We learn so much from writers coming in from all different disciplines and majors with fascinating passions and goals. Don't be surprised if a CEW consultant nominates you to be a CEW Featured Writer!  Through this series, we highlight the stories of UB writers and the productive and unique ways they use CEW services.  

Francisco Lazo

Francisco is a CEW favorite for his friendly demeanor and productive attitude about writing. When asked why he is a regular at the CEW, Francisco replied, “I want to become a better writer, and as a non-native English speaker, I think it is very important to have the skills to write in a proper and professional manner. I have a couple of weaknesses that I want to work on, and the CEW is a free resource that I can use every week.”  Recently, Francisco has been working with writing consultant Jack Friscaro. Francisco says of Jack, “He’s a big help. I can follow what he say and he explains everything very well. I don’t just want a fix, I want an explanation.”

A senior in his last semester, Francisco is a Chemistry major who plans to go to graduate school to study Chemistry and Medicine. While he is from El Salvador, he has family in Long Island. In addition to his studies, Francisco loves playing guitar and playing basketball in the summer. Francisco, we are so glad to have you as part of the CEW community and wish you all the best in your graduate studies!

Saeede Eftekhari

Meejas Shrestha

Meejas is a Master’s of Science in Economics. Meejas intends to pursue a PhD in development economics and is interested in the impact of man-made and natural disasters on economic growth. When he’s not studying, Meejas enjoys being outside. “Exercising helps you be productive,” says Meejas, “so when I’m feeling a little bit stressed, I exercise.” He especially enjoys playing soccer and basketball.

Meejas has come to the CEW to work on many different kinds of projects, from papers and theses to personal statements and applications. He feels the CEW consultants have helped him “build up understanding” in his writing in addition to helping on grammar and improving his English skills overall. Meejas believes that the help he received from Patricia and Matt and their advice to frame his personal statement as a story contributed to his acceptance to graduate school.

Saeede Eftekhari

Shermin Sultana

Shermin is a junior, majoring in Health and Human Services and Social Sciences here at UB and plans to pursue her Master’s. She wants to go on to be a social worker or councelor. Shermin enjoys spending time with her family and watching investigative crime TV shows. She likes UB, even though it is huge, since there’s a lot to learn here and it’s very diverse.

Shermin visits the CEW often to work on flow, formatting, and many other topics and has found the CEW consultants to be very helpful. “They’re friendly and nice,” she said, “and they help me just write better.” She has especially appreciated working with Shanleigh and Jillian and their help in completing the sometimes overwhelming work she has. Each piece of advice and helpful note on one paper has been guidance for the next.

Shermin Sultana

Katrina Ma

Katrina is a freshman here at UB, majoring in Chemical Engineering. She thinks she may want to go on to work for a food production company, but she will explore her options through internships and further experiences in her coursework.

Katrina Ma is our newest featured writer! Katrina is a freshman here at UB, hailing from Queens, New York. She is majoring in Chemical Engineering and thinks she may want to go on to work for a food production company, but she will explore her options through internships and further experiences in her coursework. She competed on a highly successful robotics team in high school, and she likes playing volleyball with her friends. She is enjoying Buffalo, especially the trees and natural landscape in this area.

Katrina was wise to come in to the CEW near the start of her freshman year. As a STEM student, she thought she could use some extra support in writing. She comes to the CEW an average of twice a week to work on her assignments in English 105 and in her Engineering seminar. She soon discovered that she enjoyed working with CEW consultant James Ponzo. "He gives wonderful explanations," she said, noting that James leads her to understand why certain revisions are recommended. Katrina said that since working with James, she finds herself applying what she's learned, and her writing is definitely improving in the areas of grammar, structure, clarity and flow.

Katrina is a great example of how smart and motivated students use the resources offered at the CEW, and we are glad that she is part of our community.

Saeede Eftekhari

Saeede Eftekhari

Saeede Eftekhari is a PhD candidate in UB’s Management Science and Systems program. She has particular interests in health care analytics and the economics of health information technologies. Saeede won the People's Choice award at UB's first annual Three Minute Thesis competition this year. 

Q: How do you go about writing projects? How would you describe your writing process in general?
It’s important for me to have “a story-line of my work” before jumping into writing an actual piece. By this I mean that I should have a clear sense of purpose and have an overview of which elements and sections I will need for my paper. Once my main objective and arguments are set, I seek help from my adviser as to how I should structure my paper. My adviser is also very helpful in coming up with catchy titles for each heading/subheading.  

Q: What have you learned from working with consultants at the CEW?
Over the years, I have visited the CEW to work on different writing projects ranging from conference papers and journal articles to dissertation chapters. Working with the consultants really helped me to write more concisely and coherently. I also find it beneficial to talk to a consultant who is outside my field. This compels me to explain my ideas more clearly. And I gain more confidence in my final piece if I succeed in convincing a non-expert of the importance of my research.

Q. Do you have any suggestions and tips for using the CEW more effectively?
From my experience, I would want to make two suggestions for a student writer who intends to use the CEW. My first suggestion is to have a main purpose in mind and bring an outline. This helps to start a productive conversation between the writer and the consultant. Another key to success is just to start writing! And write many drafts. Writing helps you to find out what you are thinking, where there are lacks in your thinking, and helps you to fill up these gaps.

Saeede Eftekhari