Loyola University Maryland

Writing Department

Lisa Zimmerelli

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Assistant Professor and Writing Center Director
Humanities 250-I
410-617-2369
410-617-2934 (fax)
ldzimmerelli@loyola.edu

Over the past decade, I have taught many writing courses, each different in its purpose and scope, but all alike in their emphases on students’ growth as effective communicators and critical thinkers.  Over the past two decades I have also been involved in some way with writing center work—as a tutor, mentor, and administrator.  My teaching philosophy and style is therefore firmly grounded in writing center praxis and theory.  I am a strong believer in the benefit of both student-student and teacher-student writing conferences; in other words, I talk with my students, and they talk to each other, frequently.

As a teacher and tutor, I see writing as a vehicle and means for agency and empowerment.  The act of writing is an act of personal transformation; when students truly engage in the difficult task of composing their ideas, beliefs, and positions on paper, they learn something about themselves in the process.  Additionally—and as importantly—the product of writing is potentially transformative as well.  I ask my students to consider the kairotic moment of writing, to respond appropriately and responsibly to the exigencies of any given situation.  Appropriate and responsible response demands "Eloquentia Perfecta": a mindfulness to the components of correct written discourse as well as a faith that written discourse can be a vehicle for positive growth and change in the world.

As the Writing Center Director at Loyola University, I am interested in fostering a location for transformation on campus.  At the heart of a writing center’s mission are several key ideas that resonate with the Jesuit tradition and with Loyola University’s core values.  Peer tutors perform a service to others; that service is based on a respect for each student’s written work.  Through conversation about writing, tutors and students learn important aspects of discernment, as together they practice the art of reflection and self-examination.  What is borne out of that service and communal discernment are skills integral to leadership.  Tutors and students learn the give and take—the reciprocity—of shared intellectual inquiry.