Excitement is stirring around Keene State’s Center for Writing as a new head is appointed for the 2015-16 school year.

Kate Tirabassi will be replacing Phyllis Benay for next year as the new head of the writing center.

Tirabassi explained how the position is an interim position that will begin in August.

“This is an interim position, so as far as a I know, there are some variables with this position right now but basically the position is for a year with the intention that they will do a larger search.  But I won’t exactly know when that will happen. We will have a new associate provost of academic affairs shortly, I think so as soon as that person is in I will be reporting to that person” Tirabassi said.

She also added how she has been really interested in writing centers for a long time and studied writing centers and writing across the curriculum theory practice.

“It’s always been a passion of mine to be involved with writing center work, and I saw an opportunity to be part of that community again, so I wanted to offer that background expertise if I could” Tirabassi said.

Tirabassi also was a writing center tutor while in undergraduate school at Saint Michael’s College in

Photo by Bethany Ricciardi // Emeritus Managing Executive Editor Emeritus

Photo by Bethany Ricciardi // Emeritus Managing Executive Editor Emeritus

Vermont and her graduate work at the University of New Hampshire included her as the assistant director of the Writing Center there.

As far as her plans for the center for Writing, she made it a point that she wants to continue to deliver the excellence that Benay did.

For next year, she said she wants to spread more word about the writing center throughout campus to communicate with students on what the center has to offer.

Tirabassi also added that she would like to bring more workshops to the classroom environment not just for ITW but also other classes, depending on the needs of the campus.

“Certainly, continuing to work with faculty who have their students come to the center as well. I’d be interested to continue conversations with them about what their goals are in having students come to the center,” Tirabassi said.

She said that she is still thinking about and planning new improvements and ideas for next year’s Center.  Tirabassi mentioned a variation of conferences for writing centers that she would like to be involved with.

As far as the staff of the Center for Writing, Tirabassi said she is planning apprenticeships and to continue to develop the staff.

Tirabassi said she is really looking forward to next year and working with the students and faculty that work with writing each and every day.

Sarah Lennon, Writing Center tutor, said, “I’m definitely going to miss Phyllis a lot, but I’m excited too. You know, meet someone new and see what ideas she [Tirabassi] has for the center.” “I’m really just excited to see what kind of fresh takes she’s going to take on the writing center and some changes she might make for the better I don’t know, I’m just excited what she has in store for us” Lennon said. Lennon said the spring 2015 semester is her first semester working at the Center for Writing. Allison Brady, also a writing center tutor said about Tirabassi, “I actually am really excited. I’ve never personally worked with her but I think she’s going to be a good fit.”  Brady also added that she’d like to see some improvements next year. “I think towards the end of finals, making it so there is less people on the waiting list and fitting more people in at the end of the school year” Brady said.

Brady said that she really likes Benay but getting a new perspective will be exciting.

Brady also added that this is her third year being a writing center tutor.

Savanna Balkun can be contacted at sbalkun@kscequinox.com

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