Goodbye from our Graduates: Jaclyn Hiner

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During my time at IPFW, The Writing Center was by far my most rewarding work experience. I applied to The Writing Center because I was in need of a part-time job, and I loved to read, write, and peer-review, so it seemed like the perfect match! However, what I never could have guessed when I first started to fill out the application was how much I would learn and grow during my time as a consultant.

By far, the best part about working in The Writing Center is the people: Kris, my coworkers, and all the students I have had the pleasure to work with. Ever since my first meeting with Kris, I have felt welcome and accepted. I remember first telling her I would like to work in The Writing Center, rather than another part of CASA, and her response was “I was hoping you’d say that!” From the beginning, Kris has seriously been the greatest boss ever, from understanding class work-loads to driving me to my car in the rain. So, Kris, thank you for your encouragement, your understanding, and for being you! Even when you were having a long day, you stayed positive and ready to listen. There is no one else I would rather email pictures of Sebastian Stan to. 🙂

Next, I need to thank all of my coworkers. Audrey, thank you for being the lead of all leads and teaching me pretty much everything I know about consulting. Heather and Rachel, thank you for being the best co-leads a girl could hope for and for keeping me sane during the stress of applying to grad schools. Thank you to all the brilliant consultants that I have worked with in the center, past and present, for always coming in ready to work and support each other! You have all made my experience in The Writing Center fun and fulfilling.

And finally, thank you to all of the students who I’ve worked with over the last year and a half. Whether it was fifteen minutes or over multiple consultations, I have enjoyed working with each and every one of you. Thank you for keeping me on my toes, helping me explore new subjects, and allowing me to contribute to any “ah-ha” moments that took place during our consultations.

I am thankful for the opportunity to have been involved in The Writing Center, and although it is sad to type this conclusion, I am excited to begin drafting the next chapter in my life.

Goodbye to my Writing Center family!

Jaclyn

Goodbye from our Graduates- Rachel Abraham

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My time at the writing center couldn’t have been long enough. Since my first day, even as nervous as I was, I have loved this job. Immediately it felt too good to be true, like I’d be found out as a fraud.  This early in life I hate to say that being a consultant, lead, and social media “person,” and blog content manager is the best hypha-job that I’ll ever have. What I can say more hopefully is that this has been the best job I’ve had yet. There were so many valuable experiences–like attending and presenting at two ECWCA conferences!

Firstly, Kris has been the best boss on the planet. You can trust me on that because I won’t be her employee much longer. 😦 From the day I said “I’d like to try to handle the social media,” little more than a few months into my first semester, she has believed in me and allowed to me learn and fail. I’m tearing up, so let me move on.

Secondly, I’ll remember the students that I’ve worked with for the rest of my life. I may not remember all of their names, but I will certainly remember my favorites (we’re not parents, we’re allowed favorites). Returning adult nursing students, foreign exchange students, and students who simply hadn’t found their place on campus yet will be among my fondest memories and connections made at IPFW.

Lastly, but certainly not least-ly, my fellow writing center folks. Nobody nerds out about English with me as well as you guys do. I’ll miss our laughs between consultations, jokes at the movies, and celebrating birthdays, job offers, and—thank goodness—graduations. Audrey & Matt, who taught me what I know, thank you! Heather, for all the germophobic and sugar/work-addict sympathy, thank you. Josh and Jaclyn, for knowing and accepting my sarcasm, thank you. Amy, Darren, Eylina, Fiona, Erika, Ashlee, and our G.A.’s thank you for making work an enjoyable place to come every day. Kris, for all the Chewy bars, understanding, encouragement, safe space, driving me to pick out a new car, birthday dinners, laughs, thank you a million times over!

I’ll miss you, Writing Center family.

Love,

Rachel Abraham

 

Writing Center Alumna: Sadie Hoffman

We caught up with writing center consultant and grad, Sadie to see where she’s at now.

After graduating from IPFW, I moved to Boston, MA and started a dual master’s degree program in library science and children’s literature at Simmons College. I’m working in an academic library too, and I do many of the same things there as I did at the Writing Center – especially helping students navigate the wilds of APA and MLA formatting. When I graduate from Simmons, I plan to work as a teen librarian.

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A letter from an alumna: Maleah Fick

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My name is Maleah Fick and I was employed at the IPFW Writing Center from August 2011 to December 2013. I applied to be a writing consultant after one of my professors highly recommended the position. At the time, I had been to the Writing Center two times, both because professors had granted credit for getting my paper reviewed, so I had little idea what I was in for.

Consulting was a challenge, even as a proficient writer. It wasn’t about simply editing a paper, but working with writers to meet their specific desired writing goals…in a limited amount of time. However, working on such varied assignments taught me an incredible amount, which was something I’d been unprepared for. I worked with non-native speakers, who taught me about their cultures and writing styles. I consulted with freshmen who explained the complexities of transitioning to IPFW from high schools who had nearly no writing program at all. And I read through advanced, senior level writing, as the writers informed me they just needed another pair of eyes to catch the mistakes they’d been blinded to.

Eventually, I advanced to become a lead consultant, focusing on orientations and social media. I was able to use my story to let others in on the secret of the Writing Center: everyone needs it. There wasn’t a paper I didn’t take to one of my fellow consultants once I began working there, and it made a huge improvement in my writing.

Currently, I am a marketing and public relations assistant at Ruoff Home Mortgage. I find myself analyzing text on a daily basis, even if I’m not explicitly told to do so. However, in doing so I’ve managed to find mild errors and reword marketing materials to better achieve their intended purpose.

Being a consultant has absolutely shaped who I am today. Not to mention, I gained some lifelong consultant friends in the process. I wouldn’t trade my experiences there for the world.

 

A letter from an alumnus: A.J. Rivera

Hello!

My name is Adrian Rivera (though I go by A.J.). During my time as an undergraduate I worked at the Writing Center. Specifically, I worked there for three years, with two and a half years of that time being as a lead consultant. Some of my best memories of being a student at IPFW come from my time working at the Writing Center, and some of the best friends I made at IPFW were my co-workers at the Writing Center. To this day, we still hang out and get together. This is probably what I’m most grateful for in my time at the Writing Center from a personal perspective.

From a professional standpoint, the Writing Center was a tremendous help to me. I was an English writing major at IPFW, and I credit that with getting me ready for graduate school work and preparing my thesis. However, the Writing Center allowed me to learn how to teach. Writing is something that comes easier to me than most, and it is really hard to avoid simply providing my students the answer I would use. Working at the Writing Center, especially under my old boss, armed me with Socratic questioning and a completely different outlook on writing as a process. It is less about the final product for me and more about how the student progressed to get there. I love seeing my students grow from draft to draft, and it is a great joy to me to see when my students’ end-of-semester work is better by leaps and bounds than their early work. This is an experience that I first had while working as a consultant at the Writing Center, and I believe it is what led me to where I am today.

In particular, I loved working with the diverse student population who would visit the Writing Center. We would get traditional age students, returning adults, and, my personal favorite, non-native speakers of English. Every student had a story behind them; each one had a unique set of circumstances which led them to the Writing Center. Working with them and meeting these people I never would have otherwise met was a joy for me.

As I implied before, I earned my Master’s degree in May 2015. I graduated in the fall semester of 2013 at IPFW and thus, left the Writing Center. A few weeks later, I would also leave Fort Wayne, as I entered the Master’s in English Education program at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. I finished their program in a year and a half and came back to Fort Wayne. Now, I am a Limited Term Lecturer for the Department of English and Linguistics at IPFW and the tutor of English for Speakers of Other Languages at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne.

However, I am a big believer in learning as a constant process, and one which I will never be finished doing. I plan to pursue PhD programs which match my (somewhat eclectic) research interests. Right now, I am focusing on building my resume by teaching, my teaching portfolio in reflecting on my teaching practices, and my academic footprint by completing and submitting scholarly articles for publication. In the near future, I hope to attain my PhD and, ideally, I would get a government teaching job as an ESL educator or land at a college like Ivy Tech, where the refugee student population is huge. I would love to make a difference in the lives of students who are coming from around the world, even if that difference is something as small as helping them acquire the English language and get more comfortable in Indiana.

As one of my favorite professors in Puerto Rico would often say, “every experience we have in our lives prepares us for the next one.” Working in the Writing Center was a huge source of preparation and education for me. It got me engaged in the writing process, provided me with practice in interpersonal communication, and allowed me to come out of my introverted shell and make fantastic friends, among many, many other benefits.

In all, the Writing Center got me on the path I am on now. I credit my former boss Mary Arnold Schwartz, my academic advisor Dr. Sara Webb-Sunderhaus, and the many other influences from IPFW for helping me find what I want to do with my life. That means the world to me. The Writing Center will always be a special place for me, and now as an instructor at IPFW, I frequently encourage my students to visit there and benefit as I have.

Thanks for reading! I hope I adequately shared how awesome the Writing Center is!

A.J. Rivera

A letter from an alumnus: Chris Lambert

Dear Students of IPFW,

I have been involved in numerous IPFW organizations, but none quite compared to what the Writing Center offered. The Writing Center was more than just a student job. It was a way to use my joy of writing to help students with any report and any subject they found themselves struggling to write. My area of study is in accounting, but I didn’t let that limit me in the slightest. The Writing Center let me advance my skills in writing and apply them to my major in more ways than I can count; it doesn’t matter what area of study you find yourself situated in. Every discipline utilizes writing in many different ways and being aware of this will give anyone an advantage in the future.

One of the greatest ways the Writing Center has helped me was in my professional and interpersonal development. Assisting students, many of whom I didn’t know, allowed me to develop greater social skills. Tutoring helped raise my confidence as a writer, and the position challenged me to thrive in a unique environment that facilitated conversational and relational development. This is specifically important in the business world. Overall, helping with someone’s struggle in writing was extremely rewarding. It is what brought me to the Center and what I looked forward to each day.

Reading through the writings of others was an enlightening experience because it let me learn something from each piece I read and each student I had the privilege to talk to. My own writing style changed for the better because I surrounded myself with literature every day. I learned how to analyze my own literary works and find patterns of weakness that I could work on to become a better writer. All of the challenges I overcame allowed me to I pass down what I had learned to the students who I could see were facing the same obstacles.

The Writing Center was a great opportunity for me and I recommend the job to anyone who feels like they can use their writing skills to better someone else in that individual’s academic journey. Every major and concentration uses writing as a way to communicate, and I can’t think of a better place than a Writing Center to develop those skills and have fun tutoring others in the process.

Chris Lambert

Accounting Senior

A letter from an alumna: Madison Prall

Becoming a writing consultant was one of the most rewarding decisions that I made during my time at IPFW. Writing is an essential skill necessary not only for success in school, but also for many careers thereafter. Because many students feel some measure of writing anxiety or feel unsure of themselves, the writing center offers an important service at IPFW. I found a great deal of satisfaction in my role as a provider of this service, and I certainly became a better writer from the experience, but there were several other unanticipated benefits to be had. For instance, I became more involved with on-campus activities, I was able to take advantage of services and opportunities at IPFW that I may not have otherwise learned about, and I even attended a writing center conference at Notre Dame. Above all, I obtained valuable skills and abilities necessary for my professional life now. In fact, a skill needed for a job I recently interviewed for was the ability to interact with people one-on-one and work with them to devise custom solutions for their individual needs. I feel that I honed this skill as a writing consultant because each student that I had the opportunity to work with each came with different needs that required different methods of assistance and different solutions.

I fondly remember my time at IPFW’s Writing Center as one of the best jobs that I’ve ever had. I had excellent co-workers, I found that my flexible hours fit in well with my schedule of classes, and the work itself was mentally stimulating. I not only gained invaluable skills and experience, but I felt that the time and effort I put into my work mattered. I provided personalized assistance and encouragement to those who needed it, and I felt appreciated for providing these services.

 

written by Madison Prall