A sad goodbye occurred this past May in the CWE. Charlotte Kupsh, an intelligent and beloved GAD, will begin a new chapter at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Although her leaving saddens our CWE family, we are proud and will be rooting her on. Charlotte has been with the CWE as a graduate assistant for two years while she has also been navigating through the English grad program. In addition to being a graduate assistant, she was working hard on her thesis that she hopes to get published. Her thesis is called “The Red-Bellied Beast: What Tractors, Internet Access, Barns and Beer Teach Us About Rural America.” Charlotte says that the CWE played a role in the creation of her thesis; she came in and worked with multiple writing assistants, especially early on in the process, like during the first chapter. She was able to utilize writing assistants for their input as well as using the skills she learned regarding how to brainstorm and navigate sessions to continually work hard at her thesis.
As if accomplishing grad school wasn’t enough learning for her, Charlotte will continue her love and passion for English by attending UNL for a PhD in English with an emphasis in Composition and Rhetoric. Choosing UNL wasn’t an easy process, but she ultimately chose it because “It felt really comfortable.” She also said it felt like a larger Eau Claire. The people were all nice and welcoming, and she felt the program was a good fit. Although she says she will miss the familiarity of Eau Claire, she is most excited to learn about Nebraska as a state because she knows there are some national parks and of course, less snow. She is also extremely excited to design and teach her own classes right away when the program starts.
The CWE has done a lot for Charlotte and Charlotte has done a lot for the CWE. Charlotte says the moment she started reading the textbook for English 397/597 (“Writing Center Theory and Practice”), she knew what she wanted to do: work in academia. Her dream job is to be a writing center director or a writing program administrator. In addition to the center making her realize what it is she wants to do, she says she also is grateful for the little things it brings every day. Charlotte says her favorite moments in the center are those in which the student she is having a session with suddenly gets it and has that “light bulb” moment.
Charlotte says that the writing center helped her personally because, “it just made me a better person; it made me way more patient and now I think a lot more about how I can respect people’s autonomy and agency in not only their writing, but also in their choices outside of writing. I apply the same skills of how to navigate a session in how I navigate life.” The writing center also helped Charlotte’s professional life because it exposed her to and got her excited about her chosen career path. Not only that, but she is also grateful for the fact that the writing center also allowed Charlotte to see herself as more of a scholar than a student. Although the CWE is sad to see her go, we are proud to have such an admirable GAD that is just as grateful for the CWE as we are for her.