Valerie Otti

  • Peer Tutor

Valerie is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in global health and the environment and minoring in biology with hopes of practicing medicine in the future. She is from Lagos, Nigeria, where she attended boarding school for six years before moving to the United States. On campus, she is involved with Harambee Christian Ministries, Kwenu dancers, Visions Gospel Choir, and Studio: Tesla. When Valerie is not studying or working, she enjoys traveling, listening to podcasts, and playing tennis.


What brought you to The Writing Center?

I was inspired to join the Writing Center team after I helped a friend polish her philosophy paper. I initially began talking to her because I found the topic of her essay intriguing. We somehow ended up discussing the logic, flow, and clarity of her entire essay. The experience was enlightening and stimulating. I often visited The Writing Center, but never imagined being on other side of the writer-tutor relationship. However, this experience gave me a glimpse of what it may be like to be a tutor. Eventually, I discovered that The Writing Center is a place of growth and innovation not only for the writers but the tutors alike. This discovery fueled my desire to become a part of the community.

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

I am able to have stimulating conversations with a wide variety of students that I would not typically come in contact with. These conversations teach me about writing, relationships with people, and general knowledge. I also appreciate making connections with others in The Writing Center and challenging myself to be more open to other people’s ideologies and beliefs.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

I tend to be very critical about my writing while I am in the process of drafting. As a result, I end up doing more editing than writing. This is usually counterproductive as I get consumed by thoughts of correcting my work and lose sight of the goal at hand.

What advice do you have for writers?

Resist the urge to correct your errors or sound ‘right’ when you begin the writing process, just write away!