Staff

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 $9.83 per hour.  As you'll read below, some of the assistants have worked in the studio over ten years.  Each of them has written a paragraph or two about themselves, presented below in order of experience (most to least studio experience):

 

Jana:

I started 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.  Over the last 25 years I have enjoyed volunteer hosting international students and encouraging them in learning English. The wide variety of elective classes I have taken and my many years of experience in The Writing & Learning Studio enable me to coach students with writing in different disciplines.

 

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 more extensive learning in the future.  Reading and writing can be fun, as well as tremendously important life skills.

 

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 and 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 and 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. 

 

Elizabeth:

I received my Bachelor of Arts from Boston University and a Masters Degree in Education from Columbia University Teachers College. Later in life, I obtained an A.A.S. degree in Horticultural Technology in order to pursue a hobby as a career.  I have taught elementary school, managed the horticultural department for a garden center and performed customer service duties in the corporate world. I became a learning assistant at The Writing & Learning Studio in 2006 and have enjoyed helping students acquire the writing and learning skills that will assist them in pursuing their academic, professional, and personal goals.

 

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 forms of work.   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 took some education courses, but then majored in anthropology because of my interest in people and cultures.   At Central I worked my way through college 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 Masters in English Language Learning.  I graduated from Central with my M.A. in 1986.

 

After working a long stint 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 also enjoyed working part-time as a tutor through another program on campus and assisting in the Community Integration Program.

 

Eliza:

Hi!  I'm Eliza and I'm happy to be working here. 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.  I now live 15 blocks from my childhood home in one direction and 15 blocks from my parents' childhood homes in the other.

 

Along with a BA in English Literature, I have a BFA in Painting and an MA in Art History.  I have been an artist and illustrator, curator, art critic, and editor.  (I'm also a mom!)  I have had 15 minutes of fame 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 and edited a non-profit regional art magazine.  For the last several years I have taught art history, most recently to the honors students at Seattle University.  Lately I have been singing and writing music--and, beginning in fall 2012, 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 received a B.A. in literature from the University of California. As a student, I couldn't resist taking more Lit classes: treasure-troves of fascinating adventures into other people's realities. Meeting international students on campus was also enthralling. I wanted to stay in college forever! In fact, I continued my education at San Diego State University, where I enjoyed graduate classes in anthropologyand lived in a village in India for three months, a "stranger in a strange land," trying to communicate in an unknown language. (I do speak French andhave a start in Spanish.)

 

After college, I wrote educational materials, led groups and trainings, and gave talks as a Family Planning Educator, interfacing with many different cultures. More recently, an international meditation community gave me extra chances to live & work with intriguing people from around the world. I've had fun helping all these friends (as well as my son and his friends) with their writing: resumes, ad copy, letters, speeches, program plans, wine labels! I've published articles in magazines, written poetry and lyrics, and edited newsletters. My cross-cultural adventures have also included studying Jin Shin Jyutsu, an ancient healing art, for 25 years, and I am a certified JSJ self-help instructor. I've also reveled in African dance and Argentine Tango, and played my flute with jazz and African bands, and for meditations.

 

Now I rejoice to be in college again! I've taken classes in SCC's VCT department, where the teachers and students are astounding! I love SCC best of all the colleges I've attended because it's so nurturing, inclusive, multi-cultural, and innovative. I'm honored to work in the wondrous writing & learning studio, a venture I started in April 2013, learning to be a better writing coach—and a better writer.

 

Gene: 

I joined The Writing & Learning Studio in September 2013. I graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 2010 with a BA in linguistics. While I was at school, I worked as a tutor in linguistic anthropology. I also benefited a great deal from being tutored in chemistry, so I know how much of a difference it can make. In addition to working in the studio, I volunteer with 826 Seattle, a nonprofit group offering homework help and creative writing opportunities to K-12 students.

 

My favorite part of being a tutor is the one-on-one interaction with students. It really gives me a chance to see another person's learning process and adapt my style to what that individual needs. It also lets me share my love of writing and the English language with a wide range of students from many different disciplines.

 

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 will be trekking the Annapurna Mountains in Nepal and Bhutan with a group of six other adventurous women. Please advise if you've had high altitude experiences!