What a fine year it was for our Consultants, both graduating and remaining with us into 2023-24. Here are a few highlights. I’m still getting news, so this update supersedes what I shared in our Spring newsletter.
Consultant of the Year:
Each year faculty nominate a senior for this honor. Dr. Michelle Kahn nominated Janis Parker, who had been nominated once before, as well as receiving kudos from a student she had assisted.
Janis majored in History at Richmond and will be a graduate student and research assistant at Villanova. There she will work on the Last Seen project, an archive of materials from right after the Civil War. Last Seen focuses on recently enslaved people seeking family members from whom they had been separated. You can learn more about the project here.
Consultant Article Accepted for Publication
I encourage students taking Eng. 383, our class that trains Consultants, to submit final reflective essays to WLN’s Tutor’s Column feature. WLN, nearing its 50th anniversary, remains one of the two most influential journals for theory and practice in our field. Several 383 students have sent in articles, but finally we have a forthcoming publication.
Lillian Tzanev’s “A ‘Wise Moron’ Reflects on Academic Writing and Consultancy” explores a sophomore’s attitude toward writing center work before and after taking our class. I will let you know when the piece appears online and in WLN’s print edition.
Lillian will not rest on these laurels; she will soon conduct research in Bulgaria exploring anti-abortion theology in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church..
Other Consultant News
- Tanner Brooks will begin his studies at the University of Richmond School of Law. Furthermore, he will be a lead member of the campaign staff for a Virginia State Senate race this summer into early fall.
- Susannah Carter will do research with Dr. Rick Mayes about the physician shortage, nurse scarcity, and burnout post-COVID.
- Luiza Cocito will be a marketing associate at LinkedIn in New York City.
- Molly Earle just accepted an offer with MARKETview here in Richmond, and she will start next month.
- Michal Ilouz will be in Richmond this summer to conduct cognitive science research before studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia this Fall.
- Jess LaForet and Braden Wixted, as well as Joe Essid and Emily Ball, will be trained in neurodiverse pedagogy by Director of Disabilities Services Dr. Cort Schneider. Jess and Braden will become our first disabilities specialist consultants.
- Kaitlyn Garrett will continue her internship with a Richmond area publisher; in October, she will begin an internship as a writer/journalist for Borgen
- Brie Grossman will be moving to New York City to work in sales and trading at Barclays.
- Allison Ngyuen will be traveling to Europe with family after graduation, before beginning dental school at VCU School of Dentistry in July.
- Andrew LaPrade will be joining the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency as a cartographer.
- Anna Phillips has received an A&S Summer Research Fellowship to do research at a lab at Tufts University in Boston that studies autism and sexuality/sex education. She is also attending the summer study abroad trip to Perugia, Italy.
- Jay Welle will take CPA exams this summer, then move to New York to work in External Audit for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
It’s been a long year, with the waning of the Pandemic and a lingering sense of anxiety among students, staff, and faculty. So with great relief, and gratitude, I want to congratulate our graduating seniors for their hard work.
A few pieces of news stand out in Spring 2022. First, we had two recipients for Consultant of the Year, an annual award for graduates; faculty nominate Writing Consultants for this honor. And the winners are Maya Lieberman and Jon Gandara.
Jon and Maya finish their time at Richmond with signature accomplishments that marry service and peer assistance. Jon not only assisted several classes in different fields of study, but he also found time to proofread drafts of every faculty summary submitted this year by Consultants working in our Center. He and Joe Essid would then discuss any summaries that needed more. Jon’s job helped to prepare him for the painstaking duties he’ll undertake as a law student at the University of Mississippi.
Maya also worked with different courses, long assisting in Professor Outka’s General Education courses in literature. This year, she helped freshman writers in Representing Civil Rights, a first-year seminar taught by Professor Patricia Herrera in our Department of Theatre and Dance. She will begin work with BookBub in the Editorial & Production Co-op, editing and writing content for the company and its community of book lovers.
Maya and Jon will be recognized in our Commencement program. To both students, congratulations and Godspeed.
Other Consultants are bound for exciting jobs and graduate work. In no particular order save how early I received the news…
- Ben Weiser has been accepted for the program Master of Public Policy at Oxford University. He is receiving the Jepson scholarship for Oxford, to fund his graduate work.
- Erin Derubertis was hired as a Data Engineer at a software company called Tresata in Charlotte, NC. She reports that “my writing skills came in handy even in a data-focused position.”
- Olivia Gallmeyer has been accepted into a Master’s of Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies at Brandeis.
- Sophia McWilliams will be working for Kobre and Kim, a global law firm in New York City, for the next year or two before attending law school.
Of course it is with sadness that we bid all of our graduates farewell. If you have news about your work after leaving Richmond, please let us know and I’ll crow about it (there’a a final metaphor) here.
By Julia Siewert, Writing Consultant
Editor’s Note: From time to time we run “dispatches from the field” by current or former Consultants. Here Julia shows us the utility of what we do even in the most technical of settings.
Last summer I worked as a technical writing intern at Jefferson Lab. This job involved working with subject matter experts to edit, create, and format highly technical cryogenic resource and operations manuals. These were operations modeled after JLab’s CHL2 (Central Helium Liquefier), and were being modified (and, in some cases, created from scratch) for use at SLAC for their upcoming LCLS-II project.
I learned a LOT more than I thought I would as a writer, and went by the motto “if I can understand it, so can the engineer” while I was editing. I also got to work a bit with basic graphics and got to make keys for the process and instrumentation designs for LCLS-II. Both of these combined made a comprehensive guide to the machinery and operations of the cryogenics for this awesome project at temperatures around 2-4 Kelvin (which is about -271 to -269 degrees Celsius).
This was an awesome experience, and I’m proud to say I successfully created around 9-10 complete procedural documents that will be implemented in the commissioning process. I especially enjoyed combining my love for writing with my science background and working with some of the nation’s brightest in engineering and physics.
Image (The two sections of linear accelerator in the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility at Jefferson Lab) courtesy of Jefferson Lab at Flickr.
I’m really pleased to announce “Connecting Writing Centers Across Borders,” a new publication by Writing Lab Newsletter. It gives me great pleasure personally and professionally to collaborate with editors Muriel Harris and Alan Benson in working on the first postings for the blog. Some veteran colleagues such as Carl Glover have already posted their ideas.
Our focus, at the blog and a new column in WLN, will be international collaboration. The need is there, as writing-center initiatives are cropping up globally, often taking shape in culturally appropriate ways for their home nations. My own first post focuses on how technology from a center builds ethos and influence on campus.
One shoe cannot fit every foot, and as I learned in 2013 at the Conference for The European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing, best practices vary widely and the US model of peer-tutor work is far from universal.
Using the new blog and column, we directors, tutors, writing consultants, peer mentors, and those doing similar work plan to share resources, stories from our centers, and advice to help our writers and each other.