Dr. Maggie Herb is the new Director of the Writing and Communication Center and she’s graciously answered a few questions to help the UTC community get to know her. Before we jump into the questions, here’s a little background about Maggie:
Maggie grew up in Pennsylvania but spent the last few years in the Land of the Mouse (aka Central Florida), where she directed the Writing Center at Stetson University. She has a Ph.D. in Composition & TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and has been working in writing centers for nearly 15 years. Maggie’s research focuses on writing center pedagogy, as well as the institutional positioning and labor issues related to writing center work. She’s excited to be here at UTC directing the brand new, beautiful Writing and Communication Center (she wants you to visit! Drop by Room 327!!), and in her free time, she’s enjoying exploring Chattanooga with her husband Jim and her neurotic rescue dog, Aubie.
And now, the questions!
1. Who are some of your favorite writers?
David Sedaris makes me cry with laughter. I’m also a big fan of Sarah Vowell; I love the way she merges history with personal narrative. Kurt Vonnegut. Toni Morrison. Judy Blume.
2. What’s your favorite reading genre?
I like nonfiction a lot—history, biography, essays, celebrity tell-alls, true crime, you name it! I won’t pretend to have super highbrow taste; I’m currently in a book club with some friends that is making its way through this list of the 40 Trashiest Novels of All Time!
3. Do you prefer to write with a pen or a keyboard?
Pen for brainstorming, Keyboard for when I’m ready to write full sentences and paragraphs
4. Which Golden Girl are you (& why)?
While I think my outward voice and demeanor might invite comparison to a smarter (I hope!) version of Rose, my inner monologue is much more Sophia-esque.
5. Which song best pumps you up for writing?
I’m someone who needs dead silence when I write, so…just the soothing sounds of white noise!
6. What will you miss most about living in Florida ?
Although I didn’t love living in Florida, I DID love (and will miss) living close (enough) to the beach AND to authentic Cuban food! I will even miss the unique brand of Florida weirdness that you’re always hearing about on the news.
7. Who do you think was a better diarist: Doogie Howser, M.D. or Bridget Jones?
I am a v. big fan of Bridget Jones.
8. Favorite guilty pleasure?
The Real Housewives of New York City on Bravo! I have no shame.
9. Any childhood toys that you would still play with today?
My parents still have my childhood dollhouse, and occasionally when I’m home at Christmas, I will still get the urge to rearrange all the furniture.
10. What do you want UTC faculty, staff and students to know about the WCC?
The most important thing to know is that the WCC now offers a much wider range of services than in the past. We can help with any type of writing, at any stage of the writing process. Even if you have no idea what to write about, we can help you brainstorm and talk through your ideas. But, we can also help with much more than just writing, now that we’ve expanded to become the Writing and Communication Center. If you have a presentation or speech you want to practice, we can be your audience as you run through it and then give you pointers. We can help you make a PowerPoint or Prezi. We can help you prep for a debate. If you’re making a documentary, we can help you with your script. Basically, if your project involves written or spoken words, we can help! We’re open this summer through August 4; feel free to drop in or make an appointment here.