Stronger writers not perfect papers

IUS Horizon

The Writing Center has a new director and she is all about positive changes that will benefit students and IU Southeast as a whole.

Leigh Ann Meyer, director of the Writing Center, has had quite an adventure on her way to where she is now, and it’s not over.
To bring students into the Writing Center, Meyer began a new approach. She believes the Writing Center is here to help students learn about what they are doing and how to make corrections themselves.

Leigh Ann Meyer, director of the Writing Center
Leigh Ann Meyer, director of the Writing Center

“Our new slogan is stronger writers, not perfect papers,” Meyer said. “I even changed our logo (it used to be the screaming guy) to a picture of hot air balloons, which one is a light bulb. It has a much more positive message. I’m all about positivity.”

“Leigh Ann is a very easy person to work for. Although she has only been the Director of the Writing Center since January, we have been good friends for about 17 years,” Patricia Spencer, writing consultant, said.

Meyer graduated from IUS. She has a degree in journalism, and her masters in secondary education English. She once wrote for The Horizon somewhere around the late ’70s and early ’80s.

“I liked writing for The Horizon. It always seemed positive, when I wrote for other newspapers, it seemed the goal was to only focus only on the negative. For example, I was always covering stories of fires or murders. That’s why I went with the teaching aspect of my career,” Meyer said.

Leigh Ann Meyer is a busy woman. Not only is she new to her position as Director of the Wring Center(started in January), she also teaches literature and writing here at IUS and has been for the past 17 years, is the PTO President at New Albany High school where one of her sons is a sophomore and she is always looking for new, beneficial ideas for the Writing Center and the students.

“I’ve been teaching for 28 years,” Meyer said. “I taught high school for five years, then I went on to teach at U of L. I left there because I could not find a parking spot. I called it a ‘license to hunt.’”

“I was then a full-time lecturer here at IUS for a while,” Meyer said, “I liked it but the Writing Center seems to be the right fit for me.  I would also like to teach public speaking here. I love writing, sharing writing with others and I know I cannot make everyone a great writer but my goal is to help all of my students become comfortable writers.”

Students appreciate the center.

“I love the people in the Writing Center,” Rebecca Yeager, English junior, said. “I liked the environment of the center from the first time I came in and I thought this would be a great place for me to work. I spoke with Leigh Ann about the work study program and she seemed very positive. I hope to work in the Writing Center until graduation.”

Work-study students help the center reach it goals.

“I am really excited about the qualifications of the new work study students we have this year,” Meyer said. “They are all not English majors, which I believe benefits the students even more. There is no one way write, whether you’re writing a personal note, an email, essay, research paper, etc.; the more diversity, the better.”

To better assist the students, there will now be a work study writing consultant in the library on Sundays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Meyer is also considering keeping the Writing Center open until 8pm for one or two nights a week.
“For the students who work late,” Meyer said.

“As writing consultants, we have been doing special research and training with ESL (English as a Second Language) and ELL (English Language Learners) to become a better service to our international students,” Meyer said.

Meyer went to the East Central Writing Center Association Convention at Ohio State University in April. “This is the first IUS has been a part of it,” Meyer said. “It is important to build professional relationships with other centers to find out what else is out there for the students.”

“This Summer, I went to Indiana Purdue in Fort Wayne for a meeting. I was informed of a software package in which students can make appointments online with tutors (in the Writing Center, Student Development and the Math Lab). This would be very useful. We are now discussing how we can get this software available,” Meyer said.

“We do not think we have the best,” Meyer said. “We want the best way for our students, that is why I’m looking for it; that is number one in my mind.”

Staff Writer