University of Minnesota
center for writing

Center for Writing alumni—Dave Healy

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11 Questions for Center for Writing Alums

  • Dave HealyYour name: Dave Healy
  • Your email:
  • When did you work with us? 1987-1997
  • What was your role? administrative staff—director of the General College Writing Center
  • What education and/or occupation(s) have you pursued since working with us? Since leaving General College, I've worked as a freelance editor and writer. A year ago I retired as editor of the Park Bugle, a community newspaper in St. Paul, a position I held for 10 years. I've also edited a journal called Public Art Review, which is published in St. Paul. Recently my wife and I launched a memoir writing business.

Reflections on your center experience:

  • Did your work with us influence your educational or occupational choices? If so, how? My position as director of the General College Writing Center was itself an occupational choice. While there, I had a chance to edit the Writing Center Journal for three years, and that experience led to my decision to embark on an editing career.
  • What are the most significant abilities, values, or skills that you developed in your work with us? People who work in writing centers learn how to draw others out by asking questions. That's a dying art, one that I try to revive every day, both in my personal and professional life.
  • In your personal and professional life today, how do you find yourself using what you learned from working with us? In my current editing work, most of my contact with clients is electronic. Occasionally, though, I'll work with someone who lives in the area and who wants to meet physically. That experience is a treat for me. There's nothing like sitting down with another writer with a piece of paper between you.
  • Anything else you want to tell us and your fellow Center alums? I continue to be inspired by Thoreau's observation in Walden: "A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips—not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself."
  • Provide a link to your personal or professional website (if you’d like to).