Nicole Caswell

Associate Professor
Joyner Library 1009a


Nicole (Nikki) Caswell currently directs the University Writing Center and Writing Mentor Program. She enjoys working with graduate and undergraduate writing consultants and helping them help other students. Nikki also teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Rhetoric and Composition.

In true writing center collaborative spirit, Nikki teamed up with two other Writing Center Directors (Jackie Grutsch McKinney and Rebecca Jackson) to complete a longitudinal study of nine new writing center directors in their first or second year on the job. Their book-length manuscript, The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors, was published with Utah State University Press, and it won the 2017 International Writing Center Outstanding Book Award. In addition to writing center research, Nikki’s research focuses on the emotional/affective aspect of responding to student writing as well as issues in programmatic writing assessment.


  • B.S. Kent State University
  • M.A. Ball State University
  • Ph.D. Kent State University

Research Interests

  • Teacher Response Theory
  • Teacher’s Emotion
  • Writing Assessment
  • Writing Center Theory

Courses Taught

  • ENGL 8600: Seminar in Writing Studies and Pedagogy: Writing Assessment
  • ENGL 7600: Research Methods in Rhetoric, Writing, and Professional Communication
  • ENGL 7601: Research Design in Rhetoric and Composition
  • ENGL 6625: Teaching Composition
  • ENGL 3875: Peer Tutoring
  • ENGL 3810: Advanced Composition
  • ENGL 2201: Writing About the Disciplines
  • ENGL 1100: Foundations of College Writing

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Caswell, Nicole I., Jackie Grutsch McKinney and Rebecca Jackson. Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors. Utah State University Press. 2016.
  • Rebecca Jackson, Jackie Grutsch McKinney, and Nicole I. Caswell. “Writing Center Administration as/and Emotional Labor” Summer 2016. Composition Forum 34:
  • Caswell, Nicole I. “Emotionally Exhausting: Investigating the Role of Emotion in Teacher-Response Practices.” in Literacy in Practice Editors Patrick Thomas and Pam Takayoshi (Routledge), 2016, 148-160.
  • Co-lead (with Brian Huot) the Writing Assessment Institute at the Council of Writing Program Administrators’ 2015 Conference | Boise, ID | July 2015.
    Featured speaker. The Role of Emotions within Response Practices. Meeting in the Middle: Carolinas Writing Program Administrators | Charlotte, NC | February 2015.
  • Caswell, Nicole. “‘I still grade objectively’: Emotional labor of response.” Ohio Journal of English Language Arts. (Winter 2014-2015) 54.2: 33-39.
  • Caswell, Nicole. “Dynamic Patterns: Emotional Episodes within Teachers’ Response Practices.” Journal of Writing Assessment. 7.1 (2014)
  • Caswell, Nicole and Courtney Werner. “Activities for Tutor Identity Development.” Academic Exchange Quarterly 18.4 (Winter 2014): 83-88.
  • Caswell, Nicole, Jackie Grutsch McKinney and Rebecca Jackson. “A Glimpse into the Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors.” Forum. 18.1 (2014): A3-A8.
  • Huot, Brian and Nicole Caswell. “Translating Assessment.” In Ellen Schendel and Bill Macauley’s Building Writing Center Assessments that Matter Utah State University Press. (2012): 162-170.
  • Caswell, Nicole. “Writing Assessment, Emotions, Feelings and Teachers.” The CEA Forum 40.1 (Winter/Spring 2011):