Myth: The WRMC only helps students.

Okay, we may not be able to catch you up with all your work,      but   we can help with writing!

Fact: Not so! We love supporting faculty and staff, too.

Okay, so this myth isn’t actually anything I’ve heard around on campus–yet.  I think the lack of conversation about how the WRMC helps faculty and staff makes me want to confirm that we definitely have services for them. In fact, this post  is more of a reminder to faculty and staff that the WRMC can assist them with services similar to those that we provide students. We are also happy to work with faculty to address writing across the curriculum and writing within their classrooms. This past October, the WRMC hosted a workshop on writing across the curriculum. Faculty gathered to discuss what they want and need to do to build a community of strong writers at VIU and beyond.

Faculty and staff may also attend any of our workshops and brownbag lunches, which are  geared toward the VIU community as a whole. Need to brush up on APA? We have a workshop for that. Are you writing an article and need to remember the steps to writing a strong thesis? We will have a brownbag for that. Want to know the rules of a semi-colon? We will have a brownbag for that, too! If faculty and staff are learning what the students are learning, then we all can approach writing in a common way.

Be sure to check out our e-mails that we send at the beginning of each semester that detail our services and schedules.

If faculty would like to request a consultation to discuss writing in the classroom, please contacting me using our online form. Faculty can always arrange for a member of the WRMC to visit their classrooms by filling out our classroom visit form. We will meet prior to the in-class visit to discuss writing issues in that particular class. Then, I will visit within a week or two of that meeting.

Term of the Day: New World

New World (noun): “western hemisphere; especially :  the continental landmass of North and South America” (“New World”, 2014, para. 1).

Examples:
The discovery of America opened a new world, full of new things and new possibilities for those with eyes to see them.(Morgan, 2009, para. 4).

Can you use asseverate in a sentence? Send us your sentence using asseverate and we will post it on our blog!

Want to learn more about sentence structure? Check out our page called “The APA Cheat Sheet.”

Reference

Asseverate. (2014). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/asseverate
Morgan, E. (2009). Columbus’ confusion about the new world. Retrieved from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/columbus-confusion-about-the-new-world-140132422/?no-ist

SyrianBlanketDrive_WebBannerOver the last several weeks, Virginia International University students, faculty, and staff collected over 800 blankets, comforters, and other linens to help Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Turkey. Last year, a group of local community leaders and organizations organized this blanket drive for refugees after visiting refugee campus in Turkey. Their effort resulted in the collection of 18,000 blankets which were then delivered to the refugee camps in Turkey and helped keep countless families warm through the harsh winter. Recognizing this extraordinary achievement, VIU’s School of Public & International Affairs (SPIA) honored the drive organizers and pledged to be a partner in the 2014 drive.

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Aimed at helping the international student community of VIU excel in their English language skills before enrolling into a degree program, the School of Language Studies offers a top quality English as a second language (ESL) program. This is an exciting avenue by which many students start their journey into academics in the US.

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We recently sat down with one of our students, Manar Alhazmi, who is currently completing the elementary level of VIU’s ESL program. Her talent, determination, and personal story have made her family, teachers, and peers admire her, and I was eager to meet her myself. As a genuinely open person, Manar is strong enough to share her life with us, and she hopes that her story will inspire and motivate others.      

It’s not Manar’s first time in America; in fact, when she was seven, her family lived in Los Angeles for nine months. By the time she went home to Saudi Arabia, Manar had already fallen in love with America, its people and environment. Her favorite aspect is everyone’s friendly smiles and greetings. Manar is now back with a big vision: to improve her English and earn her MBA degree in Healthcare Management.  

Manar’s longtime dream has been to become a hospital manager, and she continues to overcome many obstacles to reach it. At the age of 10, Manar suffered from a serious illness and fell into a coma, staying in a hospital for many months. Although Manar’s loved ones were next to her and she had excellent medical care, she was still shocked at the sudden change in her life. Because she could no longer take care of herself, Manar started to give up hope of ever being a “normal” person able to walk, run, work or even hang out with friends.

I was curious as to her turning point and how she came from that low point at the hospital to being a healthy, energetic student in America. Manar credits her parents with her incredible improvement, and her “second chance at life.” When Manar was in the coma, “it was a very rough time for [her] parents to see [her] staying in bed day and night.” After six months, Manar finally left the hospital to continue her treatments at home. Her parents encouraged her to continue her exercises and her dad demanded that she continue her studies and stay strong, to “battle the disease in order to become a healthy and successful girl.” Manar completed high school and received her Bachelor’s degree from a university in Saudi Arabia. “Now I can do everything with my walker and my wheelchair,” she says. “I am always thankful to my parents for holding my hand and teaching me to fight for life. Without them, I would not be here today.” Her eyes turn tearful when she talks about her mother, Hanan Al Ahmadi and her father, Faisal Al Hazmi, a policeman who works tirelessly for his family of seven.

Her passion is helping children who suffer from illness. To make that dream come true, Manar pushes herself harder than ever. “I want to make new things which I didn’t find when I was in the hospital. It was very boring, and I had a hard time. Even though parents and friends come to visit you, something is still missing there. No matter how sick children are, they need time to play. There are no activities to make children happy!”  

For Manar, learning from her VIU professors means not only speaking English better but having more confidence in herself. “I was very shy when I first spoke, but today, because of my great teachers, I love to interact with others. VIU is helping my dreams come true!” Manar also enjoys the wheelchair access available on campus at VIU, on the streets and even on buses, which, she says makes it easy for her to get around. “Some people beg for food or money in the street. They are healthy, they can walk, run, and work. They can do anything they want, earn enough to buy food or even a house,” Manar says seriously, from the bottom of her heart. “Right before I came to the USA, I worked at a hospital as a receptionist. The manager told me to study and come back, that I will be the hospital manager, and I will do it!” Manar is so positive and motivated that her attitude is contagious, “In the near future, I will walk without a walker, run, even travel all over the world. Nothing is impossible. I will make it happen.”
And you will, Manar. With hard work, an excellent education and a great support system anyone can succeed!