North Texas Daily

Tutor combines passions to help students

Tutor combines passions to help students

August 26
23:44 2009


Joseph Mayfield is already busy, and it is only the first day of school.
Mayfield, a geography senior, works as a tutor in the UNT Student Writing Lab and a trip leader of outdoor pursuits at the Pohl Recreation Center.
He said his love of mountain climbing and kayaking and his knowledge of technical writing complement each other well because of the thinking and planning processes involved.
Mayfield started as an engineering major and earned his technical writing certificate as part of the requirements for an engineering degree.
He said technical writing brought a different way to look at writing, which appealed to him.
“I think writing is really important,” he said. “It is helpful regardless of what career you want to go into.”
When not working in the writing lab or recreation center, Mayfield participates in a non-profit organization called Team Sight Unseen where mountaineers help visually impaired and blind people climb mountains.
Mayfield said the purpose of his work in the organization is to expand the perceptions and expectations of the blind and visually impaired.
His immediate goal is to help people climb, but also to help change stereotypes about blind people.
Mayfield spent part of the summer on a training climb on Mount Rainier and Mount Adams in Washington with the team, according to its Web site.
In the summer of 2011, Mayfield said he plans to climb Mount Aconcagua in South America with the team.
Mayfield previously worked for the writing lab for two semesters and calls it a great place to work because he has the opportunity to show people writing can be enjoyable.
“You get to see the light bulb come on,” he said. “You know they are learning something that they will be able to use the rest of their life.”
Jessica Oxendine, an English graduate student, worked with Mayfield in the writing lab during the spring semester and said most students enjoy working with him.
“Joe is a fabulous person to work with,” she said. “He is always trying to make everyone around him do the best they can.”
Mayfield intends to graduate in May and plans on attending graduate school at UNT to study sustainability or water conservation.
“The real key is being able to help people know what they want to say, but being able to communicate that can sometimes be difficult,” Mayfield said.
The writing lab will open Sept. 8 and is located in the Auditorium Building, room 105.

By Katie Grivna
Senior Staff Writer

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