The Center for Excellence in Writing: where tutors are made

The Center for Excellence in Writing, at the Green Library | Kaysea Suzana, PantherNOW

Kaysea Suzana | Contributing Writer

In a corner of the Green Library students can find the opportunity to learn as writers and help other students grow too. 

“I used to be unhappy working at a miserable retail job. However, working [at the center] has allowed me to be given a lot of professional opportunities I didn’t think I’d be able to get on my own. I’ve grown as a writer and a scholar,” said tutor for graduate students, Naya Quintana.

The Center for Excellence in Writing allows for in-person tutoring and advice on writing, while online, the same can be done through their chat rooms.

The center specializes in tutoring students in writing and communication skills, also branching out into other areas of research.

“Our tutors are doing a lot of research in publications; we’re presenting in conferences on questions of language and writing, as well as translingual workshops,” said Director of the center, Dr. Glenn Hutchinson. 

The center offers a variety of services, from tightening up resumes and cover letters to reviewing graduate papers to ensure that the final product is crisp, clean and ready for an A. 

They also offer ‘Creative Brainstorming,’ during which students can get feedback on creative writing.

“There’s a couple of ways that creative brainstorming can happen– the first session can be a conversation about the things a mentee wants to write about, then it extends from there,” Hutchinson said. 

Students who don’t speak English as their primary language can also benefit from the center.

“There are conversational circles where students whose first language is not English can come and learn,” said Elayne Baldelomar, who tutors undergraduate students. 

The center isn’t just an academic spot: here, people can make friends and meet a diverse group of students. 

“Making friends with supervisors and students I’ve tutored that range from differing backgrounds has enriched my academic life and broadened my perspective,” said graduate tutor Lucas Viera.

Diversity goes beyond language too. Students come in from an array of majors and fields of study, both as tutors and mentees.

Graduate tutor Gabriella Hernandez, who originally studied psychology, became a tutor and unexpectedly found that she loved it. 

“Being a tutor wasn’t my original plan. I started as a writing assistant while I studied psychology. Participating, working and being involved has allowed me to form connections,” said Hernandez. “Ultimately, it’s fun, and that’s what matters.”

The importance of the center is not tied to English nor writing, but rather the opportunities and involvement of the community.

The peer-to-peer interactions and networks are what tutors seem to enjoy the most. 

“I think the biggest thing was having a sense of a group. Here I am engaged and I have ‘family’,” said Quintana.

You can make an appointment with one of the center’s tutors via the Center of Excellence in Writing website