Speechwriter and Communications Coach Dr. Nick Morgan to Speak at Swat

Swarthmore’s Writing Associates Program is sponsoring a talk on Thursday by Dr. Nick Morgan.  Dr. Morgan has appeared on the Today Show and was a speechwriter for former Virginia Governor Charles Robb.  He is also the President of Public Words, a communications consulting firm.  Public Words’ blog has some interesting tips on public speaking and communication, including the assertion that “real leaders don’t use Power Point.”  I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say on Thursday.

The Matrix (of WAs)

For my final project in Engineering 57 (Operations Research), I implemented a linear programming formulation that optimizes the scheduling of Writing Associates in the Swarthmore Writing Center.  My final report [download .pdf] was due today, and it’s a big relief to have it done.  This was a fun project, and I especially enjoyed working with AMPL.  Next semester, I’ll be doing more operations research work in Engineering 66 (Environmental Systems).

Las Vegas

Fountains at the Bellagio

Fountains at the Bellagio

I had a great time in Las Vegas for the 2008 International Writing Centers Association and National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing joint conference.  A fellow Writing Associate and I presented a poster of some research we have done on diversity in Swarthmore’s Writing Center.  We went to a great workshop on anti-racist work in the writing center and heard a great keynote address by Nancy Grimm, a scholar whose work we drew on.  I also got to meet and hang out with some writing consultants from the Harvey Mudd Writing Center.  It was quite fun, and Halloween on the strip was grotesquely intriguing.  Of course, the TSA had to do their part in dampening the fun.  Apparently, the Las Vegas snow globe that one of my travelmates bought for her niece was too much of a threat to homeland security to pass through the security checkpoint.

My first destination was the monorail station, of course

My first destination was the monorail station, of course

Lights

Lights and confusion

Our band of engineers was fascinated by the spiral escalators

Our band of engineers was fascinated by the spiral escalators

Pirate seductresses singing "let's go all the way"

Pirate seductresses singing "let's go all the way"

Westward Bound

Las Vegas from the air

Las Vegas from the air

Later this evening, I will be flying to Las Vegas for a joint conference of the International Writing Centers Association and the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing.  Tomorrow afternoon, a fellow WA and I will be presenting a poster detailing some of our work here at Swarthmore.  Updates to follow…