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Writing at Merrimack


Jonathan Worley, Una Burns & Catherine McArdle


This April the Writing Centre director for St Mary’s (Mr Jonathan Worley) and two student peer tutors (Una Burns and Catherine McArdle) visited the Merrimack College (Massachusetts, USA) Writing Centre as part of a continuing partnership between the two centres.

The partnership, initially established in 2006, was made possible when the St Mary’s Writing Centre was designated as a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL-NI). Jonathan and Dr Kathy Cain, the two Writing Centre directors, were able to continue with plans for additional joint conference presentations and publications addressing issues of writing centre pedagogy on both sides of the Atlantic. Further, they explored the potential for teaching joint courses on peer tutoring at Merrimack and St Mary’s.

The St Mary’s peer tutors were able to meet with Merrimack College peer tutors, attend the weekly peer tutor staff meeting and generally gain exposure to pedagogical strategies at an American university. The Merrimack College Writing Centre has a well-deserved reputation for excellence as a result of its innovative tutoring strategies emphasising effective group work and the writing skills needed for particular academic subjects.