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The English Department Welcomes New Undergraduate Office Assistants

December 16, 2022 Monica Wolfe

The English Department welcomes our three new undergraduate office assistants, Lily, Maddie, and Maura! They will be working closely with our writing programs to develop their own skills and to contribute to a range of tasks and projects throughout the academic year. So far, they have already assisted with the Hutton Lecture Series, attended staff meetings, created digital flyers for events, and reorganized the ICaP library.

ICaP staff talked to Lily, Maddie, and Maura to get to know a little more about them. Read on for a conversation with our new assistants.

headshot of lily bluntLily Blunt is a junior at Purdue majoring in Professional Writing and English Literature, and minoring in Organizational Leadership. She loves to cross stitch, buy things she doesn’t really need, and horde books (which she definitely DOES need!). She comes from Franklin, Indiana, and her favorite place on campus is any table and chair with its own outlet right next to it.

MW: Tell us about your experience with your introductory composition course here at Purdue.

LB: I produced some of my first “good” writing works and presentations in English 106. I was in FYE at that time and found myself only ever wanting to go to this class, rather than my other STEM-based courses. I found my style, voice, and begun my path to confidence. The content was easy for me because I loved the material. The instructor was encouraging and wanted to ensure that every student had time to voice their opinions (during one class a student attended via Zoom on my own laptop, facing the professor, and the professor still made sure to ask the tiny camera what this student thought of the recent chapter). I made friends in that course that I still have to this day. Because of that course and how greatly I missed its material after moving to all STEM courses, I realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I am now my second year into two English/writing degrees and couldn’t be happier with my path and prospects.

MW: What is your most memorable moment from English 106?

LB: English 106 was a great opportunity to argue about whatever you wanted. One of our final projects was to explain the definition of an idea or a word in a way we never heard before…. I convinced the class that milk was a sauce, a broth, and a beverage. From these kinds of projects, I began practicing thoughtful pauses and pacing myself. I learned how to incorporate humor and shift tones to control the audience. Other students wanted to report on certain poems or movies. The rest were like me, and one boy made every project he presented about bananas. And you know what? He was amazing at it. I learned so much about bananas and their history because of him, even watching him argue how bananas shaped an entire government. Every student would rate the presenter’s style and voice and volume, etc. I still have my feedback to this day because I find it relevant and heartwarming. Especially when I would get feedback comparing my pace to the perfection of bananas.

MW: Having taken a composition class and moved on to other courses, what is your current view of writing? Why is composition important? What kinds of composition are important to you, and why?

LB: Writing is absolutely vital for any field you can think of. I hate how it continues to be seen as only for bookworms. Studying to

 work in the OWL at Purdue has shown me how important it is for all other degrees, from STEM to Aviation to Vet school. It’s not just about writing a good essay or short story. It’s about learning how to understand what you’re reading, and how to help others

 understand too. Composition is important because it just boils down to understanding. Being in the know. Being able to communicate your own ideas the way you want, without the frustrations of feeling inadequate.

MW: What advice would you give to new ICaP students?

LB: Cliche time: Don’t be afraid to try new things! Intro to Composition is a time for risk and learning your own style. If something sounds fun, write about it. If you want to argue a certain point, make it work. That’s the entire point of it. You’ll read texts you get bored with or hate, but take that opportunity to learn WHY you hate it. Why do you think the Little Prince is annoying? Dissect your reasoning and argue about it.


headshot of maddie thogmartinMaddie Thogmartin is a junior at Purdue majoring in Professional Writing and minoring in Anthropology. She is from a small town near Kansas City. She loves to read, write, watch movies, and spend time with friends and family. She is a major cat person and is constantly missing her two cats back home.

MW: Why do you think writing is important? What kinds of composition are important to you, and why?

MT: I think writing is awesome because it takes all of the intangible thoughts in our head and translates them into something that can be shared with others. I think communication is incredibly important, which is why I’m studying professional writing. I also enjoy the creative outlet of writing, and I think that it’s a way to preserve your thoughts and feelings at a specific time in your life that can be looked back on and remembered.

MW: Why did you choose to work for the English Department, and what kind of skills do you think you bring to the table?

MT: I’ve had so many great classes with amazing professors in the past few years, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn from and work with a department of people who are so dedicated to their jobs as educators. I think most of what I bring to the table is the willingness to learn and adapt to whatever tasks or challenges I’m faced with.

MW: What makes you a good writer? How have you practiced becoming a strong writer?

MT: I think what makes me a good writer is probably the fact that I’m also a chronic overthinker. I’m constantly trying to understand and explain things to myself, so putting those thoughts on paper is really just a matter of proper grammar and syntax. I also read a lot, and I think that reading is one of the only ways to really develop your voice as a writer. One of the things that has really helped me become a stronger writer is keeping a journal on me at all times. I write about everything in there: observations, how my day has been, poems, gossip, little notes to myself. It’s very informal, and somewhere I can just write without worrying about the quality.


headshot of maura struckhoffMaura Struckhoff is a freshman at Purdue and a triple major in Communication, Law and Society, and Political Science. She is originally from a small town just west of St. Louis, Missouri. She loves working out at the CoRec, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She also loves watching shows on Netflix, and is currently watching Blacklist, which she recommends, 10/10. She hopes to go to law school in Chicago after she graduates from Purdue, and would like to become a lawyer or politician in Washington, D.C. after that.

MW: Why is writing important to you, and why?

MS: I think writing is extremely important especially with the career I want to go into. I want to go into law, which requires writing and words to be extremely articulate. Wording is everything, especially when it has to be recited in court. I also think it is important for essays and papers in college to receive good grades.

MW: Why did you choose to work for the English Department, and what skills do you think you bring to the table?

MS: I chose to work with the English Department so I could get more experience in other areas of education. A lot of what I do for school, since I am in the College of Liberal Arts is read and not as much writing (at least not yet). I wanted to be able to learn skills that might not be as much of a focus with my majors. With me not being a professional writing major, I do bring certain skills to the table because I am a student in the CLA. I can provide a different perspective to issues. I am also someone who thinks very practically, and I am someone that isn’t shy. I enjoy talking in front of people and collaborating with anyone and everyone. I am also a hardworking and if I start something it will be finished and will never be left unfinished.

MW: Why is writing important? What kinds of composition are important to you, and why? 

MS: I think writing is important especially today, because so much communication is over social media instead of face-to-face conversations. This results in writing becoming extremely important because your writing is the first impression people are going to have of you. If your writing is professional and clear, that will give off a good first impression. If it is the opposite, and is messy, unclear, and written like a text message, you could give off the impression that you are unprofessional. First impressions are everything with humans so writing in a professional way is extremely important so that first impression is a good one.


 We look forward to working with this impressive group of writers and scholars. Please give them a warm welcome if you see them around Heavilon!

headshot of monica wolfeMonica Wolfe is current editor of ICaP News and a PhD candidate in Literature, Theory, and Cultural Studies at Purdue. Their research centers on 21st century American literature and visual storytelling, and their work with ICaP focuses on online content management and improving digital teaching and learning experiences.