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Teaching Assistant at University of Illinois at Chicago

Cecilia Villarruel is a PhD student in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she is focusing on creative nonfiction.  She received her MFA from Roosevelt University, where she earned the Best Creative Thesis Award for her fiction.  She has worked with Kindergartners and 1st graders through a literacy nonprofit in Chicago, grade school and high school students while serving in the Peace Corps in Namibia, and college students at UIC and with the City Colleges of Chicago.  She loves working with students of all ages, but her heart is in teaching at the college level.  

Review Beyond the Food

This assignment goes beyond your standard food review as it asks students to research and evaluate all aspects of the restaurant including its history, location, and design. It includes a focus on using sensory descriptions and depictions to entice the reader.

Public Art Profile

This assignment asks students to familiarize themselves with public art and their city by finding one piece to describe, research and analyze. It encourages students to reveal the connections between artists, locations, and communities.

Grammar Lesson Presentation

A grammar presentation assignment for small groups on an assigned topic. Each group is required to provide an explanation, examples, and a way for the class to practice the lesson. This assignment also includes a reflective component.

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Literary Magazine Submissions

A handout covering the basics of submitting to literary magazines: where to submit, cover letters, terminology, and mistakes to avoid.

College Writing, Procrastination, and Music

This multi-genre assignment asks students to first explore how much they know their tendencies to procrastinate in a personal essay, then to interview a peer about their respective writing processes, and finally, to compare their own personal essay and an analysis of their interview in a cover letter.
office hours

Revamping Office Hours

Are your office hours dragging? Do they feel like a waste of time? Or maybe they're just lagging this semester? Take a look at...