Tag Archives: professional writing

The Grand Finale: A Special Interview with the Women of Content Koalas—with Laura Allen, Rachael LeFevre, Rachel Little, Allegra Smith & Wonderful Faison

Throughout this interview series on Women of the Writing Center, I, Wonderful Faison, have attempted to give you a glimpse into the lives, motivations, struggles, and disruptions of many of the women of the Writing Center @ Michigan State University. In these final interviews, I hope to show why the women of Content Koalas (the team of students who write and publish blog posts on the Writing Center website) find the work they do in this group valuable to themselves, the Writing Center, and Michigan State University.

Why did you decide to join Content Koalas?

As undergraduate consultant Laura Allen puts it the one reason she joined is “it looked like fun. I thought it was interesting. I like personal writing, though I never do it and this would make me do some stuff and write some things. I forgot about joining but Zeke [Ezekiel Choffel] reminded me.”

Graduate coordinator Rachel Little agrees with Laura, but notes, “[graduate consultant] Anna Green signed me up to do it with her. We thought it was fun to do. Also [Professional Writing alumna] Katie McAlpine said this was helpful for my career.”

When I spoke with undergraduate consultant Rachael LeFevre, the motivation to join Content Koalas was twofold: she loves writing and she’s “seen the posts that are on the website. It is cool to have consultants view out there and to show our personalities. Show people we are people too. And its cool we can express that.”

For Allegra, our editor and media coordinator, her motivations were slightly different as she says, “I kind of had to be the media coordinator. Trixie approached me because [former media coordinator] Casey Miles was transitioning into the classroom to teach. I was her first choice because of my background in professional writing.  I realize how much mentorship is involved” and how “that adds to your CV and how can we balance your CV line with what you want to write.”

For the interviewer (Wonderful Faison), she “mainly joined because Allegra asked me if I wanted to get involved. I told her I had no qualms about doing it on one condition. I needed to be Black. In other words, I did not want my words, ideas, and thoughts whitewashed into some kind of academic [white] noise that didn’t sound like me and was not, in any way a representation of who I am, who I care about, and what/whom I research. Allegra was amenable to these ‘demands,’ so joining was easy.”

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Featured Consultant: Jennifer

This week’s featured consultant is Jennifer! She’s already had a plethora of experience with writing through her English degree here at MSU, and 2 years of experience teaching English in South Korea. She is now working on her second BA in Professional Writing, so she can help you with all kinds of writing from typical essays and reports and even creative writing, like fiction. Currently living in an apartment that does not allow pets, Jennifer has a huge obsession with watching videos of animals. So to help her tell her story, check out the links along the way!

I am sure any of my family and friends would describe me as an incredibly shy person, and especially any of my professors. Whenever that first day of class comes around and everyone has to share something about themselves, I have a panic attack inside as it gets closer and closer to my turn.

Now you may wonder, why am I a writing consultant then, something that requires me to talk to new people every day? The reason is, I love writing! You may be rolling your eyes at this point, but this simple fact is that what makes me love my job.

I also know how you might feel as you walk into the Writing Center your first time, or maybe every time – shy, panicked, unsure, worried about being judged or failing in some way. Even if you are having a bad day where you feel like you just can’t make headway, I can help by giving you a fresh perspective on what you are working on, and give advice on different routes you could take as you continue working.

In the many writing classes I have taken, I have received some awful feedback that tore me down, but that is never the kind of feedback I will give to you. Even if I don’t know a whole lot about what your topic is, I will be able to give you advice that will help you recognize what could be clearer or what might not be working, and what you can do to improve. I am not here to criticize all the work you have already put into your writing, but instead to give you feedback that will help motivate you.

I hope I can help you in the future, and that you will leave the Writing Center feeling that you can conquer any writing issues you may be having!