Thomas Van Horn

  • Peer Tutor

Thomas is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying chemistry, with a focus in biochemistry. He is a member of the Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity, a past leader of the Wilderness Project, and a writing peer mentor at Cornerstone. He is also a research assistant at WUSTL’s Tyson Research Station, where he studies tick and mosquito vector ecology. A native of St. Louis, Thomas hopes to pursue a career in medicine, possibly in the fields of Transplant Surgery or Epidemiology. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hammocking by Graham Chapel, and backpacking in the Missouri Ozarks.


What brought you to the Writing Center?

I have always enjoyed helping others develop their skills, and when I noticed that The Writing Center was looking for tutors I thought it would be a great way to do this as well as get out of the science major mentality for a few hours each week.

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

I love learning, especially when it is something I have no experience with. My favorite part about working with writers is that each of them teaches me something. Whether it is the intricacies of a completely foreign subject, a novel way of thinking about something I am familiar with, or an interesting fact about themselves, I love the discussion that naturally comes with writing.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

Usually I get to the end of the paper and realize I have gone completely off from what I stated in my thesis. One time I found that I had disproved my own thesis over the course of the paper. I could probably benefit from a bit more prior planning, but it’s also kind of fun to see where a paper will end up.

What advice do you have for writers?

Grammar rules are made to be broken, just not all the time. You don’t have to feel like you have to follow the rules of writing all the time, especially if it makes your paper difficult to read. And I’ll challenge anyone who says otherwise! (see what I did there?)