East Carolina University students receive valuable benefits from the University Writing Center preparing them for academic and professional success. Recent donations to the center are facilitating those advantages.
Dr. Nicole Caswell (right), director of the University Writing Center, is pictured here with former UWC consultant, Rexford Rose. Caswell is grateful for recent donations to the UWC priority fund that allows them to continue their mission of serving students. (Photos provided by Dr. Nicole Caswell.)
In fall 2017, ECU English alumni Wanda (’75) and Jon Yuhas (’78) gifted an initial $5,000 to establish the University Writing Center priority fund. The purpose of the fund is to continue the vital work performed by the center.
“The writing skills we ourselves learned at ECU have served us well in building successful careers. Writing is important to every profession,” said Wanda, executive director of the Pitt County Development Commission and a new member of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advancement Council. “In our professions, we both see well-educated people who, because their writing skills are not good, miscommunicate important information. Writing standard operating procedures, legal documents, medical instructions or providing technical specs all start with solid basic writing skills.”
ECU alumni Jon and Wanda Yuhas discuss the University Writing Center priority fund with Dr. Will Banks, professor of English, (center, yellow shirt) and Dr. Nicole Caswell (right).
However, not every question about writing can be covered in the classroom, a concept Jon knows well from when he taught freshman composition.
“Poorly written work says something about the writer’s intellect and character that is almost impossible to redeem,” said Yuhas, human resources manager at the Roberts Company in Winterville. “The ability to express thoughts in writing is crucial to success in any endeavor.”
Through the UWC, students at all levels may seek support in drafting, editing and revising written papers for university classes and preparing them for written communication projects they may encounter in their careers. All services provided are free of charge.
Monica Bloomberg, ECU graduate student and current consultant at the University Writing Center, is an advocate for students and enjoys impacting the lives of others.
“I have learned to be an advocate for students, a leader, a counselor and a member of a larger, dedicated family that is committed to supporting ECU’s students, faculty and staff,” said Monica Bloomberg, graduate student and consultant at the UWC. “My experiences collaborating with writers and my fellow consultants solidified my decision to pursue a service profession where I can continue interacting with the community and impacting the lives of others.”
Dr. Nicole Caswell, director of the center said, “Writers who visit the UWC might see the impact more immediately on a particular assignment, but the skills they have gained will serve them long after that assignment is completed.”
Chelsea (Cox) Mullins also worked as a consultant at the UWC from 2011 until she graduated from ECU in 2014.
Chelsea Mullins, ECU alumna (’14) and former University Writing Center consultant, said a few words at the UWC grand opening ceremony held Sept. 23, 2013.
“I was humbled to watch the UWC grow over the course of my undergraduate years,” said Mullins. “When I graduated, the UWC had become a special place where students were welcomed in and had access to more services than ever before.”
Recently, another $10,000 donation to the center’s priority fund by Dr. Michelle Eble, associate professor of rhetoric and technical communication in ECU’s Department of English, and her husband Shane Ernst, senior vice-president of quality at Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, continues to show that the center’s mission is important.
“The director of the UWC, Dr. Nikki Caswell, has expanded the services of the center to meet ongoing student and faculty needs, and we saw an opportunity to invest in something at ECU that influences the everyday lives of students,” said Eble. “I’ve been amazed by the number of my own students who have used the services of the UWC. They are excited to share the feedback they received.”
Ernst sees the advantages the center provides students in helping prepare them for writing in their careers.
“The ability to write and communicate is an essential factor when it comes to landing an entry-level position and the potential for career advancement,” said Ernst.
Caswell said the center is eager to serve the Greenville community in the future through events that will assist the public with writing cover letters, resumes, and grants as well as filling out job applications.
“I’m grateful for the recent donations to the UWC priority fund because these resources allow us to continue our mission on campus while simultaneously working to expand our services to the Greenville community,” said Caswell.
For more information about the UWC, visit ecu.edu/cs-acad/writing/uwc/.
Chelsea Mullins (center, purple shirt), ECU alumna (’14) and former University Writing Center consultant, helps cut the ribbon at the UWC grand opening held Sept. 23, 2013.
-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications