Deanna Pierro—Creating Energy in the Learning Center
“You can walk through the SLC on any given day, and it feels like you’re walking through an energy plant with the amount of light bulbs going off all around you.”
A writer and teacher with a passion for collaboration, Deanna Pierro was a perfect fit for the position of coordinator for Supplemental Instruction and Writing at the Student Learning Center.
After graduating from Fresno State with an MFA in creative writing, Pierro taught English composition for five years, the last two years in China. “I started a writing center at Shenyang Normal University,” says Pierro. “I discovered a passion for the learning that takes place in writing centers. In returning to the States I decided that that was something I wanted to pursue; then voila!—this position at Chico State appeared, and here I am.” She started in spring 2011.
In addition to training tutors for the writing center, Pierro coordinates Supplemental Instruction workshops, weekly study sessions for specific classes. She trains and supervises upper-division, faculty-recommended students to facilitate sessions in which participants compare notes, discuss readings, develop review material, and predict test items.
“Every aspect of my work is incredibly enjoyable: working with the students and tutors, creating ways to move the SI and writing program forward and networking with other departments to make that happen, meanwhile smiling and laughing with others at every turn,” says Pierro. “And the cordial demeanor that CSU, Chico faculty, staff, and students exhibit daily makes all that incredibly easy.”
What does she like most about working with students? “Watching them grow and succeed—both the students who come into the Student Learning Center for help, as well as our student employees,” says Pierro. “They’re constantly learning, progressing, and becoming better thinkers, and to know that I have even a small part in that, seriously enriches my life.” Every day she says she witnesses students experiencing “moments of realization and clarity” in the Student Learning Center. “I mean, you can walk through the SLC on any given day, and it feels like you’re walking through an energy plant with the amount of light bulbs going off all around you.”