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Writing Center

Keynote speakers

We are very honored to have Paula Gillespie, Bradley Hughes and Harvey Kail, founders of the Peer Writing Tutor Alumni Research Project, as keynote speakers at our conference! We're also very pleased to welcome Swantje Lahm ( Schreiblabor, Bielefeld University ) and Anja Poloubotko (Writing Center European University Viadrina) as a keynote speaker to this year's conference.

Paula Gillespie

Paula Gillespie is an associate professor of English and the director for the Center for Excellence at Florida International University. She has served as the secretary and president of the International Writing Centers Association. She is the co-author of The Longman Guide to Peer Tutoring, 2nd ed. and the co-editor of Writing Center Research: Extending the Conversation. She and Bradley Hughes created and have co-chaired the IWCA Summer Institute for writing center professionals. She chairs the CCCC Committee on Globalization of Postsecondary Writing Instruction and Research. Her current research focuses on the effectiveness of multilingual tutors and their work with multilingual writers.

Bradley Hughes

Bradley Hughes is director of the Writing Center ( and director of Writing Across the Curriculum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published numerous articles about tutor learning, tutor education, writing fellows, technology, and WAC, and with Harvey Kail and Paula Gillespie, he created the Peer Writing Tutor Alumni Research Project ( In 2003, he co-chaired the first IWCA summer institute with Paula Gillespie and co-chaired two later institutes. Together with UW-Madison colleagues, he developed a program for creating computer simulations to use in tutor education (Case Scenario Builder). He has consulted at universities around the US and in South Korea, Kazakhstan, and Germany and developed a collaborative blog about writing centers (

Harvey Kail

Harvey Kail is Professor of English and Writing Center Director at the University of Maine. He was among the first American academics to be hired in a tenure-track position specializing in writing centers, and he was a Fellow of the 1980 Brooklyn College Summer Institute, where he worked with Kenneth A. Bruffee to develop the Brooklyn Plan, the first systematic attempt to train university students as peer writing tutors. At UMaine he teaches peer tutoring, composition theory, and research writing in the disciplines, as well as courses in poetry and maritime literature. He is co-researcher with Brad Hughes and Paula Gillespie on the Peer Writing Tutor Alumni Research Project: 
Swantje Lahm ©Swantje Lahm

Swantje Lahm initiated the first Writing in the Disciplines Program at a German University. She works at the Bielefeld University’s Schreiblabor (writing center), which in 2013 celebrated its 20th anniversary. She coordinates the project “Literacy Competencies for First-Year-Students,” which aims to support students in successfully entering their studies by integrating writing into core introductory courses. Supported by a large government grant for educational innovation, the Schreiblabor hired disciplinary specialists as faculty members in ten disciplines; placed them in the appropriate departments; taught them writing-to-learn, writing-process, and assessment strategies they could use in their own courses; and guided their efforts to teach this new pedagogy to their colleagues.

Swantje Lahm has co-authored "Schreiben in Studium und Beruf" (Metzler Verlag, 2. ed. 2013), a widely used textbook for students.

Picture Anja Poloubotko Anja Poloubotko has been working as a peer tutor at the writing center of the European University Viadrina for five years. In this capacity, she tutors students from different disciplinary and cultural backgrounds and supervises writing groups for bachelor and master students working on their final theses. Moreover, she contributes to the research on writing centers through her own academic work: while her BA thesis focused on challenges that writing centers in Europe and elsewhere face in their everyday work, her MA dissertation explores how peer tutors contribute to the development of writing centers and discusses the specific working conditions required to successfully engage in their work.