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About Us

Our Present

The 2013-2014 Writing Center staff members are:


Dr. Jim Purdy, Director
Dr. Jim Purdy is an assistant 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 The New Digital Scholar: Exploring and Enriching the Research and Writing Practices of NextGen Students (Information Today, Inc., 2013). 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.

Jennifer Collins, Assistant Director
Jennifer is originally from Richmond, VA., and came to Duquesne by way of Clemson, South Carolina. Much of her spare time is spent writing poetry and fiction, and she also has particular interests in medical discourse and environmental work. As a member of the English department and the current Editor of :lexicon, she is also, of course, incredibly interested in literature and all sorts of writing! Jennifer is paritcularly happy to help students working on their dissertations.

Graduate Writing Consultants

Bob Craven
Bob Craven is an MA student and a teaching fellow in the English Department. His research interests are primarily in poetics and nature writing, and he is happy to work with student writing in any stage from outlining and brainstorming to fully drafted longer works.

Justin Fanzo, writing consultant for the Online Writing Center for Leadership
Justin is a first year 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 third 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.

John Hadlock
John Hadlock is a first year masters student studying English literature. He teaches UCOR 101 and 102. John has previously worked in the writing center at Penn State Erie. He is interested in modern and contemporary American literature. John hopes to one day teach literature at the high school or college level.

Morgan Larchuk, ESL writing specialist
Morgan Larchuk likes snorkeling, going to the movies, and cute animals. She is a second year MA student in the English Department, and this is her second year as the Writing Center's ESL specialist, which has given her experience working with non-native English speakers. Although her field of study is literature, she looks forward to working with students on a variety of subjects. For citation help, she is most familiar with MLA and APA. She loves helping students become better writers and watching them leave the Writing Center feeling more confident and excited about their work.

Rebekah Lynn
Rebekah Lynn is a Master's student in the English Department. She is eager to help others develop their ideas and their style through her work in the Writing Center. Rebekah's major interests include classical poetry, poetics, and science fiction.

Christopher Maverick
Christopher Maverick is a first year PhD student and teaching fellow in the English Department. He holds a BA in creative writing and literary and cultural studies, and an MA in literary and cultural studies, both from Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests involve class and gender in 20th and 21st century pop culture and media. Prior to enrolling at Duquesne, he held a variety of eclectic careers including software designer, photographer, comic book writer, and professional wrestler.

Maggie Pavlick, business writing specialist
Maggie Pavlick is a graduate student in the English Department, working on a MA in English with a concentration in writing, media arts and technology. She also did her undergraduate work in English and journalism at Duquesne and graduated last spring. In her spare time, she crochets scarves to sell in her online Etsy shop and also runs a blog with advice about college admissions. She is excited to be back at the Writing Center, after being away from the staff last semester, and can't wait to work with you!

Will Powell
Will is a graduate student in literature who has worked in the Writing Center in some capacity for the last two and a half years. He currently teaches UCOR 102 as well. While most proficient in MLA, Will enjoys exploring the logistics of a wide array of citation styles including Chicago, APA, and Turabian. Additionally, Will has consulted with non-native speakers on essays whose topics range from cell division to Aristotelian ethics. Though not averse to research strategies and rhetorical clarification, as a writing consultant, Will especially loves working on the organization of ideas and thesis development.

Allie Reznik
Allie is a first year doctoral student in the English program who also teaches UCOR 101 and 102. Her interests include music in nineteenth century American literature and popular culture. She also serves as coordinator for the Career Readiness for the Humanities initiative at Duquesne where she works with students on all things career-oriented.

Josie Rush, science writing specialist
Josie is a graduate student studying literature. This is her sixth year working in writing centers and her second year working at the Duquesne Writing Center. In her spare time she is probably either watching Netflix or feeling guilty for watching so much Netflix. She also has two kittens named after literary figures, but who have, disappointingly, only shown interest in chewing the corners of her books. She is the Writing Center's science writing specialist, but she enjoys working with writers on a variety of subjects at any point in the writing process. If you would like to work on citation, she is familiar with APA and MLA, and will gladly look through other citation manuals with you to find information.

Amanda Schafer, writing consultant for the Online Writing Center for Nursing
Mandy is a 2013 graduate of Washington & Jefferson College. During her undergraduate career, she earned a biology degree with a double minor in psychology and information technology, as well as a concentration in professional writing. Mandy worked as a laboratory assistant and writing mentor for the W&J Biology Department for three years and was employed outside the school as a Certified Nursing Assistant throughout 2011. Currently, she is pursuing a Master's degree in secondary education to teach biology in grades 7-12. Her latest hobbies include wedding and portrait photography.

Lisa Weddell
Lisa Weddell is a PhD student in the English Department, and she teaches UCOR 101 and 102. Her research interests are Early American and Nineteenth Century American literature. As a consultant, she would be most helpful for UCOR101/102 assignments, papers for literature/humanities courses, MLA formatting, CVs, and personal statements.

David Young
David Young is a first-year PhD student in the English Department concentrating on 20th century literature and film, with a particular interest in the intersection of narrative and violence. He holds a MA from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, a BA from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, and spent time studying at The University of Oxford in the summer of 2010. His book reviews have been published or are forthcoming in The Journal of American Culture and Film and History.

Undergraduate Writing Consultants

Christina Gregory
Christina Gregory is a sophomore 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.

Allison Keene
Allison Keene is a senior English literature and print journalism double major. She is currently an undergraduate, but is also enrolled in the accelerated MA program to earn a graduate degree in English literature. Her areas of interest include American literature, 18th and 19th century British romanticism, children's literature, and young adult literature. She is familiar with MLA and APA citation and formatting, and this is her second year at the Writing Center.

Emily Lamielle
Emily Lamielle is a senior English major with minors in public relations and digital media arts. In addition to working at the Writing Center, Emily is a Museum Educator at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. On campus, Emily serves as president of the Society of Professional Journalists and is actively involved with Phi Kappa Phi and L'Esprit du Duc Yearbook. Nurturing her interests in writing and media, she also interns with College LifestylesTM online magazine. She is passionate about higher education opportunities and hopes to attend a graduate program studying student affairs in higher education after she graduates in May.

Margaret Long
Margaret Long is a sophmore 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.

Kathleen McGuire

Rachel Webber
Rachel Webber is a senior studying public relations and English with a concentration in creative writing. Previously, she worked with City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, and their online magazine, Sampsonia Way, on several projects concerning free speech and international literature. After graduation, Rachel hopes to continue working with local non-profits and literary publications.

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.

  • Between 1995 and 2005, the Writing Center was directed annually by an advanced graduate student in the English Department.
  • A full-time administrator directed the Center from Fall 2006 to Spring 2008.
  • A full-time, tenure-track faculty member from the English Department now directs the Center.