The Write Stuff

Nov. 5, 2013

The Write Stuff

ST. LOUIS - The Webster University Writing Center is never quiet.  Even during the leisurely fall break, the Center is busy. That’s because the Center is more than just an academic service, but a home to many students.

Yvonne Osei, recent graduate of the College of Fine Arts, continues to receive support from the Center and visits once a week, even just to hang out. Osei agrees that it is the one place on campus where the staff sees the students as more than just clients.

“It is very hard for me to express myself in words and put my ideas in writing. They work to see the students improve,” she said. “Not only do they enhance my visual literature to verbalize my artistic expression, I have built healthy relationships with my coaches.  It is like a family. I find the place to be soothing and positive. The staff is incredible.”

Osei clearly isn’t the only person who recognizes the tremendous value of the Writing Center. It has become a virtual hot spot on campus. In the past four years, traffic has grown by more than 57 percent for both face-to-face and online services.  With online requests alone-most of which come from graduate students and students at Webster locations around the world-demand has increased by more than 215 percent.

Roshaunda Cade, Writing Center coordinator, says there is no secret as to why the Center has become one of the most popular locations for Webster students:

“The staff here is the best on campus,” she said, adding that they deserve all the credit for the tremendous popularity of the academic service. “They are passionate, love to write and help others.”

The program is so popular, that it recently received a $5000 grant from the Pershing Charitable Trust to support the students in their writing. The grant helps expand online services while being able to serve more walk-in students in the Center. Past gifts from the Pershing Charitable Trust has allowed them to staff the center in ways that support this immense growth.

Employees at the center include a mix of graduate and undergraduate writing coaches, writing specialists, faculty and other staff. Their primary goal that supports their mission, is to help Webster students, faculty and staff develop strategies to achieve their goals as writers.  

Shelley Sawalich has served as the director of the Academic Resource Center for the past year and attests to the outstanding reputation of the Writing Center on campus.

“In my first year, I met with faculty, students and staff at Webster to learn their perspectives regarding the work of the Academic Resource Center. One piece of feedback that I consistently heard was how wonderfully the Writing Center assists students,” she said. “Faculty often refer students to the Center because they know the writing coaches will help, not only with the assignment in question, but also with the student’s overall writing process.”

The best part for many is that the Writing Center services are free. Students, faculty and staff can create their own online accounts and make appointments to meet with coaches either online or face-to-face. “Come as you are, we accept everyone. Writing is very personal and we are here to help,” Cade said.

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