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About Us

Our Present

The 2014-2015 Writing Center staff members are:


Dr. Jim Purdy, Director
Dr. Jim Purdy is an associate professor in the English Department and directs the University Writing Center. He previously directed the Writing Center at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. His research and teaching interests include digital writing and research, new media technologies, composition theory, and writing center theory. He has published in numerous scholarly journals and edited collections. With Randall McClure, he edited two collections: The New Digital Scholar: Exploring and Enriching the Research and Writing Practices of NextGen Students (Information Today, Inc., 2013), which was awarded the Silver Medal for Education in the Commentary/Theory Category for the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards, and The Next Digital Scholar: A Fresh Approach to the Common Core State Standards in Research and Writing (Information Today, Inc., 2014), which was a finalist in the Educational/Academic Category at the 2014 USA Best Books Awards. With co-author Joyce R. Walker, he won the 2011 Ellen Nold Award for the Best Article in Computers and Composition Studies and the 2008 Kairos Best Webtext Award.

Marcie Rovan, Assistant Director
Marcie is a PhD candidate in the English department. She received a master's degree in English from Duquesne in 2009 and a bachelor's degree from Wheeling Jesuit University in 2007. Marcie was previously an instructor at Duquesne for four years, teaching UCOR 101, UCOR 102, and Introduction to Poetry. She previously worked at the Duquesne University Writing Center for two years and the Wheeling Jesuit Academic Resource Center for three years. She is currently working on her dissertation, which explores intersections between the fields of children's literature and modernist literature.

Graduate Writing Consultants

Marla Anzalone
Marla is a first-year PhD candidate in the English Department. She received her master of arts degree in English literature from Duquesne and her master of fine arts degree in creative writing (creative nonfiction, travel writing, publishing) from Chatham University. In 2011, she earned her bachelor of arts degree in English and biology from Wittenberg University. Her academic interests lie in 19th-century American literature and focus on Civil War literature and medicine, as well as women and gender studies. She is excited to work with writers at the Writing Center from the Duquesne community. In her free time, she loves listening to vinyl records, working on her memoir, and singing Iron Maiden at karaoke.

Kelly Baranowski
Kelly is currently a first-year PhD student in the English Department and also earned her MA in English from Duquesne. She previously served as the consultant for the Online Writing Center for Nursing. Kelly earned her BA in English, with a minor in fiction writing, from Clemson University in South Carolina, where she worked for two years as a student associate in the Studio for Student Communication. She loves Harry Potter, Pinterest, and trying new restaurants in Pittsburgh.

Rory Dahl, science writing specialist
Rory is a master's student in the philosophy department. He has a background in the sciences, especially biological sciences, and he loves to travel.

Justin Fanzo, ESL writing specialist
Justin is a master's student in the English Department. He also attended Duquesne as an undergraduate, majoring in English with a concentration in writing. This is his fourth year at the Writing Center. He enjoys reading horror and fantasy literature and writing both poetry and fiction. He hopes to be a professional writer someday.

Daniel Levis, business writing specialist
Daniel is a third year MA student in theology. He earned his undergraduate degree in religion at Houghton College in Western New York. His academic research interests include sacramental theology, ecclesiology, and biblical theology. His thesis integrates the three areas by putting an ancient christology of Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and Anastasias the Sinaite in conversation with a contemporary view of the Church. This is his first year working with the Writing Center. He enjoys commuting by bicycle and playing disc golf.

Theresa Sullivan, writing consultant for the Online Writing Center for Nursing
Theresa is a pursuing a master's degree in English with a concentration in writing, media arts, and technology. She graduated summa cum laude from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2014 with a degree in English (writing) and communications (journalism). She has interned at The Rochester Business Journal, 13 WHAM News, and Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY. She also worked as a media relations assistant in the Public Relations Department at Franciscan University. Theresa's writing expertise includes academic writing, creative writing, business writing, and news writing. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. She aspires to work in the writing and publishing industry.

Shawn Watikins
Shawn is a first-year PhD student in the English Department. He received his master's degree in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012 and his bachelor's in English from Gannon University in 2010. His main professional interest is in 18th-century British literature. This is his first year working in the Writing Center, and he enjoys the opportunity to work one-on-one with students. In his spare time he likes reading horror novels, cooking, and watching his cats freak out over a laser pointer.

Undergraduate Writing Consultants

Kaitlyn Beauchamp
Kaiti is a junior integrated marketing communication major, with a minor in digital media arts. She is involved in Duquesne's chapter of Strong Women, Strong Girls, where she serves both as a mentor to 3rd-5th grade girls and as a member of the executive board. In her free time at Duquesne, she enjoys doing ceramics, visiting the zoo and museums, and taking advantage of all that Pittsburgh has to offer.

Julian Donado
Julian is a senior in the Palumbo School of Business, double majoring in legal studies and business management. Although he has always dreamed of becoming a big-shot attorney in New York City (a la "Harvery Specter" in Suits), writing has always been a passion of his. When he is not assisting students with their papers at the Writing Center, Julian is active in the Best Buddies Program, Integrated Honors Society, and undergraduate chapter of Net Impact on campus. When he is done being a lawyer and decides to finally settle down, Julian hopes to one day teach at a University similar to Duquesne.

Ohara Hamlin
Ohara is a sophomore business marketing major with a minor in legal studies. She dreams of one day becoming a lawyer, but writing will always be a passion of hers. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and traveling. She loves a good adventure, in Fall 2014 she traveled to four different countries! Her favorite author is Ernest Hemingway, and she is a tad bit obsessed with the show Mad Men. This is her first year working in the Writing Center, and she looks forward to helping her fellow students to become better writers.

Christina Gregory
Christina is a senior in the Honors College double-majoring in English with a concentration in writing and public relations with a minor in French and a business certificate. She also is the Layout Editor and Website Developer for :lexicon and a member of Spotlight Musical Theater Company and the Red Masquers. She enjoys writing dystopia and science fiction in her spare time, and her favorite book is 1984 by George Orwell. After graduation, she plans to work in New York as an acquisitions editor at a trade publishing company.

Margaret Long
Margaret Long is a junior secondary education and history major and member of the Honors College. On campus, she is also involved with KDE, the education fraternity, and works as a volunteer tutor. Her dream job is to run the children's education section of a museum.

Kelly Raso
Kelly is a junior Secondary Education English major. She is involved with the literary magazine Lexicon, the professional education fraternity KDE, and is a team leader for Orientation. She couldn't pick a single favorite book; it's a three-way tie between White Oleander, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Great Gatsby. She desperately wants to teach in Ireland for her student teaching. After graduation, she wants to teach English anywhere and everywhere.

Shannon Small
Shannon Small is a sophomore double majoring in English with a writing concentration and communications with a minor in Spanish. She has experience editing journalistic writing and tutoring students in English. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry. After earning her bachelor's degree, she plans on pursuing her master's degree and doctorate and becoming an English professor or pursuing a job in publishing.

Joining the Staff

Students interested in applying to be a consultant at the Writing Center should submit a cv/résumé, academic research-based writing sample, and application form to the Director. Please contact the Director, Dr. Jim Purdy, at 412-396-1293 or purdyj at duq.edu for more information.


Consultants receive ongoing training and professional development in teaching writing. They have the opportunity to attend writing center conferences (e.g., the Pittsburgh Area Regional Writing Centers Conference, National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing, East Central Writing Centers Association Conference).

Past consultants have gone on to work at writing centers at other universities; been accepted to graduate programs at top universities (e.g., Brandeis, Illinois State, Purdue); and pursued successful careers in education at middle, secondary, and postsecondary levels, as well as in business and law.

Our Past

The Writing Center has been a part of Duquesne’s academic life for more than twenty years. Originally housed in the English Department and designed to meet the needs of the Core Curriculum, the Writing Center has grown and expanded its scope of service to address the writing needs of the entire campus community, including students and faculty.