The Writing Center Helps Food and Nutrition Students with Personal Statements

Posted on 12/7/2011 1:52:49 PM

The IUP Writing Center recently held a workshop for the Department of Food and Nutrition that assisted 42 seniors with writing personal statements for graduate school and internship applications.

Mitch James, doctoral candidate and assistant director of the Writing Center, developed the workshop, which focused on the information that should be included in personal statements, how to organize this information concisely, and how to self-edit and peer-review a completed draft. The workshop was conducted in four 55-minute class sessions for a two-week period.

Rita Johnson, associate professor in the Department of Food and Nutrition, was pleased with the results. “The presentation style and seamless application of writing theory made the process of writing and editing self-statements/application letters less intimidating,” she said.  The students found the workshops so beneficial that a majority of them stayed after class to work on their statements.

Johnson said she's always delighted when a new classroom/teaching idea is such a success and the workshop benefited her as well. “I’m trying not to reach for my pencil when students give me a draft of their writing, but to read and ask questions instead,” Johnson noted.

IUP professors or students who are interested in how the Writing Center can assist with writing assignments are invited to contact any member of the staff by e-mail at or by phone at 724-357-3029.