About Our Student Contributors

Melissa Danko is a biology major and will graduate in 2014.  Although she is pre-med, she finds writing to be incredibly important, as communication is essential to every aspect of life!  For this reason, she decided to become a Sweetland peer writing tutor to help her peers improve their writing.  Melissa is also a part of Sweetland’s Minor in Writing. Over time, she has come to value writing as an entire process–from the very first ideas to the very last edits–and she hopes to help others do the same.

Zeinab Khalil is a junior studying International Relations and Middle Eastern & North African Studies. She likes writing with a cup of Italian Chamomile tea in hand and fall scented candles close by. She is a Sweetland writing tutor who loves learning new ideas from the papers students bring with them to the writing center. Through writing, she’s learned a great deal about valuing the process just as much as the product- whether for school, relationships, baking or any other life endeavors.

Joshua Kim is a senior majoring in Honors English and minoring in writing. He is also a Sweetland Peer Tutor who loves his job and could possibly see himself ending up as a professional in a writing center some day.  He believes writing is an incredibly frustrating, though tremendously powerful tool that has enormous relevance and importance beyond the classroom.  Currently, Josh is desperately trying to find a way to write his thesis, draft a statement of purpose that will get him into grad school, and finish his coursework while still having time to eat, or even sleep if he’s lucky. Truthfully though, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Meaghan O’Connor is a Senior Communication Studies major. This past summer, she was lucky enough to use her communication skills for an internship with Food Network Magazine in NYC. This year, Meaghan started her own campus organization called She’s the First—a campus chapter of a non-profit organization that raises money to sponsor girls in developing countries who are the first in their families to graduate from secondary school. Over the course of her time at the university, Meaghan has learned that the process of writing never really ends. Through continuous editing and advice from professors, she has learned to think about writing as a process in which bringing the text to life takes more than a single draft.

Shirley Shue is a junior double majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN) and Biomolecular Science.  In addition, she is a Sweetland peer tutor, and she is in the process of working on her Minor in Writing. Her passion for writing arose for many different reasons, but it was most rewarding when she realized that writing allowed her to find and create something meaningful from what she previously thought were insignificant ideas.  In order to utilize writing as such a useful tool and mode of communication, she’s learned to appreciate writing for its entire process–it’s not uncommon for her to spend more time pre-writing and revising a paper than actually writing the paper itself.


Hannah Tasker is a senior at U of M majoring in History and minoring in Museum Studies and Writing.  She works as a literacy tutor to elementary-aged kids and spends her weekends giving dinosaur tours at the Natural History museum.  She sometimes feels chained to her computer, so she likes to write her first draft by hand to get a break and force ideas to develop a bit more slowly.  The writing she likes to read most is children’s writing, because their spelling is hilarious and their writing is fearless!


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