Jane Detullio, former Director of the University’s Writing Center, unexpectedly resigned from her position on Tuesday of last week. Detullio did not provide any specific reasons for leaving, according to her coworkers.
While deciding which direction to take, the University saw an opportunity to improve the Writing Center by combining it with the Tutoring Center. The two are now part of an entity called Tutoring and Writing Services located on the lower level of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. Dorothy Cleary is the Director of Tutoring and Writing Services while Neva Pontoriero is the Assistant Director of Writing Services and Supplemental Instruction.
Despite the merger, the academic utilities remain the same as the two formerly separate services. “We are running Writing Services as it has been in the past and will continue offering one-on-one tutoring sessions, group tutoring sessions and workshop series,” Pontoriero said. “Our general goal, as always, is to offer writing assistance to students across all disciplines and throughout all stages of the writing process. Students can come here to obtain help ranging from how to understand an assignment to having another pair of eyes help them review a final draft.”
Pontoriero, who will be overseeing day-to-day operations of Writing Services and Supplemental Instruction, is familiar with the interaction between writing assistants and students, and knows the benefits that it has to offer. “I have had the opportunity to work with students in the past as a writing assistant for almost five years,” she continued. “As students continued to use the Writing Center, I saw definite improvements with their writing skills.”
Cleary said that the relationship between her and Pontoriero is a strong one. “We are a good team and we both have experience in these services,” she commented. “We are both very excited about the opportunity and want to make the transition as smooth as possible. It is important to emphasize that our main priority is to serve the students.”
Katie Meyers, a junior majoring in communication, recently utilized the service for the first time. Not knowing what to expect from her first experience there, she said that she was pleasantly surprised after the 45 minute session.
“The writing assistant was not only helpful in highlighting the mistakes that were in my paper, but her knowledge of the APA (American Psychological Association) format helped me to understand some of the guidelines that I wasn’t quite sure of prior to going there,” Meyers said.
Meyers added that because she found such usefulness in employing the service, she plans on returning in the near future for help on her next term paper. “By sitting down with the writing assistant and formulating my ideas with her, I was able to structure my paper in a clear and well-thought-out manner,” she said.
“Business in Writing Services will continue as usual and that students will benefit from the integration,” said Dr. Mercy Azeke, Dean of the Center for Student Success. “The biggest advantage of the merger is that it allows more collaboration between Writing Services and Tutoring Services. We can take advantage of their similarities such as peer-to-peer tutoring and group tutoring. As a result, there will be a better opportunity to share knowledge amongst the two, so services will be enhanced.”