For University of the Sciences Writing Center, the well-quoted Vegas motto does not apply. On April 10, 2010, the University of Delaware hosted the Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association (MAWCA) conference where the theme emphasized "What Happens in the Writing Center Does Not Stay in the Writing Center: The Impact of Writing Centers on Peer Tutors.”
Five USciences students Jared Wasserman BInf’10, Sean Swisher PharmD’14, Lenny Vinciguerra PharmD’14, Lauren Julian PhC’12, and Allison Conte PharmD’14, took advantage of the opportunity. The students, who are also tutors at the Writing Center, presented and discussed how the writing center has shaped them to be better writers, mentors, leaders, confident public speakers, and how writing and science can co-exist harmoniously in their presentation
The tutors were accompanied by Miriam Díaz-Gilbert, director of the Writing Center and lecturer in Writing Programs, who also gave a presentation focused on "Empowering Peer Tutors to Operate an Efficient Writing Center and to Facilitate Effective Writing Assistance Services."
"Students preparing for careers in the sciences, pharmacy, and healthcare believe writing is irrelevant and do not understand why writing is taught at a science school,” Díaz-Gilbert said. “I often tell them their science books, for example, are written by scientists. Then they begin to see the connection. Many of them soon begin to see the relevancy and importance of the writing center on campus.”
The Writing Center is a powerful tool for students utilize. There are 30-minute one-on-one sessions for students to work on writing assignments such as research papers, general writing coursework, even PowerPoint slides. In addition, seminars are also offered to improve writing skills for first-year students, or anyone that may need it. Best of all, it’s a free service.
“The writing center is here to help all students from first year to graduating students and from strong to weak writers,” said Díaz-Gilbert. “Knowing that their peers are also writing center tutors helps students become less resistant and more open to the importance of writing in their fields, and with the support of the writing center, become better and more confident writers."