Graduate students in engineering have a new resource to help them enhance their communications skills: Katie Homar, technical academic writing specialist in the Graduate school, designs writing support and outreach for students in the College of Engineering.
Homar came to NC State in September, having served as a postdoc at Georgia Tech. She also has worked with student writers at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her doctorate. Homar’s new position, supported by both the Graduate School and College of Engineering, is devoted to developing noncredit writing support for graduate students and postdocs in engineering.
“I want to give engineering students the communication skills they need for school and beyond to the workplace,” Homar said.
This spring, she has a lot planned for engineering students, from workshops to an online writing group to one-on-one consultations.
The online writing group is a great way for students to manage their time and get support for major writing projects. The group members “meet” online for a semester, set goals and report their progress to keep each other accountable, Homar said. Participants also compete for small prizes. The spring semester writing group has already begun, but Homar plans to open another group for summer sessions. Look for sign-up announcements in late spring.
Homar is also hosting a series of communications workshops, including Engineering Cafés where coffee and light refreshments are served. The Engineering Cafés are open to all engineering graduate students and postdocs. Several topics for this semester include telling a research story with discussions and conclusions sections (2/22), giving oral talks and poster presentations (3/8), writing progress reports for nonspecialist audiences and writing persuasive proposals (4/5). All the Engineering Cafés are held in 214 Daniels Hall. Registration and information is available online.
Other workshops are developed to meet specific departmental needs, Homar said, but are open to all graduate engineering students and postdocs. For example, with the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, she has planned a workshop on writing preliminary dissertation proposals (3/29).
“Writers will leave with strategies for completing academic and workplace writing projects,” Homar said.
For one-on-one writing feedback, Homar is holding consultation hours at Hunt Library and in EB II. The consultations are for walk-ins to discuss a particular writing project, Homar said. She encourages students to stop by with their laptops or a paper draft copy of their writing project. Homar also will schedule appointments for writing consultations. Contact her via email to schedule a consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related article, College of Engineering: Writing services offered for engineering graduate students