We see small successes every day, every hour across our locations — clearer sentence structure, more accurate citations, organization that better reflects established arguments. Sometimes, however, "success" feels a little bigger: a scholarship, study abroad program, or career opportunity; admission to a certificate or graduate program; a completed thesis or dissertation; a published manuscript or funded grant. This space is dedicated to celebrating those successes, your successes.
Scroll down to read these Student Success Stories:
Students from all corners of the university come to the
Writing Center for help: future doctors, lawyers—and even teachers. Ana Olivas,
an elementary education major, is a frequent visitor to the Writing Center. But
one paper in particular was giving her troubles.
For her Undocumented Mexican Immigration course in spring
2013, Olivas needed to write a 10-page research paper. “It was kind of
difficult to organize and cover every topic,” she said. “I must’ve gone to the
Writing Center at least three times.”
Working closely with consultant Alexis Horst, Olivas honed
in on a few issues she wanted to improve. “Before, I wouldn’t stick to my topic
sentence, or it wouldn’t be very clear,” she said. “But the Writing Center has
really helped me out with transitions and having my thesis statement control
This semester, Olivas has plenty of challenging and complex
essays to tackle. “There’s a paper this semester for a history course; it’s a
requirement for me to graduate,” she explained. “It has to be 10 pages long,
and it’s a research paper on a historical site. I think I’m going to be
visiting the Writing Center a couple times for that.”
But Olivas has taken advantage of the Writing Center for
more than just academic essays. She’s used it for help on her teaching
licensure as well. “There are two applications to fill out. The first one
requires a two-page essay,” she said. “I went into the Writing Center to get
help on that, and I passed it.” Olivas explained that she’ll now go on to take special courses preparing her for the second
stage. “And that one requires a 5-page essay,” she said.
Due to the various types of writing she has to do for her
major, the Writing Center has become a resource that Olivas takes advantage of
early and often. “Every time I have a paper, whether it’s in my history courses
or English courses, I always go to the Writing Center at least once for help,
for them to look over it. And I’ve gotten A’s on all the papers I’ve gone to
the Writing Center for,” she said confidently.
But Olivas understands it's not that the Writing Center insures good grades—it’s
her hard work and diligence. As a result, she has noticed improvements in her
writing. “I think it’s helped me get my ideas on paper. It’s made that process
easier since English is my second language. It’s helped me to organize my ideas
and improve the wording of my sentences,” she said.
Once Olivas completes her required courses, she plans to write
the five-page essay required for the second stage of her teacher licensure, bringing
her one step closer to her goal of becoming an educator.
- Kelsie McWilliams
The Tivoli Turnhalle is bustling, alive with the sounds of traditional Chinese music and friendly conversation. With microphone in hand, Haiyue Liu prepares to take the stage and welcome over 200 CU Denver students and faculty members to the Mid-Autumn Banquet hosted by the Intercultural Club Beijing (ICB). But her role as President of ICB is just one of the many impressive accomplishments listed on Liu’s extensive resume.
Before running for president, Liu, a senior at CU Denver majoring in communication, had been volunteering for ICB for a year. “The club helps Chinese, especially ICB, students to have a better life and living environment in Denver,” said Liu. “The first time I came to Denver, I just didn’t know where to go. I just knew how to get from Campus Village to campus, so the first month in Denver was tough.”
But Liu has decided to use her own experience adapting to an entirely new environment in order to help other students in the same position. “After I got used to all the things on campus, like a lot of resources and help from all around, life is easy now. That’s why I want to share these resources with other people,” said Liu.
In order to be elected, Liu needed to campaign and introduce herself to both ICB students and their American friends. As she explained, the campaign involved “pasting papers on the wall so that ICB students and their American friends could go through them and find which one they think is the best.” She came to the Writing Center so that she could showcase her strengths and qualifications in her biography. And as it turns out, “I’m the only one who used English for the election,” Liu said.
Now that she has been elected president, Liu aims to help not just ICB students but all UCD students to utilize valuable campus resources while providing them with a welcoming environment and supportive community. As Liu explained, “Every semester we will plan or schedule a lot of events like some traditional Chinese festivals. Otherwise, we will find some resources on campus for our students, like the Writing Center, advisors, or the Career Center.”
But what might convince other ICB and UCD students is that Liu herself has taken advantage of and benefited from them. “Because my major is communication, I have a lot of writing and papers and presentations. I developed a really practical language experience from the Writing Center. My English that I learned in China from the textbooks is not ‘real,’ so the Writing Center helped me to develop a language for life,” she said.
Liu is on track to graduate in May 2014, but until then, she will continue utilizing the Writing Center for assistance with her personal statement and resume as part of her application for graduate school.
Junior, International Business
During the Fall 2012 semester, the Writing Center helped Lateefah
write the scholarship application essay that earned her a $4,000 Global
Study China Scholarship, which she's using to study abroad through the Semester in Beijing
"The Writing Center helped me feel confident in my
essay because they challenged me to be creative and think critically in
order to craft a winner. Employees in the Center assisted me from the
first draft to the final draft, and that support made me feel like a
champion. Now I feel optimistic about any form of writing because I
learned methods that will make me successful in college.
I give praise to the Writing Center because I know its employees
genuinely want to see students succeed. I would not be a confident
writer without it. Thanks to the wonderful assistance of the Writing
Center, I am going to have the best experience of my college career in
Over the course of a year/three semesters, the Writing Center helped Jesse
: write the personal statement and successful application for the CREATE Health Scholars program
, a year-long correspondence program with a one-month summer intensive; start the Health and Humanities Club, a student organization of which she is President; and, perhaps most importantly, find herself as a writer.
"My Writing Center experience began last year when I realized I had no idea how to promote myself. I wanted to get into a professional summer program, but upon writing the required essays, I found my life seemed boring, useless, and unqualified. If it looked that way to me, I was sure it looked even worse to the person reading my application. I needed help and I was not afraid to admit it. One consultant in particular, Alexis Horst, became my writing coach. Session through session, she molded my writing skills. Not only did our sessions improve my writing, I also found Alexis connected with me in such a way that I began to see the value in my life's activities and goals.
I got into that program, which has made a huge impact in my life. I also founded a student organization. Successful endeavors I've encountered during 2012 would not have happened if not for the staff at the Writing Center at CU Denver and Alexis Horst, my writing coach."