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Howe Writing Initiative offers writing assistance, workshops for FSB students

Campus Editor

Published: Monday, January 14, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013 23:01

Miami University students are familiar with receiving help with their writing assignments from the Howe Center for Writing Excellence (HWC) in King Library, but many may be unaware that HWC was founded because of the success of the Howe Writing Initiative (HWI) in Farmer School of Business (FSB).

Unlike HWC, which offers writing assistance and resources for students in all majors, HWI focuses on business majors or students enrolled in business classes.

Roger and Joyce Howe, who later founded HWC, founded HWI in the mid 1990s, according to HWI interim director Heidi McKee.

Roger Howe, who graduated with a B.S. in business from Miami, wanted to create a resource for business students to help them improve their writing skills.

“[Roger Howe] as a successful business person himself he knows about the importance of writing in all sorts of fields, and he recognized that business students need to be strong writers,” McKee said.

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU) listed writing among the top three most important skills that employers are looking for in applicants in their 2012 job outlook survey.

HWI provides one-on-one consultations with students to help them improve memos, letters, job applications, cover letters, resumes and more.

It also hosts several workshops a semester on business related topics. These workshops are open to all students, according to McKee.

HWI also provides faculty with online and material resources and the option to consult with HWI about how to improve their teaching of business-related writing.

While HWI consultants were only graduate students in the past. This semester HWI has added two undergraduate students to the staff, senior Ryan McHenry and sophomore Nicole George. George and McHenry will not only consult with students about their writing, they can also help design some of the workshops.

George said she is excited about her new position.

“I’m just really interested in writing and helping out people,” George said.

One of the focuses of HWI this year is to connect with business alumni.

“We have thousands of FSB alumni out there who are so well placed in so many fields, both in the corporate and non-profit sector,” McKee said.

HWI would like to do interviews with these alumni to talk to them about what communication skills they have needed in their profession and which skills they wished they had studied more in college, according to McKee.

In addition, HWI would like to start to an alumni speaker series for FSB students.

McKee said HWI would appreciate any student feedback on its programming, consultation, resources and other services.

Students can find contact information at miamiOH.edu/hwi.

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