorical Podcast, where she is interviewed by Charles Woods. Here is the link if you would like to listen: https://anchor.fm/the-big-rhetorical/episodes/Episode-68-Dr--Whitney-Jordan-Adams-Emerging-Scholar-Series-euo44r

    Dr. Adams has traveled to over 30 countries through her work and research, and she has taught at major universities abroad including the Harbin Institute of Technology in Harbin, China and the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in Versailles, France. She believes everyone has the ability to be a rhetor and use the power of rhetoric for positive change.


    Rebecca Babcock, University of Texas Permian Basin

    Research Focus and Methods: Writing centers, metaresearch, linguistics, disability studies, social aspects of writing (writing groups, getting feedback, collaborative writing etc.

    Hi. My name is Rebecca Day Babcock and I am the director of undergraduate research on my campus, the University of Texas Permian Basin. I have my BA in English Literature, my MA in Bilingual Education, and my PhD in English with a concentration in Composition and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. On campus I teach courses in writing and linguistics to freshmen through graduate students. I have mentored undergraduate researchers in projects such as “Rhetorical and Linguistic Aspects of Online Inflammatory Speech”, “Folk-Linguistic Perspectives of Oil Industry Personnel and Their Families” and “The Use of Emojis in Professional Communication.” My latest book is Boom or Bust: Life, Narrative, and Culture from the West Texas Oil Patch edited with Sheena Stief and Kristen Figgins. I am also interested in writing centers, disability, and metaresearch, which is research about research. I was on the Access team for the Naylor Report with Alexandria Lockett and Alexis Hart.


    Hannah Bellwoar, Juniata College

    Research Focus and Methods: Qualitative research, multimodal research, creative representation, feminist research methods

    The majority of my research has employed qualitative research methods such as semi-structured interviews, surveys, observations, and text collection to explore a variety of topics including everyday literacies of medicine and health, technical writing in knitting patterns, narrative and identity in video games, and the collaboration, research, and writing practices of faculty and undergraduate students as they compose and publish together. I am particularly drawn to feminist research methodologies and notions of reciprocity between researchers and research participants, through which I am constantly asking myself, how can my research and work with my research participants benefit them at the same time it benefits me and the academic community? A recent example of this is in my current research project on co-mentoring undergraduate design and writing research projects. Out of this research, I’ve also been exploring how undergraduate researchers co-mentor each other.


    Gabriel Cutrufello, York College of Pennsylvania

    Research Focus and Methods: Technical or scientific writing and rhetoric of science

    Dr. Gabriel Cutrufello studies the ways in which visuals (charts, graphs, sketches, photographs, etc) are used in scientific argument. He is particularly interested in the history of how these practices were enacted in engineering and science graduate training in the United States. His research looks at archives of student writing in the science and engineering to analyze the ways in which they integrated visuals with their writing.


    Doug Downs, Montana State University

    Research Focus and Methods Composition pedagogy, "civil" discourse in public spheres, digital rhetorics, journalism / science journalism, rhetorical theory

    I use discourse analysis and mix-methods qualitative research to explore how professionals and students in various disciplines, especially STEM-related, understand writing, reading, rhetoric, and language. My research asks how people (students, various professionals, people participating in public policy discourse) understand what they're doing when they write or read or argue, and how their understanding / conceptions of those activities shape the ways they actually do them. E.g. what do people think is "good" writing or "good" argument in various sciences, or in public policy debate? I've also studied writing and reading pedagogies a lot -- what are better and worse ways to teach writing and reading in college? How can we teach in ways that shape students' conceptions of writing, reading, and argument to better align with how researchers in our field understand these, and thus help students be more confident in these activities and have better experiences with them?


    Andrea Efthymiou, Hofstra University

    Research Focus and Methods: Tutoring, complicating academic discourse and SAE, self-sponsored writing

    My research interests broadly attempt to see the connections between writing and our lives. Within higher education, I'm interested in understanding how writing center consultants perceive the value of their work in the writing center, particularly as related to things that happen outside of session (like facilitating workshops or attending conferences). I also research self-sponsored writing to better understand the kinds of writing people do in their lives outside of work and school.


    Laura Feibush, Juniata College

    Research Focus and Methods: FYC, composition, rhetoric, multimodal projects, sonic/podcasting rhetorics, digital pedagogy, listening, online learning environments

    Laura Feibush is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Juniata College, where she teaches courses in public and professional writing, writing across media, and first-year composition. Her research and writing focus on the power of listening.


    Jenn Fishman, Marquette University 

    Research Focus and Methods: College writing, formal writing instruction, extra- and co-curricular writing education, community listening, interview-based research

    Jenn Fishman (Associate Professor of English at Marquette University) is a teacher and researcher, writer and editor, writing administrator, and mentor, and many of her projects are collaborative. Currently, she is working with an undergraduate co-editor on a 9/11 reader, and she is working with writing studies colleagues on edited collections about two different subjects: longitudinal research and community listening. Through the classroom and the writing center, she is also mentoring undergraduate researchers interested in everything from college students' identities as writers to teacher education and professional development in elementary, junior high, and high school. To learn more, look for her in CCC, College English, Community Literacy Journal, and Peitho as well as The Naylor Report on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies.


    William FitzGerald, Rutgers University

    Research Focus and Methods: First year writing, assessment, rhetorical analysis, style studies, media, religious language

    I study religious language, especially prayer, in private and public settings using methods of rhetorical analysis of texts. I also study research itself as a subject with a focus on how to design teaching and learning experiences that enable students to successfully design and execute projects based on primary (e.g., fieldwork, archives) and secondary (e.g., library). Finally, I am interested in argument in civic affairs and in the roles of understanding and empathy in seeking (or rejecting) common ground with those with whom we agree and disagree.


    Nidhi Gandhi, Hofstra University

    Research Focus and Methods: First-year writing, tutoring, public advocacy, social action, SAE (and student's rights to their own language)

    My primary interests are in Students Rights to Their Own Language, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center, and First-Year writing. In my junior year of college, I conducted an empirical study where I surveyed students and professors and interviewed faculty on their perceptions and preconceived notions of Standard Academic English across disciplines. As a student myself, I observed that students and professors had vastly different views on what they expected from written assignments across disciplines and I wanted to know what they were and how to best communicate those notions and expectations.


    Alexis Hart, Allegheny College

    Research Focus and Methods: Writing centers, first-year writing, student veterans, community-engaged writing

    I have focused much of my research in the last decade on how writing classes, writing centers, and writing practices in general impact student veterans’ transitions to higher education. My co-researcher, Roger Thompson, and I have administered surveys, conducted interviews, done archival research, collected samples of living veterans’ professional and academic writing, and read lots of other scholars’ research. Roger’s and my co-written book Writing Programs, Veterans Studies, and the Post-9/11 University: A Field Guide was published in 2020 and our work has appeared in College Composition and Communication, Composition Forum, and Pedagogy, as well as other journals and edited collections. We have presented at several conferences, as well, including CCCC’s, Veterans in Society, and the Council of College and Military Educators. Along with other members of the CCCC’s Standing Group on Writing with Current, Former, and Future Members of the Military, I have participated in local outreach programs. In addition to my research on student veterans, I have published work on women in the military, writing with XML, ePortfolios, and writing centers. I am currently a participant in Elon’s Writing Beyond the University Research Seminar.


    Maria Isela Maier, University of Texas at El Paso

    Research Focus and Methods: Examining multilingual students' communicative practices in first year writing courses

    My dissertation is a qualitative study that uses ethnographic research methods to examine the translanguaging practices of bilingual students in first-year composition at a university along the U.S.-Mexico border. Specifically, I observe how and why bilingual students employ translanguaging practices, as they are encouraged or invited by their instructors, in contexts where English Standard Language policies exist. The results of this qualitative project demonstrate bilingual students’ use of translation as part of their translanguaging practices, as well as a tool that uncovers students’ writing processes which also demonstrates their language negotiation. Furthermore, the students’ translanguaging practices reveal the rhetorical use of language and bilinguals’ agentic role. Findings also show that there are firmly established ideologies that prevent bilingual students from realizing the benefits of translanguaging. Understanding bilingual students’ translanguaging practices can aid in remapping institutional policies and pedagogical practices and move in a positive direction toward adopting more inclusive approaches.


    Jay Jordan, University of Utah

    Research Focus and Methods: Second Language Writing, translingual composition, WAC, international education, composition theory

    I am a specialist in second language writing, translingual composition, and international education. I have published articles in a range of journals and other venues in composition, rhetoric, and applied linguistics. I am author of Redesigning Composition for Multilingual Realities and co-editor of several collections. And I am author of a forthcoming book on WAC at a transnational university.


    David Kelly, Jr., University of Baltimore

    Research Focus and Methods: first year writing, tutoring, public advocacy, social action, code meshing

    David Kelly, Jr. is a graduate of the Negotiations and Conflict Management master’s program at the University of Baltimore. David started as a volunteer in the Writing Center at UBalt in the fall of 2017. He discovered intersectionalities between conflict management theories and scholarship, and writing center studies. Focusing on writing as a conflict in systems and institutions of higher education, David works to transform students’ relationships with writing through: advocating writer autonomy; collaboration and; development of rhetorical awareness, genre expectation, and audience identification.

    David works as the Writing Services Coordinator and Director of the Writing Center. In these capacities respectively, David trains and supports development of writing center staff so that they are more equipped engage students autonomy, agency, lived experiences through the performance of disciplinary writing; and oversees writing fellows program to collaborate with faculty through providing embedded support in writing intensive courses.

    Inspired by his work with students, David presented original research at the Mid-Atlantic Writing Center Association (MAWCA) conference (2019);Towson Conference for Academic Libraries (TCAL)(2020); and was the keynote speaker at MAWCA 2020 summer mini conference on antiracist pedagogy.


    Elaine MacDougall, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

    Research Focus and Methods: Centering student voice in first-year composition, writing center studies/tutoring, anti-racism in higher education and writing assessment, trauma-informed writing practices, mindfulness and writing

    Elaine MacDougall is a Lecturer in the English department and Director of the Writing Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She is currently a doctoral student in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program at UMBC with research interests in mindfulness and writing studies, embodiment pedagogy, tutor and student self-efficacy and advocacy, and anit-racist pedagogy in the writing center and writing classroom using frameworks from critical race theory and feminist theory, especially Black feminism. Elaine is still studying and figuring out various methods in her research, but she is drawn to ethnography and discourse analysis. Additionally, her background as a yoga instructor has influenced her practices in the writing classroom and made her more aware of the importance of being present with and listening to her students. Elaine is excited to continue growing from and learning about positionality as a white female in her roles as a writing center director, instructor, colleague, and student.

    Mike Mattison, Wittenberg University

    Research Focus and Methods: Writing centers (peer to peer tutoring), writing across the curriculum, first-year writing

    At Wittenberg University, I serve as an Associate Provost, Professor of English, and as Director of the Writing Center. Most of my research work revolves around writing centers and the conversations that happen between tutors and writers. A lot of the data I use are transcripts of those conversations, and my co-researchers and I often count and categorize the types of comments made during writing sessions. Previously, I have collaborated with undergraduate researchers on questions about email sessions—which comments elicit the most revision from writers—and on how experience helps a tutor initiate “topic episodes” in a session. More recently, we have begun looking at questions of self-efficacy for tutors—how confident do they feel about tutoring, and how might that level of confidence change during a training class or during time spent in a writing center.


    Jessie Moore, Elon University

    Research Focus and Methods: Professional writing, first-year writing, writing lives of college students and alumni, social action

    Jessie L. Moore, PhD, studies engaged learning practices (e.g., undergraduate research, study abroad, learning communities), the writing lives of college students and professionals, and writing transfer (i.e., how writers adapt prior writing knowledge and experiences to successfully complete new writing tasks). Her research routinely uses mixed methods, including surveys, interviews, and focus groups.


    Timothy Oleksiak, University of Massachusetts Boston

    Research Focus and Methods: I am interested in mentoring queer feminist writing pedagogies, case study research and design, and rhetorical analysis

    I teach rhetoric and composition with a focus on queer feminist rhetorics. More specifically, I study queer rhetorical listening and transformational rhetoric (as opposed to rhetorics of persuasion). I am grounding this theoretical approach to writing through a series of studies on student-to-student peer review in the writing classroom. As such, I am interested in transforming pedagogical theory into pedagogical practice mainly through case study research.


    Kim Peck, York College of PA

    Research Focus and Methods: Writing center/ tutoring or online writing instruction

    My research focuses on student, tutor, and instructor experiences and interaction in online environments like online writing classes or tutoring sessions. I use methods including interviewing and qualitative coding analysis as well as discourse analysis of interactions in class or tutoring sessions.


    Brooke Schreiber, Baruch College

    Research Focus and Methods: Second language writing (ELL), digital writing (social media)

    Brooke R. Schreiber teaches in the English department at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York. Her research focuses on best practices for teaching non-native English speakers to write in English, on the varieties of English spoken around the world and how those varieties are discriminated against in English language teaching, and on how multilingual people mix languages in their writing. Her publications include a case study of a multilingual student’s digital writing; studies interviewing students about their responses to communicating with speakers of other varieties of English; studies of writing pedagogy in countries outside the United States; and studies of how international researchers and participants position themselves in research interviews.


    Jessi Thomsen, Florida State University

    Research Focus and Methods: reflection in writing; decoloniality; new materialisms/posthumanities; history of text technologies/textual studies

    Jessi Thomsen is a PhD candidate (graduating Summer 2021) in English with a specialization in Rhetoric and Composition at Florida State University. Her dissertation “Alternative Cartographies: Reflection(s) for the Complexities of Writing and Sustainability” looks at reflection in writing and living as a practice that materializes in different ways for different people. She has presented at several conferences on mentoring in writing programs and on implementing strategies for teaching writing as social activism. Her work on student engagement in composition classrooms and teaching comics has appeared in English Journal and TETYC. She appreciates her golden retrievers, who supervise all of her research endeavors, including current projects on reflection, mentoring, new materialisms, decoloniality, and sustainability.


    Muffy Walter, Washburn University

    Research Focus and Methods: First-Year Writing, work connecting to disability studies, and advocacy writing

    My research has included locations from the New York State Museum in Albany, NY to the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, MO. I have researched, written, and published about a nineteenth-century insane asylum patient newsletter, a psychiatric history museum’s exhibits, gender identity in writing centers, teaching student advocacy writing in my classes, and women’s memoirs about living with mental illness. My current research project focuses on first-year writing students’ growth in critical thinking through teaching linguistic justice. Research subjects in my work are most often texts with authors no longer living; however, I began doing research on current student writing with my last publication, a co-authored book chapter, and with my new project on linguistic justice.


    Mike Zerbe, York College of Pennsylvania

    Research Focus and Methods: First-Year Writing, ELL, rhetorics/literacies of science and medicine

    My research explores the intersections of scientific/medical rhetoric and literacy. Scientific and medical discourse is a dominant rhetoric in Western culture, though it is under assault with respect to issues such as vaccines and climate change. Even so, understanding how this dominant rhetoric works and can be used is an important social justice issue.

  • Comments


    Each year, leaders of the Naylor Workshop innovate their approaches, working to find ways to support an increasingly sophisticated group of undergraduate researchers. In their comments after the workshop, researchers and mentors pointed out features of the event that were helpful to them in advancing their work:

    • Rotating among the different mentors was really helpful. I think receiving feedback from mentors we chose was the most useful activity
    • I loved the workshopping with our mentor groups on Saturday. It was super helpful to hear other perspectives on my project and to be able to ask questions about other people's projects.
    • I loved every activity, but I think the most useful one was the workshop within our working groups. I thought my mentors were amazing and gave me great feedback, and I also loved hearing about everyone else’s projects and having conversations about them.
    • I always value the gallery walk and think the multimodal aspect was nice. I have taken back to my classes the "I like; I wish; I suggest" feedback model. I thought that was nice.
    • Keynotes at the opening banquet were great. Small group work with our groups was excellent as well.
    • My mentoring group helped me develop my idea for research into a project and provided me with useful information about research
    • I was able to help Briona the most - we really clicked. She also invited me to her thesis defense!
    • All of the mentors in my group were really helpful. They were very generous with sharing their time and experiences, and with providing resources to help with my project.
    • All my mentors were amazing. I enjoyed my group as well. It was encouraging to meet other undergrads that were so passionate about their work.
    • I loved my mentors. They were so helpful and kind! My fellow undergraduate researchers were also so sweet. I felt like everyone genuinely cared about my research and wanted to help me succeed. I also liked how we were grouped based on our topics- it definitely gave us a lot to talk about within our groups and everyone made really good contributions.
    • Positive, pleasant; perhaps we need more of a bonding as a group for even more traction
    • I think everyone was committed and focused in a way that allowed them to be personable. There was a lot of giving and taking space and making sure folks had a chance to speak.
    • The students were amazing, had excellent contributions for each other, and made really good progress. I felt like the dynamics between mentors were really good too.
    • Great choice of mentors, each contribution was different which provided students with different perspectives and approaches for researching
    • I felt as though I had background in my scholarship and service work to share ideas with students as well as gain ideas from them. My experiences supporting BIPOC students on my campus also helped me recognize some of the support BIPOC students in my mentoring group needed.
    • Members of my mentor group had ranging ideas that were connected in some aspects and completely different in others. I enjoyed exploring their ideas and encouraging them to share ideas with each other.
    • The interactions with my mentoring group were excellent. The students supported each other, the mentors shared feedback, the students developed their ideas. It was ideal.
  • Program


    Coming back from the 2020 hiatus due to the pandemic was challenging. The overview of some of the things that the Naylor Workshop has taught us was composed and circulated to return us to the places we had been and to prepare us for the program that follows as well. This program featured a change in venue—we did much of our work at People’s Bank Field, our local minor league baseball park so that we could be outside much of the time—a safer and safer-feeling space for us at the tail-end of the pandemic’s peak. The program also reflects both our theme and the guidance of our plenary toward opening further our understanding of what research means, and how to provide more access to those intellectual and physical spaces. It also reflects the Design Thinking methods that have informed the Workshop and the Naylor Symposium in more explicit ways. Many of the attendees’ comments focused on these activities and its effects on their workshop experience.


    7th Annual Naylor Workshop on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies

    The Naylor Workshop after The Naylor Report: Some things (I think) I’ve Learned 

    Dominic DelliCarpini, Naylor Endowed Professor of Writing Studies

    In 2019, a group of scholars who have been mentoring undergraduate researchers and leading national efforts to advance this high-impact educational practice gathered in York to discuss the past, present, and future of this work.  The result was the Naylor Report on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies.

    While the Report featured a wide range of topics, a few things emerged that have influenced my perspectives on our annual Naylor Workshop.  Those reminders include:

    • The relationship between undergraduate researchers and their mentors is, at its best, a mutual and collaborative learning experience.
    • The job of mentors is not to create little versions of ourselves, but to learn what goals, methods, and audiences that most motivate undergraduate researchers. Simply stated, we need to listen to the next generation of researchers.
    • Undergraduate research in our field, and our field in general, is dominated by white voices and other voices of privilege, despite the fact that we know that high-impact practices like this one actually benefit marginalized groups even more than privileged groups.
    • The products of our research and our contributions to knowledge need not be limited to academic publishing, but in many cases, can include topics and methods of circulation that have consequence for the researchers and wider publics.
    • In fact, and related to the previous point, the proposals offered by our undergraduate researchers have consistently featured topics related to social justice (both on and off campus), to equity/diversity/inclusion, and to work that can advance both. That is, our undergraduates have already told us that they are interested in topics and forms of circulation that have real-world consequence, and that go beyond academic publishing.

    So, this year’s workshop not only features a social justice theme. It will feature a specific approach to undergraduate mentoring—one that is more fully mutual (and I’ve asked Dr. Jessie Moore to say a few words about that), one that is more fully inclusive. I do think you’ll see that we are making some headway in seeing our work as needing to do good in the world—our campus worlds, our communities, our profession. Again, we can thank our undergraduate researchers for that.

    We’ll be using a modified Design Thinking (a.k.a., human-centered design) approach, which begins from what Shunryu Suzuki calls “beginner’s mind.”

    Our undergraduate researchers may have a slightly easier time of this than our mentors, but not completely (since they are already the product of our expert voices). And for mentors, it will mean giving up a bit of the authority and listening deeply, considering new methods of (and purposes for) research, and being ready to consider alternative ways to think about our “contributions to knowledge.”

    My role will be to challenge us to use that beginner’s mind. 

    Your job will be to challenge each other gently, to actively listen to each other, without deference to experience.

    But it is OUR job that is most important: Learning from one another in an atmosphere of mutual respect.




    September 24–26, 2021, York College of Pennsylvania

    Where to be, what we’ll be doing:


    Workshop Program in Brief

    The schedule below can help you to see the flow our workshop, from networking and getting to know one another, through a series of conversations and reflection periods, to preparation and presentation of your new thinking about your project in a “gallery walk,” where you can get final advice from other participants. The goal is for you to leave the Naylor workshop poised and ready to continue your work with energy, excitement, guidance, and a network of support.


    Friday, September 24th

    After getting settled in, feel free to spend some time relaxing and/or mingling with others in the hotel lobby or other public spaces at the Wyndham. Representatives from York College will be there to greet you by about 4:00.

    6:00 – 7:30 Opening Reception and Networking Exercise (Wyndham Garden, Outdoor Courtyard)

    We know that you will be arriving at different times, but beginning at 6:00 p.m., we’ll have some snacks available as you meet other attendees, especially those within your affinity group. You’ll participate in a semi-structured exercise in which you can share your topics, your goals, and get to know each other’s backgrounds and priorities for research. To make the most of this, complete the “Dance Card” exercise in advance.

    7:30 Opening Remarks, followed by dinner and Conversation (Wyndham Garden, Outdoor Courtyard)

    Before dinner, we’ll hear some opening remarks from our plenary speaker, Sheila Carter-Tod, from Jessie Moore about her work in “mutual mentoring,” and from workshop leaders who will help us set the tone for this year’s Workshop. You’ll also be able to continue the process of getting to know those in your working group.

    • After dinner, feel free to continue conversations (but be sure to get some rest—we start early on Saturday!


    Saturday, September 25th

    7:00–7:45 a.m. Continental breakfast available at the Wyndham with some opening conversations before leaving for York College’s Center for Community Engagement for the day’s activities. We’ll make some announcements at about 7:20.

    8:00 a.m. Leave for Peoples Bank Park (carpooling and shuttle): We’ll ask those who have driven here to use their private cars to drive to the ballpark, and perhaps take a few others with you to avoid an overcrowded shuttle bus.

    8:30–10:00 (Peoples Bank Park): Round One of Story Time and Discussion led by Sheila Carter-Tod: We’ll start with some self-introductions by undergraduate researchers. Each researcher will have two minutes to tell a genesis story about their research and what inspires them to want to do this work—and the impact it could have on the field, their institution, and/or their community. No pressure, just an informal “here’s what got me hooked, why this interests me, what I’m thinking about, and why I think it matters.” This is a chance for us all to learn more about you, your work, and what drives the research impulses of current undergraduates. It will also help researchers to gravitate to others with similar interests and help mentors learn more about participants who they think they can serve.  Finally, you will be introduced to the process for the “What/Why” workshops.

    10:00 – 11:30 (Peoples Bank Park Picnic Deck): “What/Why” (topic) workshops: These initial sessions with your working groups will feature a structured activity in which researchers can narrow their research question, their purpose, and their audience. You’ll work to envision the ultimate goals of your research and articulate them more precisely. By the end of this session, you will also have developed a better idea about research methods that might be used to study your question; that will help you plan out the afternoon “How” sessions you’d like to attend. Use your Meet your Mentor Guide, your networking conversations, and the guidance of your mentors to consider who you might speak with in the afternoon.

    11:45–1:15: (Peoples Bank Park Picnic Area): Lunch and Round Two Story Time. We have a box lunch for each of you, and after you have a chance to eat, we’ll also hear about circulation venues for undergraduate research (Young Scholars in Writing and CCCC poster sessions, among others). We’ll also discuss other ways to “publish” (make public) or “circulate” your research in consequential ways. Finally, you will be introduced to the process for the “How” workshops.

    1:30–2:15 (Peoples Bank Park Picnic Area): Round One Concurrent “How” (Method) Workshops

    Taking into account what you’ve discovered in your morning sessions, each undergraduate researcher will move to stations at breakout tables to discuss possible methods for their study and gather advice from mentors who can share their experience and expertise, but who will also help you be creative with your research methods.

    2:15–2:45 (Peoples Bank Park Picnic Area): “Re-visioning” and Reflection Period

    Each undergraduate researcher will have some quiet time to make notes and start to refine their topic and method toward designing their final pitches (using whatever mode of presentation you find most apt). You should bring these revised/developing ideas to your next session to discuss your thoughts.

    3:00–3:45 (Peoples Bank Park Picnic Area): Round Two Concurrent “How” (Method) Workshops

    Each undergraduate researcher will move to a second station in breakout rooms to discuss another array of possible methods for their study and gather advice from methods experts.

    3:45–5:30 (Peoples Bank Park Picnic Area): Reflection and Planning for your Final Pitch/Presentation

    We’ll first gather to talk about how you can move toward creating your final plan. Researchers will move back into their working groups, where they can work individually (and also talk with their mentors) to begin poster planning / sketching prototype of poster that will include topic question, audience, possible impact, and method of research. This will vary according to how far along their research is.

    5:30–6:15 (Peoples Bank Park): To end our hard days’ work, we’ll gather as a full group for and hear success stories, focusing upon how their topic and methods have been refined throughout the day. We’ll also hear some further observations from our plenary speakers and workshop leaders.

    6:15: Dinner and Evening Social Activity (Peoples Bank Park Picnic Area): A Night at the Ballpark (without a ballgame—but with food and fun activities)

    9:00: Return to Wyndham Hotel: talk, rest, socialize, do some more planning and get ready for Sunday’s work!


    Sunday, September 26th

    7:00–7:45 a.m. Continental breakfast available at the Wyndham with some opening conversations before leaving for York College’s Center for Community Engagement for the day’s activities. We’ll make some announcements at about 7:20.

    8:15 a.m.   Leave for for Marketview Arts, 37 West Philadelphia Street, York, PA 17401, York College’s downtown Cultural Center.   (carpooling and shuttle):  Free parking available in the multi-tier parking garage at 25 West Philadelphia Street, York, PA 17401 (right next door to Marketview Arts).  We’ll again ask those who have driven here to use their private cars to drive to the site, and perhaps (as you are willing) take a few others with you. This will avoid an overcrowded shuttle bus and accommodate luggage. 

    • BE SURE TO CHECK OUT FIRST and BRING LUGGAGE—shuttles and private cars will leave directly from the workshop site for the return journey.

    8:30–10:15 (Marketview Arts, various locations): Undergraduate researchers will work individually on their final posters, with assistance as needed from mentors. For those who need materials printed, you’ll submit that by about 10:15 or earlier. York College staff will be there to help. We’ll also help you to find the spot for you to display your work in our Gallery Hall.

    11:15–12:15 (Marketview Arts, Gallery Hall):  Round 1, Pitches and Gallery Walk: Half of the undergraduate researchers will give a 1-minute pitch about their work, and then we’ll have time to visit each other’s posters to comment and offer advice and encouragement.

    12:15 (Marketview Arts, Gallery Hall): Lunch and Group 2 Pitches

    1:00 – 1:45 (Marketview Arts, Gallery Hall):   Group 2 Gallery Walk

    1:45 (Marketview Arts, Gallery Hall): Final words and preparation for departures. You’ll be tired, but hopefully happy, inspired, and ready for your next steps with a new group of national colleagues . . . .