New place to write home about
Writing center’s new digs expand student-assistance options
Audrey Dighans | copy editor
The renovations for the PSU Writing Center are finally complete at Axe Library, allowing its staff to get out of Hartman Hall and into what they say is a much-improved space.
More stuff, more room
Janet Zepernick, director of the Writing Center and associate professor of English, says that she believes it has been fabulous to get the new space up and running.
“It is much bigger than our old space,” Zepernick said. “Because of that, we are already able to do more than we could previously.”
Tisha Turner says that more space means more utility.
“With the new space and more funding, we have hired more workers which means we can offer more appointment times,” said Turner, student employee and junior in English.
In August, the center hired eight new student employees to a staff that retained three from last year.
“The Writing Center is now located on the north side of Axe Library’s first floor, behind the computer area.
It features an open workspace, office space for employees, computers and meeting areas for a variety of uses.
“It feels much more professional here,” Zepernick said.
Lynn Caldwell, instructor in English and assistant director of the writing center says the old space for the Writing Center was functional but not the perfect fit.
“We were successful in Hartman,” she said. “This new space is designed with our purposes in mind.”
Zepernick added that when students see the center now they feel like they have come to a professional place where they can receive help.
“Before Hartman, we were here in the library and shared a wall with a classroom, but the walls didn’t go all the way to the ceiling,” she said. “Consulting is very much conversational and that makes noise, so we were always being too loud and it looked like we were a make-shift sort of operation that wasn’t permanent.”
Easier to find
Turner and Caldwell added that the new location is much better for both the center and students.
“Students always came to the library looking for us and were told we’re in Hartman,” Caldwell said. “Then they had to go and find us there … We had signs posted everywhere but it was still a bit difficult.”
The ease of access is key, Turner said.
“Now that we’re here in the library, everyone knows where to find us,” she said. “And once they’re done with an appointment here they often go straight to the computers outside and start working on their papers more. It is much more convenient for everyone now.”
The new space will also allow the Writing Center to offer new services.
“We can offer workshops here in the center now instead of somewhere else on campus,” Zepernick said.
Turner says the renovated space has also allowed the center to increase the time allotted for each appointment to 50 minutes, up from 30.
“We can focus on a paper longer and give them the time they deserve,” she said.
Caldwell says that the center does more than proofread papers.
They work with students to make sure their papers meet the criteria set by professors.
They also help students prepare for standardized testing such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) that all applicants to graduate school take to determine admission eligibility.
Appointments for the Writing Center can be made online at www.pittstate.edu/writing_center.
Students may opt to receive an in-person appointment, a remote consultation via online chat or handle their questions via email.