Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts

Degree Name

Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

First Advisor

Kevin Dvorak, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Janine Morris, Ph.D.


Leadership, peer leadership, writing centers, undergraduate


Writing center scholarship offers a plethora of research in the field of composition including different practices and skillsets offered to students. Hosten et al. (2016) describe writing centers to be an incubator for leadership skills, one that creates a blueprint for student leaders to succeed. Situated within the field of composition and rhetoric, this IRB-approved thesis acknowledges a gap in research on the role writing centers play in the development of undergraduate consultants’ leadership skills. Through interviewing various writing center directors as well as current and former undergraduate consultants from five universities, I examine peer leadership perception, while uncovering the nature of peer leadership in the writing center environment, in order to understand its effectiveness. The results of the study show that peer leadership happens in the writing center in various ways. Directors and consultants prompt peer leadership through everyday practices. This research is useful for empowering leadership through writing centers as a space that cultivates and strives for student success and calls for directors and peer consultants to examine how leadership is being practiced in their centers, as well as to increase peer leadership opportunities.