1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Transylvania alumna honored for writing center research

portrait of a woman

A former Transylvania University Writing Center staffer who now runs the University of Georgia’s Jill and Marvin Willis Center for Writing was recently recognized for her research in the field.

English professor Rebecca Hallman Martini ’09 has won the College Conference on Composition and Communication 2024 Advancement of Knowledge Award — and was recently featured on UGA Today.

Martini, who is author of the book “Disrupting the Center: A Partnership Approach to Writing Across the University,” has transformed her own center since arriving at UGA in 2019, according to the school.

Not only did Martini and students repaint the space and bring in donated furniture, but she also created an upper-level class called Writing Center Theory and Practice and added 16 undergraduate consultants (all students taking the course) when there were none before. The center also employs more than a dozen graduate students and several assistant directors.

An English major at Transylvania, Martini noted the guidance she received from Scott Whiddon, director of the award-winning Writing Center where student staffers support their school community.

Martini is currently researching the experiences students have with writing centers, and she is an expert in the study of these centers along with student composition in general, according to UGA — which describes her own program as having a “nearly constant” buzz of tutoring sessions.

“The bulk of our work is really about relationships with student writers,” she said. “It’s a collaborative space, and it’s a non-evaluative space. We aren’t grading students. We have the opportunity to ask students about their goals and how we can best support them in reaching those goals. That’s at the heart of what we do.”

Photo by Chamberlain Smith/UGA