Rhetoric Center reaches across campus with resources for all disciplines


Photo by Emily Thomas

The Rhetoric Center is staffed by students from a variety of majors.

The Rhetoric Center (RC) is a resource for students of all majors to get help with written, oral and visual assignments from their peers. Center director Kristine Johnson is focused on making sure the center is well-equipped to serve students and faculty across departments and that everyone is aware of the resources available through the center.

According to Johnson the center has hosted workshops for business and nursing majors.“This year Rhetoric Center consultants are doing special work with students in psychology, nursing, kinesiology [and] biology courses — to name a few — and these partnerships are part of how we reach students across campus,” she said.

Through these partnerships the Rhetoric Center is continuing to establish itself as a key resource not just for the English department but for all departments to utilize.

Senior Jesse Kinyua, a Rhetoric Center consultant, said, “Our boss Professor Johnson has been very intentional over the last two years about reaching out to department chairs and different professors just to highlight how the RC is such a beneficial resource for people.”

Senior Katie VanDyke, another Rhetoric Center consultant, told Chimes that staff from the Rhetoric Center make rounds visiting English 101 classes to inform students that the center is a tool for all disciplines. “One of the things we stress is, yeah, use it for your English 101 class, but literally any other class you have some form of rhetoric, bring it to us,” VanDyke said. 

The interdisciplinary focus is also evident in the staff working at the Center. According to VanDyke, there are only a couple of English majors working at the center currently. Consultants have a variety of majors, including philosophy, engineering, environmental science, history and finance.

According to Johnson, it is important to know how to write and communicate properly no matter what discipline a student is in, because each discipline has its own set of rules. “Learning to speak and write as an engineer or philosopher or nurse is challenging, even for students who did well in English 101 and Communication 101, because doing so is a different game with different rules,” Johnson said.

“Working on these projects with a Rhetoric Center consultant — an interested, helpful audience member — is a wonderful way to grow and to build strategies for college writing and beyond,” said Johnson.