Staff of The Writing & Learning Studio

Director

One full-time English faculty member, Grace Rhodes, is the director of The Writing & Learning Studio.  Grace is also professor of the studio credit courses, ENGL 089 and ENGL 099 and the tutor education course, EDULA 199, and acts as the SCC campus coordinator for eTutoring.  Grace has a bachelor's degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and a master's degree from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington.  She began working at Shoreline in 1988 as the first director of the studio (formerly called the Reading/Writing Learning Center) and has been developing and directing the program ever since.

 

Learning Assistants

In addition to the director, the studio has a staff of learning assistants.  During each hour the studio is open, two or three learning assistants are working.  Learning assistants have a range of education and experience, the majority having a bachelor's or master's degree, while others may be SCC students working toward their degrees.  In addition to their individual educational backgrounds, all studio assistants begin their employment here with an intensive nine-hour orientation to tutoring and participate in ongoing professional development activities throughout each quarter, and if they are SCC students, they must enroll in the tutor education course, EDULA 199, “Tutoring Writing & Learning: Theory & Practice.

 

All learning assistants are hourly employees with a current top wage of $10.13 per hour.  As you'll read below, some of the assistants have worked in the studio over 15 years.  Each of them has written a brief statements about themselves, presented below in order of experience (from most to least studio experience):

 

Jana:

I was delighted to start working in The Writing & Learning Studio in January, 1995.  During my high school years and college education at the University of Washington, I always took great pleasure in helping students with reading, writing, and math.  Now, with the wide variety of classes I have taken and my many years of experience in The Writing & Learning Studio, I'm able to coach students writing in different disciplines.  Over the last 32 years I have also enjoyed volunteer hosting international students and encouraging them in learning English.

 

Since graduating from the UW in 1991 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in mathematics and a minor in English, I have continued to thoroughly enjoy assisting students to build a strong foundation for education and improve their skills for lifelong learning.  Reading and writing can be fun, as well as tremendously important life skills.  In addition to my work helping students improve their writing, my hobbies include writing fiction and solving math puzzles and logic problems.  I also like to keep up with my many student guests who have returned to their home countries, including Russia, England, Japan, and China.  At home I love playing with my 85-pound dog, Max.

 

Margarete:

I have enjoyed the privilege of working at TWLS since September of 1996.  I earned my B.A. degree in English with a minor in elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1995. I continue to be inspired daily, assisting so many dedicated and determined students desiring to improve their English skills.

 

Melanie:

My work as a learning assistant here at The Writing & Learning Studio is the most rewarding, inspiring job I've ever had. Not only do I get to support student learning at all levels, but I have the opportunity to facilitate students' expression of their unique ideas, stories, and perspectives.  As a lover of literature and language, I feel excited and honored to participate in others' first steps in these academic subjects.

 

In 2000 I enrolled in SCC's tutor education course and began tutoring in The Writing & Learning Studio. Four years later I graduated from UW-Bothell with a B.A. in Culture, Literature, and the Arts.  I have worked in two college writing centers, taught a community ESL class, and taught reading and writing to young Korean-American students at an after-school learning center. As a fiction writer, I also know how invaluable community and reader feedback is to writing.  I belong to a writing group where I receive input from fellow writers; I see my work in TWLS as an extension of this community involvement. 

 

Currently I'm working on my master's degree and looking forward to one day teaching English to non-native English speakers.

 

Leslie:

Hi!  My name is Leslie Jordan, and I am happy to now be a part of The Writing and Learning Studio, which I joined in January 2011.  Tutoring is one of my favorite jobs.   It allows me to combine several of my interests: education, literature, cultures, and psychology.

 

I have enjoyed tutoring English and learning about the cultural experiences of my students since high school when I started tutoring Vietnamese refugees who had been resettled in my home town, Centralia.  After I graduated from Centralia College with my A.A., I went to Central Washington University where I studied education initially, but then majored in anthropology because of my interest in people and cultures.   At CWU I also worked part-time primarily by tutoring Cambodian refugees and other students through the writing center there.  Because of my tutoring experience, I was offered the opportunity to pursue a master's degree in English Language Learning, and I graduated from CWU with my M.A. in 1986.

 

After working as a legal assistant, a job that used my English skills extensively, I decided to change careers and started taking classes toward that end at Shoreline Community College.  While here I have enjoyed working part-time as a tutor and assisting in the Community Integration and Employment Program.

 

Eliza:

Hi!  I'm Eliza and I've been happy to be working here in the studio since fall 2012. It is fascinating to meet so many interesting people from so many different backgrounds!  I am a fourth-generation Washingtonian.  I have lived in Seattle for most of my life, although I did spend three months in a Taiwanese elementary school in fourth grade.  (I still remember how to say "Don't hit little sister!" in Mandarin.)  I went as far away as I could for college--all the way to Florida!  I loved the exotic birds and vegetation, the bizarre insects, and the tropical nights but returned home to our beautiful rain. 

 

Along with a B.A. in English Literature, I have a Bachelor or Fine Arts in Painting and a Master or Arts in Art History.  I have been an artist and illustrator, curator, art critic, and editor--and also a mom.  I had 15 minutes of fame in the 80's for a series of funny postcards about slugs, moss, the Emerald City, and other aspects of life in the Pacific Northwest.  In the 90's I ran a non-profit organization and edited its regional art magazine.  I also taught art history for several years, most recently at Seattle University.  Lately I am happy to be singing and writing music--and  tutoring at Shoreline Community College!

 

Larry:

I came to The Writing & Learning Studio in the fall of 2012 after many years of writing and editing work.  I was a reporter for four daily newspapers, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and also wrote for two websites.  I was helped along the way by good examples, great leadership, and by people who provided good help.  My father sparked my interest in writing when he bought an antique portable typewriter and let me use it.  My fifth-grade teacher gave me time to write and circulate a small school newspaper.  Later I learned to appreciate reading and great literature in a large college survey class, where the professor added small discussion groups to help students analyze and better understand what they read.

 

In all this I followed a path that has lasted most of a lifetime, and along the way I learned the importance of teaching and mentoring.  I'm pleased to put that lesson into practice as I try to help others now.

 

Lee: 

I am thrilled to be a student at SCC, learning graphic design and Adobe software in the VCT (Visual Communication Technology) department, where my teachers and fellow students are awesome!  I love SCC best of all the colleges I have attended because it's so nurturing, inclusive, multi-cultural, and innovative.  I earned a B.A. in English & Comparative Literature at the University of California San Diego and enjoyed graduate work toward a master's in anthropology and later branched out, obtaining a license as a massage therapist (Brenneke School) and a Self-Help Teacher Certificate from Jin Shin Jyutsu, Inc. In addition I have explored jazz flute, African dance, Argentine tango, meditation techniques from all around the world, organic gardening, international cuisine, French, Spanish, and more.  Clearly, I love to learn!

 

I also love helping other people learn, and I relish meeting interesting characters from all around our strange and wondrous planet; working in the studio (since April 2013) provides me with continuous opportunities for that!

 

Rita: 

Hi, everyone. I'm relatively new to the crew; I started in the studio in January 2014. Having just retired from teaching and being a high school librarian for over forty years, I thought I was finally ready for the "big time": community college. I have worked with elementary, middle and high school kids from LA to Brisbane, Queensland, and Seattle to Edmonds. Now I'm excited to work with college students at Shoreline.   My husband, a Seattle firefighter, and I were lucky to have two great kids, now married and in their own happy careers.

 

Reading and writing—living around words—are favorite experiences of mine. But I thrive on a bicycle, in a garden, and in new locations. Travel took me out of a little town in Iowa many years ago and brought me to the edge of this continent. More recently, I took students on trips to China, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and in March 2014 I trekked the Annapurna Mountains in Nepal and Bhutan with a group of six other adventurous women.

 

Trevor:

I am a poet and writer from Anchorage, Alaska, and hold a Bachelor of English degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) with a focus in Literature.  While earning my degree, I worked for UAA as a writing tutor and found the position extremely engaging and rewarding.  This experience as a tutor awakened in me a desire to teach English someday at the collegiate level.  In pursuit of this vocation, I hope to be enrolled in a graduate program in 2015, working toward a master's degree in English.  In the meantime, I'm happy and grateful to have been working in Shoreline's writing and learning studio since summer 2014.  I truly enjoy helping students explore and embrace the process of writing.  Working in the studio is a daily reminder that students are the heart of education, and student success is its goal.  This encourages and motivates me to stay the path toward my future goal.

 

Loreen:

I was extremely pleased to join The Writing & Learning Studio in the fall of 2014.  I credit my mother for my love of reading and words; we went regularly to the public library, a seemingly magical place full of books.  My love of reading has inspired me to become a creative writer, mostly personal essays.  Recently I completed a memoir and am actively seeking to publish it.  Writing has taught me the power of revision; it's grueling work, but such a critical step in the process to produce clear, perhaps memorable, writing.
 
In November 2013 I was honored to be one of 12 writers selected for the 2014 Jack Straw Writers Program.  Our task in 2014 was to generate an anthology and a series of public readings; it was an enriching year for me among terrific writers.
 
Prior to my writing life, I worked in various business environments in management and administration, producing reams of business reports, collateral material, and promotional pieces.  I was born and raised in Honolulu, where three cultures shaped me: Chinese, Hawaiian, and American.  In 1995 I received my B.A. in American Studies at the University of Washington, Bothell, where I focused on multicultural issues and worked in the university writing center.