Ichsan Zulkarnaen is an Interfield Public Policy-Econ student at CGU. He came to the CGU Writing Center with a small paper written for his Public Policy Process course--a two-page policy research proposal--which earned him an "A" from his professor. Before coming to the Writing Center, he had no formal impression of the Writing Center. "However," he notes, "after the first meeting with the tutor, and followed by more meetings with different tutors," he feels that "the CGU Writing Center is awesome!"
Ichsan comes to the Writing Center most frequently with policy papers, but has worked with several tutors from various disciplines, including Jeremy Chow, Jonathan Hanna, Lourdes Villarreal, and Daniel Lanza. He was surprised that the Writing Center gives comprehensive feedback on assignments and does not just comment on grammatical problems, saying, "I also appreciated when they commented on the paper structure, such as the logic of the paper, the balance among sections, etc." Because of his great experience with the Writing Center, he will continue to return in the future with his writing projects. Congratulations, Ichsan!
Congratulations to Chimwemwe Jere!
We want to congratulate Chimwemwe Jere on his sucessful completion of a Computer Information Systems and Technology class project which had special meaning for him and which ultimately will be applied to an internship in a related area. Chims came to the Writing Center for help with his project, "Impact of Gender and Age on the Efficacy of Mobile Persuasion in Increasing HIV Testing and Behavior."
Before he came to the Writing Center, Chims says that he thought the consultants there would only help with grammar or mechanics, but he found that they helped with so much more than that. At the Writing Center, Chims worked with Jeremy Chow, April Anderson, and Daniel Lanza and discovered to his surprise that they all brought different perspectives to the discussion and asked him different questions to clarify parts of his writing. Chims felt a sense of accomplishment when, on handing in the project, his professor asked him, "Did you only write this for this class?" Chims interpreted this to mean he had succeeded in writing for a much wider audience than just the class, and he attributed this to the consultants, none of whom were in his field, for pushing him to make the specific descriptions and explanations clear to all of them. His goal for this project is to reach a wider audience and ultimately develop it in his home country, Malawi.
Chims added, "even now I remember things the three of them told me and pay attention to those aspects when I'm writing."
And that is the goal of the Writing Center—to go beyond just one paper and make an impact on the writer!
Congratulations to Elise Edwards!
Elise Edwards worked in the field of architecture before joining the School of Religion at CGU for her PhD, completing the requirements to be licensed as an architect as she completed her coursework. Now she is integrating these two interests in her dissertation titled, “A Theological Vision of the Ethical Function of Architecture: A Study of Moral Agency in the Built Environment." Rather than looking at religious architecture, Elise takes a religious and ethical perspective to examine public buildings, institutional architecture and housing. As an architect, she learned that all architecture communicates certain values but also observed that these values frequently represent primarily those of the building owners and selected users. Based on research in various streams of thought, such as theological ethics, feminist theory and religious aesthetics, Elise wants to incorporate justice and liberation based-values in architectural design and planning. She would involve a wide, diverse range of users of a built environment in the pre-design phase so that all have a voice in their own spaces. She adds that, there is no one correct way, but “this is one of many voices we can bring to built space.”
Elise came to the Writing Center several times with this project proposal and has just won a Transdisciplinary Dissertation Award for 2012-13. She said that the Writing Center helped her in three ways, “making sure it was clear and concise, …giving encouragement and the confidence to submit it,… and holding [her] accountable.” She came for in-person appointments and worked with consultants not in her field, which, she claims, insured that it was intelligible to those outside her areas of expertise. She feels that as a result she has become better at explaining to others what she is studying. She has also come to several weekend dissertation boot camps and dissertation workshops where she was encouraged by the excitement of others about her topic. She appreciated that at boot camps the time and structure enabled her to complete key parts. Group discussions at boot camps helped her learn how to set goals and meet deadlines. Elise concluded that, “the Writing Center kept [her] on track.”
The Writing Center congratulates Elise on the award and wishes her well on this fascinating project!
If you have a project you are working on, bring it to the Writing Center and discuss it with a consultant.
Nick Pumphrey is a PhD student in the School of Religion’s Hebrew Bible program. Throughout 2011, Nick diligently worked on two papers that he presented at national conferences. The Annual Forum of the Koinonia Journal featured his study, “Judges and Heroes: The Scholarly Misinterpretation of the Biblical Judges Reflected in Modern Superheroes.” It served as the sole textual study for the conference’s theme on Religion and Popular Culture and opened the forum to more dynamic conversation.His second paper, “Jacob and the Jinn: The Concept of Secret Names connecting Two Scriptures,” enjoyed great reception at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and garnered the attention of well-established scholars.
Nick went to the CGU Writing Center because he “wanted to use all available resources to make [his] papers the best that they could be.” He attended the workshop on presenting conference papers and worked individually with Richard Newton. Throughout these consultations, Nick learned how to present with an ear for the audience. He prepared his papers in such a way as to guide the audience through his argument and liven the question and answer portion of his presentations.Because of his success with these papers, he will be submitting versions of these for his future program requirements.
Congratulations to Nick Pumphrey!
En-Ling Chiao is a Ph.D. student in the School of Behavior and Organizational Sciences where he studies Positive Developmental Psychology. This summer, he worked as an evaluator for Faith Hope Love Academy, a placement and educational institute for children and youth in Taiwan. He also served as an international bridge between this Taiwanese institute and a similar organization in Southern California called Five Acres. He says that the CGU Writing Center helped to make this experience worthwhile. From proposal writing to the evaluation report write-up, he closely worked with many of the center’s tutors.
“As an international student,” En-Ling notes, “it is a very difficult process to overcome the language barrier and meet the expectations of an English-based Ph.D. program,” Therefore the CGU Writing Center serves as an invaluable resource for him. He appreciates the help and support he received from all of the well-experienced and patient tutors he worked with, especially Caroline Carpenter, Richard Newton, and Seth Anderson. They spent a lot of time assisting him in preparing his presentations, expressing his ideas on papers, and dealing with ESL issues. En-Ling says that “with their support and encouragement, I’ve been able to go through many difficulties and keep moving forward!”
Congratulations to En-Ling Chiao!
Manuel Silva, a Ph.D. student in the School of Education, was accepted to make a poster presentation at the recent convention of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) in Las Vegas on July 8, 2011. The abstract of the research Manuel and J.E. Edwards conducted at Indiana State University has also been published in the peer-reviewed NSCA National Conference and Exhibition Abstracts.
The main focus of their research presented in “Plateau in Maximal Oxygen uptake During a Graded Maximal Exercise Test and High Anaerobic Power”was on comparing oxygen consumption of different athletes for aerobic and anaerobic exercise.The results are likely to have an important impact on coaching sports. To read the complete abstract go to Poster 54on July 8 at:
CGU Professor Daryl Smith gave Manuel valuable comments on the paper and urged him to present it. Manuel said,"I went to the Writing Center with the abstract to improve it, and I went to different tutors as outside readers… They helped me on grammar, consistent writing style, how to structure sentences, and how to express ideas [for an abstract]. When I felt it was ready, I sent it off.” Manuel added that it was accepted immediately in the top publication in his field.
The Writing Center congratulates Manuel on his significant academic achievement!
Imagine getting your first graduate level paper back from a professor with “MAGNIFICENT” written on it! This was Joelle Dobrow’s experience working with the Writing Center on a creative approach to writing a paper.
Joelle is a student in the Executive M. A. program in Arts Management, an innovative joint program between the Drucker School and the School of Arts & Humanities. Joelle came to CGU after a long career as a television producer and director, as well as a dedicated volunteer who did high level work with boards of non-profit organizations in the entertainment industry. On reading about Drucker’s approach to management, Joelle realized that she was “ a Peter Drucker poster child without even knowing it!”
So, in Fall 2010, she found herself at CGU. Her first class was the famous Drucker Difference course. In this unique class each session is taught by a different faculty member who presents his or her expertise as a lens for exploring the individual, organizational, and societal issues Drucker wrote about. Joelle’s assignment for this class was to take one of the 14 themes presented and write a paper on it. The good part was that this was a nicely broad and open prompt; the scary part – it was broad and open! Joelle chose to look at Corporate Purpose through the lens of a medical condition – hers! As a sufferer of celiac disease, she finds it hard to find gluten-free foods at most grocery stores. She wanted to write a paper that “was real, based on my experiences as a customer in the real world”. But to combine this with an academic style was a tall order. More so indeed for someone who had been out of school for years. “The last time I was in college was a different century! I have not written a paper or done research or known how to study for ages”.
So, where else would she end up but at the Writing Center, where she found herself working with Shayda Kafai! “I had never attended any classes on how to write a paper; I didn’t know APA or any documentation style. Shayda gave me a quick overview and conceptual pointers for writing. I probably had broken every writing rule there was! Shayda is fabulous; she’s charming, gentle, and patient. And I love the fact that the Writing Center has tea! It’s very comforting there; it’s not all dauntingly academic – just warm and friendly. I got there early, and people came out to say hello rather than me sitting there like in a doctor’s office. I found the experience calming and centering and not at all a trial”.
With help and encouragement from Shayda, Joelle wrote the paper as she wanted to, grounding her academic analysis in her real world experiences. Her paper analyzed the Corporate Purpose of different food manufacturers in terms of Drucker’s fundamental principal of serving the customer. Writing around Thanksgiving, Joelle’s paper begins with her attempts to put together a Thanksgiving feast with gluten free food she can eat. This personal angle, the use of storytelling in combination with strong analysis and presentation, made for a powerfully convincing paper.
The paper came back with MAGNIFICENT written on the cover page. Her professor wrote that the paper was “an example of material in the hands of someone with real purpose”, and posted it on SAKAI as an exemplar for other students. “This experience has given me a lot of confidence and made me feel – OK, I can do this. When I first came back to school I felt like a little nobody among all these super smart students. Writing this paper, being supported to write it, has made me see what I can do”.
Joelle’s dream job is to be an executive director or consultant, specifically to be the Executive Director of the L. A. Festival of Books. With a very successful first year under her belt, Joelle might well make that dream a reality.
Shayda Kafai, a PhD student in Cultural Studies and a Writing Center consultant, had her first article accepted to a peer-reviewed literary journal. Her article “Subverting the Myth of the Bearded Lady: Jenifer Miller and Circus Amok” is coming out in MP: An Online Feminist Journal in the Winter 2011 issue entitled "Women, Femininity, and Female Agency in Visual Media." Shayda noted that the article was a long time in the making. It was originally a paper for a class in feminist theory with Prof Eve Oishi her first semester at CGU in 2008. To rewrite it as a publishable article, she brought it to the Writing Center for feedback and worked with Tara Prescott, Elaine McLemore, and Seth Anderson. Shayda said, “The Writing Center was tremendously supportive - they literally helped with the entire process – brainstorming, developing the argument, and even citations, since I had to use Chicago style for the journal, but in Cultural Studies we usually use MLA. The experience was so positive that I’ve brought every paper since then to the Writing Center.” Shayda says that talking to peers not in Cultural Studies was helpful because they asked questions about concepts and theories she took for granted.
Sumonta Kasemvilas, a doctoral student in the School of Information Systems and Technology (SISAT), is the Fall 2010 Presidential Award winner for the GSC Travel Awards. This past semester, she presented at two different conferences, and her winning essay chronicles her contributions to InSITE 2009 (Informing Science & IT Education), held at Macon State College, GA.
CGU’s Dr. Lorne Olfman guided Sumonta in her paper topic, which focuses on the use of MediaWiki to support collaborative writing in the classroom. To prepare her winning application, Sumonta brought the first draft to the Writing Center’s GSC Travel Awards workshop. She says:
"I have a long relationship with the Writing Center. I know almost all of the tutors there! For four years I have used the Writing Center for journal papers, presentations, everything.”
"I have submitted papers online as well as done the face to face tutorials. It’s helpful to get other eyes that are not in my field. I know my material, but can other people understand it? The questions the tutors ask are helpful. When you write by yourself, you can’t always see.”
“After the workshop, I went home and re-did the whole thing. I sent it as an online and then after I got comments back, I revised it and did an in-person session. If you have time, you should definitely do both.”
Sumonta’s hard work paid off, both in the Travel Award and in several post-conference publications. Congratulations!
Hye Kyung Park
HyeKyungPark, a doctoral student in the School of Religion, will be receiving her Ph.D. in the field of Hebrew Bible this May. Hye Kyung’s doctoral dissertation is on the narratives of unnamed women in the Elijah and Elisha traditions in the Hebrew Bible.
Hye Kyung, whose first language is Korean, has been coming to the WritingCenter since 2002. She has worked steadily to improve her written academic English. Currently, she has weekly appointments with tutor Fay Ellwood, who is also in the field of religion.
“The WritingCenter really, really helps me.It enables me to write with more speed and confidence, because I always know that the tutors will help me to clarify my writing, and to make it logical and understandable.”
Perseverance pays off. Congratulations (soon to be) Dr. Park!
Karen Mowrer, a Ph.D. student in English, just became the recipient of the Spring 2009 Presidential Award for the GSC Travel Grants.
Karen prepared her winning application by attending the Writing Center’s GSC Travel Awards Workshop.
"It was a lot more helpful than I thought it would be. They read through my rough draft and gave me feedback. I took notes and changed the essay a lot after I got home.”
Karen found the sample essays provided by the Writing Center particularly helpful.
"I’m one of those people, if I only hear it, it doesn’t work. If I see an example, then it just clicks. I don’t think I would have gotten the Presidential Award without the Writing Center’s feedback and the samples.”
Congratulations, Karen, on receiving the Presidential Award!
Lorie Obal, a Ph.D. student in the School of Information Systems and Technology (SISAT), just published a paper in the online CAIS journal. To read the paper, click here.
The paper focuses on microsourcing, or the practice of people outsourcing their work with or without their boss’s knowledge. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, Lorie had to complete a full IRB. In addition she completed several drafts and revisions.
To help refine her paper for publication, Lorie utilized the WritingCenter’s Dissertation Workshop. This is a biweekly workshop for students to offer each other support, strategies, and feedback for their dissertations.
"First I subjected a friend in the department to reading my early drafts," laughed Lorie, "then I gave the pre-submission version to the Dissertation Workshop. I needed help cleaning up passive voice."
After submitting the paper to the journal, Lorie received a conditional acceptance with changes. She then submitted her work to the Workshop again for help polishing her work.
"You just need someone outside your field to read your work. You never write as well as you think you do. It gave me peace of mind that people who think about writing style all day long can say my work is clear."
Congratulations, Lorie, on publishing “the first known attempt to use a theoretical framework to understand microsourcing as an individual level work strategy as well as its context and drivers.”
The Writing Center Has A New Home!
As of February 3, 2009, the Writing Center has relocated to its new house at 141 E. 12th Street
(Blue-gray house across from the old CGU dorms parking lot)
Evren Eryilmaz, a Ph.D. student in Information Systems and Technology, will be presenting a paper at the Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science (HICSS), January 5-8.
Evren’s paper, “Establishing Trust Management in Collaborative Information Repository: An Emergency Response System Case Study,” examines the use of wikis for responses to emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 attacks.
The paper began as an assignment for a course and Evren used the WritingCenter to help polish it for conference consideration. He made appointments with the WritingCenter to incorporate feedback from his dean and prepare final changes.
"After I received the conditional acceptance, I only had four days to make the changes," said Evren. "The Writing Center helped me to prepare quickly. It was a great help."
Originally from Turkey, Evren is looking forward to his first visit to Hawaii to present at the conference (and to check out the local surfing!).
We wish Evren the best of luck with his presentation.
Dr. Ambereen Dadabhoy
The CGUWritingCenter is happy to congratulate former WritingCenter consultant and 2008 CGU grad Ambereen Dadabhoy on her new teaching position in Turkey. Ambereen has begun a year-long position as Humanities Instructor at BogaziciUniversity, a prestigious public university in Istanbul. She is teaching a course called “Cultural Encounters” which introduces students to the seminal artistic, literary, and philosophical texts of western culture and exploring their connections to the near east.
Ambereen has a unique perspective of the WritingCenter, having both worked in the center and used its services:
“Working at the WritingCenter has helped me become a better reader of not just other people’s work, but also my own. Helping other students with their writing has made me think about the process involved not just when I write, but the way I teach others to approach writing. I have also used the Writing Center during the course of writing my dissertation, and I found that working with someone, even if they're not in your field, helps you to think through your ideas and articulate them in a clearer, more coherent way. I would definitely recommend the Writing Center to all students writing their dissertations."
The WritingCenter congratulates Ambereen on her new job and wishes her many new adventures in Turkey!
The Writing Center Welcomes President Klitgaard!
CGU President Robert Klitgaard recently visited the Writing Center to experience a typical session and learn more about the tutors and the tutoring process.
In preparation for his appointment, President Klitgaard brought a copy of a recent commencement address that he wrote and is adapting for a new audience: a college youth group. President Klitgaard met with Writing Consultant Katie to discuss ways to modify his text.
During the session, they discussed strategies for incorporating quotes into a piece of writing that will be delivered orally, ways to emphasize key points, and how to target a specific academic audience. Because President Klitgaard's speech incorporated personal experience stories from his life as well as passages from Nietzsche, they also discussed ways to strike a balance using different types of sources.
The session was a great success! Afterwards, President Klitgaard met with several Writing Center students to share feedback about his session and suggest ways to make the Writing Center even more helpful, to increase the Writing Center's presence in the overall community, and to help spread the word of the amazing resources that the Writing Center offers. He also recommended several texts that he uses in his own writing process, including William K. Zinsser's On Writing Well.
The Writing Center looks forward to working with President Klitgaard again in the future.
Isamu Horiuchi, a Ph.D. student in Cultural Studies, recently passed his Qualifying Examinations with support from the WritingCenter and is a member of the WritingCenter’s popular Dissertation Workshop.
Isamu used both the WritingCenter’s online consulting and in-person appointments to prepare for the three areas of his exams: Realism and Reality, Sports and Modernity, and Postmodernity, all geared towards his dissertation on Alternative Fighting Sports.
Here is Isamu’s description of his experience in his own words:
“Ambereen really helped me polish my work. She helped tremendously. Being a non-native speaker of English, I had a lot of anxiety about writing more than 5 pages in 3 hours. She’d been through her qualifying exams and shared her experience with me. She gave me a lot of encouragement!”
The WritingCenter congratulates Isamu on becoming ABD!
Dr. Devin Kuhn
A WritingCenter consultant herself, Devin Kuhn (PhD, Religion) used the Center’s services during her academic job search, which resulted in her appointment as Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Women’s Studies at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
At the WritingCenter, Jenny worked with Devin on her job talk, and Ambereen helped her with her dissertation, which develops a feminist ethic for peace activism.
“Preparing job talks and writing my dissertation presented new kinds of writing challenges I hadn't encountered in the rest of my graduate studies. The guidance and support from the rest of the WritingCenter staff helped me reconceptualize these projects and work past writing blocks. There's no way I could have finished my dissertation in six months without the help of the WritingCenter!”
This fall, Devin is teaching two courses on gender and religion at Cal Poly, and she is presenting a paper entitled “Making Peace Trendy: Fashion and Material Culture as Modes of Resistance” at the annual meeting of the AmericanAcademy of Religion in San Diego.
The WritingCenter congratulates Devin on the start of a great career!
Dr. Gary Gramenz
Please join the CGUWritingCenter in congratulating Gary Gramenz, a Ph.D. student in Education who just defended his dissertation, “For the Joy Set Before Them: Compassion, Altruism, and Satisfaction in L’Arche Community Homes.”
Gary submitted chapters of his dissertation using the WritingCenter’s online service, which allows students to conveniently submit work and receive feedback via e-mail. Here is Gary’s reflection on his experience:
“Dr. Poplin, the chair of my committee and my advisor, recommended that I take the dissertation to the Writing Center. It was fun, much more than just an editing process. We interacted on the material and Will engaged with me on the arguments as well. We did it pretty quickly. The whole process [of polishing the dissertation] took about three months. On all levels, it worked."
Gary is now focusing on publishing articles and applying for college and university Dean positions. We want to wish Gary the best of luck as he enters the next phase of his career.
Dr. Hal Nelson
The CGU Writing Center is pleased to support Dr. Hal Nelson, a Visiting Professor in Politics and Policy at CGU, in working on his upcoming book addressing the pervasiveness of energy use in industrial societies and how it impacts our dependence on imported oil.
Dr. Nelson holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Idaho and an M.A. in Political Science and Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy from Portland State University.
His current project, The Tangled Grid of Energy Interdependence: The Political Economy of Energy, focuses on American energy use and the relationships between the power sector, transportation, and the industrial sector. To address America’s oil addiction, Dr. Nelson takes a systemic look at the nation’s energy use.
Dr. Nelson brought portions of his book to the Writing Center for feedback. Here is his description of his experience in his own words:
“I’m always looking to improve my writing. I am concerned about the readability of my book and how to make it more accessible to the general public. That is how [Writing Center Consultant] Katie was really helpful. I wanted ideas to make it engaging, yet also convey technical information.”
The CGU Writing Center is pleased to announce the success of Ayako Nakamura, a student in the Drucker – Ito School of Management.Ayako is an international student from Japan who was in the Global Communications Course and also worked closely with the Writing Center in preparation for job interviews with KPMG, first in Boston and then in LA, where she was 1 out of 1,000 applicants to receive an internship.Her internship begins June 13 at the LA office.
Ayako had 2 separate interviews in English in each location, and she says:
“I wanted to say thank you so much for having a great lecture, Global Communications Class. When I started the MBA program last semester, I was so nervous to speak English, and I could not expect I would get the job in the U.S. Your class made me improve my English and feel comfortable…Also the tutors for GCC and in the Writing Center really helped me with the interview.[They] gave me tips like attitude is important, and told me to speak slowly and use easy words, to have confidence and to smile. And [they told me] after to write a thank you email enumerating my strengths… Practice in the Writing Center, their tips and [the fact that] I kept emailing helped me to get the internship out of so many applicants.”
Jae Hyung Cho
Jae Hyung Cho, a Ph.D. student in Religion from Korea, was recently awarded a GSC Travel Award for Professional Development to attend the American Academy of Religion (AAR) conference in Washington, D.C.
In preparation for applying for the Travel Award, Jae Hyung worked on his application with a Writing Center consultant.
In 2007, Jae Hyung will return to the AAR again, this time as a presenter. He will also present in Vienna, Austria for the International Society of Biblical Literature Conference this spring.
In addition to his academic and scholarly work, Jae Hyung is a pastor for his church. When preparing sermons for his youth group, Jae Hyung often comes to the Writing Center to hone the emphasis, pronunciation, and delivery of his sermons.
"I have several American friends at church, but they can't help me with my writing because it is in such a specialized area. That is why I come to the Writing Center when I need help."
Aya Nakagoshi, a Japanese student in Cultural Studies and currently the Japanese Language Resident at Pomona College, recently received a summer internship with Amnesty International. Aya worked closely with Writing Center consultants on her application and was successful. In her own words, Aya describes her experience with the Writing Center:
"The Writing Center helped me go through my cover letter for a summer internship at Amnesty International USA. The job description was quite complicated and I don't think I could have gotten [the internship] without the Writing Center's help. I personally got a reply from my interviewer saying that he enjoyed reading my cover letter. It was shockingly amazing, and I am thankful for all the help I got!"
The CGU Writing Center is pleased to announce the success of Naomi Kubo, a student in English.Naomi is an international student from Japan who has worked closely with the Writing Center this semester in preparation for her first American conference presentation.Naomi recently delivered a very successful paper on the Victorian novel, The Woman in White, at the Pacific Coast Conference for British Studies.
Here is Naomi's description of her experience at the Writing Center in her own words:
"Before I did my presentation, I had revised my paper and practiced the oral presentation with tutors of the Writing Center. The suggestions from the tutors helped in making my presentation clear and articulate in many ways. I appreciate your support so much."
Writing Center • 141 East Twelfth Street, Claremont, CA 91711 •