Since 1983, when a writing center was first established at East Carolina University, undergraduate and graduate students have served as writing center consultants. The center aims to recruit a diverse body of consultants with a wide array of academic interests and strengths. We at the University Writing Center are proud of the accomplishments of our consultant alumni. Read more to learn about the impact our consultant alumni are having in our community and beyond.
Upon graduating with a Master of Arts in English (Multicultural and Transnational Literature Concentration), Lena is now enrolled in the Certificate in Teaching English in the Two-Year College program. An alumna who is still serving as a consultant as she is in the certificate program, Lena was the first distance education consultant. She lives in Virginia and has published many feature articles in her local newspaper. Check out her work here:
Christopher teaches art at Chicod School, here in Pitt County Schools. On making connections with his professional practice now and his writing center roots, Christopher says, "I'm always having my students write and reflect on their projects and having them think creatively and solve problems just like did at the WC. One of my favorite projects is to have kids draw a fantasy picture and then write an accompanying story (or pick a story and have them illustrate a picture from it)." Christopher provided an example of a lesson he did with his second graders about dragons and literature:
Since being a writing tutor and earning his MA in English, James taught high school English in North Carolina for three years before moving to Arkansas to complete his PhD. Today, he lives in Greenwood, South Carolina, with his wife and daughter and is an Assistant Professor of English and English Education at Lander University. On his experience within the writing center, James says, "I learned a great deal about writing and how to help students with writing at the Writing Center. I went on to tutor at he writing center at University of Arkansas, also. Having experience at ECU helps me understand college students' difficulties in writing academic prose and in critical thinking. I use those skills everyday."
Olivia shares her story with us:
I graduated with a MA in English in 2010. Soon afterwards, my husband and I moved to Florida to help my elderly, widowed father-in-law. I had a great potential career with a marketing consulting firm, but less than a year after graduation I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer while pregnant with my first child. I had two surgeries and six rounds of chemo, but in April I will be a four-year-survivor! This past December, I gave birth to a second healthy son. For the rest of my life, Asher and Remington will be my greatest achievements. (If you want to know more about my journey, you can visit my blog here).
Although my focus at ECU was on poetry, I now find myself in the midst of writing a non-fiction book about my experiences. Career-wise, I am still on hiatus, though I am learning intensive organizational skills in my current position, not to mention nurturing the patience the writing center demanded. Never underestimate the power and value of communication - be it with a child, professional, or yourself. I continue to employ skills I learned in the Writing Center for personal, consulting, and non-profit purposes, and it remains the best part of my experience at ECU.
There is so much I could say about my experience and observations at the writing center, but I will try to be brief. The students that utilized the Writing Center on a regular basis were truly dedicated to improving both their writing and their academic understanding - they wanted to gain the most from their college investment. Their successes felt like personal achievements. Although I held a variety of assistantships on campus (teaching assistant, research assistant, editorial assistant for Tar River Poetry and NCLR), my tutoring at the University Writing Center was the most valuable because it was challenging, engaging, and rewarding. In this ideal teaching environment of one-on-one mentorship, both the tutor and the student can focus on the innate value of communication - What is the professor seeking from the assignment? What does the student really want to say? How do they want to say it? It is more about than imparting information, it is about helping someone find a voice and that skill is something that transcends all fields, all careers.