University of Minnesota
center for writing

Center for Writing alumni—Renata Fitzpatrick

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11 Questions for Center for Writing Alums

  • Renata FitzpatrickYour name: Renata Fitzpatrick (was Thomson)
  • Your email:
  • When did you work with us? 1995-2006 in the General College Writing Center
  • What were your roles? writing consultant, ESL specialist, administrative staff
  • What education and/or occupation(s) have you pursued since working with us?  Teaching at the U – writing, grammar, literature.

Reflections on your center experience:

  • Did your work with us influence your educational or occupational choices? If so, how?  My first years in the writing center (as an undergraduate consultant linked to Commanding English classes) influenced me to do an MA in TESL, and to become an instructor in the program for immigrant and refugee students.
  • What are the most significant abilities, values, or skills that you developed in your work with us? I learned about facilitation: the value of helping student writers to realize their own potential (as opposed to simply teaching them things).   I also learned a lot about students and academic literacy.
  • In your personal and professional life today, how do you find yourself using what you learned from working with us?  I just started a new job at a small liberal arts college, tutoring, training tutors, and serving as a consultant to faculty regarding student writers whose first language is not English.
  • Anything else you want to tell us and your fellow Center alums?  I miss the old GC writing center, and have great memories of the work and the people I worked with there.