University Writing Center

Office Staff


Neil Baird, Director

Assistant Professor Neil Baird
Director, University Writing Center
Writing Studies
Ph.D. in English | University of Nevada, Reno


OFFICE : 025A Simpkins Hall: 309-298-2815

OFFICE HOURS: T 11-12, W 10:30-12:30, Th 8:30-9:30 (FALL 14)


Dr. Neil Baird’s current research examines how students learn to write in their majors.  He is specifically interested in barriers to disciplinary enculturation.  His ongoing ethnographic and case study research explores the role the body plays in the writing of collegiate football players, how perceptions of ownership influence thesis writing group discourse at the MA level, and barriers to transfer in 300-/400-level writing courses.  His research also investigates how advances in computer technology and social networking are transforming rhetorical theory and qualitative research methodologies. 

Dr. Baird continues this research at Western Illinois University, where he teaches writing studies courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels and directs the University Writing Center.


"The Embodied Literacies of Collegiate Football Players"

Recent Publications:

"NextGen Students and Undergraduate Ethnography: The Challenges of Studying Communities Born Digital." The New Digital Scholar: Exploring and Enriching the Research and Writing Practices of NextGen Students. Eds. James P. Purdy and Randall McClure. [Forthcoming; Information Today, Inc.]

"Virtual Vietnam Veterans Memorials as Image Events: Exorcising the Specter of Vietnam" Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture 6.2 (2009):





Tiffany Dimmick, Secretary Tiffany


OFFICE: University Writing Center, Malpass Library, 3rd Floor, West Side

OFFICE HOURS : M-F (12:40-4:30)

PHONE : 309-298-2815

I graduated from WIU in 2011 with a degree in English education and a minor in creative writing. My goal is to teach middle school students someday.  I love young adult literature because of the life lessons it teaches teens. My dream is to write my own young adult novel and screenplay. For now though, I enjoy spending quality time with my one year old as we take millions of pictures, watch a lot of Netflix, and eat food all day long!



Dakota, Receptionist since February 2015Dakota

Good Morrow! I am Dakota. I am an English Ed. Major, seeking a minor in Creative Writing. I also have an emphasis in Journalism. I am a senior here at WIU. It is an honor to work here at the Writing Center. It is my goal to one day be a published writer and teach creative writing classes at the collegiate level. I am an avid film, sports, music, and literature lover and self-proclaimed trivia machine. I also have a weakness for the irresistible adorableness of kitty cats. That's a little bit about me. Cheers!