Our Purpose, Programs and People


The Center for Teaching and Research on Writing (CTRW) is dedicated to the premise that writing is crucial to the formation of civil society, serving as the medium through which we make meaning with one another. As such, the CTRW is a teaching and research center focused on, and powered by, the collective energies of people and programs at UW-Madison who seek to understand how writing — as a multimodal meaning-making process shaped by context, power-relations, and technologies — works to foster civic engagement, address and ameliorate social inequities, and serve as a transdisciplinary approach to problem-solving. 

Leveraging the strength of its constituent units, the CTRW brings together undergraduate writing mentors, graduate teaching assistants, instructional faculty, and (affiliated and unaffiliated) program administrators across the curriculum to work together, share, and collaborate on writing research across the disciplines, writing pedagogies across the curriculum, and the most pressing topics and biggest questions facing writing today, including:

  • How does writing — and written communication more generally — serve as the ‘glue’ for civil society, civic participation, and democratic governance, particularly in this moment when each of these has been undermined, called into question, or devalued?
  • How can writing serve as an instrument of social justice, for participation in civic society, and for addressing material and ideological inequities?
  • In what ways does writing, as a pivotal skill and aptitude of the humanities, serve as an essential ingredient in any disciplinary or methodological investigation into not just how the world works but how it should work?
  • How is research in writing aligned with, and important ways distinct from, research in the sciences (particularly those in the STEM fields)? 


The Center for Teaching and Research in Writing (CTRW) was founded to coordinate the English Department’s writing programs and to serve as a research engine on the subject of writing for the university and beyond. While CTRW constituent programs are already mature and well-functioning units, their coordination allows its professionals – faculty, instructional staff, and graduate students – to better flourish and engage in research, drawing additional expertise from around the campus and around the world. Programs include:


The CTRW is led and supported by some of the most prominent scholars and practitioners of writing and writing pedagogy in the country (read some of their writing), including: 

Center Directorship

Michael Bernard-Donals

Credentials: CTRW Director

Position title: Chaim Perelman Professor of Rhetoric and Culture

Email: michael.bernarddonals@wisc.edu

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Writing Center & Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

Nancy Linh Karls

Credentials: Writing Center and WAC Co-Director

Position title: Teaching Faculty

Email: nkarls@wisc.edu

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Emily Hall

Credentials: Writing Center and WAC Co-Director & Writing Fellows Program Director

Position title: Distinguished Teaching Faculty

Email: ebhall@wisc.edu

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Diego Alegria

Credentials: Online Writing Center TA Coordinator

Position title: Teaching Faculty

Email: alegra@wisc.edu

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E100, E201 & ESL

Morris Young

Credentials: English 100 Director

Position title: Charles Q. Anderson Professor of English

Email: msyoung4@wisc.edu

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Sara Kelm

Credentials: English 100 Associate Director

Position title: Teaching Faculty

Email: sakelm@wisc.edu

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Caroline Gottschalk Druschke

Credentials: English 201 Director

Position title: Professor of English

Email: caroline.gottschalk.druschke@wisc.edu

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Joseph Nosek

Credentials: Interim Director of English as a Second Language (ESL)

Position title: Teaching Faculty

Email: jmnosek@wisc.edu

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The Greater Madison Writing Project (GMWP)

Mark Dziedzic

Credentials: GMWP Director

Position title: Teaching Faculty

Email: mdziedzic@wisc.edu

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Kate Vieira

Credentials: GMWP Director of Faculty

Position title: Susan J. Cellmer Distinguished Chair in Literacy

Email: kevieira@wisc.edu

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Bryn Orum

Credentials: GMWP Outreach Program Manager

Position title: Teaching Faculty

Email: bryn.orum@wisc.edu

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Student Leadership

Gabriel Lake Carter

Credentials: CTRW Assistant Director

Position title: Ph.D. Candidate in Composition and Rhetoric

Email: gcarter6@wisc.edu

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CTRW Affiliates


· Language Institute (Letters & Sciences)

· Engineering Program in Professional and Technical Writing (Engineering)

· Program in Business Communication (Business)


· Elizabeth Malson-Huddle, Director, Business Communication

· Laura Grossenbacher, Director, Engineering Program in Professional and Technical Writing

· Karen Evans-Romaine, Faculty member, Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic+

· Anja Wanner, Faculty member, English

· David Zimmerman, Faculty member and Director of Undergraduate Studies, English

· Heather Allen, Faculty member, French and Italian

· Sara McKinnon, Faculty Member and Director of Comm-B Programs, Communication Arts

· Rob Howard, Faculty member, Communication Arts

· Jenell Johnson, Faculty member, Communication Arts

· Lori Lopez, Faculty member, Communication Arts and Director of Asian American Studies

· Erica Halverson, Faculty member, Curriculum and Instruction

· Jim Wollack, Faculty member, Educational Psychology and Director of Evaluation and Testing Services

· Janet Batzli, Director of Biocore program

· Ellen Cecil-Lemkin, Teaching faculty, Writing Center

· Lisa Marvel Johnson, Teaching faculty, Writing Center

· Noreen McAuliffe, Lecturer, English