Dr. Laura Clapper

We are delighted to have Dr. Laura Clapper joining us this year from U-M’s Department of English where she taught argumentative, first-year, and community-engaged writing courses. In August she was appointed Director of our Peer Writing Consultant Program (PWCP), after Dr. Shelley Manis had served as Interim Director during the 2021-2022 academic year. In her role as PWCP Director, Dr. Clapper now teaches our Seminar in Peer Writing Consultation (W300), as well as the Peer Consulting Practicum (W301). As chair of the Peer Writing Consultant Program Committee, she has been collaborating with Beth Baker–the Peer Writing Consultant Program’s new Program Coordinator–and Dr. Manis, Dr. Sessolo, and Jennifer Catey (Sweetland Academic Program Manager) to outline new service priorities and updates that continue our efforts to respond to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with the PWCP guiding principle of empathy in action.

In her first few months, Dr. Clapper has been working with Dr. Kyra Shahid’s office and Kellyn Mackerl-Cooper at U-M’s Trotter Multicultural Center, alongside student representatives from the Black Student Union and the Peer Writing Consultant Center, to form new multi-unit collaborations between the Trotter Multicultural Center, the Black Student Union, and our PWCP. At the same time, her collaborations with Dr. Tinkle and Torre Puckett–a PhD student in English Language and Literature–have extended our unit’s Accessible Writing Center Project into the Peer Writing Consultant Program. The initiative promotes co-creating with our undergraduate Peer Writing Consultants (PWCs) more accessible and inclusive practices, technologies, and design layouts in the writing center spaces.

Fall 2022 Peer Writing Consultants

Next, she looks forward to leaning more deeply into the PWCP values, building new opportunities for PWCs to connect with our alums network and with a visiting writing center scholar from China. Further, she plans to connect PWCs with opportunities for sharing their W301 capstone research in peer consulting practices, particularly as she works with PWCs on updating our e-tutoring (asynchronous peer consulting), which we began as a pilot during the first years of COVID-19. In this work, she has partnered with coordinator Beth Baker and the program’s two undergraduate Program Assistants, Maddie Cutler and Ari Kok, to provide vibrant intellectual team-support for the work of our PWCs and our undergraduate writers. We are happy to have her on board!