The 2020-2021 Writing Center staff members are:
Dr. Jim Purdy, Director
Dr. Purdy is an associate professor in the English Department and directs the University Writing Center. He has worked in writing centers since he was an undergraduate at Penn State and previously directed the Writing Center at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. You can hear more about his excitement for and philosophy of writing center work here. He has a chapter on his work as writing center director published in the collection Writing Program Architecture: Thirty Cases for Reference and Research. At Duquesne, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching and the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016. In addition to writing center theory, his research and teaching interests include digital writing and research, new media technologies, and composition theory. Along with publishing in numerous scholarly journals and edited collections, he has co-written The Effects of Intellectual Property Law in Writing Studies: Ethics, Sponsors, and Academic Knowledge-making (Routledge, 2020) with Karen J. Lunsford and co-edited four books, most recently Making Space: Writing Instruction, Infrastructure, and Multiliteracies with Dànielle Nicole DeVoss (University of Michigan Press, 2017).
Graduate Writing Consultants
Brad Britvich, Graduate Writing Consultant
Brad is a first year graduate student in the English MA program. He received his Bachelor's degree from California University of Pennsylvania where he majored in English with a concentration in journalism. During his time as an undergraduate he presented academic work at many different national conferences. Brad is inspired by his previous writing instructors and looks forward to helping writers of all different levels. He is also interested in all aspects of the writing process and has a particular affinity for journalism, digital media projects, and travel writing. Brad also believes that effective writing can be a means to an end and is interested in helping with application essays, résumés and cover letters. Brad also enjoys reading, traveling, watching movies, and playing guitar in his free time.
Kiah Lynch, Graduate Writing Consultant
Kiah is a dual degree English and secondary English education major and in the accelerated English MA program. She plans to continue on at Duquesne after graduation to finish her masters. She works a lot with both MLA and APA format. She loves talking with people about their writing and helping them enjoy it as much as she does. Kiah is president of the Duquesne chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the honors English society, and the social media intern for the English department. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, hiking, and spending time with her dogs.
Cassidee Knott, Social Media Coordinator
Cassidee is a second year Graduate student in the Public History program. She earned her BA in History at the University of Pittsburgh, along with minors in French Language and English Literature, and two certificates. During her undergraduate career, Cassidee worked in the University's archives researching and writing about various subjects. Her abundance of interests lead her to studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland and multiple research symposiums. Over the course of her work, she has taken interest in the different methods and styles of writing for different topics, including how writing varies internationally. In her free time, Cassidee enjoys reading, traveling, crocheting, and hanging out with her dogs.
Megan Williams, Graduate Writing Consultant
Megan is a first-year student in the School of Education's MAT in Secondary Education - English Program. Originally from Pittsburgh, Megan travelled north to the University of Vermont and received her B.A. in English and Spanish in 2019, and her M.A. in English in 2020. At UVM, she worked with the Writing Center in a variety of roles, and particularly enjoys working with writers who are multilingual, and with students at the brainstorming stages of the writing process. With the goal of becoming a high school English teacher, Megan is interested in the ways in which aspects of identity influence the reading and writing processes, an interest that is always fed when chatting about writing with other writers. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, traveling, her dogs and cats, and spending time with friends.
Mary Brown, Graduate Writing Consultant
Mary Brown is in her second year of the MA Philosophy program. She received her undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from Western Carolina University in the mountains of North Carolina. Her academic interests surround 20th century French philosophy. Mary seeks to analyze contemporary situations philosophically and her works have been accepted to various conferences. She most often works with research in the humanities but looks forward to helping all students with their writing. She anticipates using her passion for research and writing to help students gain confidence and certain writing skills, in addition to learning from the student. She believes that every academic encounter benefits all parties involved.
Meredith Bennett, Science Writing Consultant
Meredith is a fourth-year student in the Environmental Science and Management Masters Program. She is particularly interested in ecology and conservation biology. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The D.U. Quark, Duquesne's student-run scientific journal. She is greatly enthusiastic about scientific communication and enjoys helping other students improve their ability to write about science. Meredith has experience with technical scientific writing as well as more casual science communication, such as short articles about science news. She also has an abiding interest in how science is reported and represented in the media. She believes it is the responsibility of scientists to communicate their discoveries to the public in an engaging, accurate way. Meredith is excited to join the Writing Center staff and help students develop their skills in scientific communication.
Dr. John Bennett, Writing Consultant
John is a working on his dissertation in the Doctor of Philosophy in Health Care Ethics program. He earned a B.S. in Organizational Behavior and an M.S. in Leadership from Duquesne University. He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership with a major in Entrepreneurship from Regent University. He holds a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) with specialization in Business English certificate. He has facilitated the writing development of students who are native and non-native English speakers in a variety of coursework. He is looking forward to being of assistance to writers at all levels in developing writing knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Undergraduate Writing Consultants
Kihei Staruch-Paikai, Undergraduate Consultant
Kihei is an English and Education double major in her second year here at Duquesne. This year, Kihei is the Associate Poetry Editor for an on-campus art and literary journal :Lexicon. She understands the complexity of the writing process and how difficult it is to shape those messy, crazy, beautiful ideas into words. Kihei is willing to help with any style of writing at all different stages and handle any citation questions. She is excited to work with you! In her free time, Kihei enjoys listening to music, being outdoors, and eating Thai food.
Lauren Broderick, Undergraduate Consultant
Lauren is a 4th year Physical Therapy major at Duquesne. She enjoys both reading and writing and is familiar with MLA and APA writing formats. Lauren's favorite type of writing is science based; however, she is thrilled to help students in all majors with any problems they may encounter during their writing process. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys to run, listen to music, and spend time with her friends.
Claire Neiberg, Undergraduate Consultant
Claire is a junior studying English and Political Science. Her passion for the written word grows by the day, and she is eager to help students with any style or genre. Her current dream is to become a family law attorney to put her writing skills and compassion towards helping others to practice. When she is not writing, Claire keeps busy serving on five executive boards (including holding ;lexicon's Copyeditor position) and spending time with her Golden Retriever puppy who is her world. She is excited to work for The Writing Center to foster her belief that anyone can be a great writer because everyone has a story to tell; they just have to have the means to put it on paper.
Hannah Goss, Undergraduate Consultant
Hannah is an English major and a Spanish minor in her second year at Duquesne. She loves reading and writing and has always taken an interest in the writing process from brainstorming through editing. She believes writing can be enjoyable for everyone, even those who may find it dull or challenging. Hannah enjoys working with all types of writing from creative writing pieces to academic style papers. While she is most familiar with the MLA format, she is willing to help with any format. She is ready to help with any questions from grammar to citations and more. In her free time, Hannah enjoys reading, listening to music, and traveling.
Bailey Sims, Undergraduate Consultant
Bailey is in her senior year at Duquesne, where she double majors in English and digital media arts. She loves all forms of literature, but her true passion lies in reading and writing fiction. Some of her favorite writers are Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, and Cassandra Clare. When Bailey graduates, she hopes to go on to a career in publishing and one day achieve her dream of being a published author. Working in the writing center is a great way for her to get practice editing others' writing while also helping out her fellow students!
Kaya Cammerata , Undergraduate Consultant
Kaya is in her second year of undergrad studies at Duquesne University, where she majors in English with a concentration in literature and a minor in creative writing. Kaya spends most of her free time with her head between the pages of a book, scribbling a story and accompanying drawing down, or listening to music. She takes interest in all forms of literature and writing, and enjoys the experience of engaging in stimulus conversations surrounding the art of the english language. She looks forward to working with students this year in the writing center.
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.
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 as well as the surrounding community.