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Writing Center

Writing Center Faculty


Lee Gibson

In my work with students in the Writing Center, I like to focus on the details of sentence- and paragraph-level composition, as I find that many students receive little to no instruction in these aspects of writing before they arrive at the university. These “nitpicky details,” as some people unwisely dismiss them, are in fact the most important elements of any student’s essay, and students will succeed as writers to the degree they learn to pay attention to them. Pay attention to how you present your ideas, and most of the time your ideas will take care of themselves. Remember that you can have the best ideas in the world, but if you cannot present them clearly and concisely and in a way that someone else can understand then you might as well not have them at all. 

Mary Kay Jackman

After teaching writing for many years, I'm now writing silly mysteries with a friend and having more fun than a fly in a jam jar.  Besides loving to write, I enjoy showing others how easy it is when they learn to trust themselves with words.

Pauline Newton

I enjoy one-on-one time with students outside of the classroom; since I’m not their instructor, this allows me to offer “neutral” input. I help students brainstorm, work on annotated bibliographies, and flesh out paragraphs fully. Our bodies may age, but, as writers, our brains can remain pliable as we learn a stronger way to make an introduction or a better-sounding means to represent an idea. If you’re looking for that secret on how to become a better writer, there’s no shortcut, but, as William Faulkner once said, in order to become a strong writer, you must “Read, read, read.”

Kristen Polster

B.A. from SMU in 1993, and after a few years of teaching high school English pursued a teaching fellowship to earn M.A. in English from SMU, and later a PhD in English from the University of North Texas.  Have been teaching in the writing program at SMU since 2001 and have enjoyed working with students in the Writing Center since 2008.  I believe all students can (and should!) learn to write well and gain confidence in their writing abilities.

Richard Treat

Having had the opportunity to teach second-language learners in the United States as well as students in Mexico, Morocco, and South Korea, one of my favorite things is having the opportunity to work with people from different cultural backgrounds.  I particularly enjoy working one-on-one with students to help them become better writers because I can focus on their individual needs and often witness a visible change in short period of time.  As a lecturer in the Discernment and Discourse program, I look forward to working with the international students both in the classroom and at the A-LEC.