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Writing Center Celebrates 30 Years of Helping UK Students Succeed

Video By Chanel Friday, UK Public Relations and Marketing Intern. 

by Kody Kiser, Amy Jones-Timoney, Chanel Friday

(April 3, 2014) — A popular on–campus resource for students is celebrating a major birthday. 

UK’s Writing Center, located in The Hub @ WT’s, turned 30 years old during the 2013-14 academic year.  Over the last three decades, graduate and undergraduate peer consultants have assisted thousands of students, faculty and staff in creating essays, reports, slide show presentations and videos at no charge. 

UK marked the milestone with a special reception Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The program began with speakers who shared the Writing Center’s history and included tributes about the center’s impact on students.  Organizers also announced the renaming of the Writing Center in honor of its founder, Robert W. Hemenway, a former chancellor of UK. 

“We welcomed friends we had not seen in a while as well as new friends,” said Judith Prats, director of the UK Writing Center.

The center is riding a wave of momentum in its 30th year, with more than 5,000 consultations recorded.  Peer mentors help students with all aspects of the writing process including how to organize, develop, and polish their work.  The goal is to try to engage in conversations with students about their topics, helping them to realize their purpose and to discover what they want to say.

“Based on my decades of consulting with students as well as what they tell us in anonymous exit surveys, the Writing Center is vital to the success of many UK students,” Prats said.

Prats attributes much of that success to the peer tutors who have direct contact with students who want a little extra help. 

Students must go through training before becoming peer tutors so they can offer the best possible assistance.  They must successfully complete the Writing Center Peer Tutoring (WRD 324) course before they are eligible to apply for a peer tutoring position.

Students of all levels — first year through senior year — and students of all majors are welcome to enroll in the Writing Center course.

“Those who are planning on applying to become a peer consultant must have a keen interest in helping their fellow students become more effective and confident writers,” Prats said. 

The mentors are expected to provide friendly consultations and aim to be as helpful as possible as they assist with classes or projects that require writing.  They even will assist students with outside papers such as resumes, cover letters, and applications for scholarships and professional programs.

“With our assistance, students grow intellectually and develop study and writing habits that serve them well throughout their academic career and beyond, said Prats. “I know this is true because students tell us every day that they need us and they appreciate the help.”

The UK Writing Center offers appointments for in-person or e-tutoring sessions as well as online meetings. Click here to schedule an appointment.