Grace Pregent Named Director of The Writing Center

Grace Pregent, Ph.D., who had been serving as Interim Director of The Writing Center at Michigan State University since June 15, 2023, was named Director of the Center, effective January 1, 2024.

A mentor, teacher, and administrator, Pregent is core faculty in Canadian Studies, affiliate faculty in Global Studies, and graduate faculty in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Cultures. She has taught courses in writing, literature, global studies, and community engagement and has consistently collaborated on administrative, scholarly, and pedagogical projects with her students, colleagues, and campus and community partners. 

Dr. Grace Pregent

One such project she developed with students and partners is the Community Writing Center at the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL), where she now serves as Co-Director with Angelo Moreno, ELPL Interim Director. She also is the Education Abroad Program Director for Community Literacies in Canada, Vice President for the East Central Writing Centers Association (ECWCA), and a Mentoring Editor with the ECWCA Journal

“It’s an honor to be the new Director of The Writing Center at Michigan State,” Pregent said. “I believe that writing centers should collaborate with campus and community partners through writing to work towards social, individual, and institutional change. My vision for The Writing Center builds upon the wonderful work the center has done for over 30 years, particularly regarding transformative justice and reciprocal partnerships.”

“My vision for The Writing Center builds upon the wonderful work the center has done for over 30 years, particularly regarding transformative justice and reciprocal partnerships.”

Pregent first came to Michigan State University in Fall 2019 as the Associate Director of The Writing Center. At that time, she was working on finishing her Ph.D. in English from Loyola University Chicago, which she completed in 2020. She also has an M.S. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Dayton, an M.A. in English from the University of Dallas, and a B.A. in English from Christendom College.

Drawing from her dissertation, Pregent’s first book, In Praise of the Minor Character: The Importance of Peripheral Figures in Victorian Literature, was published in October 2023 by McFarland & Company. The book is about minor characters and the qualities of “minorness” in Victorian novels. It offers casual readers and scholars alike a new method of reading and rereading for minor characters that extends across genres. One reviewer shares that after reading Pregent’s book, “you will see your beloved Victorian novels in a brilliantly new way. It will be like reading everything for the first time.”

Group photo with 12 people.
Grace Pregent (far right) and Angelo Moreno (front row far left), Co-Directors of the Community Writing Center at the East Lansing Public Library, with students from the Writing Center Theory and Practice (WRA 395) class.

Pregent’s current research focuses on rhetorical narrative theory and higher education, particularly in intersections between storytelling, partnerships, and organizational management. Some of her recent articles have been published in College Composition and Communication, Victorians, and WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship newsletter. She also has written book chapters that were recently included in these edited collections: Public Feminisms (2023) and the forthcoming Queer Praxis in the Writing Center: Expanding Intersectional Paradigms (2024). 

Before joining MSU, Pregent was the Associate Director of the Writing Center at Loyola University.

In her role as Director of The Writing Center at MSU, some of her responsibilities include providing the Center with leadership informed by core values of collaboration, care, and inclusion; developing the Center’s strategic plan in consultation with stakeholders; anticipating and addressing the Center’s needs in terms of employees, operations, facilities, and budgets; and mentoring the Center’s staff including two Associate Directors and 70+ graduate and undergraduate student employees across multiple locations.

Group photo with 17 people.
Grace Pregent (third from right) with other educators at the recent Michigan Writing Centers Association Conference.

In ongoing collaboration with Writing Center staff and the College of Arts & Letters, Pregent also is founding the new Writing Center Research Lab.

“The Writing Center Research Lab will engage in reciprocal collaborations about writing centers within institutional, communal, and global ecologies in ways that honor local contexts,“ Pregent said. “We hope to create a generative space that forefronts innovative and interdisciplinary writing center research.”

The Writing Center collaborates with communities in fostering writing cultures and practices while promoting diverse and interdisciplinary ways of thinking, composing, and researching. The Center works with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members across campus, within local communities and throughout the global Spartan network.

For more information on the Center, visit The Writing Center website.