Rock Creek Writing Center

Rock Creek Bldg. 3, Rm. 102 | Coordinators: Angela Berdahl and Nick Hengen Fox | 971-722-7733


The winners of the Writing Center's Winter 2013 Best Essay Contest are:

1st Place:
Derek Holt
2nd Place:
Stephanie Langley-Catti
3rd Place:
Aishah Majeed

The Rock Creek Writing Center helps PCC students from all disciplines and writing levels achieve their writing goals and become better writers. We can help with any stage of the writing process.

If it has to do with words, we can help.

The center is staffed by PCC instructors who can provide assistance in the following areas:

  • Generating ideas by using brainstorming techniques
  • Overcoming writer's block and anxiety about writing
  • Developing ideas, reasons, examples, arguments
  • Finding useful sources for writing
  • Organizing material
  • Finding the focus (thesis) of a piece of writing
  • Understanding a grammatical point
  • Writing stronger introductions and conclusions
  • Writing more concisely
  • Writing essays, creative work, resumes, scholarship letters, applications and more
  • Documenting sources using MLA or APA documentation

The Mighty Pen

The Mighty Pen is a series of half-hour workshops offered by the Rock Creek Writing Center.


Monday through Thursday:
9am to 6pm
10am to 2pm
10am to 2pm


Read more about the tutors.

Writing tutor

Eric Danko

Writing tutor

Andy Zboralski

Writing tutor

Max Loseke

Writing tutor

Brittney Cox

Writing tutor

Art Leo

Writing tutor

Drew Sottile

Writing Center Best Essay Prize

Attention WR 121 Instructors: The Writing Center's Best Essay Prize aims to encourage WR 121 students by honoring their writing.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three essays chosen by Writing Center tutors. Cash prizes: $100 for 1st, $75 for 2nd, $50 for 3rd. The first place winner will also be published in the Rock Creek Review literary magazine.

Contact the Writing Center for submission date.

How to nominate

  • Instructors may nominate up to two essays per section.
  • The essays should be predominantly narrative and descriptive in mode.
  • Make sure the essay has the student's and your name on it. If possible get student’s phone and address as well.
  • All essays must be typed.
  • Put a copy of the essay(s) in the mailroom slot for Nick Hengen Fox or email to

Best Essay Prize Winners

Winter 2013
1st Place: Derek Holt, "Breaking the Bonds" (Instructor: Andy Zboralski)
2nd Place: Stephanie Langley-Catti, "Omega 3s" (Instructor: Marianne Monson-Burton)
3rd Place: Aishah Majeed, "The Not-So-Princess Diaries" (Instructor: Craig Buchner)
Fall 2012
1st Place: Lyndsey Davis, "Lessons Learned From a Schizophrenic Mother"
Spring 2012
1st Place: Alex Luse, "Fatherhood and Heroism" (Instructor: Mary Sylwester)
2nd Place: Kaylee Spaziani, "The Freedom of the Steens" (Instructor: Maggie Rehm)
3rd Place: Matt Harada, "Eat the Wrapper" (Instructor: Marianne Monson)
Honorable Mention: Maria Martinez, "My Place is in Motion" (Instructor: Maggie Rehm)
Winter 2012
1st Place: Brittany Smith, "When Nature Attacks, You Can't Always Bee Prepared" (Instructor: Paige Talbot)
2nd Place: Jessi Dobson, "Seeing Life" (Instructor: Jason Larson)
3rd Place: John Motte, "How to Harass a Police Officer Legally" (Instructor: Art Leo)
Fall 2011
1st Place: "The Mirror" by Kathleen Miller (Instructor: Jason Larson)
2nd Place: "Charmbreaker" by Jessica Swafford (Instructor: John Zackel)
3rd Place: "Night Visitors" by Marisha Knutson (Instructor: Marianne Monson)
Fall 2010
1st Place: "A Fork in the Road" by Jason Pederson (Instructor: Angie Berdah)
2nd Place: "What Comes After Wonderland" by Alex Moyer (Instructor: Melissa Manolas)
3rd Place: "This Place is a Prison" by Emeline Le (Instructor: Marianne Monson)
Honorable Mention: "Demon Days" by Kaia Renouf (Instructor: Andy Zboralski)
Spring 2010
1st Place: "A Train Ride Through the Garden" by Sami Badzik (Instructor: Kyle Lang)
2nd Place: "The Farmer Takes a Wife" by Susan Urbanski (Instructor: John Morrison)
3rd Place: "Press One for Two, Press Two for One" by Michael Levasseur (Instructor: Melissa Rue)
Honorable Mention: "Whiskey & Wanderlust" by Jeff Barker (Instructor: Kyle Lang)
Winter 2010
1st Place: "My Mother's Life" by Nadia Gugnyak
2nd Place: "A Picture of Home" by Dennis Mitchell
3rd Place: "My Paradise" by Sina Motamedi
Fall 2009:
Matthew Keeslar "A Hushed Persuasion"
Winter 2009:
Andrew Perluss "Frank's Burger"
Spring 2008:
Kendra Hendrickson "Golden Red"