Campus CultureCulture

Boise State Writing Center and award-winning director help students be successful

Photo by Claire Keener

Whether it’s creating a portfolio, working on a scholarship, curating a resume or simply writing an essay, the Boise State Writing Center is focused on getting students the help they need in order to be successful writers.

Located on the second floor of the Liberal Arts building — although currently working remotely — the Writing Center is a team of undergraduate and graduate student consultants that work with fellow students to assist them with a variety of collegiate or professional writings.

Flyers posted in the Boise State writing center.
[Photo of flyers posted to the bulletin board in the writing center]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

Melissa Keith, the director of the Writing Center, has been a part of the staff since 2006, when she was a student at Boise State. Then, in 2018, she took on the role of director. 

Keith praises the Writing Center and its staff with high regard and highlights the strong camaraderie amongst those who work there. Keith oversees this community of over 40 student and professional consultants that staff the Writing Center.

“The community of the Writing Center is the thing that really has always drawn me into the work,” Keith said. 

This year, Keith received the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW) Ron Maxwell Leadership Award. This award recognizes special individuals who help undergraduate students excel developmentally through the encouragement of peer tutor collaboration.  

“The Ron Maxwell Award is really focused on the ways in which our organizations really prioritize the student learners as true professionals of the field of writing center studies,” Keith said.

Assistant Director of the Writing Center Amanda Micheletty echoes Keith’s words and emphasizes the compassion that this group of people has.

“Their care for students, meeting students wherever they are in the process without judgment to really serve them and help them be the writer they want to be [makes them] the kind of people you want to spend time with,” Micheletty said.

The groups of people who make up the Writing Center staff all have one thing in common: committing themselves to supporting writers across campus.

“What really brings us together is this desire to help others and working with writers to help them think more deeply about the projects that they’re working on,” Keith said.

Winning this award has not only brought attention to Boise State’s Writing Center, but it has also brought immense feelings of dignity and gratification to the staff within the center.

“Our staff is just beaming with pride that someone else has noticed what a huge impact [Melissa] has had on our community, for both our staff and Boise State as a whole,” Micheletty said. 

The Writing Center is always available for students, no matter their schedule. They provide students with both real-time conversations over Zoom with a consultant, as well as an asynchronous option where students can submit a paper and receive written feedback. 

Whether it’s the beginning stages of an assignment or polishing a paper, the Writing Center is there to help students at any point during the writing process.

“Writers can come to us at any point, if they have a partial draft, no draft, full draft, any part,” Keith said. “Just when they’re ready to start talking to someone about what they have.”

These consultations are available for any form of writing a student may have, whether it is scholarships, resumes, applications or any sort of high-risk writing. Whatever the writing is, students of any discipline and any writing level have access to the services of the Writing Center.

Some students may have hesitations about using the Writing Center’s services. However, both Keith and Micheletty want to reassure the Boise State community that it is a place where all students should feel welcome.

“Some people think you only go to the Writing Center if you’re a really bad writer, and we try to demythologize all of that,” Micheletty said. “All writers benefit from good readers.”

Students can access the Writing Center and use it to their advantage throughout their college career. The highly trained staff is ready to meet any student, no matter what stage of writing that they’re at, and work with them to become a more skilled writer.
Students can schedule Zoom or asynchronous consultations online using the Writing Center’s appointment page on the Boise State website.

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