Graduate Peer Consultant Application Packet

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1 The UST Center for Writing Before you write, as you write, and after you write Graduate Peer Consultant Application Packet Please note: You must be a student in the M.A. Program in English to apply to become a graduate peer consultant, and you need to have completed at least one semester in the program. Due: Friday, March 20, noon JRC 361 Questions? Contact Dr. Susan Callaway, Director

2 The UST Center for Writing Graduate Application Spring 2015 All Students in the Masters Program in English: Each year, two students from the M.A. Program work for the academic year as peer writing consultants in the Center for Writing. The experience for the graduate students has been overwhelmingly positive: they have gained insight into working with a great variety of students on many types of papers, they have improved their own writing, and they have become a part of a strong community of students and writers in the Center. I invite you to apply to become a peer writing consultant for the upcoming academic year. Working in the Center for Writing will give you experience with students as well as in writing center administration. You will gain a working knowledge of current writing center theory and practice and the teaching of writing. All of these can help you deepen your understanding of your own writing and establish a strong philosophical foundation for future employment. Furthermore, working in the Center can increase your confidence in your own writing and make you more marketable as a writer, teacher, or administrator. The Center for Writing has been in existence for over 35 years. It is a campus-wide writing center, which means we strive to serve students from undergraduate to graduate in most programs. We typically have a staff of over 20, mostly undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines, who stay until they graduate. We also have an ESL Specialist, Suzanne Donsky, and of course two graduate students from the M.A. Program in English. As a graduate consultant, your responsibilities would include: working one-on-one with both graduate and undergraduate students for the academic year; keeping records on those sessions; assisting with administrative duties. Graduate peer writing consultants in English are paid $4500 for the year, averaging 10 hours per week at $15 an hour, and the hours per semester are of your own choosing. We are open Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m.-12 noon, and Sundays 6-9 p.m. You need to be enrolled as a student at UST both semesters. You also need to take the peer consultant training course, Theory and Practice of Writing (which you would take as GENG 598), in the fall when you begin consulting for graduate credit. The course, which I teach, will be offered this next fall on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9:35-10:40. You ll do extensive reading in the theory and practice of teaching writing, talk about your conferences with your colleagues, and discuss the ways in which this theory and practice intersect. There is also a service learning component in the class for all consultants through which you ll be working as a writing mentor at Wellstone International High School in Minneapolis. To earn graduate credit, you ll lead a class session and conduct research on a topic of your choice concerning writing. Through this teaching, research and writing, the peer consulting course provides you with an excellent grounding in composition theory and practice. Currently, Eric Tasch is working as a graduate peer consultant. Feel free to speak with him about his experiences so far this year.

3 The application deadline is Friday, March 20 th, Once you submit your application, I will review it and then have an interview with you. This is our chance to get to know one another, so bring any questions you might have. In the meantime, if you haven t done so already, I highly encourage you to bring some of your writing into the Center to work with either Lindy or Melissa. You ll be able to learn more about your writing, see how we work, and talk to a grad consultant, too. Please know that the best candidates for peer consulting demonstrate insight into the nature of the writing process and are good writers. They listen actively and communicate effectively. Most of all, good consultants are compassionate and understanding of the difficulties we all face in our writing and reading. I hope you ll consider becoming a part of the Center for Writing and bringing your energy and expertise to other students. If you have any questions at all before or as you re completing the application, feel free to contact me at (651) or I look forward to hearing from you! Sincerely, Dr. Susan J. Callaway Director, UST Center for Writing Associate Professor, English

4 Graduate Peer Writing Consultant Application I. Personal Information (and please attach a current résumé): Name: Today s Date: Home Address: UST Phone: (h) ( ) (cell) ( ) (w) ( ) Previous undergraduate college or university attended: Undergraduate graduation year: Year you were admitted into the M.A. Program: Semester and year you anticipate writing your Master s Essay: Have you previously held or do you now hold a Fellowship or Mentorship through the M.A. Program in English? If so, which one and when? A professor in the Dept. of English who knows your work well (a letter is not required): II. Answer the following questions in a separate document. 1. Have you had any prior experience as a writing assistant or teacher? Describe these experiences. List the qualities you believe you would bring to the Center for Writing. 2. Do you consider yourself a strong writer? In what ways specifically? Where and from whom have you learned how to write well? What steps do you usually take to write a paper? (Be as descriptive and honest as possible.) 3. Have you ever been to a writing center or learning center? If so, describe your experience. If not, please the sorts of student who you imagine come to writing centers and why they seek assistance. What role do you think writing centers typically take on college campuses? 4. In what ways will your work in the Center for Writing fit into your professional goals?

5 III. Response to student writing. There are no typical conferences in the Center for Writing as writers of varying experience come to the Center with writing in a variety of stages. Some may want help brainstorming or forming an outline, while others may bring what they consider a final draft. Attached you will find a sample essay written by a first year student. The assignment is asking them to research a particular figure and analyze their impact/influence. We stress the importance of conversation with writers--you will never be asked to give written feedback on a student s writing. If you write on the essay, do so for your own purposes, not to address the student. Read the essay, keeping in mind a dialogue you would have with the student. Assume he or she has met with the professor about the draft. Then, provide brief but concise responses to the following questions: What would you describe as the two major concerns for this piece of writing? In your estimation, what does the student do well? What stands out as the greatest strength of this essay? What questions might you ask of this student? What would you hope to discuss first? What plans for revision would you encourage for him or her? IV. Submit a sample critical or analytical paper with your application. This should be a recent paper you ve written for a course in the M.A. Program in English that exhibits your abilities to critically analyze a literary text, incorporate theory in your thinking, and write concisely. Along with your submission, respond to the following questions in a brief reflection: Why have you selected this paper? Was this a challenging assignment for you? Which aspects are you proud of in this paper? Do you have any remaining concerns or areas you would like to revise? Attach your responses to the sample paper. Note: Do not revise this paper before you submit it VI. Visit the Center for Writing if you have time. See how we work. VII. Submit (or drop off) your application materials by 12:00 p.m. Friday, March 20, 2015 Mail to: Dr. Susan Callaway Drop off: The Center for Writing Mail #JRC333 JRC 361 Department of English University of St. Thomas Fax: (651) St. Paul, MN Questions? Contact Dr. Susan Callaway directly by Or by phone (651)

6 Student Writing Sample You all know Bill Gates. When you hear that name you think Billionaire or Lucky, but you haven t really looked deep enough. Bill is more than a rich, lucky businessman. He has worked very hard to get where he is today. When he was in college, he thought long and hard about a problem. And then he thought of how to fix it. Bill Gates is an inventor. He did what all inventors do: they think of a problem, and invent a way to make it better or easier. Bill thought of computers, how they didn t do anything that an ordinary person could use them for. So Bill invented software for a computer. All of a sudden, people could make spreadsheets to handle calculations! They could type things just like a typewriter except with perfect erasing tools! But before this happened, work was necessary. Bill and a friend or two spent all of their working (and sometimes sleeping) hours working on turning his dream into reality, and after months of intense work they finally finished with products that helped millions of people worldwide. Being an inventor is great, but to profit from it you must be a good businessman. And Bill Gates is that, also. Not only is he good at business, he is good at marketing and advertising. That is how he was able to get some of the smartest minds in the United States to join his entrepreneurial escapade, Microsoft. That good business mind of Bill s soon had his company selling a whole lot of this new software to people around the United States. Still, Bill released breakthrough after breakthrough, introducing Windows, a software program designed to make personal computers even more user friendly. And making billions of dollars didn t stop him. If most people were him, they would probably just leave the company and say, I don t need to deal with this anymore; I m a billionaire! But Bill Gates stays at Microsoft, even being attacked by lawyers, worrying about other competition, and trying to stay ahead. Business is really war. Today he still faces a score of problems. People confronting him in anti-trust lawsuits, and other companies trying hard to pull Microsoft down from its king-of-the-hill position. Many people still think Bill is so luck that he has it easy, but he doesn t. Money isn t everything. Bill Gates is my hero because he is a hard worker, and a smart and careful thinker. If I had to choose someone whom I respect a whole lot, it would have to be him. Never giving up, always working on and on, putting up with the criticism. Putting up with the public s opinion of him. Just letting them push around when he could just say, That s it. I quit! and leave. Still, he goes through with this every day. And people saw he has it easy. Wow, I don t want to know what their idea of hard is!

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