The Writing Center, located across from the Science Center parking lot, is a central component to Keene State College students’ academic success.

The center offers individual tutoring, classroom workshops per faculty request and various outreach projects to generate student interest.

The center has also recently set aside a room for a writing “nook” where students can have a quiet, comfortable space to write and ask questions.

The Director of the Writing Center Dr. Kate Tirabassi remarked that the goal of the writing center is to help students become more confident and successful writers.

Tirabassi said she has experience leading writing workshops and developing students’ writing abilities.

Passionate about her work, Tirabassi said that she is interested in  “composition and rhetoric, which is the study of how people write.”

She also remarked that she enjoys finding ways to “help students to write drafts while not feeling too overwhelmed and to be better communicators.”

An accomplished writer herself, Tirabassi said she has published several scholarly articles and chapters on the writing process.

Tirabassi said the Writing Center “is a real collaborative effort to provide the best experience for students.” 1

She also said she appreciates the, “dynamism of working at the Writing Center. It is interesting working with tutors to incorporate their ideas into improving the peer tutoring program for students.”

Recently, the center incorporated more in-depth, online feedback forms for students to fill out after a tutoring session.

Dr. Tirabassi said that the center “takes that feedback and then discusses it as a group in staff meetings to become better tutors.”

KSC senior and English literature and writing double major Emily Cackowski, is in her third year of working at the Writing Center.

Cackowski said tutoring is “really nice. It’s nice to see people come in, and I get a better connection to the campus this way.”

“Sometimes people schedule recurring appointments with me and I’ll see their writing develop. It’s always nice to form that connection with a student and to watch their writing grow and change,” she said.

Cackowski  said that working at the Writing Center is a great experience and that she loves her job.

Cackowski said that the “one-on-one work is always enjoyable, partly because I can help other people improve, but I also improve as a writer by working here.”

“The staff is always talking about what we can do to better ourselves as tutors and writers. I think part of what makes me so glad to work here is that we help people and also try to help ourselves,” Cackowski said, “We are on an equal playing field with the students we tutor.”

The staff at the Writing Center also takes students’ privacy seriously.

Cackowski said that tutors are not allowed to share information or the names of individuals without prior consent.

After a tutoring session, Cackowski said she wants students to feel “more comfortable and confident in the writing that they are doing.”

“I hope that they carry over the writing skills they learned to other classes and careers. Writing is such an important skill for students when they go out into the world,” she said.

To new Keene State College students, Cackowski said she recommends “finding places where you are comfortable writing for long periods of time.”

“Do not be afraid to take breaks if you are stuck. When you get stuck [with writing] don’t stop. Just enjoy yourself as a student. Focus on your work and get involved in activities on campus,” Cackowski said.

KSC senior English major Aidan Bolduc has worked at the Writing Center for two years.

Bolduc said he enjoys working in the Writing Center “since it’s interesting to see the work from many different types of classes and the interests in the subjects of many different types of students in papers. We definitely see a wide range of people’s thoughts on campus.”

Bolduc said that he works with students to “translate students’ really good ideas into really good writing, or present it in a way that’s going to boost their grade to one they deserve based on what their actual knowledge is.”

“That’s what I’m here to do, and I’m really happy to be able to do that,” Bolduc said.

From a peer tutoring session, Bolduc said he hopes to instill some “hope” in them.

He said that “tutors are here for the pep talk as much as we are here for advice. I hope students can walk away with a better understanding of a mechanic of writing or of organization.”

As a tutor, Bolduc said his motto is, “If I taught them [students] one thing that will stick in their mind, then I’ve done my job.”

Bolduc said that the Writing Center offers help on every stage of writing a paper, not just the final editing stage.

He said that while most people come for a last check kind of thing, the center also offers assistance with “brainstorming and writing a thesis. The earlier people come, the more we can do for them.”

Tirabassi and tutors remarked that the Writing Center is increasing its presence on campus.

Tirabassi also mentioned that Keene State tutors have presented at the Northeast Writing Center Association conference that was held on the KSC campus last year.

On Oct. 20, the Writing Center is hosting an event located in the Student Center atrium in commemoration of the National Day of Writing.

Bolduc said the purpose of the National Day of Writing is “to celebrate why we write.”

To all Keene State College students, Tirabassi said to come to the center as early as possible in the writing process. She said that the “[Writing] Center is here for everyone.”

Ethan Chalmers can be contacted at

Share and Enjoy !


Leave a Reply