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A New Face in the Writing Center: Dr Jonathan Rylander

| Jacob Noren

            There is a new face in the English Department and Center for Writing Excellence. Dr. Jonathan Rylander, Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Center for Writing Excellence, is nearing the end of his first semester at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

            Dr. Rylander joined the English Department and the Center for Writing Excellence this year. Growing up in the Twin Cities, Rylander earned his Bachelor’s degree in English and Business Management at the University of St. Thomas and his Ph.D. from Miami University in Composition and Rhetoric.

            Rylander brings a plethora of experiences to the CWE through his work with pedagogical approaches and his work with advocacy and diversity. He views the CWE as a place for students to explore their identities, engage in active listening, and develop an understanding for the conversational aspects of writing. His background in queer theory, performativity, and identity gives Rylander the means to inspire his students in these areas.

            “You can think of writing as a conversation,” said Rylander. “In writing centers, the one-to-one dynamic enables you think about writing, not just in complex ways, but the identity in which students come at their work. Through that one-to-one dynamic you can better understand how the complexities in which identity is tied to writing and how people think.”

            This is not the first time Rylander has worked in a writing center. Rylander worked in a writing center while studying for his Master’s degree and even wrote his dissertation for his Ph.D. on LGBTQIA+ identities and how their experiences can be applied to writing center work.

            Rylander came to Eau Claire because it was the exact type of community he was looking for in a college campus.

            “I like the attention to students here, to teaching, and to mentoring,” Rylander stated. “I knew this was the type of place I wanted to be. I also like the connection that the campus has with the local community with being advocates for community and for building stronger commitments to students with various backgrounds. That is the type of campus I wanted to come to.”