Lewis Writing Center helps students suceed into Peace Corps

Bree Scott, Co-News Editor

The Lewis University Writing Center offers tutoring for any student in any major, but for Writing Center coordinator Michael Bulfin, assisting students with graduate-level writing is his main specialty.

“Personal statements can be really difficult to write because you have to write an admissions committee a compelling explanation for why you want to be admitted, serve or receive a scholarship,” Bulfin said. “It’s not easy to explain why you want to commit to something as serious as graduate study, or two years of Peace Corps service.”

This year, with Bulfin’s help, three students were accepted into various law schools and one student was accepted to serve in the Peace Corps. Another student’s application to the Peace Corps was accepted, and is currently “under consideration,” which he says is a very encouraging status.

Michael Pikuza, an international relations major and senior at Lewis, specifically requested to work with Bulfin in the Writing Center, for assistance with his personal statement for the Peace Corps. Bulfin had previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique.

“Working with Mr. Bulfin was very beneficial because I was not only working with someone who understood the mission of the organization I was applying to, but it was also beneficial because I learned how to become a better writer, as well as learn how to articulate my ideas in a short and concise manner, which is sought in today’s market,” said Pikuza, who has since been selected to be a secondary education English teacher in Moldova.

“Not only did [the Writing Center] help me become a better writer, but it allowed me to get feedback on my work to better prepare for future opportunities I am to embark on, such as my upcoming Peace Corps service,” said Pikuza. “The Writing Center is there to help with anyone in a wide range of areas … If it was not for the staff of the Writing Center, I would not be able to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a Peace Corps volunteer.”

Bulfin finds that helping students achieve their dreams is a very rewarding experience.

“Seeing students leave a tutoring session feeling confident that they have an interesting personal statement to write about themselves and their scholarly, service or professional ambitions is a very rewarding feeling,” said Bulfin. “When students come back to the Writing Center that second or third time to revise their drafts and they’re full of confidence that they can write to impress an admitting committee, I feel like I’m really helping them with their post-Lewis ambitions.”

A brand new addition is dedicated to helping students with graduate-level writing, as well as personal statements for graduate school, service organizations and scholarships. Coming Fall 2018, this extension of the current Writing Center will be located on the third floor of the LRC. Bulfin will be an integral part of this extension, but will also continue tutoring in the current Writing Center space on the first floor of the LRC.

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