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Colin Payton

Writing Center Director


Colin serves as the Director of the Simpson Writing Center. He trains, mentors, and supervises the peer writing consultants who then support all of the writers on Simpson’s campus. Forged in the liberal arts at Wittenberg University in Ohio and subsequently honed at Iowa State’s Rhetoric and Professional Communication Ph.D. program, Colin brings a wide range of pedagogical perspectives to Simpson, including firm beliefs that:

  • writing centers should serve written, oral, visual, and electronic modes of communication
  • writing center training is necessary, and that it should be an intellectually rigorous and inspiring experience for consultants
  • writing centers’ firmest foundation is composed of serving all students in all disciplines at any stage of the writing process
  • writing centers practitioners engage in scholarship, both in learning new practices and sharing new discoveries
  • writing centers are foremost for students, and all assessments, services, and initiatives should serve the purpose of helping students read anything, write anything, and speak on anything well.
  • writing centers rely too heavily on a passive model of students visiting the center; in conjunction with a "centered" location, writing centers should actively seek out students where they plan, draft, revise, and edit.
  • writing centers, if nurtured over time and respected as the last best place on a campus, foster love: love for quality communication, love for shitty first drafts, love for student potential, love for who consultants and students become when collaborating together, love for the freedom to make rigorous claims and receive rigorous feedback.

When not in the Center, Colin writes music to sleep and study to, boulders, practices yoga, and takes very long walks while listening to all the books he should have read in high school and college.


  • Two-semester training sequence (English 270 and 275)
  • Online Writing Lab
  • Night Against Procrastination
  • On-demand presentation and workshop series