The College Writing Fellows program, designed by Dean for Freshmen and Professor of English Deborah Rossen-Knill to help students at UR to develop writing skills, is completing its first semester of service with 10 Writing Fellows.

“This group of students are making history here at the UR and have taken on the role of leaders,” Rossen-Knill said.

The program began in the Spring of 2000, when 14 students took the CAS 245 class, Advanced Writing and Peer Tutoring, to train them to be Writing Fellows.

Rossen-Knill said that the writing program had been present at other colleges such as Swathmore College, Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania.

The Fellows have “walk-in hours where students can be helped promptly with their questions” said junior and president of the group Ittai Bushlin.

He also said that a lot of the Fellows come from very different academic backgrounds which makes it easier for them to help with writing of any nature ? from English papers to lab reports.

“For me it’s been really helpful,” said freshman Cora Bruemmer, who went to the Writing Fellows for help with a paper in CAS 105, Reason and Writing in The College. “I’ve gone to the writing center and it’s been all booked up, so it’s been really convenient.”

“It’s a great resource for undergraduate writers,” said junior and Fellow Tucker Ruderman.

Walk-in hours aside, the Fellows have also started a program to help improve writing skills within an entire class. This semester they have helped with the revision of papers in PSY 181, Theories of Personality and Psychotherapy, ECO 265, Law and Economics, and ECO 224, Economics of Sports and Entertainment.

Junior and Fellow Arielle Zibrak said she felt this program helped her to learn more than just writing skills. “It made me more effective in communicating and dealing with people,” she said.

Another Fellow, junior Suzy McCormick, said that while she helped improve others’ writing she had improved not only as a tutor, but also as a writer.

The program seems to be improving student performance. “On the first paper I got an A, so it’s definitely worthwhile to me,” Bruemmer said.

Members of the program are now in the process of selecting new Fellows for the CAS 245 class in Spring of 2002. The class will consist of two sections, with 15 students in each section. They had received 16 applications as of Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Applications are available in the College Writing Program Office, Rush Rhees G-121. Application review began in mid-October and continues until the course is full.

The College Writing Fellows’ office is located in Lovejoy 115. Their hours are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Additional reporting by Dan Bock.

Samtani can be reached at

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