What they have to say about working in the Writing Center...


Carol (Director):“My favorite part of tutoring is getting to know the students and their areas of interest. I love it when students are enthusiastic about their writing topics and teach me about them. As a writing center director, my goals are to reach more student and community populations with our services, or at least with the message about the value of planning and revision in the writing process. I like to keep up with my twin sons and my toddler granddaughter, learn new languages, play the drums, swim and walk by the lake with my dog, and in the summer, cook what I harvest from my garden.  I research second language writing in the writing center, especially vocabulary issues, and I like to write creatively in English and Spanish, both fiction and non-fiction.”


Gabe (Coordinator): "Writing for me is like playing with Lego: once you learn how the pieces can fit together, you can begin to build bigger, fancier structures and turn those little pieces into whatever your skill and imagination will allow, and the more you play, the more skillful and imaginative you become. Moreover, like Lego, writing ought to be fun. This is the approach I bring with me both to my teaching and to my work in the Writing Center. Writing doesn’t have to be a hassle, or some dreadful burden, or some mysterious and unattainable talent. Writing is a craft that everyone can learn, a skill that everyone can improve upon, and, like Lego, writing is an engaging and satisfying (and potentially quite fun) pursuit.”

Jacob (Coordinator): "With every student I tutor, I always look to see what my experience can give them as well as what their writing can teach me—and I have learned a lot from my students. This has helped my writing for papers in the English Ph.D. program, which has ranged in focus from ethics and literature to popular culture and form analysis. Whenever I am not writing papers or reading for class, I like to read science-fiction for fun and especially enjoy comic books, though I am also an avid gamer and enjoy playing adventure and role-playing games."


Cassandra (Coordinator): "I am a graduate student in the English department where I'm working on a Ph.D. in literature. My scholarly interests include women's literature, fantasy literature, revisionist texts, and popular culture. In addition to working in the Writing Center, I also teach rhetoric, help out with the PDP teachers-training program, and work with Iowa's writing fellows. In my spare time, I enjoy soaking up sunshine, eating, going to movies, watching good and bad TV, reading (usually 'bad') books, walking in Hickory Hill Park, sitting in bathtubs and hot tubs, spending time with friends and animals, and shopping thrift stores for usually-unnecessary but fun items."

Description: Amy (Tutor): "For me, the most enjoyable part of tutoring is that moment when students discover something exciting in their own writing—an idea they didn’t know was there, a question they want to explore further, or just a really great sentence. I try to help students find the fun in writing, to navigate their own prose with critical eyes and open minds. Currently I am pursuing an MFA in the Nonfiction Writing Program. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, enjoying the outdoors, scouring thrift stores, hanging with friends, watching way too much Dexter, and eating."


Joseph (Tutor): "I never metaphor I wasn't fascinated by. I also never met a student who was a bad writer. I believe we are literal beings, and my goal is to help others in being literal. My research on metaphors, where I aim to increase our understanding of language, is tied to my work in the Writing Center as I try to help others produce good writing through an understanding that there are not 'bad writers.' Instead, there are challenges each writer must overcome in order to express ideas with clarity and precision."


Mary (Rhetoric Faculty): "Tutoring in the Writing Center gives me a chance to meet all kinds of students and discover how they think and what their education means to them. Learning about what excites and motivates or frustrates and confuses students helps me to be a better classroom teacher because it helps me know my audience. I enjoy the opportunity I have in the Writing Center to know students as individuals. In my free time I like to read, travel, swim, write, and spend time with my family and animals."


Lacey (Tutor): "I really enjoy my time in the Writing Center since it allows me to work one-on-one with students as we encounter the challenges and pleasures of every aspect of the writing process. I've also grown so much as a writer and a teacher as a result of working with students from various academic disciplines, cultures, and linguistic backgrounds. When I'm not tutoring or doing work for my Ph.D. in English, I enjoy running, reading, and traveling."

Raquel (Tutor): “I am working on a Ph.D. in English Literary Studies. I specialize in Postcolonial Studies with an emphasis in African Literatures in English.  I received a B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University and a MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College in Oakland, California. I teach Literature courses. My short stories have been published in The Womanist literary magazine and the anthology Crux, and I am currently working on my dissertation on postcolonial gender performance in Ngugi wa Thiongo’s novel Wizard of the Crow.”

Jane (Tutor): “I am a graduate student in the College of Public Health, where I am working on a Ph.D. in Epidemiology. As a science writer, I see the manuscript as an opportunity to display evidence in a clear and exciting way. Facts and figures are immutable, but presentation can make all the difference in how accessible a piece of scientific literature is. The revision process is all about clarity, flow, and a bit of decoration. When I’m not writing, I like doing yoga, playing the cello, and spending time with my son and daughter.”
Amie (Tutor): "I am working toward my Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture in the College of Education. I taught high school language arts for ten years. My masters’ degree is in the teaching of writing, so writing has always been a passion of mine. I study writing in online environments (blogs, in particular) and technology as it redefines or reshapes our traditional views of what it means to write or to be a writer. I like working one on one with students on writing because I thoroughly enjoy witnessing both a person and a piece in the creative space of construction and revision.  When I am not working, I play, laugh, and learn with my three-year-old daughter, Willa. I also like kickboxing—it’s great for the moments when I have writer’s block and need to clear my head!"
Chelsea (Tutor): "When I teach, tutor, and study, I pay close attention to how our words influence our selves and our interactions with one another. As a Rhetoric instructor, I spend a lot of time thinking through language with my students. In the Writing Center, I enjoy helping people mold language for their own projects. For my Ph.D. in English, I focus on experimental poetics, feminist theory, and ethics. In my spare moments I enjoy reading, hiking, camping, and writing children’s stories."
Amanda (Tutor): "If you had told me years ago that I'd be studying Health and Human Physiology, I wouldn't have believed you. I love it, but I have always enjoyed more expressive endeavors like writing and music. I really love working one on one with writing. I think it's really important to help other people find pleasure and pride in their own writing. In addition to tutoring, I also work as a Writing Fellow, play in a symphony, and work an hourly job. When I'm not doing writing activities, schoolwork, or working, I like walking my vivacious puppy, enjoying the outdoors, watching Netflix documentaries, and performing."
Jackie (Tutor): "I'm a PhD student in the English department and currently focusing on transnational and American literature. I taught English at a university in Hangzhou, China for three years before returning to the United States to begin grad school. I enjoy teaching, reading, scuba diving, checking out new restaurants, photography, playing with my cat, Watson, and traveling. My favorite part of teaching writing is helping students to become better communicators. It's very rewarding to watch their progress as they learn to express themselves more clearly and develop and share their ideas more effectively."

Julie (Tutor):"I am a PhD student in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. I enjoy working one-on-one at the writing center and listening to students’ thoughts and opinions presented through their writing. A highlight for me is seeing students become more relaxed and confident in their writing as they progress over the semester. Writing is not a magical gift, but rather just another skill that can be practiced and improved over time. My own writing is mostly scientific, and I enjoy making the research world clear and interesting to the general public. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, photography, exploring Iowa with my bike, and eating good food."

Luann (Rhetoric Faculty): "I like spending time with writers in the Writing Center. I like listening to what they say and hearing their thoughts and plans for a paper, and I like seeing these writers’ faces when I ask questions that the writers hadn’t yet considered. I guess I like seeing the writers rethink and re-imagine those plans. This re-seeing is revision. Life is a revision, too. After being a nurse for eleven years, I re-entered school, earned a BA in English and Comm Studies, was a medical researcher, and then earned a PhD in literacy studies. I have taught Rhetoric and similar courses at three universities, and I currently teach Rhetoric to pre-healthcare and health-science students here at Iowa. In my spare time, I write books for the Department of Ophthalmology and play with my grandson and two cats."

Zach (Tutor): "As a Ph.D. student in the English department, I spend so much time writing my own work, but the Writing Center provides a welcome opportunity to look at someone else's. My own work focuses on twentieth-century American literature, especially comics and the figure of the superhero, and it is continually fascinating and invigorating to see students in other disciplines empowered by overcoming the same hurdles that frustrate me in the composition process. At Iowa, seeing the same students week after week allows for the development of powerful relationships and a front row seat to those moments of epiphany that we Writing Center Tutors value so greatly. When I'm not working in the Writing Center or pursuing my Ph.D., I read (which goes without saying), write (which does not go without saying at leastsomething), and - despite the advice and expectations of my colleagues - do not fight crime in a mask and cape."

Aaron (Tutor):"I’m an undergraduate student studying English and Secondary Education. Writing has a special place in my heart, giving me the chance to express myself through the peculiarities and complexity of the English language. I've felt the sharp sting that writing can cause the one holding the pen or staring at the blank screen, but I've had many teachers who have guided me along the way. Tutoring in the Writing Center allows me to help students one on one through the writing processand have those deeper conversations that often provide a remedy to the sting. When I'm not writing, tutoring, or doing schoolwork, I sing in a Gospel Choir on campus, watch movies, play the board game Arkham Horror (check it out) and read science fiction."
Brent (Tutor): "Tutoring in the Writing Center has been very valuable to me, because it opens a window to a wide variety of students and their work. As a PhD student, I often focus narrowly on 19th and 20th century American literature and its connections to visual culture and aesthetics. As a tutor, it is exciting to see so many academic disciplines, student perspectives, and assignments represented in student writing. I also love being part of the revision process to make student writing stronger. Whenever I make suggestions about writing strategies or ask questions about student writing, I am always reminded to apply the same strategies and questions to my own work. Such prompts lead me in new directions and demonstrate that writing is a process of twists and turns, re-imaginings and re-structurings, both challenging and rewarding."