Cover Photo Image

Fall 2018 Dates and Deadlines

UWC Consulting Roadmap (useful as a handout)

UWC Volunteer Opportunities

UWC Email Archive: Fall 2018, Spring 2018Fall 2017Spring 2017Fall 2016


Fall 2018 Dates and DeadlinesUWC Greeter Schedule Fall 2018


opening all-staff meeting: 2:30-4:30 in the UWC. Welcome (back), a refresher on session priorities and management, and a group photo.


UWC opens for the semester


all-staff meeting: 2:30-4:00 (research and information literacy)


all-staff meeting 2:30-4:30 (personal statements and Fulbright applications)


all-staff meeting 2:30-4:00 (group writing)


all-staff meeting 2:30-4:30 (composing in digital environments)


UWC is closed for Fall Break (including both Sundays)


final all-staff meeting 2:30-3:30. Last day of Fall 2018 classes 


Finals Week: only UWC faculty and graduate assistants are required to work during Finals Week

UWC Consulting Roadmap

Refer to or share the UWC Consulting Roadmap handout as a quick reference guide regarding the James Madison University Writing Center's Mission, Vision, and Values; marks of consulting excellence; and essential components of consulting practice.


UWC Volunteer Opportunities: The Next Step

You consult in a university writing center. You help students in academic disciplines across the university to become better writers. You took a semester-long course in UWC theory and practice before you were hired. Since then, you've attended and participated in all UWC all-staff and small-group professional development meetings.

Good! Great, even! What's the second paragraph in your personal statement, or the deeper talking point in your job or grad school interview? What's the story you want tell about your UWC experience twenty years from now?

You don't need to plan that far ahead. Just take a little step: if you're interested in digging a bit deeper into a particular aspect of the UWC experience, or if you want to start building a bigger-picture view of what we're doing in the UWC, simply express your interest in one of the UWC's volunteer opportunities (starting with the list below). And/or express your interest in exploring a connection between your UWC expertise and a local writing community. As you consider taking this first small step, know that your UWC colleagues will notice, encourage, and celebrate your engagement.

  • Write for the UWC News. Immerse yourself even more deeply in UWC events, people, and achievements...and share them with a wider audience. Gain valuable writing experience, get clips, and share what you do as a UWC consultant. We may put out calls for writers with specific story ideas, but we're also open to proposals. If you want to write for the UWC, or if you want to propose or draft or even submit a specific story (on your own or as part of a team), good. Contact Jared or Kevin.
  • Promote the UWC’s awesomeness to your fellow JMU students. Let Lucy ( know if you're interested. She will train you to give our 15-minute UWC intro presentation and schedule you to visit classes that request this presentation.


UWC Email Archive: Fall 2018

Tuesday, November 7, 2018, 1:26 PM: Awesome Classes You Should Register For

As I mentioned during our last meeting, we have three excellent course offerings from UWC faculty. We hope you will consider registering for one or both of these (in the case of Tutoring Writing, we hope you will refer a worthy friend).


---Jared and Kevin

WRTC 328: Practicum: JMURJ. The James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal is a peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to promoting, publishing, and sharing the text- and media-based research and scholarship created by undergraduate students in all JMU disciplines.

We need UWC consultants. In the past, UWC Consultants Katie Utne, Olivia DePasquale, Marissa Kircher, Catherine Evans, Maria Castro, Caroline Mohan, Alex Hoen, Urvi Patel, Allison Michelli, and Chris Deitrick have served on the JMURJ Editorial Board. This semester, Matt Cappo (our Managing Editor) and Brooke Long serve on the board. Jemma Stratton will have some sort of role with the board this coming semester.

JMURJ is a good, useful experience. The Spring 2019 WRTC 328 Practicum meets Tu/Th from 2:00-3:15 up on the 4th floor of the SSC. You can check out for more information. And since we know you, we'll waive the letter of interest/cover letter. Just say the word: send an email to Kevin at 

WRTC 336: Tutoring Writing. If you know people who would make for good UWC consultants, will you spread the word? The UWC needs freshmen, sophomores, and juniors (from any JMU major) who might be interested in Tutoring Writing and then in serving in the University Writing Center. The Spring 2019 WRTC 336 Tutoring Writing course meets M/W from 9:05-9:55 in the UWC and asynchronously online on Fridays. Suggest that they send an email to Kevin Jefferson at

WRTC 426 This interdisciplinary course, facilitated by JMU’s Institute for Visual Studies, will examine the relationships between image and text in creative contexts. Students will learn about both photography and text production while working toward public exhibitions of their work. The course is co-taught by a photographer and a writer, and it will feature a guest artist who will work directly with students on their projects. (Taught by Jared Featherstone and Daniel Robinson)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 11:40 AM: All-Staff Meeting This Friday

Good morning, colleagues. As you can see, the UWC schedule is busy these days. Please make sure you are on time for shifts (which means arriving at least few minutes before the hour) and that you give me two weeks' notice for using personal leave hours. 

I just have a few things to tell you.

  1. We have an all-staff meeting this Friday! 2:30-4 in the UWC. Our main topic will be Group Writing.
  2. Because our main topic is group writing, I'm hoping that you can send me any group writing prompts you've received at JMU. You can send as an attachment or just paste the prompt text. We'll be looking at these during the meeting to help us frame the discussion of issues in group writing and strategies for sessions. Please send these today or tomorrow.
  3. There's another English 236 deadline coming up. If you recall, these are the 300-person mega-sections in which students are having trouble analyzing poetry. Please remember that we do have resources on literary analysis and some specific pages on poetry. 

See you Friday!

Jared Jay Featherstone, MFA
Associate Director, University Writing Center
Associate Professor, School of Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 3:49 PM: Finance Students Are Coming!

Colleagues, you are likely to start seeing multiple students from Professor Schumann's Finance 365 course. They will likely ask for proof of visit forms. These green slips are available in a folder at the admin desk:

Here are some issues we've seen in the past with these students. 

  • student was resistant to making changes or contributing ideas to the session
  • student's paper really needed very little revision
  • students were not sure why they had to go to the writing center; students did not know what kind of help they were here to get
    • there seemed to be some confusion about content vs writing
    • some students asked consultants for verification on content (numbers and technical information), which we can't do
  • students lacked audience awareness; they were unsure, for instance, if they were writing to an expert audience or a non-expert audience, which would greatly affect the paper

I strongly advise that you read prior session reports and gather a lot of information before probing into the paper. Also, you might have to explain our mission and the fact that we can't help with content. Please let me (or Rudy or Kevin) know if you have a difficult session with one of these students.

Jared Jay Featherstone, MFA
Associate Director, University Writing Center
Associate Professor, School of Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Monday, October 8, 2018, 9:53 AM: Who Wants More Hours?

Folks, I wanted to thank you for an excellent meeting Friday. I know it is difficult to remain engaged on a late Friday afternoon, but I think we did some great work. 

I have a pressing issue in terms of shift coverage. As most of you know, we have restarted our satellite location in the Athletic Performance Center. The consultant who was covering that has had to step down, and now I need someone to take that shift. This is a 3-hour shift Thursday nights from 6-9 p.m. starting THIS WEEK. Please get back to me ASAP if you are interested. 

Jared Jay Featherstone, MFA
Associate Director, University Writing Center
Associate Professor, School of Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communication 

Monday, September 24, 10:55 AM: Strategies and Reminders

Dear UWC, 

As you can see, the center is becoming busy again. I'm seeing some very positive feedback from clients in the database! Based on my observations and our session data, I wanted to remind you of some resources and expectations. 

  • As usual, we are seeing a lot of students who want help with personal statements. If you are not very familiar with this genre, please familiarize yourself in advance of the session. Like research writing, this is one of our top genres. We should have a solid sense of this genre in advance of working with a writer. 
  • Several of you have spoken with me about the English 236 poetry bare bones papers. We'll be seeing more of these. This is the essay outline assignment. In addition to speaking with several of you, I've spoken with the professor. Here are a few considerations for these sessions. 
    • There are 300 students in this course. This is why they are writing an outline instead of a paper. The focus is on their analysis and organization. 
    • Many students are having trouble understanding what a thesis for a literary analysis should look like. On our Writing Resources page, we link to this excellent primer for analyzing poetry. 
    • Some of you have expressed concern about how to provide help without doing the analysis for the student. One easy way to model analysis without writing the paper for the student is to use a DIFFERENT POEM. Model the moves of poetry analysis (as seen on the link) on a different poem. Then ask the student to mimic your analytical moves on the assigned poems. You may have to scaffold this.
  • Please review the Greeter schedule (posted by the name badges and also online) to make sure you are aware of your Greeter responsibilities. 
  • Avoid conducting sessions at the round waiting table. That is only for clients awaiting sessions. 
  • File session reports for every session you conduct. 
  • As mentioned during our last all-staff meeting, if you have no session or your session ends early, you are available for walk-in clients. Please review the policy.
  • If you experience a difficult session, please notify me (or Rudy or Kevin), so that we can advise you and also so that we can remain informed about professional development needs. 

Stay excellent,

---- Jared

Jared Jay Featherstone, MFA
Associate Director, University Writing Center
Associate Professor, School of Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communication 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 2:24 PM: All-Staff Meeting on Friday

Team, I just wanted to remind you that we have an all-staff meeting this Friday from 2:30 - 4:30 4:00* in the UWC. Our main topic will be the use of sources in writing assignments, brought to you by our librarian in residence, Hillary. 

Please remember to get me your signed time sheets by Friday (sooner is even better), and remember to closely follow the guidelines on the LC Canvas site. Thanks. 

Jared Jay Featherstone, MFA
Associate Director, University Writing Center
Associate Professor, School of Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communication

(* updated, after our 9.14.2018 all-staff meeting, to reflect the fact that we met for 90 minutes ~k.j.)

Monday, September 3, 2018, 2:13 PM: All-Staff Meeting Review

Dear UWC,

Thanks for a great meeting on Friday! Though it was impossible to catch up with each of you individually, I enjoyed seeing everyone. I know that you received a pile of information, so I wanted to summarize it.

  • If you haven’t already completed Title IX training, you need to complete it by Friday 9/7. Please email me the completion page.
  • Please watch the Learning Centers 101 presentation on the LC Canvas page. The concluding quiz is due 9/30.
  • You received an explanation of timesheets, but you should read over the How to Complete a Timesheet document on the Canvas page (found in “announcements” and “files”). Here are some details some of you missed in this round of timesheets.
    • Enter all information digitally (except your signature/date at the bottom) before printing. You must submit a hard copy to Jared.
    • Use blue or black pen only.
    • If you were sick or had to cancel any of your scheduled hours (including pro dev), leave them off the timesheet for that pay period.
    • Timesheets are turned in to Jared first!
  • Rudy’s prestigious scholarships information is now on linked the tutor Field Manual page.
  • Note the new absence policy
  • If you are sick, don’t come in. Email Jared and Joan as soon as you can, so we can get the appointments covered or blocked off.
    • If you have an obligation that is directly related to a class, email Jared at least a week in advance to cancel those hours. Examples include a required film screening or performance, or a snow day make-up class.
    • Each consultant gets three hours of personal leave time (per semester). These leave hours can be taken all at once or separately. In any case, please give two weeks’ notice to notify Jared that you will be taking your leave time.
      • You will not be paid for the hours you cut.
      • If you want to make up the hours, you can request to do so, though it is not guaranteed.
    • Under the new timesheet system, you do not have to find coverage or swap shifts. Please don’t make any attempt to do this.

I also just want to reiterate that I am here to support you in your work as a consultant and colleague. If you have any issues related to your role at the UWC, please stop by or contact me. The sooner you speak up, the sooner we can find a solution. In addition, if you had a session that you found difficult or encountered a client who made you feel uncomfortable. Again, I can only help if you talk to me.

On another note, Lucy and baby Mads are doing well! (See photos on her office door). She’ll return to the UWC on 11/26.

Lastly, returning consultants, please introduce yourself to new consultants on your shifts. The sense of community in the UWC hinges on everyone making the effort to connect with colleagues.

Have a great week!

Jared Jay Featherstone, MFA
Associate Director, University Writing Center
Associate Professor, School of Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communication 

Monday, August 27, 2018, 4:08 PM: Pizza on Friday

Welcome back! I'm looking forward to seeing all of you this Friday for our opening all-staff meeting from 2:30-4:30 in the UWC. Here's a basic agenda: 

  1. Eat pizza! (Food will be ready at 2:30)
  2. Find out how to fill out your time sheets and track your hours.
  3. Review best practices for tutoring and exhibiting professionalism in the UWC.
  4. Determine your small pro dev group and the group's meeting times for the semester.
  5. Important reminders and policies for the semester.
  6. Take a group photo! 

If you are a new tutor (hired in spring), please send your photo (one that shows your face clearly and is not blurry or low-resolution) and a short bio. See the Meet the Team page for examples. 

All tutors, log in to WC Online and make sure all of your tutoring hours are accounted for. Put your hours in your planner, so we don't have any confusion when we open on 9/3. If you have any questions, email me. 

See you on Friday!

Jared Jay Featherstone, MFA
Associate Director, University Writing Center
Associate Professor, School of Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 4:07 PM: UWC All-Staff Meetings

Greetings, everyone. I hope you are all having a great summer! Here are the mandatory UWC meetings for the fall. Please mark these in your calendars.

  • 8/31 2:30-4:30 opening all-staff meeting (Note that we will be doing a group photo)
  • 9/14 all-staff meeting 2:30 - 4:30 4:00 *
  • 10/5 all-staff meeting 2:30-4:30
  • 10/26 all-staff meeting 2:30 - 4:30 4:00 *
  • 11/9 all-staff meeting 2:30-4:30
  • 12/7 final all-staff meeting 2:30-3:30

Jared Jay Featherstone, MFA
Associate Director, University Writing Center
Associate Professor, School of Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communication

(* updated 9.14.2018, after our all-staff meeting, to reflect the correct schedule listed at the top of this page ~k.j.)


Back to Top