Margaret Winton, a Wagner College junior from Omaha, Nebraska, published an article, “d/Deaf Culture and Translingualism in the Writing Center,” in The Peer Review. Winton is a history major, French and religious studies double minor, and Writing Intensive Tutor (WIT) at Wagner’s Writing Center.
The Peer Review is a fully online, open-access, multimodal scholarly journal that promotes the work of emerging writing center researchers. The journal’s overall purpose is to forward the work of new voices in the field.
Winton’s scholarship discusses how the personalized tutor structure and flexible nature of the writing center make it the ideal space to reexamine how the current education system fails d/Deaf students and what can be done to help them succeed. d/Deaf students face a unique set of problems in the education system. College writing centers, while heavily influenced by the current education system, have an ability to be incredibly flexible with their methods when working with students. The flexibility of writing centers can be used in tandem with the translingual theory of writing when working with d/Deaf Students to revolutionize the way d/Deaf writers and students are taught in the education system.
Winton’s interest in the topic stems from attending an elementary school with all the deaf kids from the district. Winton grew up interacting and learning alongside deaf and hard of hearing students.
“Through interacting with our deaf peers, we all learned about D/deaf culture and even learned some sign language; in fact, my younger brother and I learned enough that we taught our youngest brother how to sign full sentences before he was able to talk! Since then, I've always had an interest in learning more about D/deaf culture,” said Winton.
When Dr. Sabatino assigned the research prompt in EN 280: Writing Intensive Tutoring, these memories from elementary school of learning with deaf and hard of hearing kids resurfaced for Winton. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to explore this interest and learn what it means to work with deaf and hard of hearing students in the Writing Center,” Winton said.
With the helpful guidance of Dr. Sabatino and the editors at The Peer Review, she revised her piece for publication.
As a WIT, Winton’s research influences the ways she tutors writers. Concluding her second full year as a tutor, Winton serves as a mentor for her fellow WITs and prospective tutors currently enrolled in EN 280. She has also embarked on a new project with Ms. Tara Chiari (Assistant Director, Career Services) and fellow tutor Bianca Ramos to support students as they compose cover letters.
Winton sees working in the Writing Center as being invaluable to her during her time at Wagner.
“I found that I love working with and helping others. It's so great working with a student and seeing them improve. I love that I can use my skills as a writer to help make a positive impact on students at Wagner. Especially as someone who wants to pursue education in some capacity, working in the Writing Center has really helped me learn about what it takes to work with people on their writing,” said Winton. “It's also taught me so much about myself as a writer and my own writing process, which I greatly appreciate.”