Michael Mattison, Ph.D.

mike mattison

"If you've never stared off into the distance, then your life is a shame"  -Counting Crows

Professor of English
Associate Provost
Writing Center Director
Oral Communication Center Director

(937) 327-7922
Recitation 208



Though he's been employed as a dish washer, disc jockey, sump-pump repairman, line cook, vacuum cleaner salesman, and telemarketer, Mike most enjoys working with students on their writing, both in the classroom and in writing centers. He has worked in writing centers since 1996, when he became a tutor in the Iowa State Writing Center. At the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, he taught in their award-winning writing program and was the assistant director of the Writing Center. Then, he was a member of the English Department and the director of the Writing Center at Boise State University for six years, before coming back to Ohio in 2009 to take over the Wittenberg Writing Center. Through all those years, he's been able to work with hundreds of students on thousands of papers. Even better, he's worked with dozens of student tutors/consultants/advisors as they have learned to conduct their own sessions with writers, and learned to conduct their own research projects in the writing center field. (For the listing of professional presentations from the Wittenberg advisors, .)

Courses Taught

  • English FYS: Thru the Language Glass
  • Education 550: Professional and Ethical Issues in Education
  • English 242/325: Writing Center Theory and Practice
  • English 327: Advanced Rhetoric and Grammar
  • English 245: Writing for Teachers
  • English 101E: College Writing and Research


  • Ph.D. English: Composition/Rhetoric University of Massachusetts-Amherst 2003
  • M.A. English: Literature Iowa State University 1996
  • B.A. English College of Wooster 1994

Research Interests

Concerts Attended

  • Billy Joel 
  • Prince (Purple Rain)
  • Stevie Ray Vaughn (JVC Jazz Festival)
  • Eric Clapton (Phil Collins on drums)
  • John Mayall 
  • Bruce Springsteen 
  • Avett Brothers 
  • Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers
  • Ray LaMontagne
  • Jason Isbell
  • Ryan Adams
  • Josh Ritter
  • Bob Dylan & Natalie Merchant
  • Willie Nelson & The Mavericks
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Old Crow Medicine Show & Brandi Carlile
  • Lyle Lovett & Emmylou Harris
  • Steve Earle & Shawn Colvin
  • Rob Thomas & Counting Crows
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket & Rusted Root
  • Blues Traveler & The Wallflowers
  • Backseat Lovers
  • Lumineers & CAAMP
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • U2

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • "'I was kind of angry': Tutors Receiving Feedback in order to Understand Writer Resistance" (with Jenn Ryan and Julia Bleakney). Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. 17.1 (2019).
  • "Taking Initiative: The Evolution of a Writing Tutor" (with Kaitlyn Zebell). WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship 44.3-4 (November/December 2019): 2-9.
  • “Recalibrating the Hiring Line: One Center’s Changing Practices.” Southern Discourse in the Center.22.1-2 (Spring 2018): 40-60.
  • "Heading East, Leaving North: Thoughts from the 2016 IWCA Conference." WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship 42.3-4 (November/December 2017): 2-6.
  • "'A' is For 'Alumni': Cultivating Past Advisors as Current Advocates.WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship 41.1-2 (September/October 2016): 10-16.
  • "What We Talk about When We Talk with Writing Tutors about Talking with Writers about Writing" International Writing Centers Association Conference: Denver, CO October 16, 2016
  • "Kill the Dog, Pass the Ball, Check the Machine, and Bring the Apathy" Mortar Board Last Lecture Series: Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH November 14, 2014
  • "Using Student Reflection to Lighten our (Work)Load: or, What Martin Landau Taught Me about Teaching Writing" Invited Workshop: Otterbein University, Westerville, OH October 28, 2014
  • "The Architecture of Insight: (Un)Wonderful Conversations- (with Meaghan Summers) National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing, Orlando, FL, November 2014
  • "The Writer as Suspect?: Law Enforcement Techniques in the Writing Center" National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing, Tampa, FL, November 2013
  • "The Shelf Life of Rubrics" (with Rick Incorvati). Chalk: Teaching and Faculty Development 2.3 (Spring 2013): 22-24.
  • "A Fall for Fellows: Implementing and Assessing a Writing Fellows Program" (with Tyler Hall and Laura McLaughlin). The ECWCA Newsletter (Spring 2012): 10-12.
  • "150 Seconds: Opening a Writing Center Session." Academic Exchange Quarterly.15.4 (Winter 2011): 116-121. (Reprinted in Writing Center Theory and Practice, Spring, March 2015.)
  • "By the Numbers" (with Adam Parker). The WAC Journal. 21 (November 2010): 37-52.
  • "Just Between Me and Me: A Letter to Myself About Being a Graduate Student Tutor and Administrator." (E)Merging Identities: Working with Graduate Students in the Writing Center. Ed. Melissa Nicolas. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead Press, 2008: 11-25.


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