Faculty retirees recruited to provide student writing support

What most struck Adrian van den Hoven about volunteering to help students improve their writing skills was their desire to learn.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working as a writing advisor,” says the retired professor of French. “I met students from different continents—but also from Canada—who were all eager to acquaint themselves with the English language and with the writing skills necessary in order to become better students.”

The Writing Advisor program recruits retired members of the University’s faculty to provide assistance to students in improving their written expression: organization, sentence structure, word choices, grammar and spelling, but not content.

“What makes the endeavour totally worthwhile is the fact that each and every one of them is keen to learn and very attentive to your suggestions,” Dr. van den Hoven says. “I recommend the writing desk to any retiree who would like to impart his skills and knowledge to the members of a younger generation.”

Beth Oakley, co-director of the Student Success Centre, says the contributions of these volunteers can make a huge difference to the students needing help.

“These are motivated students who just haven’t developed one particular set of skills as much as they would like,” she says. “Our Writing Advisors make wonderful mentors who can share strategies they require to succeed.”

Oakley invites retired faculty members interested in volunteering as Writing Advisors to contact her at 519-253-3000, ext. 3461, or e-mail oakleyb@uwindsor.ca.