The Writing Center Helps Through Pandemic

By Kierston Richardson
Jambar Contributor

From essays to papers, the Writing Center is a resource Youngstown State University offers to help students succeed. 

Angela Messenger has been YSU’s Writing Center coordinator for 13 years. 

“It offers any type of assistance for students, staff and faculty. It doesn’t have to be tied to a particular assignment. We can help them with any type of writing assignment and at any stage of the writing process,” Messenger said. 

She said the pandemic hasn’t affected students ability to use the Writing Center. Staff added cleaning products, made available to students and tutors. 

Anne Vallas, a graduate assistant at the Writing Center, said because of COVID-19, the center adjusted its offerings to meet the needs of all clients.

“The Writing Center doesn’t subscribe to a one-size-fits-all style,” Vallas said.

Writing Center staff members share their selfies, vocabulary words of the day and helpful pieces of advice for students struggling with writing. Photo by Kierston Richardson

Lauren Carr, senior early childhood education major and tutor for the Writing Center, said it successfully helps many students become better writers.

“On average, 4,000 students come to the Writing Center in a normal school year,” Carr said.

Carr said the center’s main goal is to give students the skills they need to become successful writers.

“I’ve had clients come in for Writing 1, and I don’t see them as much for Writing 2, because they’ve gained different writing and editing skills,” Carr said. “Students become more confident in their writing abilities.

McKayla Rockwell, a graduate student in the English program, said a YSU writing resource is Quill, a creative writing group. Rockwell also is the current organizer of the group.

“Anybody can join Quill. You don’t have to be in a specific major or a student. It’s open to the public as well,” Rockwell said. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings are no longer in person, Rockwell said. 

“We send out a piece to be critiqued every week through Google Docs and ask that everyone leaves comments by Friday. We also have a virtual write-in every Friday from 1-2 p.m.,” Rockwell said. 

“Our main objective is to give each other feedback and improve each other’s writing,” Rockwell said. “I try to encourage students to publish their work and get involved with the community.” 

One student participant in Quill published a poetry book, Rockwell said, and other students have been published electronically.

Messenger said tutoring is available both in-person and online, and appointments can be scheduled at mywoconline.com

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