My passion for teaching writing began in 2005 when I was hired as a peer writing tutor at the University of California at Irvine. The peer tutoring program, which served as the first step towards the establishment of what is now the university’s Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication, included myself and four other peer tutors. My fellow tutors and I set up work stations in the common areas of the two main dorm complexes and assisted all students who wanted help with any type of writing. Having to think on my feet and develop a mental rule-o-dex of explanations for tricky grammatical concepts and compositional challenges proved challenging but profoundly rewarding.
After I completed my bachelor’s in English at UCI, I was eager to continue my education. In 2006, I applied to the University of Cambridge in Great Britain and was accepted into the university’s one-year British literature M.Phil. program as a Prince’s Trust Overseas Scholar. Cambridge challenged me as a writer, thinker, and researcher, and I will always be grateful for the chance to engage so many wonderfully intelligent and helpful faculty and peers.
My time at Cambridge also convinced me that I wanted to continue my studies and, hopefully, one day teach university and college students. In 2008, I was accepted to New York University’s English Ph.D. program and found exactly what I was seeking. A new community of scholars and new research methodologies pushed me as a critical thinker, and numerous teaching opportunities required me to do much more than simply update my old rule-o-dex. By combining a lively personal presence with a conversational pedagogical style, I connected with students both as an instructor at NYU and as a private writing tutor.
My experiences at UCI, Cambridge, and NYU continue to serve me well in my current position. As Writing Center Coordinator at Wallace Community College, I strive to show that every form of writing – from essays to job applications – is an opportunity for students to express their singular voices.