Nya Hardaway

  • Peer Tutor

Nya is a junior from Cleveland pursing a double major in African and African American studies and psychology-neuroscience-philosophy with a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies.   Passionate about conveying the resilience and resistance of Black women, Nya focuses her research on the performance of sexuality of Black women through popular entertainment.  In addition to pursuing her bachelors degree, Nya serves as a City Faces mentor and an executive co-coordinator, a tutor for Partners in East St. Louis, and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellow.   If you don’t see her laughing somewhere on campus, you might find her dancing to music videos in her dorm, eating, or working on some random DIY project.

What brought you to The Writing Center?

After being coerced into applying for the McLeod Freshman Writing Prize, I became well acquainted with The Writing Center and its resources.  As an extremely stressed first-year student, the compassion and empathy I received from my tutors during this time helped ease my transition into college. I decided to become a tutor to not only explore various academic realms through reading my peers’ pieces, but also to pay the understanding and support forward to students during their time at Wash U.  I also liked how everyone was open about their struggles writing and eager to learn from one another.

What do you like most about working with writers at The Writing Center?

My favorite part of working with my peers at The Writing Center are the priceless relatable moments in sessions where we feel for one another’s struggles and successes.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

Starting and finishing is extremely challenging to me! I never know how or where I want to start a piece.  When I finally transcend past this point and have something down on the page, I can never figure out how to leave my readers at the end of my work.  I can’t recall a time that I have ended a piece how I truly wanted to, I always wish I could go back upon finishing.

What advice do you have for writers?

Talk about your piece or topic before you begin.  Having an informal conversation, either to yourself or to someone else, about what you’re pursuing with your piece makes articulating your thoughts easier when it comes time to actually write.  Also, read your work aloud upon completion or send it through a text reader (like Google translate) to hear how your piece sounds—this is helpful with projects of all sizes!