The University of Maine’s Writing Center is open again to online appointments. Kate Follansbee, a fourth-year economics and communications student in the Honors College, is a Writing Center Coordinator who shared how the organization continues to provide services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from administrative work such as scheduling, website and profile maintenance and creation, Follansbee is grateful for the opportunities that she’s had working with students and faculty from a variety of disciplines and on a variety of writing samples.
During her first year, a professor in the Honors College recommended that she consider working for the Writing Center on campus. Kate immediately became interested in the opportunity to be a part of the Writing Center staff, as she has always enjoyed writing.
“Over time, I discovered what an amazing resource the Writing Center is and really wanted to be part of it,” Follansbee said.
Now, Follansbee is one of 18 peer-consultants who work at the Writing Center, three of which are English Language Learners, or ELL, consultants who are trained specifically to work with students for whom English is not their first language.
The Writing Center provides support for all types of writing from essays, websites, resumes and more. The process of finding a consultant who is right for you is simple, just visit the “About the Consultants” page on the Writing Center website to view each consultant’s personal website. On these pages, students can view each consultant’s specializations and experiences, personal writing samples and their “individual tutoring philosophy.”
Follansbee explained how the Writing Center has turned the pandemic into a positive learning experience, giving students and staff a reason to boost their website as an accessible resource.
“The pandemic has really given the Writing Center an opportunity to utilize the online component of our website,” Follansbee said. “Clients have responded very positively to the transition … When you book a consultation, you sign up for a block of time [and during the session] you and the consultant will video chat. [If one is unable to video chat,] we can work through the document in the editor function, and talk [back and forth] in the chat box.”
Follansbee noted that following these procedures ensures that everyone remains safe and healthy and that students can still receive help with their writing from peers who are trained to work with students. Staff at the Writing Center understand that this time of Zoom classes makes it difficult to stay motivated and they are here to help.
On campus, UMaine’s Writing Center can be found in Room 404 of Neville Hall, however, services are currently only offered online. As of right now, the Writing Center’s services are open and free for all UMaine community members seven days a week. The Writing Center staff is excited and ready to meet with students for the new spring semester.
If there are any questions students want to ask prior to their time working with the Writing Center, the office email is firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an online appointment with a consultant, visit the Writing Center’s website at www.umaine.edu/wcenter/. To keep up with the Writing Center, check out their Facebook @UMaineWCenter or Instagram @um_writing_center.