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University Writing Center: Setting Students and Staff Up for Success

Academic Success Centers | Photo by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian

The University Writing Center (UWC) helps students improve their writing skills and provides professional tutoring experience for the staff.

Current Tutors’ experiences 

Being a tutor for the UWC allows students at Wright State University (WSU) to enhance their resumes and develop their leadership skills. Students who have tutored for UWC are able to learn from their interactions with students and gain a sense of accomplishment as they see the firsthand effect of their work improving the work of another student. 

“My favorite part about being a Writing Coach is seeing student’s grow! I love that lightbulb moment when they realize something and the excitement they come back to me with when they succeed,” UWC tutor Mars Hutcheson said. 

Another benefit of becoming a UWC tutor is having the opportunity to meet students from all majors, cultures and walks of life. This allows UWC tutors to learn from their tutoring sessions and enhance their own skills and experience. 

“I love being able to meet new and exciting people. They bring such a variety of knowledge to the center and it’s so enriching to discover new ways to learn from them. I also love being able to learn while helping the clients who come into the center,” UWC tutor Christine Orr said. 

“Everyone has something to teach me, and I have always loved to learn, so I love having the opportunity to learn something every day when I go to work. I also love reading what people write about and talking to them about things that they are passionate about,” UWC tutor Megan Henry said. 

Tutors Transitioning to Professional Careers

WSU alumni Stephanie Nishimori tutored in the UWC from 2009-2011. After graduating in 2012 with her degree in Organizational Leadership, Nishimori has used her experiences in the UWC to propel her future endeavors. 

“I learned so much about different cultures, social and societal norms, and a plethora of other things I know I would not have been exposed to as early had I not worked at the Writing Center. It also helped me learn more about myself and my passion for helping others succeed,” Nishimori said.

UWC Program Director Jill Tussing has been with the center since 2009. She began as a Writing Coach, became a Graduate Assistant and has been the Program Director for five years. UWC enabled Tussing to transition to a professional career and continue her work of helping writers. 

“At the end of the day, we want to help students feel more confident and independent with their writing work, and I think working with peers creates such a great environment to do so,” UWC Program Director Tussing said. 

UWC’s Impact

The center has evolved their methods over time to help make services more accessible and personalized to each student in order to further improve the center’s success. Their student-focused approach helps promote professional development while promoting independence for the students to complete their future work in confidence. 

“When I was working on my master’s degree in the mid 90s, I worked in the earliest version of Wright State’s Writing Center. The difference in philosophy and techniques between then and now is amazing. Now we focus on the writer way more than just ‘fixing the writing’,” UWC tutor Ashley McGinley said. 

Each school year the UWC helps thousands of students to improve their writing skills and feel more confident in their academic abilities. 

“Typically we see around 80 – 100 students in the Summer term. During Fall and Spring terms we see around 600 – 800 students from over 70 different courses offered by Wright State. Things have changed a bit due to the pandemic, but we’re hoping to see our Center full and active again soon,” Tussing said.

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