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Program in Writing and Communications launches two initiatives

By Brooke Bullock     8/30/12 7:00pm


The Center for Written Oral and Visual Communication is in its inaugural year as a communications support system for the Rice community. 

The CWOVC can advise all Rice community members on clear communication of ideas for all types of presentations or written work, including course assignments, oral defenses and conference presentations, Director of the CWOVC Jennifer Shade Wilson (Will Rice '93) said. 

To reach the CWOVC, students go to http:// cwovc.rice.edu and log in with their NetIDs. Students then choose from a list of available appointment times with a CWOVC consultant. The consultants are undergraduate and graduate students from a wide variety of majors who have had extensive training and will continue that training throughout the year, Wilson said. 

She recommended that students schedule an appointment 24 hours before an assignment is due to allow time to make revisions after the session. According to Wilson, if no consultants are occupied, students may be able to walk into the CWOVC, but scheduling early is the only sure way to get an appointment with a consultant. Appointments are available between 8 a.m. and 12 a.m. during the week and last 40 minutes, Wilson said. 

She added that students may schedule appointments on the weekend if they would like, but the center recommends consultants not to schedule appointments on Saturdays. 

According to Wilson, the center is meant to serve as a resource to improve communication skills overall and help students to better relay their ideas rather than be a simple fix-it shop. 

"We can always improve the way we communicate our ideas, and people at Rice have such great ideas," Wilson said. 

Brown College senior and Head Academic Fellow Jose Malave said writing is important to all majors but does not often receive enough attention. 

"It is something that the entire student body will benefit from," Malave said. "I am glad that we finally have a place like the writing center because writing is a life skill that we will always need and can always improve upon."

Lovett College senior Nivriti Chowdhry said the CWOVC will be helpful in courses she takes outside her major. 

"I'm a [mathematical economic analysis] major and love taking classes in other departments like art history and psychology. I tend to second-guess my writing, so I really like having another set of eyes go over it," Chowdhry said. 

Chowdhry, an academic fellow at Lovett, said she and other mentors will be recommending that students use the CWOVC. 

"Some of our fellows are actually going to be working for them," Chowdhry said. "So intentionally or not, I'll end up asking someone who works there for help."

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