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About Us

Our Present

The 2016-2017 Writing Center staff members are:


Dr. Jim Purdy, Director
Dr. Jim Purdy is an associate professor in the English Department and directs the University Writing Center. He previously directed the Writing Center at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. His research and teaching interests include digital writing and research, new media technologies, composition theory, and writing center theory. He has published in numerous scholarly journals and edited collections. With Randall McClure, he edited two collections: The New Digital Scholar: Exploring and Enriching the Research and Writing Practices of NextGen Students (Information Today, Inc., 2013), which was awarded the Silver Medal for Education in the Commentary/Theory Category for the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards, and The Next Digital Scholar: A Fresh Approach to the Common Core State Standards in Research and Writing (Information Today, Inc., 2014), which was a finalist in the Educational/Academic Category at the 2014 USA Best Books Awards. With co-author Joyce R. Walker, he won the 2011 Ellen Nold Award for the Best Article in Computers and Composition Studies and the 2008 Kairos Best Webtext Award.

Ashley Kunsa, Assistant Director
Ashley K. is Assistant Director of the University Writing Center and a PhD candidate in English literature at Duquesne. Her research and teaching focus on contemporary fiction, war literature, American literature after 1945, and creative writing. Ashley holds an MFA in fiction writing from Penn State University, and her short stories, creative non-fiction, and poetry appear in a variety of print and online venues. She has received awards for both her writing and teaching, including Duquesne's Center for Teaching Excellence Graduate Student Award for Teaching Excellence. In Spring 2016 she co-founded the DU Dog Tags Literary Society, a creative writing group for the university's military and veteran students. She's very excited to be back at the Writing Center for 2016-17!

Graduate Writing Consultants

Emily Keith, business wriitng specialist
Emily is a senior double majoring in English literature and philosophy. She is passionate about writing in all forms, and has a particular love for poetry, although she has also enjoyed work editing two scientific magazines and was a member of a student editorial board revising papers submitted to Duquesne's Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium. Emily is also a member of Duquesne's Sigma Tau Delta Chapter, currently serving as its vice president after a tenure as president. In her free time, Emily spends time with her pet cats and tortoise. After graduation, she plans to pursue a doctorate in either literature or education and throw herself wholeheartedly into academia.

Dominic Mayle, science writing specialist
Dominic is studying law at Duquesne. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry with an emphasis on polymer science from the University of Akron. He has had the privilege to work on scientific papers that were peer-reviewed and published in his field. As a law student, he is interested in the intersection of law, science, and public policy in areas like intellectual property and healthcare. Dominic also enjoys reading fiction and philosophy.

Undergraduate Writing Consultants

Mary Davis
Mary is a senior secondary education and English double major and is an Honors College student. On campus she is a member of the professional education fraternity Kappa Delta Epsilon, is a member of Delta Zeta, and is an orientation team leader. She has a passion for reading everything and anything, especially biographies and memoirs. After earning her bachelor's degree, she plans on pursuing her master's degree or attending law school.

Ohara Hamlin
Ohara is a senior business marketing major with a minor in legal studies. She dreams of one day becoming a lawyer, but writing will always be a passion of hers. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and traveling. She loves a good adventure, in Fall 2014 she traveled to four different countries! Her favorite author is Ernest Hemingway, and she is a tad bit obsessed with the show Mad Men. This is her first year working in the Writing Center, and she looks forward to helping her fellow students to become better writers.

Anna Kemper
Anna is a senior corporate communication major with minors in philosophy, English, and digital media. She loves learning and the liberal arts. She is a leader of the ALIVE ministry on campus, and is also a member of Pursuing Purpose; Evergreen; and Sigma Delta Tau, the English honor society. She hopes to work in communication and design with a non-profit ministry in the future. In her spare time, she likes to play guitar, read G.K. Chesterton, and write poetry and fiction.

Marguerite Madden
Marguerite is a junior majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications with minors in Economics and Intercultural Engagement in the Liberal Arts school at Duquesne. In addition to being a tutor for the Writing Center, Marguerite is also the chair for FeelGood Club, a nonprofit with the goal of ending world hunger by 2030. In addition to reading, writing, and thrift shopping, Marguerite loves to run and has competed in both half and full marathons. Upon graduating from Duquesne, she hopes to find a way to bring her passion for running and nonprofit work together so she can promote the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and giving back to the community.

Angela Mignanelli
Angela is a junior English writing major with a minor in Journalism and Media Arts. She has many passions, including singing, running, and writing poetry. She hopes to one day sail to the heights of greats like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, her favorite musicians. She also has an interest in Beat poetry, with a fiery reverence for writers such as Anne Waldman and Jack Kerouac. Luckily, her academic studies work in tandem to inform her creative endeav-ors. Angela is also a year-round member of Duquesne's cross county and track teams, as well as a published poet in Lexicon, Duquesne's preeminent literary magazine. In her spare time, she can be found perusing record stores around the city of Pittsburgh.

Taylor Wadsworth
Taylor is a junior international relations major with a minor in sociology. A member of Delta Zeta, she loves creative writing and runs several blogs in her spare time. Travel and fashion are two of her greatest interests, and she studied abroad in Rome in Fall 2015, an experience she will never forget. Although she is not sure of what her exact plans are following graduation, she hopes that her major will allow her to travel more and learn more about the world and international affairs.

Joining the Staff

Students interested in applying to be a consultant at the Writing Center should submit a cv/résumé, academic research-based writing sample, and application form to the Director. Please contact the Director, Dr. Jim Purdy, at 412-396-1293 or purdyj at duq.edu for more information.


Consultants receive ongoing training and professional development in teaching writing. They have the opportunity to attend writing center conferences (e.g., the Pittsburgh Area Regional Writing Centers Conference, National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing, East Central Writing Centers Association Conference).

Past consultants have gone on to work at writing centers at other universities; been accepted to graduate programs at top universities (e.g., Brandeis, Illinois State, Purdue); and pursued successful careers in education at middle, secondary, and postsecondary levels, as well as in business and law.

Our Past

The Writing Center has been a part of Duquesne’s academic life for more than twenty years. Originally housed in the English Department and designed to meet the needs of the Core Curriculum, the Writing Center has grown and expanded its scope of service to address the writing needs of the entire campus community, including students and faculty.