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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). 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

Graduate Writing Consultants

Justin Fanzo, writing consultant for the Online Writing Center for Leadership
Justin is a first year 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 third 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.

Claire Gates, ESL writing specialist
Clare Gates is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in secondary English education. She earned her bachelor's degree in English with a double concentration in creative writing and literature and also holds a TESOL certificate. She has diverse experience related to writing including editing a book for a local author and working as an editorial intern for an online magazine. Clare enjoys traveling and studying foreign languages; she received a Critical Languages Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study in China during the summer of 2014. Working with non-native English speakers is one of Clare's greatest pleasures.

Maggie Pavlick, business writing specialist
Maggie Pavlick is a graduate student in the English Department, working on a MA in English with a concentration in writing, media arts and technology. She also did her undergraduate work in English and journalism at Duquesne and graduated last spring. In her spare time, she crochets scarves to sell in her online Etsy shop and also runs a blog with advice about college admissions. She is excited to be back at the Writing Center, after being away from the staff last semester, and can't wait to work with you!

Allie Reznik, writing modules administrator
Allie is a first year doctoral student in the English program who also teaches UCOR 101 and 102. Her interests include music in nineteenth century American literature and popular culture. She also serves as coordinator for the Career Readiness for the Humanities initiative at Duquesne where she works with students on all things career-oriented.

Ashley Seitz, science writing specialist
Ashley has been enrolled in the environmental science and management graduate program at Duquesne since January 2012. She was a general biology lab teaching assistant from 2012-2013. She is currently completing a research thesis focused on conservation genetics. She earned her Bachelor's degree in biology from Allegheny College in 2011, where she completed an undergraduate thesis focused on stream ecology. Her hobbies include watching documentaries and spending time outdoors.

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.

Undergraduate Writing Consultants

Maggie Betschart
Maggie is a third year occupational therapy student with minors in psychology and sociology. She loves to write and has experience with scientific writing and in foreign language (German) as well. As a previous liberal arts student, Maggie has become a "Jack of all Trades"; she is familiar with almost all subjects, from computer science, to art history, to religion, and even history/politics. Behind the occupational therapy major, Maggie still has a love for English...and sometimes still wishes that was her major!

Christina Gregory
Christina Gregory is a jumior 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.

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.

  • Between 1995 and 2005, the Writing Center was directed annually by an advanced graduate student in the English Department.
  • A full-time administrator directed the Center from Fall 2006 to Spring 2008.
  • A full-time, tenure-track faculty member from the English Department now directs the Center.