Kate Navickas

Cornell Writing Centers Director, Senior Lecturer


Kate Navickas supports writing and writers in a variety of ways in her work at Cornell. As the Director of the Cornell Writing Centers, she hires, trains, and offers ongoing professional development for 40-50 undergraduate tutors. As a writing workshop teacher, she works one-on-one with diverse undergraduate writers in the First Year Writing Seminars. And, in the summer, she teaches new graduate instructors how to teach writing and fosters deeper engagement with teaching writing for TAs through a summer Writing Center Internship program.

In her First Year Writing Seminars (WRIT 1380 & WRIT 1420), Kate encourages students to explore issues of language, identities, discrimination, and larger social divisions through their readings, research and writing. She asks writers to slow down, to dwell with different texts and perspectives, to put texts in conversation around their own questions and interests, and to interrogate their own ideas and writing. She loves experimenting with multimodal and creative assignments, and has been recently teaching a research-centered FWS in which students spend 8-week conducting research and composing journalistic podcasts.

In her work with both tutors and graduate student instructors, Kate works to foster greater knowledge about and experiences with writing and pedagogy. She offers tutors ongoing professional development in staff meetings on diverse topics, including understanding science writing conventions, writing and supporting application materials, helping writers develop stronger ideas and analysis, working with diverse writers ethically, and fostering responsible source-use. In addition to teaching WRIT 7100, to support graduate instructors, she often offers teaching workshops, including ones on grading contracts, using digital tools in the classroom, and writing letters of recommendation for students, and she also offers classroom workshops, which often include tutors, that involve workshopping drafts and thesis statements.

Kate’s research comes from a tradition of teacher/practitioner-motivated action research. That is, she asks questions that emerge from her work in the classroom, her experiences becoming an administrator, and her work with specific groups of writers. Whether she’s analyzing a national set of feminist-oriented writing assignments, reflecting on her efforts to support multilingual writers in the writing center, or studying the affective dimensions of administrative work, her research is motivated by feminist commitments and a desire to create more just classrooms, approaches to teaching, and writing centers.


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Research Focus

  • Composition Pedagogy 
  • Writing Centers 
  • Feminist Pedagogy & Rhetorics
  • Writing Program Administration 



The Things We Carry: Strategies for Recognizing and Negotiating Emotional Labor in Writing Program Administration. Edited with Courtney Adams Wooten, Jacob Babb, and Kristi Murray Costello. Utah State University Press. November, 2020.

Journal Articles

“The Limitations of Liberation in the Classroom: Lessons from Minnie Bruce Pratt.” Pedagogy, Special Issue: Ideological Transparency Across Landscapes of Learning. Eds. Louise Wetherbee Phelps and Daniel Richards. Vol. 20, no.1, January 2020, pp. 49-58.

“The Perpetual ‘But’ in Linguistic Justice Work: When Idealism Meets Practice.” With Nicole Gonzales Howell, Rachael Shapiro, Shawna Shapiro, and Missy Watson. Composition Forum, Special Issue “Promoting Social Justice for Multilingual Writers on College Campuses.” Eds. Eunjeong Lee et al. Summer 2020. 

Book Chapters

“The Emotional Labor of Becoming: Lessons from the Exiting Writing Center Director.” The Things We Carry: Strategies for Recognizing and Negotiating Emotional Labor in Writing Program Administration. Edited with Courtney Adams Wooten, Jacob Babb, and Kristi Murray Costello. Utah State University Press. November 2020.

“Feminist Writing Assignments: Enacting Pedagogy through Classroom Genres.” Writing the Classroom: Pedagogical Documents as Rhetorical Genres. Ed. Stephen Neaderhiser. Under Review, with Utah State University Press. Expected  spring 2021 publication.

“Naming What We Feel: Self-Dialogue as a Strategy for Negotiating Emotional Labor in WPA Work.” With Kristi Murray Costello. Making Administrative Work Visible: Data-Driven Approaches to Understanding the Labor of Writing Program Administration. Eds. Leigh Graziano et al. In Process.

“Tales of Becoming and Letting Go: The Emotional Labor of Writing Center Directors.” With Kristi Murray Costello and Tabatha Simpson-Farrow. Affect and Emotion in the Writing Center. Eds. Janine Morris and Kelly Concannon. In Process.

In the news

WRIT Courses - Spring 2024

WRIT Courses - Summer 2024

WRIT Courses - Fall 2024