/Natural Science & Writing Center Contest

Natural Science & Writing Center Contest

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by: Zach Winslett

Natural Science Center and Writing Center open house and writing contest

There are many resources on Troy University’s campus that aid students in overcoming their academic difficulties, but, unfortunately, they are often unheard of or intimidating to students.

The Natural Science Center and Writing Center in Eldridge Hall are both attempting to remedy these issues by hosting an open house.

The open house will be Thursday from 2–4 p.m. in 124 and 126 Eldridge Hall. Eldridge Hall is located on the old quad directly next to Shackelford Hall.

The open house is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to tour the two centers and learn more about their services. Elaine Bassett, the Writing Center coordinator, and Robert Sheppard, the Natural Science coordinator, are both organizing the event along with their staff of tutors.

“Both the Writing Center and the Natural Science Center began in 1982,” Sheppard said.

According to Sheppard the centers both originated as government funded projects to aid first-year students and at-risk students, but they have now evolved into centers (now funded by Troy University) prepared to address the needs of a wide variety of students.

“It’s a nice experience for the freshman and sophomore students to interface with students who are juniors and seniors and get some tips on how to approach the course. It also helps them to know that someone has done it, and they can too.”

The open house will allow visitors to tour the two centers, speak with the coordinators and their staff, and learn about the services and tools they offer to help students succeed.

Besides individual tutorials in science, math or writing, the two centers both contain computer labs to assist with homework and other assignments.

“There seems to be a computer homework component to all the math and science courses,” Sheppard said.

“Students can use the computers in the lab, and the tutors are there to help them.”

Bassett and Sheppard want to emphasize that the open house is not only for students.

“We want faculty to come so they can see what we do, what it looks like and talk with the tutors,” Bassett said.

“Many of the teachers have never been here.”

As if assistance in writing, math and science was not enough, there will also be refreshments provided for all the guests, and there will be door prizes.

Guests interested in the door prizes will have their name and email entered to win a Barnes & Noble gift card.

Additionally, the Writing Center will officially announce its writing contest at the open house, which is in part sponsored by First-Year Studies.

The contest is taking writing submissions based on the university’s common reading initiative, “The Ghost Map.”

“In the Writing Center we believe good writing reflects good thinking; we want to encourage students— not just freshman— to think about the ideas in [‘The Ghost Map’],” Bassett said.

The submissions can be research papers or more personal accounts as long as they pertain to “The Ghost Map.”

Prizes will be provided for the top three submissions: first place will receive a $200 Barnes & Noble gift card, second place will receive a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card and third place will receive a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card.

For those who cannot make the open house event, the Writing Center and Natural Science Center are always willing to give tours of their facilities and answer questions about their services. The Writing Center can be contacted at (334) 670-3305, and the Natural Science Center can be contacted at (334) 670-3139.