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Neil Baird, Director

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


OFFICE: 213 Simpkins Hall: 309-255-7103

OFFICE HOURS: M,TH 1-2, W 3:30-5:30  (SPRING 2014)


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, SecretaryTiffany


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. I would love to teach middle school students someday. I've been married for four years and recently had my first child at the end of August 2013. I love being a mom and spending every moment with my son. When I used to have free time, I would scrapbook my millions of pictures, read young adult literature, listen to Christian music, eat raw cookie dough or anything with chocolate chips, and watch movies and TV shows on Netflix. I enjoy working in the Writing Center and meeting new people.





Ceana Ceana, Since March 2011

Ceana is a senior at Western Illinois University, majoring in RPTA with a minor in psychology. She plans to become a recreation and occupational therapist, working with children, special needs, disabilities and other special populations. Ceana has been a receptionist at the University Writing Center since March 2011 and enjoys interacting with consultants and students at WIU. In her free time, Ceana enjoys listening to music, being with family and friends and working with children and adults with special needs and disabilities.

Dedrianna Dedrianna, Since January 2014

My Name is Dedrianna Williams and am currently a freshman at Western. Once a city girl but moved to the calm Macomb area to further my career as a Broadcasting Major. I enjoy listening to music, creative writing and hanging with my friends. I am new to the university writing center and can’t wait to get more involved with work. I enjoy taking on new things, adventures and life lessons to better my future. I look forward to working with all my co-workers and hope to embellish in this new experience.

Dezyre, Since DezyreApril 2013

I’m a second year graduate student in writing studies. My focus within this field is centered on teaching writing.  I received my bachelor’s degree from Greenville College in 2011. While there, my major was Literature and Language. After graduating from Greenville, I worked as a tutor at Black Hawk College for a year and a half. While there, I mostly assisted students with learning disabilities and second language learners. In my downtime, I enjoy running, fishing and playing basketball. I look forward to assisting  with any aspect of the writing process that you want to learn more about.