MU Writing Center Annual Report 2020-2021

Page 1

university of missouri

WRITING CENTER 20-21 annual report

TAKING TUTORING TO THE SCREEN online w r itery


MU WRITING CENTER


ANNUAL REPORT

TA B LE OF CONTENTS 4

Letter from Our Directors

6

Letter from the WC Assistant

8

Our Mission Statement

9

O u r Ye a r i n B r i e f

10

U s a g e b y Ye a r

11

Usage by Fall 2020

12

Usage by Spring 2021

13

Usage by Summer 2021

14

Usage on Breaks

15

Usage by Academic Level

16

Subject Areas

17

G r a d u a t e Wr i t i n g S u p p o r t P r o g r a m

18

Wr i t i n g C e n t e r O u t r e a c h

19

Organizational Chart

20

Overall Student Feedback

22

Selected Student Feedback

24

Wr i t i n g C e n t e r R e c o g n i t i o n

26

“ T h e Wr i t e S t u ff ”

27

B o n n i e Z e l e n a k E x c e l l e n c e i n Tu t o r i n g Aw a r d

28

Tu t o r & D i r e c t o r A c h i e v e m e n t s

30

How to Exit the WC

34

Thank you, Stephanie Kimmey

35

Tu t o r Tr a i n i n g

36

2015HW Course Syllabus

40

Tu t o r L i s t


MU WRITING CENTER

F R O M OU R DIRECTORS Hello, new and returning annual report readers, and welcome to the MU Writing Center’s 20-21 annual report. I confess that I’ve been working hard at avoiding the task that this letter presents. Looking back, particularly on the past academic year, the months before it, and the world we lived through has been difficult. But I don’t want to ignore the goals of this annual report! We hope to showcase to you how we (as individuals but also as a Writing Center) accomplished stunning things, the least of which was working with just shy of 12,000 students on their writing. We also watched

Greetings, as I write to you from a cool fall day in Colorado Springs. Looking back on the 2020-2021 year, I am proud of what the Writing Center accomplished and excited that our tutors fully embraced the brand new (to us) world of Zoom. But so much of the last year holds more meaning to me today, as is usually the case when you sit down and reflect. Flashing back to August of 2020, Aaron and I were juggling so many unknowns that came with the COVID pandemic. Would we be teaching in person? Would our tutors work

a huge subset of our tutoring staff graduate, revamped our tutor training course (twice) to adapt to student needs, and continually problem-solved our way through a pandemic. Our year, as you’ll see below in Dr. Kimmey’s farewell letter, was built on the kindness, generosity, and flexibility of our staff. Our graduate students, when asked if they could take on more administrative roles, said “anything you need.” Our full staff, when asked to work remotely, usually in (only) twohour shifts, from their living rooms, bedrooms, and home offices, took on the challenges of video-tutoring with that same generosity of spirit.

via zoom? Would we find some hybrid solution? Collectively, we worked on several contingency plans and learned what it truly meant to “pivot.” Our first task was to rethink our training approach. We began with the new Writing Intensive tutors, providing 1 day in person, socially distanced, and then a whole lot of online work. This gave us some idea of what it would be like to teach the semester-long undergraduate course. Thankfully, our graduate student “guinea pigs” helped pave a pedagogical path. In the fall, we attempted a hybrid in-person/online

I hope when you read (or skim) this annual report now and in the future, you find the inspiration we found this past year in our staff. I also hope that you as you read Dr. Stephanie Kimmey’s farewell letter below, you can, along with me, recognize how important it is to have “the right people in the right seats” (as one of my first Directors used to say). We would not have persevered without the intelligence, critical thought, baked goods, and generosity that she brought to the Writing Center. Read on!

class. Over the course of that semester, those students provided critical feedback that everything felt disjointed. So, in the spring, we went back to a full in-person model, using the full space of the Student Success Center to spread out. We found plenty of silver linings though: it also allowed us to rethink how we teach the preparatory course. For some of you long-time readers, you might notice that the course syllabi look (a lot) different. Those changes were one of the unexpected-but-positive outcomes of having to completely rethink how to teach during a pandemic.


Our second task was to figure out how to provide writing tutoring to all Mizzou students with a staff and student population that was spread out geographically more than ever. We, like so many other institutions, turned to Zoom as the solution. Relying on help from several of our long-time WI and Graduate Writing Support tutors as well as our terrific Graduate Assistant Bailey Boyd to manage the Writing Center Zoom meeting room across the week, we were able to provide between 350 and 400 hours of tutoring per week from Sunday through Friday. Providing that much tutoring, via Zoom and TONY, the Online Writery, was only possible because our amazing tutors were willing to work through Zoom-fatigue and juggle their own academic worlds. And the students found us! Aaron will probably tell you that we almost broke 12,000 contacts this year. Given the circumstances, we were a healthy combination of proud and amazed.

before starting work. Some tutors kept things interesting with daily questions, and I think we all learned a little more about each other in ways that we may not have, sitting next to one another in a public space. Tutors working on TONY could hang out in the TONY breakout room, for which admins often took the liberty of providing fun or interesting names.

While we all missed the comradery of working on the WC floor together, we found those small “collegial” moments on Zoom. Tutors would log in prior to their shift, allowing for small conversations with everyone

Then in the spring, amid the vaccine rollout, we held another driveway send-off. Originally it was meant to be a senior send-off, but we came to find that a few more of us were moving on and there were oth-

And even though so many of our normal life activities and WC events were canceled, we did manage to provide a little life away from the computer for the WC Staff. In November, we held a Thanksgiving Drive-Thru Dinner at Aaron’s home for any of our staff who were in town for the holiday week. Aaron (and his wonderful wife), Bailey, and I cooked up a storm, prepackaged madeto-order meals, and ran them out as the staff drove up. The rain didn’t stop us from doing a little socializing by the cars, providing us a small chance to see people in-person, most for the first time in months.

Hello again! I know this is a long Directors’ letter, but I hope you stick around. The pages that follow, as usual, break down the different kinds of work we did over the past year. It also wouldn’t be in front of you without the design talents of our own Lily Williams. Thank you for reading. May you never write alone,

Aaron Harms Director

er milestones to celebrate. In addition to ourANNUAL seniors REPORT heading for all kinds of futures, a longtime tutor and “bonus-admin,” Lauren Pike, took a new job as an advisor for the School of Journalism. Our very own Director officially became Dr. Aaron Harms after successfully defending his dissertation, which was greatly shaped by our pandemic experience administrating the Writing Center. And, after 3 1/2 years as Assistant Director and an additional 6 1/2 years as a tutor, I said goodbye to the Writing Center for a teaching position at Colorado College. Now after so much time, I can’t say I’ll ever truly say goodbye to my WC family, but I have to take a minute to acknowledge this second family that I never expected to find. As a writing tutor, I found my passion for working with students (and not necessarily always on writing). As the Assistant Director, I grew into new approaches to pedagogy and managing a team. And all of this with the mentoring and guidance of Aaron, who will usher the Writing Center into a new, perhaps semi-post-pandemic, future!

Stephanie Kimmey Assistant Director


MU WRITING CENTER I began working in the Writing Center in 2015 as an MA student in the English Department. After that year, I began teaching my own courses as a graduate instructor and have always credited my tutoring experience for making me a more empathetic instructor. I continued tutoring in the years since, many of them as a Writing Intensive tutor working specifically with the Writing Intensive courses at MU. I was eager to apply for the Writing Center Assistantship to see the inner workings of the Writing Center from an administrative perspective. This past year, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that would all look different than I might have expected in years past, but I was grateful to see how Aaron and Stephanie led with compassion and generosity as they transitioned the Writing Center to online Zoom tutoring services. As the Writing Center Assistant, I was able to assist with a new hybrid-style August training for new graduate tutors that allowed them to spend only one day in person, as they completed various trainings over a few weeks and across various modalities. I was so humbled to be able to talk to these new tutors who had just completed their first practice responses to Online Writery posts, remembering well how I felt when I was in their shoes just years ago. Beyond new tutor orientation, the year also began with a small group of returning tutors meeting via small boxes on screen, to learn and practice, as a team, how to help run a continuous Writing Center Zoom room that would allow students and tutors to meet in real-time, in private breakout rooms. After months of not seeing or connecting with each other, we found much needed levity as we practiced, accidentally signing ourselves out of the meeting or moving ourselves to new rooms inadvertently, as we worked to master this new system before students began arriving to synchronous tutoring appointments in the semester. This infrastructure that Aaron and Stephanie created not only allowed tutors to continue meeting with students in real time, it allowed for multiple appointments to happen simultaneously. This new system also enabled tutors and staff to continue to connect, smile, and check-in. As the Writing Center Assistant, one of my main responsibilities was to host this Zoom room as tutors signed in for work and as students signed in for their tutoring appointments. I welcomed tutors and students signing in from their different corners of the world, I answered questions and calls for help from tutors in breakout rooms, and I communicated with tutors on staff through our messaging app, Microsoft Teams, as they waited in their virtual, private break out rooms. I was so happy to have been able to connect with and assist so many tutors that I had not yet met; to ask about their days or to meet their pets on screen.

Bailey Boyd Graduate Assistant


ANNUAL REPORT I learned how vital these moments and this reliability and support were (and still are) to both tutoring staff and the students they saw last year. As teaching assistant for the Theory and Practice of Tutoring course for two semesters, I also had the opportunity to work with new, potential tutors as they were introduced to the world of tutoring and were asked to think about so many different elements of sitting at the table. When students were unable to attend class on their assigned day, I facilitated the Zoom room for those students and acted as their in-class proxy so that they could continue contributing to the classroom community. I also helped grade and respond to student assignments, and I saw how essays focusing on theater techniques and comparing tutoring to a metaphor of another skill helped students to understand tutoring from many different perspectives. I especially loved being able to read students’ observation reports after they attended a session with an employed tutor and actual student. These observation reports demonstrated their grappling with what they thought they knew, what they were learning, and how they began to understand their own tutoring style. It made me excited to see the rest of their journey and now, has made me feel so honored to share the Writing Center space with them as colleagues. I am now in my final (fingers crossed) year of the PhD program here and am back at the table as a Writing Intensive tutor. I didn’t know when I started tutoring in 2015 that I would be interested in pursuing writing center or writing program administration in the future, and I may not have realized it ever without having had the opportunity to work as the Writing Center Assistant this past year. I was able to witness Aaron and Stephanie create new infrastructures so that students could still receive writing help and so that, even as we were distanced, no one ever had to write alone. I also saw how many things had to adapt, adjust, or change completely to make that happen, but that it could, indeed, still happen, and that it should happen with the same compassion and generosity. Aaron and Stephanie took the time to explain so many “whys” to me, but they also demonstrated so much without any explanation at all. It was their compassion, generosity, and overall support of tutors that I gleaned from their leadership style and attempted to instill in my other roles outside of the Writing Center. I had always loved talking to students about their writing as a tutor; now I know I also love talking to tutors about how they talk to students about writing. I am so grateful to Aaron and Stephanie for helping me to discover that, and for teaching me how it can be done, even in a year ruled by a global pandemic.

FROM OUR ASSISTANT


MU WRITING CENTER

OUR MISSION As writing tutors, we should have not only an expert command of the craft of writing, but also an ability to use both the compass and the razor. That may sound like a strange metaphor to use in tutoring writing, but it means that effective tutors must be able to see a paper from both the writer’s and the reader’s perspective. Our job is not to “fix” student essays according to our own sense of what constitutes good writing, but to help the writers determine what they want to say and recognize the array of writing choices available to them. The critical razor is the editor’s tool, but the best tutors know how to survey others’ writing with the compass oriented toward the student’s own north and south. And so, we approach each student draft as if it was a foreign country or town they have never visited. What sort of place is this? Who lives here? Which ways are their north and south, their mountains and rivers, their post office and town commons? What are their languages? Their customs? Their values? We explore, and orient ourselves like mapmakers—applying the compass. Only then, when we feel we know something about the place from the inside, do we consider sitting down to discuss ideas for further landscaping. Translated into practical terms, in a writing tutorial, this comes down to a humble and genuine respect on the tutor’s part for even the least accomplished draft. Every piece of writing has its own topography, its own values, which the tutor needs to understand before undertaking to help the writer fix it. No draft is ever intended as a prototype of the finished piece the tutor could imagine. That doesn’t mean, of course, that we advocate for completely abandoning the razor. But we use it alongside the compass. Indeed, none of us can hope to be really useful to the writers we work with if we limit ourselves to one or the other. The razor is forged from our practical skill in the craft—a crucial part of our credentials; we need its mental sharpness when we think about another writer’s work. But every good tutor values the compass just as highly, knowing that successful tutorials demand a good deal more than technical expertise. At the MU Writing Center, the razor and the compass are part of what we mean when we insist that all of the people we work with are writers as truly as we are ourselves: like us, they are worthy of both. Adopted from former Online Writery Director Dr. Greg Foster’s “The Razor & The Compass”


ANNUAL REPORT

MU WRITING CENTER

OUR YEAR IN BRIEF.....

OFFERING VIRTUAL SUPPORT...

The following pages represent more than just the amount of times our tutors logged into Zoom, responded to a student’s submission, or got the chance to talk to someone in real time. They represent the Writing Center’s flexibility and responsiveness to a pandemic. In a year where most of our tutors and students were separated from friends, peers, and their traditional college experience, the Writing Center was able to provide both uninterrupted and ongoing support. As the data on this and the following pages show, our usage predictably fell from prior years— around 15% overall—but this remote year afforded us the opportunity to find new ways to prepare and train tutors as well as hone our already successful asynchronous options.


MU WRITING CENTER

U S A GE B Y YEAR TOTAL CONTACT HOURS Our total contact hours include both training and outreach presentations. As such, this is essentially every hour our tutors did anything for the WC

Graduate and Professional Contacts

3,808

TOTAL CONTACTS:

8,178

12,550

Undergraduate Contacts

INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS:

3,578

STUDENTS WITH MULTIPLE SESSIONS:

2,042

Face-to-Face

2,335

Online Writery

9,651

AVG. # OF APPOINTMENTS PER STUDENT:

5.12

TUTORING HOURS:

11,986

Application Materials

2,393

OUTREACH HOURS:

89 TRAINING HOURS:

475

Writing Intensive

2,503

Non-Writing Intensive

7,090


ANNUAL REPORT 1,201

Non-Writing Intensive

1,037

3,616

1,116

Application Materials

Writing Intensive

Face-to-Face

4,738

Online Writery

1,955 Undergraduate Contacts

3,899

TOTAL CONTACTS:

Graduate and Professional Contacts

Prior to beginning the Fall 2020 semester, we had piloted a limited amount of Zoom-based tutoring appointments during the Summer. We knew we had to scale up from two to three hours per day to around 350 hours per week. To do so, we asked some of our returning graduate students to join us as Zoom room Administrators. It was our task, each hour, to manage up to 8 Breakout rooms, along with the comings and goings of both students and tutors. During the Fall, students predictably utilized our new Zoom hours less than they had face-to-face hours: the 1,116 appointments below are synchronous, although not in-person in the way we had been in prior years. Each appointment, once the students had been moved to the appropriate breakout rooms, included the usual tasks of tutoring: building rapport, gathering assignment information, process point, and student requests, and then screen-sharing and reading aloud. The tutors found that while there were new wrinkles to the interactions, the tasks and potential for writing progress were still fairly similar.

5,854

FALL SEM ESTER 2020


MU WRITING CENTER

1,012 Non-Writing Intensive

Spring 2021 found us replicating, with a few tweaks, the work we’d done the prior semester. We still saw approximately the same number of synchronous appointments—1,144. And while our overall numbers for spring dropped a little, we also offered fewer tutoring hours overall.

2,983

1,427

Writing Intensive

1,144 Online Writery

1,460 Undergraduate Contacts

Application Materials

Face-to-Face

4,278

Graduate and Professional Contacts

3,962

TOTAL CONTACTS:

5,422

S P R I NG S EMESTER 2021


ANNUAL REPORT

SU M MER S EM ESTER 2021 TOTAL CONTACTS:

Undergraduate Contacts

317

Graduate and Professional Contacts

393

75 Online Writery

180 Non-Writing Intensive

491

710

39

Face-to-Face

635

Application Materials Writing Intensive

Although the University offered some in-person classes during the summer, much of the writing-based curriculum stayed remote. Our small cadre of mainly Graduate Writing Support tutors therefore worked remotely in both synchronous and asynchronous modes.


MU WRITING CENTER TOTAL CONTACTS:

U S A GE O N BREAKS One of the continued hallmarks of our Online Writery, in print and in our presentations, is that “we never close,” that we’re open “24/7/365.” We maintain this schedule primarily in order to support students who may be taking online self-paced courses, working on applications or conference submissions, or in particular, graduate students who are working on larger projects. We also receive

requests from instructors who teach break-based courses to assist with their students’ writing assignments. This means some of our staff spend a good deal of their time working when the rest of our staff is “on break.” While we report these numbers as part of their associated semesters in the prior pages, the work during specific breaks is below.

AUGUST BREAK Undergraduate Contacts

517

156

Graduate and Professional Contacts

134

Graduate and Professional Contacts

96

WINTER BREAK Undergraduate Contacts

108

MAY BREAK 23

Graduate and Professional Contacts


ANNUAL REPORT The following graph illustrates the breakdown of the year’s tutoring contacts by academic level of the tutee. In cases, including Professional students, Post-baccalaureate students, staff and faculty, those contacts were combined under “Other.” Interestingly, MU’s Writing Center continued to see a rise in usage throughout undergraduate students’ careers.

1,529

Doctoral

3,563

Seniors

1,553

Masters

760

Juniors

TOTAL CONTACTS:

2,003

1,050 1,528

Other

Freshmen

Sophomores

11,986

A C AD EMIC LEVEL USAGE


MU WRITING CENTER

SUBJECT AREAS The Writing Center continues to offer support to all courses on campus, as well as any other writing tasks that students and staff may be working on. As in prior years, Application Materials make up the largest percentage, about 20% of the total. We group personal statements, cover letters, and additional documents that students identify as part of an application process under that group. We do also tutor resumes, although we continue to also refer those students to our colleagues in the MU Career Center as well. In addition to application materials, the following nine content areas made up about 65% of our total contacts for the year

Public Affairs Social Work Journalism

318

Public Health HDFS

Nursing

306

267 250 2,393

388

Application Materials

763

834 1,184 1,028 General Writing

Health Sciences

English


ANNUAL REPORT

2000

234

1500

498 341

1000

500

0

979

788

2016-17

Total: 1,587

2017-18

Total: 1,398

477

920

2018-19

Total: 1,631

84

274 838

2019-20

Total: 1,196

192

248

753

2020-21

Total: 1,193

TOTAL CONTACTS OUTSIDE PROGRAMS:

2,612

The Writing Center works with any graduate or professional student, as well as faculty and staff via our Graduate Writing Support program, which continues to be generously funded by the Graduate School. In addition, the Writing Center has enjoyed a partnership for many years with the Sinclair School of Nursing, funded via Mizzou Online. In 2015, we began a formal collaboration with the Masters in Public Health and College of Education graduate programs as well. Those three programs’ individual usage is represented above.

GRADUATE WRITING SUPPORT


MU WRITING CENTER

WRITING CENTER OUTREACH Our year in pandemic presented specific challenges to our normally classroom-based outreach programming. While we had been presenting one or two video-based outreaches per year, working remotely meant that we converted all of our programming to either pre-recorded videos (featuring some of our Writing Intensive Fellows) or synchronous presentations, which the administrative staff tended to handle. In addition to the invited presentations listed below, we also utilized collected information from the New Student Survey in both fall and spring. Our WI Fellows made extra use of their Zoom administrative time, sending over 1,200 personalized emails to new students who had requested information about the Writing Center. Other invited presentations included Nursing 9100, Financial Planning 3282, Health Sciences 1000, Journalism 8000, TigerView program, the Graduate School’s Dissertation Boot Camp, MedOpp Personal Statement Workshops, and the New Faculty Writing Resources Panel.

PRE-RECORDED CLASSROOM OUTREACH VIDEOS


ANNUAL REPORT

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART


MU WRITING CENTER I am satisfied with my Writing Center experience: 250

244

200

150

100

50

0

Strongly Agree

25 Agree

1

Disagree

1

Strongly Disagree

1

Neither Agree or Disagree

The feedback I recieved was helpful: 250

200

235

150

100

50

0

31 Strongly Agree

Agree

3

Disagree

2 Strongly Disagree

1

Neither Agree or Disagree

OV ERA L L STUDENT FE E D BASED ON 272 RESPONSES FROM FALL 2020 - SUMMER 2021


DBAC K

ANNUAL REPORT My tutor had a helpful and supportive attitude: 250

200

244

150

100

50

0

25 Strongly Agree

Agree

1

Disagree

1 Strongly Disagree

1

Neither Agree or Disagree

I will use the Writing Center’s services again 250

200

234

150

100

50

0

33 Strongly Agree

Agree

0

Disagree

3 Strongly Disagree

2

Neither Agree or Disagree

As part of our ongoing self-evaluation process, every student who interacts with the Writing Center has the opportunity to respond (anonymously if desired) to a set of likert-scale questions followed by open-ended ones.


MU WRITING CENTER

Would you recommend the Writing Center to a friend? ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, I think that the Writing Center is incredibly helpful in the process of writing papers and getting feedback. Writing long papers, especially, is very straining and getting to hear another’s feedback is extremely helpful. I would definitely recommend someone to the Writing Center. This was my first time using the Writing Center and it turned out better than I thought. The tutor was amazing in helping me come up with ideas for my upcoming paper, which why great because I had someone to talk to to get my ideas out and have a conversation about them to see if they made sense. Yes, I almost always use the writing center when I have an essay due. They not only give me feedback on what I already have, but also give me more ideas on what to write about. Yes, I will certainly recommend TONY because the staffs are so kind and patient. They help bring my words out without making grammar errors. Yes, you guys help out so much! It is extremely nice that we have a resource to better our papers without an upfront fee. The tutors I have been with were willing to help out in whatever way they could. Sure! The overall comments and suggestions before specific feedback on the main text were very helpful. And I like the positive voice of the tutor - it is so cheering and encouraging, and also makes me confident about myself as a writer. I recommend the Writing Center to anyone at Mizzou. Especially “face-to-face” session, as I feel it breaks the stigma of coming to the Writing Center. People assumer you come to the Writing Center because you have poor writing habits or

want someone to “fix” your paper. However, the Writing Center helps identify the great writing skills you already possess and stregthen them; the tutors aid you in finding your best writing voice. Its a top notch place!

Please describe one aspect of your tutoring session that was especially helpful:

I would recommend. They paid attention to the parts that I really needed help on and in parts that were not my main concern. They also reviewed my paper in less than 6 hours which is very helpful considering this is a very last minute paper!

The notes!! I love that the tutor wrote/ typed notes during our session because sometimes it’s hard to remember everything you talk about. It’s nice to be able to go back and reference those.

Absolutely! I have used this service three different times now throughout my few classes that I have taken at Mizzou and I’ve had an incredible session each time. Yes, I never really planned on using it but I decided to give it a try and absolutely do not regret it. It is very helpful feedback that is given in an amazingly short amount of time. Any student who passes up on the opportunity to use this resource would regret it. Absolutely! Everyone can use a little bit of help, and you all offer a great service for free. I always feel like I can craft better essays, and my students essay’s benefit from your services. Yes! This has been an invaluable resource for me, especially for writing my dissertation. Yes. The staff at the writing center has been so helpful to me. I have been out of college for nearly 25 years with virtually no writing required in my days other than quick notes and lists. I was prepared to feel overwhelm, lost and incompetent. Your staff has helped encourage my efforts, cleaned up some messy spots but also, prompted me to dig deeper and clarify my intentions with my writing. It has been so helpful. The ease of scheduling is awesome! The feedback is very detailed and has made me see things differently. I love it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I liked the recommendation to read my work aloud one paragraph at a time because it helps you and the tutor to catch errors or clunky writing. It also helped to get me more specific advice. I was intimidated by the scale of my assignment, and my tutor reassured me and helped me focus on the tasks in front of me. He helped remind me that I as an undergrad am NOT expected to write at a Ph.D level My tutor made a note of my needs and made sure that the team at the Writing Center follows up with me. I appreciate the comments on organization/flow because I am not always able to catch that since I wrote it myself and it sounded good to me. Then seeing how you guys recommend organizing it I see how much better it sounds. I also appreciate that you look at the citations and help make sure I haven’t made any mistakes there. One aspect that was especially helpful was my tutor breaking down my paragraphs into what she perceived as the central idea. This helped me in making sure my points were coming across properly in my paper to the reader, which is a crucial aspect of the author-reader experience in an essay! My tutor helped me reverse outline which I had never done before and that helped me to understand my papers organization and I feel more confident about its structure now.

S ELEC T ED STUDENT F E E BASED ON 274 RESPONSES FROM FALL 2020 - SUMMER 2021


My tutor helped me reverse outline which I had never done before and that helped me to understand my papers organization and I feel more confident about its structure now. The ease of scheduling is awesome! The feedback is very detailed and has made me see things differently. I love it. One aspect that stood out was my tutor’s willingness to help me with APA format, even though I didn’t submit a typical essay for revision. I appreciate the flexibility and help with a slightly unusual assignment. Fast response. I did not expect the turn around time to be so small yet have such an in-depth response. The kindness and reassurance that I am not actually bad at writing. I do not enjoy writing because I have never been good at it, but I ended up hitting every point of the rubric, I had only a small amount of grammatical errors and I needed to expand a little on a couple of points. Knowing I did that good on my first draft changed my outlook on English 1000 and I am thankful for the tutor I had! My tutor’s brainstorming. He encouraged me to consider adding a few other explanations as he was aware they likely would factor into the committee’s decision-making and I agree with his thought there. I really appreciate the development comments he gives me as they enhance my applications. I was so, so, so impressed by my tutor’s capacity to see what I was struggling with and have me set out my values, since this was a personal statement, albeit a complex one, outside of the paper, so I could make sure that my paper reflected those. She was willing to even give me ordered steps to proceed in order to answer all the questions I wanted to address in the essay that related to the prompt.

DBA C K

ANNUAL REPORT

I love the color coding. When there is an area that needs help - the tutor explains what should be done. Exactly what I need.

BIG shout out to Ruth. I have grown as a writer because of her. She has earned a place in my acknowledgment of my dissertation.

My tutor was helpful with brainstorming. They helped me think of the prompt differently and find an answer to it - one of the essays I’m working on I had no idea how to think about it. I really appreciated the tutor’s ability to frame the prompt with questioning I understood and their helping me identify ways I could speak to the prompt.

Thank you so much for your help! I feel more confident now about submitting my paper. I greatly appreciate this service and I think all college students should be utilizing it!

My response was so very thoughtful and helpful. I could tell they actually read the essays, and not just to identify problems. The response was objective an offered a perspective I had totally missed, and may have never even considered.

Additional comments or thanks to a particular tutor?

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you so much, Alberta! I really appreciate your helpful comments. They not only allowed me to fix some things in my paper but also helped me learn a little bit more! I would like to personally thank my tutor, Autumn! She is probably the best I have had so far, even though everyone has been great. She had the best attitude, gave such great advice and suggestions, and I agreed with everything she advised me about! I am so appreciative to her, as well as to this service! Courtney you are fantastic at your job. Thanks for your help! I just wanted to say by submitting this thank you Mary-Claire, you are wonderful. I apologize for not providing as clear of a picture of my guidelines as I could have so thank you so much for still helping me wonderfully and to the fullest extent! Thank you so much, Miya! You really helped me with my paper, making me feel much more confident about turning it in. I truly appreciate your time, as well as your deep and thorough analysis. I met with Bella yesterday to get help with my speech for public speaking and she was such a great help. She was super easy to talk to, very open-minded, and eager to help. I really appreciate her help and suggestions and was really glad that I made an appointment!

Preston was a cool cat Thanks to Olivia. She made her best efforts to provide me suggestions that could resolve my issues. She was very empathetic in the interaction. I would like to say thank you to Savannah, her feedback was very good, she responded in a very short amount of time, and was very polite. She is the reason I will be reusing this resource and the reason I will be willing to recommend a resource for the first time in my life. Thank you Andrew! I think this is the second time you have looked over something for me and both times were fantastic. Aleksandra, you did an amazing job! Thank you so much for making my first experience with the Writing Center a fantastic one. I think everyone should see Aleksandra for help on their assignments!!! Megan was incredible and I will be requesting them when I submit my second draft! Nigelle is a great writing tutor specially when it comes to academic writing for journals and papers. I definitely would like to work with her again Thank you Jessi, you made this paper so much easier for me to write. As a nursing major I don’t get much experience writing and I’ve been struggling with my apa all semester constantly getting points off. I think this is the first paper I’ll ever write that I will be good in that area all thanks to you! Lauren was super enthusiastic and willing to adjust tutoring methods to help me. I came out of it not only more sure about how to proceed with my essay but also knowing that I had learned more about myself as a writer and a person in the process. Honestly, this was magical, and no joke, changed a life. She deserves ALL the praise the Writing Center has.



WRITING CENTER RECOGNITION


MU WRITING CENTER

N E WS C OVERAGE The write stuff

Service helps students improve their essays, papers and projects. by Feiya Su “I was kind of intimidated, honestly.” Evelyn Stone, a senior student studying accounting and economics, recalled the first time she attended a tutoring session at the Writing Center. “Because I wasn’t used to having people seriously critique my work.” She quickly found out how useful tutoring was, however, as the tutor identified run-on sentences and points she could clarify better in her paper. “It’s really hard to read your own writing and see what’s wrong with it because you know what you’re trying to talk about,” Stone said. More than a second set of eyes, Writing Center tutors are thoroughly trained to review students’ work. “The undergraduate tutors are honors students that go through a course long training,” said Bailey Boyd, graduate assistant for the Writing Center. During the training, tutors learn about the principles of tutoring and writing basics. Need help with an essay, paper or project? Visit the Writing Center. The Writing Center also requires new graduate tutors to undergo a three-day version of the course at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. Tutors go through additional training over the course of each semester, reviewing papers and critiquing each other’s responses. Bella Ledonne is a Writing Center tutor. A junior studying broadcast journalism and economics, she had used the Writing Center services several times before she took the job. One thing she loved about the Writing Center was that she could talk through her ideas with the tutor at the preparatory stage. “Starting an essay can be really, really difficult,” Ledonne said. The tutoring session allowed her to have somebody to bounce those ideas off. Such conversations help students clarify their thinking, especially when they explain their papers to someone who isn’t familiar with the topic. Students can have that conversation even before they start writing. As a tutor, Ledonne always starts her tutoring sessions by letting students share details about their lives, majors and projects. “Really building that rapport and just being super friendly, and letting the student know ‘Hey, I’m here to help,’” she said. “I want to let the tutee know that they control this session.” In the 2019–20 academic year, the Writing Center served more than 4,000 students in more than 15,000 appointments through its faceto-face tutoring and the Online Writery, which accepts submissions 24-7. “It’s 100% free,” Ledonne said. “It costs maybe an hour of your time. And you’ll get some really, really helpful feedback.” University of Missouri Student Affairs https://studentaffairs.missouri.edu/news/the-write-stuff/


ANNUAL REPORT

ALEKSANDRA KINLEN

LAUREN PIKE In a year of pandemic, the only silver lining during award season was not having to break down and cry in public as we talked about how much we value our tutors. While we got to look into their faces on the screen, as you all know, the experience wasn’t the same. The Writing Center’s Bonnie Zelenak Excellence in Tutoring Awards, typically given to a graduating undergraduate and graduate tutor were given to two wonderful folks: Lauren Warnken and Aleksandra Kinlen. We chose Lauren because, although she was a fairly new tutor to the Writing Center, she immediately engaged with and embodied everything “writing tutoring.” Even though we were changing lives via Zoom and/or TONY, the Online Writery, she was in. Each login came with a smile, something to laugh about, and the passion for helping folks in a time when we were all trying very hard to get by. Working with her was affirming for her bosses and life-changing for her students. In the MU News Bureau release, she wrote: “I absolutely loved my time working as a tutor for the Writing Center. I was lucky enough to have the two best bosses in the world, Aaron Harms and Stephanie Kimmey, who were my personal cheerleaders the whole time I worked there. I thank them for everything they have done for me, and I feel so honored to be recognized for my love and enthusiasm for helping others.” (We did not tell her to write that, so we feel pretty confident we made the right choice for the award.) And, as you can see in her tutor photo, she was able to coax giant-sized vegetables out of the ground with the same fervor that she brought to tutoring writing. I recognize how that metaphor doesn’t work great, but we couldn’t keep from sharing the photo. Aleksandra was one of our longest-standing tutors. She had worked with us as a Graduate Writing Support tutor, a Writing Intensive Fellow, and during the pandemic, as one of our Zoom administrators. To say that she has changed students’ (and our) lives is an understatement. Over her time with us, she tutored just shy of 1,800 students, across all levels of undergraduate, graduate, and staff! Back in 2017, she decided that perhaps a PhD in History wasn’t for her—and wrote us a wonderful email that we’ve definitely not told her we saved, including this bit: “I would love to work at the WC in any form or fashion, and I will be staying in Columbia for at least one more year anyway.” Did “one more year” become four? Yes. Did the rest of the email thread contain Aaron and Rachel just typing some version of “she’s great; we have to keep her”? Also yes.

BONNIE ZELENAK

And while we’re sorry to lose her to the State Historical Society, it also means that she’s currently staying as our colleague which is still wonderful.

EXCELLENCE IN T U TO R I N G AWA R D


MU WRITING CENTER

T U TOR AC HIEVEM ENTS We spend a fair amount of time publicizing the work that our tutors do for and with students in our annual report each year. This year, we want to also shine a quick spotlight on their own personal and academic achievements. At the end of the academic year, we solicited responses from our tutors about their achievements over the past twelve months. While this isn’t nearly all of them, it’s a wide sample of the awesome work that our tutors do when they’re not changing lives at the Writing Center.

JAM ES KI M

Recieved 2021 Award for Academic Distinction

REBECCA SH YU

Recieved 2021 Award for Academic Distinction

SYDNEY BOE GE R

Recieved 2021 Hesburgh Scholarship

LI LLI E VI NC E NT

Accepted into Kappa Tau Alpha, honors society for top 10% of journalism school graduating class

KELLY ADAMS

Passed dissertation prospectus and currently designing experiments

L I LY W I L L I A MS

Promoted to Head of Public Relations at student-led advertising agency Intern for Lenovo/Motorola

COURT NE Y P E R R E T T

Promoted to VOX Magazine Editor-in-Cheif

ANNA M CA N N A L LY

Completed first year of graduate studies

ANDRE W B E N N E T T

Admitted to University of Florida PhD program for Education Technology

J I L L I AN M A R I N O

Recieved Hayden Scholarship from the MU Honors College


ANNUAL REPORT

PRESTON WI LSON

• •

Accepted position of Assistant Professor of Music Education at Westminster Choir College of Rider University Inducted into Gamma Gamma chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, the honors music society Recieved Mizzou 18 Award Defended dissertation in June 2021

ABBY W E RNE R

Tapped into University of Missouri Mortar Board scholars

BE L L A L E DONN E

Tapped into University of Missouri Omicron Delta Kappa chapter

D I RE C TO R A CHI EVEM ENTS Congrats to our very own Dr. Aaron Harms for recieving his Ph.D. “I’d like to take just a small moment of your time not to ask you to work, or to respond to this email, or to do anything but to let me thank you. This semester I wrote and as of 4:05 today, defended a dissertation about the Writing Center, where you all continue to be the best part of my work. You have been, and will continue to be, the people that change lives. I don’t say that lightly, and I humbly request that you take a moment soon to consider how great each of you are. It is my honor to get to have you as our staff.” - Aaron Harms Friday Email Series, 4/30/21


MU WRITING CENTER

H OW TO EXIT THE WC When tutors graduate and/or run out of time in their day to continue working for us, we ask them fairly serious questions about their experiences here. That question, and their responses, are below: How have you personally or professionally benefited from working in the WC? How has this job #changedyourlife? I have waited until I could dedicate significant thought and time to write this response. I have been thinking about it, constantly mulling it over in my mind, for days. I might have also been avoiding writing this down because it marks “the end” of my time with you...There is so much to say, but I will try not to ramble (I could HONESTLY WRITE FOREVER ON THE FANTASTIC-NESS that is THE WC) Quite frankly, my experience working with the Writing Center functions as a beautiful example of what it looks and feels like to be a HUMAN. Yes, it was a job. But, I never felt reduced to anything less than an amazing source of potential... Sure, I was a worker, but I was also “allowed” to have a family, valid feelings, stressors, off-days, and many other very human realities. The job was important, but so was I--If anything I WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE JOB! This shouldn’t be revolutionary...but it is. And the Writing Center empowered me to do GREAT work as a consultant, while also allowing me the space and opportunity to be a person. For this, I cannot thank you enough. Professionally, I have always felt more valued and appreciated working for the WC than I have in any other position. When I needed something, ANYTHING, the WC team was always first to find the resources or means to provide whatever I needed, without question. Oh, just had a baby?--need a place to pump? Here! Take my office! Oh, having a hard time using a tiny computer screen for all this virtual

work? No problem! We can find you another monitor or screen!

Seriously. It’s astounding. I am not exaggerating when I speak so highly of my time with the WC. It’s hands-down the best job I’ve ever had. I wish everyone could experience working for a “company” like the Writing Center... where a person’s a person, no matter how **insert clever gif here**

then you will likely not be able to do a job. Finally, Aaron and Stephanie have been the best bosses and have made it a great experience by caring for every one of us. --------------------------------------------------I suppose it would be easiest to begin with the ways the Writing Center helped me professionally! As someone studying copy editing, I built skills to discuss potential changes with reporters and work with them instead of just “correct” them. I learned how to best communicate with people coming into meetings with different levels of enthusiasm: from the eager to the absolutely silent. This (remote) semester I figured out workarounds for when technology was buggy or simply not working. I know there is more, but I am a bit scatterbrained as I try to contain my final thoughts.

I love you guys. I’m thrilled to have spent the past 2 years with you. It’s something I will surely treasure. Sincerely... Thank you. --------------------------------------------------I have loved working at the Writing Center. Even though I wasn’t an English or a journalism major, I was able to help students, because of the semester-long training. I was able to learn a skill that isn’t emphasized in business or economics and it has helped me in every one of my classes and internships. The Writing Center has improved my soft skills and customer service skills. I have brought up those skills in every single one of my interviews and many employers have been impressed. The way we are taught to help students helps develop a useful problem-solving method that I use all the time. I think it applies to any future job, because if you can’t communicate and identify problems,

To say how personally is a bit trickier, if only because it is harder to say. This job changed my life in more ways than one. For starters, I am not...the most social butterfly. It’s O.K. You can quote me on that. However, while working in the Writing Center, I was in a constant state of challenge and growth. I learned ways to make small talk. I can make jokes with strangers. As I mentioned earlier, I learned how to talk to people and their different energy levels as they come into an appointment. It feels silly to say but I can read out loud better than I could before; I’m less nervous and therefore don’t completely stumble over my words so much. After every particularly productive appointment, after a nice review, after students make appointments with me enough I can call them one of my “regulars” -- I always felt like I could burst at the seams with sheer joy.

What?--You need some time off to finish your MA thesis? We got you! We’ll cover your shifts and you can make up the time later. GO ROCK THAT THESIS, GIRL!! What’s that? Home alone for the holidays? Come pick up a home-cooked meal we made JUST FOR YOU and enjoy!


ANNUAL REPORT

I felt like I was important at the Writing Center. All through college, I was worried that I would graduate and ultimately be forgotten: that I’d leave and no one would really remember me. At this point, with three days until graduation (give or take) that concern has dissipated. All of those moments that would leave me beaming remind me that I did make some kind of impact. That means the world to me. --------------------------------------------------Before taking the 2015HW course on tutoring writing and later working at the Writing Center, I honestly had no idea how to put together a coherent personal statement or cover letter. Looking back on some of these documents I’d assembled for various applications early on in my college career, I can only laugh at how much I missed the mark. But, after learning from Stephanie and Aaron the value of crafting a narrative and of tailoring a cover letter to the specific job description and traits desired (the latter of which seems foolishly intuitive now), I felt confident tutoring others on these assignments. Little did I know, they’d come in handy for me as well. When I first had an inkling that I wanted to go to law school, a friend challenged me to write a personal statement to articulate some of my reasonings, rather than stumbling blindly into the challenge. Armed with the Writing Center’s guides and confidence on loan, I began the endeavor, drafting at all hours of the day to present something that would capture both who I am as a student and why exactly I want to become a lawyer. Goodness knows how awful this statement would have been had it not been for the Writing Center. Instead, the personal statement I wound up submitting with my applications--after having numerous WC tutors read it over and help me fine-tune it--was enough to earn my admission to Georgetown Law School, which I will be attending in the fall. While that is the more tangible, practical life-change upon which I can

reflect, this job has been much more than just a vehicle for application success. Stephanie and Aaron are probably the best bosses I can imagine having: they check in with us often, make sure we have the adequate tools to effectively tutor, and genuinely care about us as individuals. They’ve created a pleasant crew of tutors who (as I sign off on most of my TONY posts) are always eager to help!

resume for all of my experiences, but I have always made sure to keep room for my position as a writing tutor. I have been asked about this position in several interviews, including the position I have accepted post-graduation, and I am always able to confidently say that it has allowed me to communicate better with others and understand the thought process and needs of others.

Furthermore, this job has given me a chance to unofficially audit many of the university’s courses by reading others’ papers. I’ve perused drafts on scientific pursuits that have soared over my head, have helped English 1000 students tackle some unique prompts as they wade through their first semesters of college, and have suggested counterarguments for papers within my field, hoping to help other polisci students on their way to success. Working for the WC has truly been life changing--in my five semesters at Mizzou, I feel as if I’ve managed to peer into each major and minor offered and to expand the depth of my study. Thank you, Aaron and Stephanie, for a truly wonderful experience!! -------------------------------------------------I enrolled in the honors writing tutorial course because it sounded like one of the more interesting honors options to me, and I figured it could eventually turn into a part-time job and some extra money, but it ended up being so much more than that. I watched myself grow over the 4 semesters I worked for the Writing Center, and I am so thankful for the welcoming community created by all Writing Center staff.

My time as a writing tutor has challenged me in the best ways possible, and I am so fortunate to be a part of something that I know truly made a difference in the lives of others. -------------------------------------------------Being a tutor, whether that be through TONY or Face-to-Face interactions, has given me the opportunity to grow both as a writer and a human. There is no substitution for analyzing and working through papers when it comes to being able to recognize the faults in your own. Working at the Writing Center has also taught me that, even when you are technically the expert, it is still okay to ask for help. Being an expert does not equate to being a master. As a human, I have learned to interact with people at their most self-conscious and vulnerable. Some works of writing are intimate and personal. They tell stories of traumatic events or intensely personal moments. The Writing Center has schooled me in being respectful and letting others decide the direction of conversations, while not simply being a passive listener. -------------------------------------------------I’ve learned about what I am capable of when it comes to helping my peers, and that you don’t need to be an expert at the English language to still help others improve their writing. Most importantly, though, I have learned what it means to have a supportive boss who truly wants to mentor me and see me improve as an individual, not just as an employee. This is something that most jobs lack, and it has honestly raised my standards for what a good boss looks like. ---------------------------------------------------

Working as a writing tutor allowed me to become a stronger writer, but the most valuable skill I gained was the ability to understand and communicate with students who think differently than myself. I grew more patient over my time as a tutor and learned to listen to others better. I have had several internships throughout college and began to run out of room on my


MU WRITING CENTER

H OW TO EXIT THE WC

( CO NT. )

This job has benefitted me personally by encouraging me to be patient with both myself and others. I think tutoring is uniquely challenging in that it requires students and tutors to understand the material well enough to collaborate on producing a solid final product. Professionally, I benefited from working in the Writing Center by developing my interpersonal skills through coordinating with the admin and tutees (whom I don’t know personally) every day. I also learned to be humble, to play with raising and lowering my status to benefit the situation I was in, and to hone my own writing skills by explaining to students how to work with words in an efficient manner. -------------------------------------------------Being a tutor at the Writing Center of course made me a better writer. But on a personal level, it has been a reminder of my ability. What I mean by that: pursuing a PhD at an R1 institution can be quite intimidating, especially as it relates to one’s scholarly voice. Sometimes, I would get edits back from a proposal or a chapter and I would literally want to enroll at the nearest elementary school because clearly I am inept as a writer. But then I remember that other people are benefiting from I do know about writing. I may not know all the rules of English and grammar, but I know a good paper when I read one; I know organization of ideas; I know how to convince, persuade, or tell a story. The Writing Center helped me to embrace what I DO know and what I AM good at, instead of sulking over what I don’t or comparing myself to other writers or tutors. The Writing Center helped me develop my scholarly voice, but also my voice in life. I am so very grateful for that. And as I enter the next chapter of my life, the MU Writing Center has prime real estate in my previous chapter. ---------------------------------------------------

The Writing Center has helped me become a better writer and explainer of things. It has also helped me over the years with presenting (outreaches to people I don’t know), working with unfamiliar materials (outside of my major), and has given me the opportunity to form some good professional contacts as well. Every day was new and it was a really fun job to have (with great bosses too!). It is definitely a highlight on my resume, and even though it doesn’t seem like it at first glance considering my chosen occupation, the position has help me with my future career!!! --------------------------------------------------I have had the honor of changing people’s lives through working at the Writing Center, but the Writing Center has also changed my life! In both my personal and professional life, being a tutor has helped me become a better and more confident writer. While helping students build their own toolbox to better their writing, I have forged my own titanium writing tools--and I am taking that titanium toolbox with me for the rest of my life. Beyond getting to help students (who in turn help me), the Writing Center has been by far the best place I have ever worked. The only thing I love more than raving about why someone should take their paper to the Writing Center and get tutored, is my passion for raving about why someone should work at the Writing Center. Aaron and Stephanie have been nothing but the absolute best bosses, and the culture of the Writing Center is phenomenal. I truly feel happy and excited to be transitioning into the professional world because I know that I can balance fun and work (so thanks guys!). I feel like I should also say that through my work on TONY, all of my emails have become so much more fun and personable--and people really respond to that! I cannot believe that my time is ending at the Writing Center, and it feels weird to be sentimental about a random building on Lowry Mall that I never actually worked in, but I do know that this job

has been a highlight of my time at Mizzou (even though it was during a pandemic). Thank you so much Aaron and Stephanie for grilled cheese, sweet treats, smiling faces, and lots of laughs! --------------------------------------------------The Writing Center changed the way I think about writing in that it pushed me to think beyond word choice to understand (grok!) the overall mechanics of a student’s paper-- and honestly, the student to some extent. Getting that sort of perspective into what is often a student’s largest insecurity allowed me to form genuine relationships and kickstarted my drive to do some good. Seeing sparks of understanding, joy, or relief in my tutees showed me that this is important work. I’ll take the compassion, humor, analysis, and curiosity I developed at this job with me everywhere I go. The Writing Center showed me that I’ll be a forever tutor. I’m going to miss you all so much. --------------------------------------------------This job has shown me how much I love (1) writing and (2) working with students. Prior to this job, I hadn’t ever thought I’d be interested in teaching. But I loved this job so much that I could see myself becoming a teacher down the road. I was also given the chance to learn what good bosses and a good working environment look like through this job. I am going to miss working with Aaron, Stephanie, and the other tutors and helping students through the MU Writing Center very much. --------------------------------------------------It gave me a lot more exposure to a variety of writing prompts across campus and the various ways that students interpret and interact with them, making my creation of writing prompts a lot more effective. I also learned how to anticipate student struggles and (I hope) to give feedback in an encouraging and uplifting way. The Writing Center is awesome! --------------------------------------------------


ANNUAL REPORT

Working at the Writing Center has helped me become a better writer, which is important as that will be a huge part of my future plans. It also has made me a better person by making me think more about how I communicate with others. I would not have nearly enjoyed this job as much or have gotten as much out of it as I did if it weren’t for my wonderful bosses who made it possible for me to play a small role in helping students become better writers. -------------------------------------------------Personally, I really appreciated the sense of community that I gained here at the Writing Center. I have always felt a strong desire to learn as much about as many disciplines as I can, so being a writing tutor and seeing what life is like for this part of the University has been a great experience. It always amazes me to see how much work goes into keeping the wheels turning. This position has honestly kept me sane during Covid, as I haven’t seen anyone outside of my roommates in like a year, so being able to read about new people all the time has helped me feel like I’ve had some human interactions. Professionally, I’ll gladly put my time here on a resume, and I think the skills I gained

here translate really well to any job. Building rapport, writing well, being kind, and helping others will never go out of style. --------------------------------------------------Working at the Writing Center has made me more confident in my own writing and how I interact with others. The class and job have given me the tools to be confident (and compassionate) in my critique of other’s work. I wouldn’t consider myself a people person, but the Writing Center has changed me for the better when it comes to working with others to make their work the best it can be. It’s been a joy working and growing here. Thank you! --------------------------------------------------My work with tutees at the Writing Center has improved my interpersonal communication and my own writing. I was able to hone my ability to explain the grammatical and structural concepts of writing in a way that is simple for students to understand. Moreover, identifying issues in students’ writing has helped me detect my own errors. I am now better equipped to compose my own writing and collaborate with teammates in my prospective career. --------------------------------------------------In all the ways! I would say person-

ally, it made my writing much better, especially how I organize paragraphs. Professionally, it’s offered me alternative avenues. --------------------------------------------------Something that always kind of stuck with me was the idea of being a “lower person” from the Good Will Hunting training video. Admittedly, I kind of struggled with it. I think what I take away from it is this idea of serving a student or client in a way that postures them as the creator of their knowledge and work. That can be kind of tough to do at time, especially for individuals who are lacking in skills, but we are responsible for curating that development. Hopefully, we are working with students over time and allowing them to build up their skillset as writers and communicators. In forming these relationships, as we observe more what the student is like and get to know them a bit more, we get to take sort of a step back and find what works for the student. It is by humbling ourselves to the student’s creation that we can best have an impact on them and help them create knowledge for themselves and, hopefully, sustainable skills that will be useful to them in their careers and other life endeavors.

S TAY IN G IN TOUCH In a normal fall semester, we would celebrate Reading Day by opening up the Student Success Center, inviting all of our tutors to show up at once, and then feeding them for free: I would normally make grilled cheeses hot from the griddle, Stephanie would make soups and other delicious things, and all of the full-time staff who are our colleagues would contribute chili, pies, cakes, sandwiches, etc. While we couldn’t get together in a room and look at each other and eat and say nice things, our directors still wanted to celebrate. We made Thanksgiving dinner…two days before “real” Thanksgiving. Although it rained basically all day, we still ran pre-packaged Thanksgiving meals out to our tutors’ cars and got to see their faces in real life for just a little bit. Later, in the spring, the weather stayed nice enough for us to provide our graduates (and Assistant Director) with a going-away “Desserts and Drive Thru” event. Unfortunately, few pictures were taken because we were so busy tearing up over everyone’s real-life faces.


MU WRITING CENTER

THA NK YOU , STE PHA NIE KIM ME Y. Since the beginning of time, people have become tutors and tutors have become Assistant Directors. In this essay, I will tell you what Stephanie Kimmey has done for me at the Writing Center.

Stephanie joined the Writing Center staff as a Graduate Fellowship tutor at the same time that I began my tenure as Co-Director. Over the next five and a half years, she would tutor over 1,800 students, more than any other single tutor in our 40-year history. And while quantity can’t be everything in our line of work, the students’ comments about their interactions with her over that time showed us a strong pattern of all the things that anyone would want from any employee and colleague: she has consistently shown a track record of approachability, kindness, and thoughtfulness to our students, whether they were entering-first-semester freshmen or soon-to-be-graduating doctoral students, or anywhere in between. Many of her most vocally complimentary tutees were international students who she worked with throughout their programs, some on a weekly basis. When Dr. Harper moved to her new position in the Honors College, then-newly-minted Dr. Kimmey accepted the challenge of stepping into a role as Assistant Director. I can count on one hand the number of colleagues who have thrown themselves into something outside their academic area and immediately been successful on both programmatic and individual levels. While I know it was work, she made it look easy. As a first-time administrator who was doing the job while getting trained how to do the job, her work here

exhibited a near-seamless transition to administration that I wish I could have had. We also taught together. The best part of co-teaching with anyone is that in a true “team” dynamic, we’re focusing our two brains (and efforts) on the same goals. But the best part of co-teaching with Stephanie was seeing her invest her efforts to help these students understand difficult tasks, revise for learning and grade points, and also provide them with a great educational experience, even if that experience occurred in a breakout room or from farther than six feet away, from behind a mask. She’s a teacher in the best sense of the word for our potential tutors: not only giving them great instruction, but modeling for them how to be great tutors (and teachers) in the future. I’ve buried the lede here: she also had barely completed a year in the position when we were forced to move to remote work over the pandemic. When I said, “let’s completely revamp the course” she was game. When we got to the next semester and I said “let’s completely revamp the course because last time I was wrong” she was game. She’s wonderful as a co-teacher. As a co-administrator, I quite literally don’t have the words to describe the lack that I feel during the workday now that she has moved on to change lives at Colorado College.

In conclusion, she’s the best colleague I’ve ever had. I learn from her often (even still); I hope I teach her as well; I and our staff and our Center and our students are better for having had her as our colleague and Co-Director, and teacher, and friend.


ANNUAL REPORT

MU WRITING CENTER

TUTOR TRAINING


MU WRITING CENTER

2015HW COURSE SYLLABUS


ANNUAL REPORT


MU WRITING CENTER

2015HW COURSE SYLLABUS


ANNUAL REPORT


MU WRITING CENTER

TUTOR LIST 2020-21: UNDERGRADUATE TUTORS NAME

MAJOR

Sydney Boeger

Journalism

Evan Buchanan

Computer Science

Elizabeth Busch

English

Bryn Chambers

English

Autumn Clark

English

Payton Cousins

Journalism

Gabe Dooley

Health Sciences

Olivia Douglas

English

Chris Drechsel

Computer Science

Alberta Engelman

Journalism

Avery Esquivel

Early Childhood Education

Savannah Feterl

Physics, Astronomy

Jessi Foster

Psychology

Spencer Foster

Business Administration

Lexy Gilliam

Health Sciences

Lillie Hegeman

Journalism

Colton Hicks

English

Rebecca Jackoway

English

Hannah Jones

Business Administration

James Kim

Biology, Pre-Med

Lianna Kowalke

Journalism, Political Science

Bella Ledonne

Journalism

Patrick Lee

Communications

Maxwell Loduca

Business Administration

Jillian Marino

Education


ANNUAL REPORT

NAME

MAJOR

Terra Maslak

Business Administration

Bella Melvin

Nursing

Reagan Myers

Journalism

Molly Nash

English

Sophie Nedelco

Engineering

Shane Nichols

English

Kelly Pawlak

Business, Journalism

Anna Peterson

Journalism, English

Allie Pigg

Education

Rebecca Price

Business

Skyler Rossi

Journalism

Megan Rubenstein

Journalism

Miya Russell

Linguistics, Anthropology

Shelby Ryan

Digital Storytelling

Rebecca Shyu

Computer Science

Greta Sonnenberg

Music

Evelyn Stone

Business

Abbey Tauchen

Journalism, English

Collby Thornton

Business

Elizabeth Ustinov

Journalism

Lillie Vincent

Journalism

Lauren Warnken

English

Abby Werner

Journalism, Political Science

Abby West

Political Science

Kathryn Weston

English, Philosophy

Lily Williams

Journalism


MU WRITING CENTER

TUTOR LIST 2020-21

( CO NT. )

ONLINE TUTORS NAME

MAJOR

Lucy Shanker

Journalism

Elizabeth Wolfson

Art History

GRADUATE WRITING SUPPORT NAME

MAJOR

Heather Asbeck

English, Health

Andrew Bennett

English, Disability Studies

Elise Broaddus

English

Angela Case

Journalism

Audrey Case

German

Nigelle Cochran

English

Rachel Johnson

English

Ruth Knezevich

English

Anna McAnnally

19thC American

Lauren Pike

English, Journalism

Jenna Slaughter

Biological Science, Animal Science, Chemistry, Math

GRADUATE TUTORS NAME

MAJOR

Mary-Claire Sarafianos

19thC American

Emily Smith

Romanticism

Dane Spoltore

Contemporary American


ANNUAL REPORT

WRITING INTENSIVE FELLOWS NAME

MAJOR

Kelly Adams

Communications

Olivia Daller

English, Education

Audrey Florey

Art, Art Education, Art History

Katherine Herrick

Journalism, ISLT

Aleksandra Kinlen

History, ISLT

Courtney Perrett

Journalism

Melinda Troyka

Counseling

Laura Ursprung-Nerling

Art History, Archaeology

Lainie Vansant

Theatre, Spanish

Marta Watters

Art History

Preston Wilson

Music, Education


SEE YOU NEXT YEAR.