Growing up performing in community theater, I quickly learned that behind every fantastic show is a fabulous director who coordinates details, envisions a big picture, and works to execute a community vision. Lingshan Song, the assistant director of the MC Writing Center, is that coordinator for our community.
With both a B.A. in English Writing, a minor in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and a M.A. in English from Mississippi College, our affectionately dubbed “Ms. Song” is now involved in the daily ins and outs of the writing center scheduling, educational opportunities, and classroom engagement with tutors.
Our tutors have much to say about Ms. Song’s influence on their time at Mississippi College. Junior tutor Damon Wright said, “Ms. Song’s smile beams and radiates. She is a very patient and understanding human being, and the writing center would not be what it is without her.”
Tutors Sara Grace Duncan and Casey Kellogg echoed Wright when they brought up Ms. Song’s patience and grace when they felt inadequate. James Flickner has also experienced Ms. Song’s care and understanding. “She’s always understanding whenever life happens,” he added.
Song’s favorite part of the job is interacting with students on a daily basis. She says that this includes “talking with writers who visit the writing center about how we can best support them to grow as writers, discussing with tutors about writing center best practices and tutoring strategies, and teaching future tutors about who we are and what we do at the MC Writing Center.”
“Working as the Writing Center Assistant Director at MC definitely has trained me to be open minded and problem-solving as I am required to adapt to the needs of writers and tutors every day,” Song added. “I love my acquired abilities at work because I can transfer them to other aspects of life too. I love to coordinate events as well, and writing center work provides me with a wealth of opportunities to host events to reach out and promote writing center services.”
“She always gives us opportunities to grow,” receptionist Kailyn Skinner said. She has seen how Ms. Song’s work affects receptionists, tutors, and students served by the writing center.
I asked Ms. Song about her vision for the next year in the MC Writing Center. “My vision for the writing center in the coming year is to strengthen our writing center community and make it centered on the growth of writers and tutors.”
Her definition of “growth” extends beyond the numbers of writers visiting the writing center or the staff size. “I would love tutors to adopt ‘growth-oriented’ tutoring that focuses on balancing the immediate assignments a writer brings with them and growing the writer.”
Another goal of Ms. Song is to allow her tutors to lead. “A unique aspect of the MC Writing Center [is that we want] to make our writing center a place for tutors to foster leadership abilities and for them to propose and coordinate new initiatives. Growing tutors and supporting them as future leaders is another goal we aim for in the coming year.”
Ms. Song fabulously coordinates both the daily and the broad vision of the MC Writing Center as the Assistant Director of the Writing Center. Our tutors and receptionists are so grateful for the way she cares for us, other students, and the writing center so effectively every day.