Director of the Writing Center Dr. Rachel Rodriguez is delighted to be able to provide guidance to Washington College students interested in developing their academic writing skills.
Dr. Rodriguez oversees a team of peer writing consultants. The consultants “have one-on-one, hour-long writing tutorials with students in any major, with any writing assignment, in any stage of the writing process,” Rodriguez said.
In addition to hiring, mentoring, and training peer writing consultants, Dr. Rodriguez conducts her own writing tutorials with students.
“I think it’s important for me to always stay on the schedule as a tutor,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “At an institution like [WC] you interact mainly with undergraduates, and I find that work fulfilling.”
Building relationships with students is important to Dr. Rodriguez, who believes in the significance of a liberal arts education.
“People choose small liberal arts schools for a reason,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “You want those really close relationships with faculty that are just so hard to get at giant schools.”
Dr. Rodriguez attended a small liberal arts school — McDaniel College — where she studied Spanish and English. She has particularly fond memories of time spend writing her undergraduate thesis, which was about madwomen in literature.
“I think what stood out for me at that point was that it was the first time that the faculty were really talking to me about the project as if maybe I wasn’t just replicating knowledge,” Dr. Rodriguez said.
Contributing new ideas to academia is a task Dr. Rodriguez has embraced, and one that she hopes to encourage WC students to take on. This includes helping students develop their essays for submission to The Washington College Review.
“Students might think that WCR is a big deal, and they might be nervous or hesitant to submit,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “I think if a student has ever had positive feedback from a peer or if a faculty member seemed interested [in their work]…it’s worth a try.”
According to Dr. Rodriguez, students can benefit from sharing their work with others. One easy way to get peer feedback is by scheduling an appointment with the Writing Center. Peer consultants are happy to help WC students prepare their work for submission.
Dr. Rodriguez can also serve as a resource for students herself. According to Dr. Rodriguez, her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Louisville prepared her to work with students’ academic writing.
Students can find Dr. Rodriguez and the Writing Center’s team of peer writing consultants in Goldstein Hall, Room 106.