University of Minnesota
center for writing

Center for Writing alumni—Mitch Ogden

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11 Questions for Center for Writing Alums

  • Mitch OgdenYour name: Mitch Ogden
  • Your email:
  • When did you work with us?  January 2004 - August 2011
  • What was your role? Writing consultant, administrative staff, front desk/computer lab attendant, teaching/research assistant, TA Coordinator, Assistant Director
  • What education and/or occupation(s) have you pursued since working with us? In fall 2011, I joined the faculty of the Department of English & Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, a polytechnic university. I teach as part of the Professional Communication & Emerging Media program, and I serve as the coordinator for a new concentration in digital humanities.

Reflections on your center experience:

  • Did your work with us influence your educational or occupational choices? If so, how? Throughout my graduate training, nothing had a more consistent or significant influence on my development than my work in the Center for Writing. There I found an intellectually curious and pedagogically innovative community that inspired and challenged me daily. The expansiveness of the mission of the Center for Writing gave me a place where my disparate interests could find coherence. The Center opened up the field of writing instruction and writing studies in ways that a traditional academic department cannot.
  • What are the most significant abilities, values, or skills that you developed in your work with us? As a writing consultant, you hone your practice of listening and non-directive coaching. That one-to-one pedagogy informs and enhances my classroom teaching. I am a different kind of composition instructor for being a writing consultant first.
  • In your personal and professional life today, how do you find yourself using what you learned from working with us? As we develop and deliver an undergraduate curriculum in digital humanities at Stout, I find myself drawing upon my experiences as part of the development teams that built, mySWS, and myC4W. With the expansion of the digital in many sectors of professional and personal life, there will be increasing opportunities for a variety of people to be more involved in the creation of digital tools. It is a natural extension of the rhetorical sensibilities of able writers—audience, purpose, clarity, and persuasion—to build digital tools.
  • Anything else you want to tell us and your fellow Center alums? So many of us have landed in such fertile places after our work at the Center! It seems to me that we all benefited greatly from germinating and growing in the Center's soil first.