North Quad: Sweetland's Home
In late July 2010, the Sweetland Center for Writing moved from its long-time home in Angell Hall to the new North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex. Located on the site of Ann Arbor’s first public library, this building—designed by the architectural team of Einhorn Yaffee Prescott and Robert A.M. Stern Architects—was envisioned as bringing together traditional and cutting-edge elements in design, use, and pedagogy: brick-lined courtyards open onto high-tech, modular performance and collaboration spaces; seminar-style classrooms house media-rich instructor podia; and the new building itself physically incorporates elements of the Frieze and Carnegie structures it replaces.
For Sweetland, the new space is a fitting venue for many recent changes to our Center: our development in 2008 of a New Media Writing curriculum (SWC 200), with courses focusing on topics ranging from the rhetoric of blogging to photo and audio essays to viral video rhetoric; our shift to an online appointment-scheduling software for our Writing Workshop conferences; our development of a synchronous online writing lab (the syncOWL) that allows real-time distance conferencing with our peer tutors; the addition of an electronic portfolio component to all of our SWC 100: Transition to College Writing Courses; and other exciting initiatives we have detailed in these pages.
For the third time in our history, we also have a new name: the Gayle Morris Sweetland Center for Writing. Signifying the broad reach of our programs and services—not only one-on-one writing conferences, but also University writing requirements, Fellows Seminars and Dissertation Writing Institutes, faculty consultations and GSI training, research on writing, and much more—our new name captures the best of our mission, to support student writing at all levels and in all modes, through a wide-angle lens.
At our North Quad location—physically on the periphery of central campus, but conceptually at the center of the University’s future—we are busier and more purposeful than ever. Our large, colorful lobby bustles with writers; our classrooms, with their collaborative MediaScape workspaces, overflow with student energy and ideas; and our spacious new break room keeps us fed, caffeinated, and in touch with one another. Come visit us in 1310 North Quad!