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About Transylvania

Scott Whiddon

Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication; Program Director; Director of the Writing Center

Haupt Humanities 12
Transylvania University
300 North Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508-1797

Phone: (859) 233-8298
e-mail Scott Whiddon

“I give students opportunities to see themselves as writers, especially in situations in which they are outside the safe confines of a classroom.”

Scott Whiddon wears many hats at Transylvania. He teaches a number of first-year and special topics courses, including such student favorites as Reading the Election and Rhetoric of American Prisons. He is also director of the university's Writing Center.

But no matter which hat he's wearing or with whom he's working, Whiddon is, in the end, a writing coach.

"Many students think that people are born writers—that it's a natural ability. And maybe there's some truth to that. But what most beginning writers need is honest yet supportive feedback—someone to play the role of audience, to ask questions, to help shape and contour the prose," he says.

As a strong advocate of the recursive nature of writing, Whiddon works to help students master each stage of the writing process. He also believes in giving them plenty of opportunities to practice the craft.

Whiddon considers himself "challenging but fair" and his program "rigorous."

"I fully expect my students to take risks with their writing. But, at the same time, I expect them to embrace the joy of writing," he says.

Outside the classroom—and inside, too—Whiddon has a strong interest in music. He has been an advisor to the university's student-run radio station, Radio TLX, and continues to support its endeavors.

Professional memberships

  • Kentucky's representative for the Southeast Writing Center Association
  • International Writing Center Association
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication

Want to know more about Transylvania's WRC program?

Academic history

Courses taught

Areas of research

Recent publications


Academic history

  • Ph.D., English/Writing and Culture, Louisiana State University, 2006
  • M.A., English, McNeese State University, 1999
  • M.F.A., Creative Writing, McNeese State University, 1999
  • B.A., English, Winthrop University, 1996

Courses taught

  • First Year Seminar, First Year Research Seminar, Introduction to Classical Rhetoric, Readings in Rhetorical Criticism, Writing Center Theory and Practice, and Various Special Topics in Writing Studies

Areas of research

  • Writing center theory/practice
  • Composition studies
  • The literature of confinement
  • Rhetorical theory/genre studies

Recent publications

  • "'To Live Outside the Law, You Must Be Honest': Words, Walls, and the Rhetorical Practices of The Angolite" (an essay in Stories of Outsider Rhetoric, edited by Anne Stockdell-Giesler, Fairleigh-Dickinson UP), 2010.
  • Contributed research and original music for the documentary film Rothstein's First Assignment, directed by Richard Knox Robinson, 2011.
  • Invited Guest Editor (with Dr Russell Carpenter and Dr. Kevin Dvorak), Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. Special Double Issue on Course-Embedded Support in Writing Centers 12.1 (2012)
  • Over 15 national-level research presentations and invited workshops


  • Bingham Award for Teaching
  • Keenan/Jones Research Grant
  • International Writing Center Summer Scholarship Award, 2013
  • Dartmouth Summer Seminar for Composition Research, 2011
  • 2012 Southeastern Writing Center Association / Christine Cozzens Research and Initiative Grant

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