About Us

History and Mission

The University College virtual writing lab, the VAWLT (Virtual Academic Writing & Library Tutors), is a writing and library resource for distance education in the University of Maine System. Our mission is to train outstanding students to provide writing support to peers, staff, and instructors of UMS courses offered in distance learning formats; to create reusable writing resources for our site and for Blackboard course pages; and to connect a virtual community of distance learners through social media.

Launched in Spring of 2014 as a pilot effort between UMA and UMPI stakeholders, the VAWLT quickly expanded to a system-wide initiative connecting distance learners and faculty throughout the UMaine System and on all UC Center campuses with trained academic writing and library tutors. Through VAWLT, students, staff, and faculty from any of the schools in the University of Maine System gain access to a virtual study space for discussing and creating writing, citation, and research with tutors and a digital library of reference materials. We also provide training and professional development to distance learners committed to becoming virtual writing tutors.


Photo of Michelle Lisi

Michelle Lisi

VAWLT Coordinator

Photo of Stacey Brownlie

Stacey Brownlie

OCLS Director and Librarian Tutor-Advisor

Photo of Heather Nunez-Olmstead

Heather Nunez-Olmstead

Instructional Designer & VAWLT Substitute

Photo of Mina Matthews

Mina Matthews

Senior Instructional Designer and Director of UC-VAWLT

Photo of Anne Fensie

Anne Fensie

Instructional Designer & VAWLT Technical Advisor

Photo of Andrei Strukov

Andrei Strukov

Senior eLearning Specialist & VAWLT Web Administrator


Advisory Panel

Stacey Brownlie
Carey Clark
Paul Dexter
Anne Fensie
Patricia Hager
Deborah Hodgkins
Hirosuke Honda
Morgan Jewett
Michelle Lisi
Mina Matthews
Lena MichaudPaige Mitchell
Heather Nunez-Olmstead
Elizabeth Powers
William St John
Andrei Strukov
Shelley Taylor
Benjamin Treat