Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Meet Trixie Smith
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Meet Trixie Smith

Michigan State University attracts the best and brightest, and Dr. Trixie Smith is no exception. For the past 11 years, Trixie has served as the director of the MSU Writing Center, where she oversees the Writing Center’s nine satellite locations and mentors the graduate coordinators who help run this extensive operation. In addition, she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses as a member of the WRAC faculty. She also serves as the director of the Red Cedar Writing Project, which helps teachers focus on becoming more effective writers, teachers of writing, and teacher-leaders.

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Trixie’s passion for teaching and writing has been around since the beginning of her academic journey. After earning a B.A. in English and Elementary Education, she spent several years teaching middle and high school students in Alabama and Georgia. Eventually, she went on to earn an M.A. in English, an MLIS in Library and Information Science, and a Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric, which she completed at the University of South Carolina. Along the way, she also gained a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. This wealth and diversity of experiences eventually led her to a position at the Writing Center at Middle Tennessee State University. Following several years there, she accepted her current position at Michigan State.

Trixie especially enjoys the variety of experiences she has at the MSU Writing Center. “We work with such a range of writers, subjects, and disciplines,” she says. “We also get to hire and meet so many students. There’s always something new and different to look forward to every day.” Trixie is passionate about the unique role the Writing Center plays in helping MSU writers develop. “Anyone can be a writer. Everyone can get better,” she says. “The most important thing is that every writer, no matter how good or bad, could use a different pair of eyes or ears [to review their writing].”

In addition to her administrative and teaching duties, Trixie is also involved in several current research projects focused on writers and writing, including looking at their time management and multimodal composing practices. In one Writing Center project, she co-created and co-runs (with Dianna Baldwin) Connecting Communities, Creating Stories (CCCS), which provides a forum for Greater Lansing residents to record and share their experiences of living in Michigan.

If there’s a program at MSU that deals with writing, it’s likely that Trixie is a part of it!


Written by Sierra Richards