If you’re writing for publication, the Office for Professional Writing, Publishing, and Communication (OPWPC) is here for you. They know that writing and public speaking can be overwhelming. That’s why they offer one-on-one consultations, workshops, and writing retreats to assist in your goals.
And the OPWPC is growing! This January, Liz Declan, the new Scholarly Writing Specialist, joined the team. We caught up with Liz to learn how her previous position at the university is influencing her role in the Academic Commons and what interesting projects she’s working on now. Keep reading to learn more about Liz and how she can help you, and even find out what superhero movies she and her seven-year-old daughter have been watching.
What’s your title, and when did you start working in the Academic Commons?
I am a Scholarly Writing Specialist, and I began working in the Academic Commons in January of 2022.
Before joining the Academic Commons, you were a faculty member on the East Falls campus. Can you talk to us about that: what courses did you teach? What motivated your desire to transition to your current role?
As an adjunct, I taught Introduction to Academic Writing, Written Communication, and Multimedia Communication. I love teaching, but my passion for writing extends to many fields. I wanted a transition into an editorial role, and this position was the perfect coalescence of these many interests.
Are there aspects of your previous position as an instructor that have been helpful as you transition into this new position?
The transition has been wonderful! I am really enjoying the work I am doing, and I’m finding that there’s a great balance of drawing upon skills I came to the position with and learning new skills in the role. I’m a firm believer that teaching is an experience that lends itself to any other role or job, so yes, absolutely. One obvious difference is that rather than coaching a student to become a better writer, I am making direct changes to texts or suggesting revisions.
Can you describe your role, Scholarly Writing Specialist, a bit? What does that title mean, and what types of projects are you working on?
As a Scholarly Writing Specialist, it’s my job to help faculty, staff, and members of the Jefferson community with scholarly publications and communications. The bulk of what I do is edit drafts of scholarly articles to be submitted to journals, but I also provide feedback on posters and presentations.
What is an interesting, unique, or informative scholarly article you’ve reviewed so far?
I recently read a few manuscripts on topics related to outreach and programming for people with autism, which is a topic I’m passionate about, so that was both informative and interesting. It’s really exciting to see subjects I’m invested in and that I think need more attention being written about for publication. There have been several manuscripts on race, gender/LGBTQ experience, and/or disability, all of which excited me.
What advice would you give to someone who may be feeling overwhelmed or a bit frustrated with the writing and editing process?
I think in terms of being overwhelmed or frustrated, just knowing you’re not alone in feeling that way is helpful. Even professionals who are writers by trade experience that because writing is difficult and what we want to say often gets lost in translation from brain to pen to paper (or brain to hand to keyboard). I will mention, though, that the OPWPC helps with every stage of the process, so if someone is stuck or frustrated, reaching out to work through an issue is a good idea.
How can someone get in touch with you if they are interested in your services?
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. That is the best way to reach me! In addition, you can visit our website for information on upcoming workshops on topics like time management and writing abstracts, to schedule a one-on-one consult, or to find out about upcoming writing retreats.
When you’re not supporting the Jefferson community with their professional writing and communications projects, what are a few things you like to do with your time?
I have a seven-year-old daughter, and we’ve recently been watching our way through the Marvel movies, which has been a delight. I am also working on a memoir. Those two areas (motherhood and my creative projects) tend to be where all my extra time goes.
Learn more about the OPWPC and get support with your writing and communications projects today.