Jackie Grutsch McKinney

Jackie Grutsch McKinney

Director of the Writing Center and Professor of English


Room:RB 279

As a Professor of Rhetoric and Composition and Director of the Writing Center, I study writers. I'm interested in how we teach and learn writing; how we structure and lead writing programs, curricula, and writing centers; and how and why writers--academic and otherwise--work as they do. I'm particularly interested in using qualitative methods to understand writers, writing centers, and writing programs.

My first book, Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers, which won the 2014 International Writing Centers Association Best Book Award, focused on how writing centers work and the stories that surround writing center work. My second book, Strategies for Writing Center Research, is a guidebook for conducting (mainly qualitative) writing center research. My third book (forthcoming in 2016), is a year-long qualitative study of new writing center directors. (More information on my research is available on my personal website.)

In the Writing Center, I hire, train, supervise, and mentor 20-30 graduate and undergraduate student tutors. The Writing Center offers individual feedback (face-to-face and online), workshops and presentations, and a space for writing for everyone in the Ball State community. Many tutors take undergraduate or graduate-level coursework in writing center studies and/or take on independent research projects which they present at regional and national writing center conferences each year. In 2015, I was elected to the International Writing Center Association Executive Board; I'll serve as Vice President from 2015-2017, President for 2017-19, and Past President for 2019-21.

Areas of Specialization

Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies, Writing Center Studies, Qualitative Research, Gender Studies


I teach a wide-variety of courses, including first-year writing, senior seminars on (auto)ethnographies, research methods, and writing center courses for undergraduates and graduate students.

Jackie Grutsch McKinney's curriculum vitae