Jackie Grutsch McKinney is an associate professor of English at Ball State University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in rhetoric and composition. Over the last eighteen years, she has worked at three different writing centers as a tutor, assistant director, and then as a director.
In her research, she has focused on writing center labor. For example in her book, Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers, Jackie argues for paying attention to the stories we tell about writing center work versus the labor we actually do. She suggests that those involved in writing center work have developed ways of talking about the work that unnecessarily (and detrimentally) reduces the complexity and scope of what is and is not considered the work of writing centers.
Her second book, Strategies for Writing Center Research, will be available this fall from Parlor Press.
Elsewhere, in articles, chapters, and her “Geek in the Center” column for the Writing Lab Newsletter, Jackie has explored how technologies for writing and communicating change writing center work. In particular, she has written extensively about multimodality: how best practices of tutoring that developed for alphabetic text-based papers in the 1970s need to be reassessed for this century as even “academic writing” has evolved.
When she’s not teaching, directing the writing center, or writing, she plays on her five-acre farm with her family, her dog, three cats, and five chickens.