Writing Lab relocates to Building 4

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Writing Lab relocates to Building 4

By Rachel Giordano and Taylor Rooney

The Writing Lab has a new home.

Fear not, for the Writing Lab has only moved to room 448 in building 4. There have been talks about building 1, which is the oldest building at Pensacola State College (PSC), being torn down sometime in the future. Although no one knows for sure when this will take place, the Writing Lab is staying ahead of the game.

The new location may be more beneficial to students who are taking English courses that may require visits to the lab since those types of classes are already located in building 4. In addition, there are many different disciplines at PSC where the Writing Lab can be an outstanding tool to utilize. The location will be more centrally located within the campus. Students enrolled in poetry or creative writing classes can submit creative writing pieces, as well.

Jessica Millis, District Supervisor of the Writing Lab said, “We’re hoping that’ll be helpful to students who are taking English classes, but all students across the campus can come use the services.”

The phone number to the lab, as well as the schedule and staff, will remain the same.

Jessica Millis is the District Supervisor of the Writing Lab. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from Alma College and a master’s degree from Ball State.

Millis has a creative writing background. She can help students with any problem they encounter when it comes to the demands of writing a college paper.

Her favorite thing about the Writing Lab moving is its new location. “I think it’s more convenient for students. They’re less worried about finding us,” she said.

Millis loves indie music and follows local bands within the area.

Of course, there are a few light-hearted days within the Writing Lab. A stray cat wandered in one day when the front door was left open. Jessica walked into the lab to find the stray curled up in a little ball on her chair, making itself right at home.  After calling Public Safety to get the little stray kitty, the cat ended up on the Writing Lab’s Facebook, leaving a forever memory of the funny little moment.

Laura Sullivan holds a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in education. She is a graduate of the University of West Florida (UWF) and specializes in essay format, content, structure, and the understanding of grammatical errors and how to correct them.

“Personally, I have a background in creative writing, but that’s not the focus of the lab. We tend to help English Comp 1, 2, and literature students with their research papers. That’s what we do the most of,” Sullivan said.

Her favorite thing about the Writing Lab’s new location is the direct access for students already in building 4 for their classes. It is much more convenient than where it was before in building 1.

Sullivan is a Pensacola State College alumni, as well, and describes her sense of humor as “cheesy. “I’m goofy, and I like to see the light-hearted side of things,” she said.

Ellen Peppler has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in History, which prepared her for becoming a writing tutor, as “You have to do a lot of writing in history.”

She also has professional experience as a writer and editor.  She has worked for Baptist Health Care, doing everything from writing employee newsletters to feature articles.  In addition, she has edited a few of the Poet Laureates’ books through the West Florida Literary Federation.

For Peppler, “a poem is so compressed, you have to make sure you choose just the right word.”

Peppler has a keen “attention to detail” and believes one of the keys to being an effective tutor is to be “constructive, but not too critical.”

As for the benefits of the Lab moving from building 1 to building 4, “We get more drop-ins, curiosity seekers.”

Matt Daniel, a tutor at the Writing Lab for seven years, enjoys having the lab “so close to where the English classes are.” The convenience of having the lab so close to the classes is a big plus in allowing students to easily get help, even making final edits in a paper before a class.

Daniel graduated from the University of West Florida (UWF) with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Writing Lab District Supervisor Jessica Millis welcomes faculty to the Writing Lab’s Open House at its new location in Building 4. Cake and conversation added to the breezy atmosphere. (Photo by Sarah Richards)

Zachary Gabriel is one of the professional tutors.  He is pursuing a business degree at the University of West Florida.

Gabriel also plays the guitar and the piano, teaching others, as well.

On the recent move, Gabriel said, “ new location actively encourages students to just walk in anytime they need assistance. Coming in to the lab and working puts students in an excellent mindset, and the ability to access a tutor immediately after finishing an assignment is a wonderful perk.”

He says the favorite parts of his job include “students stopping by the Writing Lab to explain to us that because they took the time to sit down and work with a tutor, they were able to see improvements on a particular paper or assignment.”

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Sparrow Butler is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English. Ironically, when she was in high school, she was terrified of grammar and thought she’d never be able to comprehend it.

It wasn’t until her first English Composition class that she realized she had all the tools needed to succeed. “I just needed the confidence to back up what I already knew,” she said.

Butler’s favorite thing about working in the Writing Lab as a student is learning from her coworkers. “I’ve just been holding on to every piece of advice they have offered me about how to better tutor students in English, because they each have a unique teaching style and advice that helps me better equip students to write excellent papers.”

Her favorite thing about the Writing Lab’s new location is the short walking distance from her English class. “It’s been great to not have to walk so far to my English class after work, so I know my fellow English majors must enjoy the close proximity, too.”

Sarah Richards is pursuing her A.S. in Health Information Technology and her A.A. in General Studies at Pensacola State College (PSC).

Richards specializes in creative writing, personal essays and research papers.

Her favorite thing about the Writing Lab’s new location is the bathrooms.

Richards is new to the Writing Lab and is already learning that knowing how to do something is only part of the job–the rest is knowing how to explain it.