CS&L Assistant Director Melody Lehn and Peer Tutors Amanda Schlegel (C’23) and Zach Shunnarah (C’23) recently attended the 21st Century Excellence at the Center Conference hosted by the University of North Carolina-Greensboro on March 25 and 26, 2022. This year’s conference theme was “Together Towards Tomorrow” and featured interactive panels, presentations, and workshops led by Center directors and tutors representing several institutions including UNC-Greensboro, the University of Southern Mississippi, James Madison University, Clemson University, Arizona State University, the University of Alabama, and Virginia Tech University.

Amanda found the session on “Supporting Students with Communication Disorders” led by tutors at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro particularly enlightening. “I think it’s interesting that these students are using their own Communication Centers as a means for research. It is just another way that we could work with Sewanee students to make them more comfortable with resources on campus and engage with research,” she reflected.

Zach really enjoyed the session about “The Work of Doing Less Harm Each Day,” which focused on best practices for intercultural engagement. He had this to say: “In the presentation, a few points that hit home involved being present in the moment, as well as always having the chance to teach and learn from others. Additionally, one session facilitator explained how we can demonstrate intercultural competence not only by being self-aware while tutoring, but also by continuing to master the practice of interacting with others: ‘Our opinions about others have more to do with us than them.’”

“I was thrilled that some of Sewanee’s terrific CS&L tutors were able to remotely participate in this professional development opportunity, and believe they represented our Center and our institution well,” Prof. Lehn said. “The ideas and strategies we heard and reflected upon provide a clear roadmap for the future directions of Sewanee’s Center for Speaking & Listening in terms of our training, resources, and outreach. No doubt, we will continue to participate in future meetings of the Excellence at the Center Conference!”