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Dr. Jane Wells Leads Initiatives for Student Writing Success
Jane Wells

Muskingum University Associate Professor of English Dr. Jane Wells is committed to helping students develop their writing skills for success at Muskingum and beyond. “Good writing skills enhance student learning in every major, and they are one of the top skills that employers demand,” Dr. Wells said. “We take writing seriously here at Muskingum and are excited to offer opportunities beyond the classroom to support students in enhancing their writing abilities.”

As the Director of Muskingum’s Writing Center and the Chair of the English Department, Dr. Wells oversees a variety of initiatives that support students in their writing.

The Writing Center, which opened during the 2019-2020 academic year, offers assistance in two campus locations and remotely. The Center is staffed by ten peer writing tutors each semester, who receive programmatic training and can choose to be employed or receive internship credit for their work. “Our student tutors are primarily English majors, but we welcome tutors from all majors,” Dr. Wells notes. “Our tutors are already skillful writers, and through the training program and their work with the Writing Center clients, they further develop their own writing abilities and gain valuable skills in coaching and supporting others.”

Individual tutoring sessions are offered during the daytime hours in Cambridge Hall and during the evening hours in the Chess Center, and are available on a walk-in or scheduled basis, as well as through remote conferences. In addition, tutors are often embedded in classes being held at the English Department’s Writing Lab, which is adjacent to the Writing Center’s Cambridge Hall location, allowing them to provide real-time assistance to student writers in the classroom setting.

Every first-year student at Muskingum is introduced to the Writing Center through their required classes, so that they become familiar with the Center and the culture of support it provides for their writing needs for academic coursework, campus leadership opportunities, and career development activities.

For students interested in elevating their writing even further, the English Department offers a variety of opportunities that develop skills as well as build a sense of community among like-minded peers.

Writers Retreats led by English Department faculty members take students off campus on a Saturday or Sunday, providing concentrated time to work individually and through interacting with each other. Past retreat locations have included settings such as Spring Acres Alpaca Farm, the Agnes Moorehead House, and the Georgetown Tavern on the Hill, which offers inspiring views of the surrounding countryside.

The English Department also annually sponsors a trip to Winter Wheat, the Mid-American Review Festival of Writing, held at Bowling Green State University. At the festival, students participate in writing workshops, attend readings by invited authors, visit literary magazine displays, and network with other student writers and writing professionals.

“At the Writing Center and in the English Department, we are dedicated to supporting all Muskingum students with their writing,” said Dr. Wells, “and we are always seeking new ways to provide them with assistance and opportunities for growth.”

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