The 2015-2016 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.
Marcie Rovan, Assistant Director
Marcie is a PhD candidate in the English department. She received a master's degree in English from Duquesne in 2009 and a bachelor's degree from Wheeling Jesuit University in 2007. Marcie was previously an instructor at Duquesne for four years, teaching UCOR 101, UCOR 102, and Introduction to Poetry. She previously worked at the Duquesne University Writing Center for two years and the Wheeling Jesuit Academic Resource Center for three years. She is currently working on her dissertation, which explores intersections between the fields of children's literature and modernist literature.
Graduate Writing Consultants
Justin Fanzo, ESL writing specialist
Justin is a master's student in the English Department. He also attended Duquesne as an undergraduate, majoring in English with a concentration in writing. This is his fourth year at the Writing Center. He enjoys reading horror and fantasy literature and writing both poetry and fiction. He hopes to be a professional writer someday.
Carol is a graduate student in the English Department pursuing her Ph.D. Her areas of interest are 20th/21st century British, postcolonial literature, and graphic novels. She received her bachelor's degrees in English and history and minored in foreign literature in translation. She also has a master's in English literature. She has written for and edited various publications, including her alma mater's daily newspaper, several small-town magazines, literary journals, and firefighter training textbooks.
Rochel Gasson, writing consultant for the Online Writing Center
Rochel is a graduate student in the English Department. Her areas of study include women's and gender studies, feminist theory, and ethics. She majored in English and has minors in women's and gender studies and philosophy. She was a writing fellow at her alma mater. She has been active in campus publications, literary journals, and curriculum writing. She has been a writing tutor for many years and really enjoys her job.
Shawn is a master's student in the English department. He attended Duquesne as an undergraduate, too, during which time he worked at the writing center while studying creative writing and print journalism. Since graduating in 2010, Shawn has written for the Pittsburgh City Paper and the online news website Patch, and he has worked in Gumberg Library's circulation department. He returned to the Writing Center in Fall 2015 and hopes to share with the campus community his love and care for the written word.
Noel is pursuing a PhD in the English department. She received her master's degree in the teaching of writing and literature at George Mason University and has spent the last four years as an adjunct writing professor at Thiel College, where she was also director of the campus writing center. She has written op-ed pieces for townhall.com and humanevents.com, and in her free time she carries out various film projects and performs as a house team player at Steel City Improv Theater. In addition to these things, she enjoys planning elaborate adventures, judging people on daytime TV, and cutting the size tags out of her pants
Theresa Sullivan, writing consultant for the Online Writing Center
Theresa is a pursuing a master's degree in English with a concentration in writing, media arts, and technology. She graduated summa cum laude from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2014 with a degree in English (writing) and communications (journalism). She has interned at The Rochester Business Journal, 13 WHAM News, and Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY. She also worked as a media relations assistant in the Public Relations Department at Franciscan University. Theresa's writing expertise includes academic writing, creative writing, business writing, and news writing. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. She aspires to work in the writing and publishing industry.
Undergraduate Writing Consultants
Kaiti is a junior integrated marketing communication major, with a minor in digital media arts. She is involved in Duquesne's chapter of Strong Women, Strong Girls, where she serves both as a mentor to 3rd-5th grade girls and as a member of the executive board. In her free time at Duquesne, she enjoys doing ceramics, visiting the zoo and museums, and taking advantage of all that Pittsburgh has to offer.
Ohara is a sophomore 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.
Christina is a senior in the Honors College double-majoring in English with a concentration in writing and public relations with a minor in French and a business certificate. She also is the Layout Editor and Website Developer for :lexicon and a member of Spotlight Musical Theater Company and the Red Masquers. She enjoys writing dystopia and science fiction in her spare time, and her favorite book is 1984 by George Orwell. After graduation, she plans to work in New York as an acquisitions editor at a trade publishing company.
Margaret Long is a junior secondary education and history major and member of the Honors College. On campus, she is also involved with KDE, the education fraternity, and works as a volunteer tutor. Her dream job is to run the children's education section of a museum.
Kelly is a junior Secondary Education English major. She is involved with the literary magazine Lexicon, the professional education fraternity KDE, and is a team leader for Orientation. She couldn't pick a single favorite book; it's a three-way tie between White Oleander, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Great Gatsby. She desperately wants to teach in Ireland for her student teaching. After graduation, she wants to teach English anywhere and everywhere.
Shannon Small is a sophomore double majoring in English with a writing concentration and communications with a minor in Spanish. She has experience editing journalistic writing and tutoring students in English. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry. After earning her bachelor's degree, she plans on pursuing her master's degree and doctorate and becoming an English professor or pursuing a job in publishing.
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.
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.