Education Professor Kent Wins National Book Award

Contact: Richard Kent, 581-2746; George Manlove, 581-3756

ORONO — UMaine literacy education professor Rich Kent has received a national best book for 2006 award for his latest work, A Guide to Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers, Grades 6-12.

The International Writing Centers Association, an assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English, awarded Kent its 2006 Outstanding Scholarship in a Book Award at its recent international convention in Houston.

Kent’s Guide is “an important contribution to writing center studies,” the International Writing Centers Association states in a news release. “Drawing upon his experiences as a teacher, scholar, and high school writing center director, Kent offers the reader not just a comprehensive treatment of how to establish a high school writing center, but a compelling argument for doing so.”

In a recent review in The Writing Center Journal, Catherine Oriani, past president of the Northeast Writing Center Association, notes that Kent “presents wide-ranging and even inspiring material (that) will prove helpful to would-be, novice and veteran writing center directors.”

The Outstanding Scholarship Committee says it concurs with that assessment. The Outstanding Scholarship in a Book Award subcommittee consisted of Melissa Ianetta of the University of Delaware, Wayne Robertson of Oregon State University and Elisabeth-Piedmont Marton (chair) of Southwest University.

A Guide to Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers: Grades 6-12

was published in 2006 by Peter Lang Publishing of New York City.

Kent, a resident of Rumford, has been teaching in the University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development since 2003. He is also the director of the Maine Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project.

Kent is the author of many education journal articles and six books, including two on educational pedagogy, theory and practice. A seventh book co-edited with Thomas Newkirk of the University of New Hampshire, Teaching the Neglected “R”: Rethinking Writing Instruction in Secondary Classrooms, will be published this fall.

According to Kent’s colleague Harvey Kail, professor of English and UMaine Writing Center coordinator, A Guide to Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers “opens a new door into the world of writing centers for teachers of writing from grades 6-12.

“This book is meant to invite, instruct, prepare and inspire teachers of writing to start writing centers in today’s middle school, junior high or high school, and it does these essential, frontier tasks with a winning combination of hands-on experience, contemporary scholarship, and chutzpah,” Kail says.