FROM THE EDITORS
Sarah Orem and Thomas Spitzer-Hanks
The University of Texas at Austin
The publication of this issue of Praxis follows the 2015 South Central Writing Center Association (SCWCA) conference held at the University of Texas at Austin in February of this year. The address, articles, column, and book review contained in the current issue vary in their focus and emphases, but all take the theme of the 2015 SCWCA conference, 'What Starts Here Writes the World,' as their central argument.
Lester Faigley, in his keynote speech delivered at the conference, argues that writing centers are deeply human places in an evolutionary sense, and that their success grows directly from the ways writing consultations use the same cognitive adaptations that enabled us, as humans, to form social groups in the first place. In their column on the International Long Night Against Procrastination, Elizabeth Kiscaden and LeAnn Nash suggest some strategies for bringing more students into the writing center through creative outreach programs while Brianna Hyslop, in her review of Ben Rafoth's Multilingual Writers and Writing Centers, describes Rafoth's suggestions for how we work with multilingual writers once they enter.
In our focus articles for this issue Andrea Deacon, Becky L. Caouette, Claudine Griggs, and Amanda Metz Bemer all take different paths toward a richer understanding of writing centers as institutional entities. Deacon, Caouette and Griggs focus on the ways writing center directors can work within administrative structures to represent their centers most effectively, either by their own efforts or in collaboration with departmental colleagues and students, and also on the challenges inherent to working within institutional structures that don't always recognize the importance or understand the function of writing centers. Amanda Metz Bemer asks us to see writing centers through a very different lens, the screen of a computer, and to ponder how website design and the availability of online tutoring mold a student's experience of the writing center; both Bemer's focus article and Kiscaden and Nash's column remind us that for the writing center to 'write the world' we must first get writers in the door, while Deacon, Caouette, and Griggs remind us of how difficult it can be to keep those doors open.
While the publication of this issue of Praxis follows one important milestone already mentioned, there is another important milestone the Praxis editorial staff would like to mark here. Sarah Orem, a wonderful colleague and editor, leaves us after this issue to pursue her academic career elsewhere, and James Garner will replace her as one of the Managing Editors of Praxis. While James has a short history with Praxis, having written for Axis, the blog associated with this journal, he has a much longer history with writing centers and writing center research. We welcome him as an asset to the team and we look forward to having him as a colleague.