On April 2, Research Fellows Kaitlin Quigley ‘22 and Aisha Veras ‘24 presented their projects at the 2022 Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association (MAWCA) Conference, hosted at the University of Maryland College Park.
This year’s MAWCA Conference, titled “Looking Back and Looking Ahead: The Writing Center’s Past, Present, and Future,” welcomed writing center tutors, researchers, and faculty members to discuss linguistic justice, multilingualism, accessibility, mental health, and other important topics in a series of panels and workshops.
Kaitlin began her project, “A Longitudinal Approach to Undergraduate Writers and the Impact of Self-Efficacy,” in January 2021. Considering the importance of inviting the “whole person” into the writing center, her research examines the relationship between self-efficacy and presented ability throughout the course of a writer’s undergraduate career. Her presentation was part of a session dedicated to exploring how writing centers can better support individual writers.
“The conference offered a great opportunity to receive feedback on my project from students, researchers, and faculty from other writing centers,” said Kaitlin. “On the flip side, learning about what other folks are investigating in their writing centers sparked many new ideas for me, which I’m excited to bring back to Loyola. Of course, I particularly loved Aisha’s presentation. She’s worked so hard for the last few months.”
Aisha, who earned her position as a research fellow in January 2022, is analyzing the programming and curriculum that is set in place for multilingual learners and whether or not they dictate it as beneficial. Her work, titled “An Investigation of Curriculums and Programming that Serve Multilingual Students: Is it Working?,” was incorporated into a larger conversation about supporting multilingual writers in universities and more specially writing centers.
“From being graciously welcomed by the UMCP community to being encouraged by other presenters, the MAWCA conference helped me build a strong network connection with various amazing individuals from different institutions. Through the multiple feedback and questions I received from other presenters and guests, I was able to take notes on how to strengthen my research design,” said Aisha.
The research fellows were accompanied by Dr. Nabila Hijazi, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Loyola Writing Department and the advisor of both projects.
“It was amazing to see Katie and Aisha share their projects and inform the larger Writing Center community about the nature of their research and their recommendation for more improved and equitable programs and services,” said Dr. Hijazi. “We are proud at Loyola University Maryland to have such smart and aspiring young scholars, and we look forward to seeing how their research unfolds.”