Beyond hiring student workers and teaching classes in audio journalism, The Drag is doing its part to make sure all Moody students are able to learn how to write for audio. Seasoned audio journalists from The Drag will be volunteering their time at the Moody College Writing Support Program to help students practice audio journalistic writing, working one-on-one to provide support, mentorship and coaching.
“Our Moody College students benefit in so many ways by this program, and I’m so excited to play a part in that,” said Robert Quigley, executive director of The Drag. “There’s nothing better than seeing students helping students learn and grow.”
Giving students the ability to get support is what makes Moody different, because providing accessible resources is crucial to student success. Unlike the University Writing Center, which is open to all students, the Moody Writing Support Program is designed specifically to provide coaching for students in the communications school.
After the University of Texas received funding to create student success programs in 2013, journalism professor Diana Dawson pitched the idea of a writing support program solely for journalism students. Two years later, it expanded to include all communications majors. Her goal has always been to give students free tools that they can utilize to succeed in their classes and in the field.
“The thing that sets us apart from the University Writing Center is we have peer writing coaches who address the specific techniques of writing for that job,” said Dawson.
This student-centered philosophy carries on in this new partnership. The Drag’s executive director Robert Quigley and the writing support team noticed the gap in support for audio journalism coaching, but the writing center didn’t have the resources to hire new student coaches.
“(Robert) Quigley and Katey (Outka) came up with the idea of allowing us to use more experienced staff to be able to coach audio writing. We were delighted,” Dawson said. “We’re really excited about the opportunity to expand in that area, and serve students who are interested in that form of writing.”
The Drag will provide coaches who are well equipped in audio writing as Moody continues to expand its curriculum and include more audio classes.
“Sometimes I look at scripts that have gone through The Drag and realize just how different the writing has to be for them. So we’re just really excited to be able to offer that. It’s the first time that we’ve really done something outside of one of our particular majors, but I think it’s such a growing area for Moody College, and I think it’s going to continue to grow,” said journalism professor Emily Quigley, associate director of the Writing Support Program.
The Drag can’t wait to transform the coaching experience for Moody students, providing resources that will help shape the future of Texas audio journalism.
If you’re a UT student looking for support in audio writing, book your appointment now: https://sites.utexas.edu/moodywriting/