Debby Ellis Writing Center
I used to really struggle with writing, so I am very empathetic to those who have a hard time articulating their thoughts and arranging them into a coherent argument. I got better thanks to my high school and college mentors. Jena Kirkpatrick, my poetry teacher in high school, taught me to love the expressive qualities of words, as well as a clarity of description where each word is carefully chosen for its poetic and communicative value.
This kind of writing has really helped me in my chosen discipline: art history. I became drawn to the field during a lecture on the Neoclassical style of David, given by Dr. Elise Smith, who showed me how the thoughts and feelings of a historical period were conveyed visually in its works of art. My poetry background helped me to describe artworks, but I had a difficult time when it came to arguing for their specific meaning. Dr. Kim Smith helped me to meld observation, interpretation, and history to create a convincing analysis of an artwork’s significance.
I work at the Writing Center, because I enjoy helping people overcome writing challenges that I struggled with myself. When I graduate, I hope to continue to work with students as a community college professor. I also want to work in development for an arts organization, so I can create enthusiasm for the arts in the general public.