University of Minnesota
center for writing

Center for Writing alumni—Joe Fruth

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11 Questions for Center for Writing Alums

  • Joe FruthYour name: Joe Fruth
  • Your email:
  • When did you work with us? 1994-1997
  • What was your role? writing consultant, front desk/computer lab attendant
  • What education and/or occupation(s) have you pursued since working with us? I was first hired by the Reading and Writing Center (RWC). I later taught recitations to an international literature course in General College. I also helped open another writing center at the University of Minnesota. I now teach Spanish at Minneapolis Community & Technical College.

Reflections on your center experience:

  • Did your work with us influence your educational or occupational choices? If so, how? Yes. I was the coordinator of a Language Lab that had tutors available to students. Again, I helped open another writing center at the University of Minnesota. And I've always incorporated what I learned about being a Writing Consultant into the classes that I teach.
  • What are the most significant abilities, values, or skills that you developed in your work with us? The list is long. Under the mentor/deity Dave Healy I learned to treat students as clients—to provide students with high-level customer service (the kind one could find at Macy's in the 1960's & 1970's) and treat them with a corresponding level of respect. At the same time we were never to write anything for clients—we *worked* with them (on their writing). We didn't "help" them. Often times in the service industry people ask, "How may I help you?" However, back in the day the party line was that saying "help" made it sound like something or someone was sick or broken and that "working" together in to achieve a common goal was a better description of our intentions. The Reading & Writing Center was an incredible place.
  • In your personal and professional life today, how do you find yourself using what you learned from working with us?  See 5,6, 7, & 9
  • Anything else you want to tell us and your fellow Center alums? Marya Hornbacher ( is probably the most famous of the alums, with several published books. To my knowledge Mr. J. G. Everest is still playing music locally ( Cherie Anne Stamm moved to Oregon some time ago, but, may have moved on to bigger things (see: