Embracing Sudden Change

Embracing Sudden Change

After pursuing her dream job as a professor at Millikin, Writing Center Director Danielle Patricio is off to accomplish bigger and better things at Richland Community College. 

Professor Patricio’s grandparents, her father, and two of her siblings attended Millikin during their collegiate years. Being employed at Millikin University has always been a dream for Patricio due to these family ties. 

“When I start every semester, I’ve told my students this is my dream job, you guys are watching me live my dream,” Patricio said. 

Even though working at Millikin is Patricio’s dream job, she is leaving mid-semester to fill the role of Dean of Liberal Arts at Richland Community College. 

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“Dean of Liberal Arts is a very important position because it’s integral to bring support to the faculty and program design and to envisioning what the future of those programs will be,” Patricio said.

Last semester, Patricio took over the job as Writing Center Director after the previous director retired. In her short time as the Writing Center Director, Patricio has made many successful changes to the Writing Center as a whole. Even before she took over the Writing Center, Patricio created a blueprint of the Writing Center detailing everything she wanted to change. She has accomplished almost all of her desired changes. 

One of the biggest changes she made was the layout of the Writing Center. Junior Lily Bryson is in her fourth semester of working at the Writing Center, and she appreciates the changes made to the space. 

“It just feels a lot more welcoming, inviting, and peaceful,” Bryson said when discussing the renovations made to the Writing Center. “It’s not that it wasn’t a perfectly usable space before, but it was very much function over form.”

New hire Kristen Reece is enjoying the newly decorated space as well.

“I thought [The Writing Center] was a very cute little cozy place. I thought it was very welcoming,” Reece said.

Along with the layout of the Writing Center, Patricio has also updated technology use. If there are students who cannot physically come in during regular hours, they can schedule an online meeting with a tutor by request or from the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm spot. They have also started social media accounts on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook to share what is happening at the Writing Center. 

Patricio has also implemented special projects for tutors to do when they are not occupied with tutoring sessions. These projects range from decorating and tidying up the space to creating presentations to aid University Writing classes. 

“I’ve been working on a presentation about MLA and APA formatting that would hopefully then be useful for presenting to classrooms,” Bryson said.

Taking Patricio’s place as Writing Center Director is retired Millikin professor, Dr. Michael O’Conner who ran the Writing Center back in the 90s. He is confident in taking over this role in the Writing Center and is excited to do so. 

“I certainly have the background and experience to finish [the semester] off,” O’Conner said. 

Even with his prior work in the Writing Center, he does not intend to change anything drastically. 

“​​I want to keep the momentum that [Patricio] created going as much as possible without her being here,” said O’Conner. “I know she’s going to be busy in her new job over at Richland, but I can see me continuing to consult with her a lot.”

Not only is O’Conner going to run the Writing Center, but he is also taking over Patricio’s adolescent literature class. He is also quite excited to get back in the groove and teach the class. 

“I’m really excited about the material that [Patricio’s] chosen,” O’Conner said. “So, I am looking forward to it very much.”

Overall, O’Conner is excited to finish off Patricio’s term at the Writing Center.

“I am really excited about coming in and helping out at the end, and I do want to keep Professor Patricio’s legacy and ideas going for the rest of the semester,” O’Conner said. “I really look forward to the next 11 weeks and to see what we can do in finishing out the semester.”

Patricio’s last day is March 1st, and even though she is leaving mid-semester, she will never forget her time here at Millikin, especially when she was running the Writing Center. 

“I think [the Writing Center is] the best work I’ve ever done at Millikin, and I’ve loved every year at Millikin, but I think this year has been the best,” Patricio said. “Everything that we’ve started working on is going to continue in lots of different ways and lots of different renditions, and that’s a really beautiful part of a college campus.”

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About the Contributors
Anna Quick, Writer
Writer '23-'24
Millikin Tennis

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