News-in-Brief: Writing Center to Host SMP Presentation Consultations

On Sunday, April 22, the Writing Center will host consultations where seniors preparing for upcoming St. Mary’s Project (SMP) Presentations can practice from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in LIB 115.

Starting at 10 a.m., tutors will be available for individual sessions with students to prepare for presentations. Also, beginning at 5 p.m., tutors will be assisting practice sessions for up to four students during each 90-minute period.  Tutors will be there to guide the presenters for giving constructive criticism to each other during presentation practices.

Video cameras will be on hand for students to tape their presentations before, during, or instead of meeting with a tutor as well, though preference will be given to those meeting with a tutor.

Assistant professor of English, Director of the Writing Center, and SMP Mentor Brian O’Sullivan thinks the program will help all students preparing for their presentation. “Practice and good, critical but supportive feedback are useful before any kind of public speaking,” he said. “I’m sure participants will come away even more prepared and confident than they would be otherwise.”

Besides the regular opportunity to tape and review presentation practice through the Oral Expression Center, which is run by the Liberal Arts Associates within the Core Curriculum office in Glendenning Hall, O’Sullivan noted that “this is the first time the Writing Center has combined that kind of service with peer tutoring.”

According to O’Sullivan, the idea for the program got started with Liberal Arts Associate and Adjunct Assistant Professors of the Liberal Arts Brandi Stanton and Andrew Cognard-Black, who “have been working to help students develop in oral expression, along with other liberal arts skills, and we’ve been talking about how the Writing Center can help,” he said. “SMP presentations seemed like a good focus, since SMP students are so motivated to do their best at sharing the projects they’ve been working so hard on.”

Seniors can sign up for individual or group sessions via the Portal on the Writing Center link, or at the Writing Center’s webpage at

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