University Writing Center Now In Pilling Room

By Chloe Gocher | Staff Writer, Copy Editor and Webmaster

5 mins read

This semester, the University Writing Center is getting a bit of an upgrade, thanks to the center’s director Erika Maikish and Library director Elizabeth Leonard.

Since the Writing Center has been long confused with Drew’s Center for Academic Excellence, it was long desired to make a distinction between the writing support services and the Center for Academic Excellence’s tutoring services.

“I think it’s not always clear what both of those services offer, necessarily,” said Maikish. “We want to emphasize the difference between that tutoring support offered by the CAE and the writing guidance and feedback offered by the writing center, which is much more holistic and open to all levels.”

One of the most prominent changes the Writing Center and the Library have created is giving the Writing Center a new space.

“We’re looking to develop a more unique space for the Writing Center because right now the Writing Center and the CAE have been in one space in the library,” said Maikish. “But Elizabeth Leonard graciously offered us a temporary spot in the Pilling Room, above the Kean Room. So this semester will be our first semester using that space. And hopefully in the future that space will be able to transform and we’ll be able to create our own little niche on campus.”

young ethnic female student doing assignment with tutor in university
Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

Maikish wants to make the Writing Center an accessible, tech-friendly space that creates open communication and collaboration. A separate space will allow the Writing Center to host larger events, workshops and, most notably, further advertise its services to Drew’s graduate students.

“The Writing Center is something that everyone can use, and getting feedback and having a second pair of eyes on your writing or giving you guidance throughout the writing process is not something that stops just because you are a graduate student. And this is something I think everyone can benefit from. It’s not about writing for those who struggle to write, it’s about writing support for all,” said Maikish. “That’s kind of where that graduate piece comes in. You have new assignments, you have new papers, you have new approaches when you hit graduate school. And it’s about adjusting to those or seeking feedback or having someone to bounce ideas off of, or maybe just to clarify a point.”

The ultimate goal of the Writing Center, however, as facilitated by distinguishing itself from the Center for Academic Excellence, is to create a space where students feel confident in asking for and receiving feedback on the essential skill of writing.

“I really would love to have a Writing Center that can support students in their development as readers, critical thinkers and writers so that they can succeed, not just at Drew, but beyond, when they leave Drew or when they’re outside of Drew while they’re here,” said Maikish. “Getting feedback is a natural part of life in any job, and so learning how to work with others and learning how to take in that feedback is an important part of maturity and entering your career. And of course, writing itself is something you’ll do every day for the rest of your life, whether it’s writing an email or writing your report or writing a message to your friend. So I think that seeing how you can improve the skills you’ve already got is a good place to start.” The Writing Center’s purpose is to service and aid in the writing that’s necessary for every academic discipline Drew offers. Its services are accessible through https://drew.mywconline.com and can be found on campus in the Pilling Room of the Library. To make an appointment with the Writing Center, be sure to use the Writing Center section of the mywconline website, so if you ever need or want help, don’t hesitate to drop in!

Chloe Gocher is a sophomore majoring in English (creative writing) and minoring in Spanish.

Featured Image courtesy of Max Odell.

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