University of Minnesota
center for writing

Center for Writing alumni—Valerie Barbaro

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11 Questions for Center for Writing Alums

  • Joe FruthYour name: Valerie Barbaro
  • LinkedIn webpage link
  • When did you work with us? General College Writing Center, 2000-2001
  • What was your role? writing consultant
  • What education and/or occupation(s) have you pursued since working with us? I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College and have published several pieces. I have held a number of teaching and tutoring positions since working as a writing consultant in GC, and I've moved into management in learning assistance. I also do work in instructional and faculty development. I recently have studied brain-based learning and work to integrate what I learn into the coursework I develop/help others develop.

Reflections on your center experience:

  • Did your work with us influence your educational or occupational choices? If so, how? Absolutely. Being a writing consultant in GC was my first experience as an educator in higher education. While I didn't commit to pursuing a career in higher ed until after completing my graduate degree, GC was my first step in what ended up being the right direction.
  • What are the most significant abilities, values, or skills that you developed in your work with us? I would say that at the time, this experience was most valuable in developing my patience and ability to work with a more diverse range of learners, including ELL students.
  • In your personal and professional life today, how do you find yourself using what you learned from working with us?  I use what I learned being a writing consultant in how I train and manage my own staff of tutors--it helps that I was "in the trenches" and understand their role with all its challenges and rewards.