The International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) has awarded SJU student Nancy Alvarez ‘18Ph.D. with the Winter 2017 Ben Rafoth Graduate Research Grant for her dissertation project, “Tutoring While Latina: Making Space for Nuestras Voces in the Writing Center.”
IWCA reviewers commended Alvarez’s “new and relevant research” and found it “incredibly compelling. This project could have broad implications for many who work in and study Writing Centers.” Alvarez’s project is a qualitative study of Latina writing center tutors in Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). It includes 17 participants, all of whom are employed by HSIs in California, Texas, and Florida. She aims to change the perception of who can be a writing center tutor and to effect change in recruiting strategies for writing centers.
Alvarez came to SJU after earning her M.A. in Language and Literacy at the City College of New York and tutoring in the Bronx Community College Writing Center. She then was awarded a fellowship through St. John’s Institute for Writing Studies once she enrolled in the Ph.D. English program.
She is working on her dissertation with mentor Anne Ellen Geller, Ph.D., who Alvarez says is “always pushing me to question what I’m doing and consider the impact of my work.” Said Geller: “Through her presentations and publications from her dissertation research, Nancy Alvarez is already changing conversations in writing center studies.”
The Ben Rafoth Graduate Research Grant encourages the development of new knowledge and the innovative application of existing theories and methods by supporting research projects associated with a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation for up to $1,000. Alvarez was granted the full amount of the award.