Entering a Fifth Decade of Peer Leadership and Learning

University of Vermont, Undergraduate Writing Center, 1982-2022, 40th Anniversary

Greetings! Early spring in Vermont is such a delight, with cool nights and warmer days, sap running, crocuses popping out, and students energized for the last leg of the semester. It’s also when we interview prospective writing tutors, read their applications, and select students to enroll in Tutoring Writing in the Fall. It is hard to believe that we are finishing up our 40th year and preparing for our 41st. These new faces remind us of all of you—our amazing alumni who were once in their shoes, excited and a little nervous to start the program.

You may not realize it, but your time at the writing center continues to shape the program and how we recruit folks into our new cohorts. Becoming an undergraduate writing tutor is a commitment; an important part of our recruitment process is to describe to potential tutors what they stand to gain by participating in this high-impact program. Through continued connections with you, our alumni, we can name the skills, abilities, and values that you took with you and confidently convey to prospective tutors the benefits of becoming a writing tutor. Thank you!

Curious about our current tutors and day-to-day activities? Follow us @catswriteuvm on Instagram!

An Invitation for Active Connection

In the past, we’ve connected with alumni writing tutors through comments, emails, survey responses, and a few small events. Now, we’d like to invite you to join us in UVM Connect, a private platform built through a collaboration between UVM’s Career Center and Alumni Association to build connections among current and former UVM students. Through this platform, you will be able to see photos, keep up with writing center news, and potentially reconnect with other alumni tutors. You will also be able to interact with and offer support for current tutors as they explore opportunities beyond UVM. We know that you have a lot to offer students who are curious about career paths, want advice from alumni on next steps in their professional or educational trajectory, and could benefit from your mentoring.

Once you have a profile in UVM Connect, use the Groups link and search for our Writing Center group to request to join. Watch this brief video to see how easy it is to indicate if you are willing to “offer help” or “offer mentoring” to current students and recent graduates.

Visit the UVM Connect FAQ to learn more. Contact us if you have questions about the Writing Centers sub-group in UVM Connect.

Alumni Impact Research Survey

We extend a big thanks to the sixty-six alumni who were able to make the time to complete the Alumni Impact Research Survey that we sent out in September! Analyzing all the qualitative data and sharing the full results will take time, but our initial findings reaffirmed what we knew—the benefits of becoming a writing tutor last long after graduation. You told us that the abilities, values, and skills that you gained as a writing tutor showed up in your working lives, educational pursuits, and even in your social and familial relationships. For example, 100% of employed alumni report using the skills and values they gained in their jobs—and 86% of those use them “all the time.” More than half of respondents reported tapping into the interpersonal skills they practiced as a writing tutor to build better relationships at work and at home. We’re also struck by an emerging theme of how much you valued getting experience collaborating across differences—whether in linguistic or cultural backgrounds, identities, or learning differences. And lots of folks reported that this experience helped them become life-long learners—78% of you pursued education beyond an undergraduate degree with 59% earning a Master’s degree or higher. While many of you have migrated across the country, more than 67% stayed in New England, with 41% still in Vermont. We hope that wherever you find yourself, you keep in touch!

UWC's UVM Weekend Open House

We had a wonderful time catching up with writing tutor alumni who attended our UVM Weekend Open House in October! Alumni mingled with each other, some current writing tutors, and our past and present directors. Our support staff person, April Christenson, greeted visitors with snacks, tea, goodie bags, and a slide show of photos and artifacts spanning over the 40 years of UVM's writing center history. Here are a few photos from the event (click the arrows to flip through the photos);  many more are available in our UVM Connect group!

  • An Undergraduate Writing Center history slideshow, guest book, and snacks were out for our visitors.
  • Retired Undergraduate Writing Center Director, Sue Dinitz, chatted with John Sama from the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs and Student Success.
  • Alumni tutor Samantha DuBrown and her guest sat on the reception bench beneath the 40th anniversary sign.
  • Retired directors Jean Keidaisch and Sue Dinitz posed with Program Coordinator April Christenson and current Director Sheila Boland Chira under the 40th logo.

Got Cake?

A group of students in ENGS 105, Exploring Writing Center, planned an early April outreach event to increase the visibility of our student support services and handed out over 100 slices of cake in the Howe library lobby with the help of Rally Cat. Ninety undergraduate students entered a drawing to win one of ten 40th Anniversary swag bags—one lucky winner received a tote and a gift card—and we got them registered in WCOnline, our scheduling system, before the busy finals period. Here are a few photos (click the arrows to flip through the photos) from the event; many more are available in our UVM Connect group!

  • Tutor Adeline F., Rally Cat, and Tutor Ethan B. posed for a photo at the registration table.
  • The chocolate cake was decorated with Happy 40th Birthday and flowers in orange.
  • Rally Cat greeted students who waited in line for their piece of cake.
  • Rally Cat gave tutor Sarah S. a high-five.


Appointment Information


We are open Sunday through Friday, from the second week of classes through the last day of classes, each fall and spring semester; we are closed during the summer.  See the appointment calendar for available times.

Tutoring Location

Ground Floor of Howe Library: Down the main stairway and to the right, or take the Circulation elevator down, turn left and follow straight past main stairway..

Contact Information

Administrative Phone:
(802) 656-1958

Email: writing.center@uvm.edu

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