Category Archives: MFD WC Popcasts

The Mary Francine Danis, PhD University Writing Center (MFD WC) has created a short, quick podcast (“popcast”) for the Our Lady of the Lake (OLLU) community.

The MFD WC Presents: The Danis Files, The Playlist

by Jason Martinez

Six months ago Sabrina and I began working on a serialized podcast exploring the creation of the Writing Center at Our Lady of the Lake University, which is now known as The Mary Francine Danis Writing Center (MFD WC).  So, we went directly to the source, Dr. Danis.

We sat down with Dr. Danis and began a conversation about the beginning steps towards creating a place for a welcoming and judgement free zone for writers in the OLLU community to develop their intellect through the art of writing.

For those already listening, here is the playlist for the entire run of the Danis Files, including episodes 6 through 9, the last episodes in the series.

Sabrina and I thank Dr. Danis for graciously giving her time and sharing her stories for this project.

We would also like to thank Dr. Komara for encouraging us to take on this adventure to capture a piece of OLLU history for future generations.


Introducing Tony, the ACE Math Center Coordinator

By Sabrina Z.

The ACE family has grown and we would like to introduce our new Math Center Coordinator, Tony Perez.

Tony will be heading up the Math/SI Center housed at ACE alongside the MFDWC and Peer Tutoring.

Jason and I sat down to record a Popcast with Tony and Dr. Komara, Director of ACE.

Along with our conversation, we asked Tony to answer some questions that we could post up here with the Popcast.


What is your position here at OLLU?

I joined the team at OLLU to coordinate the efforts of the newly developed ACE Math Center. I’ll be coordinating the efforts between students, faculty, SI Leaders, and peer tutors to help improve students’ understanding of math.

What kind of services will the Math/SI Lab offer?

Who can utilize it?

The primary service we offer includes one-on-one tutoring in math and science. During the summer, we’ll offer a bridge program for incoming freshmen to see and use math in fun and interesting ways. Another service in the works includes supplemental instruction for our math courses. I hope to see the Math Center become a place where students gather to work on math-related homework and activities. The Math Center is open to all students.

What role will you play in the Math Center?

My role in the Math Center will be to tie together the loose ends between faculty, staff and students. While there are many interests contributing to the mix, we all share a common goal: to help our students improve their understanding of math. My role will be to facilitate that process.

What brought you to OLLU? What interested you about the campus?

When I first learned of the position, I was at a point in my life where I was seeking professional fulfillment. My previous job was going fine, but it lacked something. It didn’t hold my interest in a way I was seeking. Several things about the campus interest me: the student population, the Catholic tradition, and the beautiful buildings.

How can students confront their fear of math?

By getting a little help. One-on-one tutoring is a great way to face math challenges. After that, it’s just practice. I’ve seen students improve their math skills after a short boost to their confidence. There’s no magic to it. Once students see that they do know math, it comes more easily to them.

What excites you most about math?

The usefulness and universality of math is very exciting to me. Math helps us to accomplish so many things. This podcast, for example, wouldn’t be possible without the engineering miracles people perform to make technology work. Math can be used to describe and help us understand almost anything.

Why do you believe math is important in life?

Math touches so much of what we do. I also believe math helps us become better thinkers. An understanding of math gives us the mental capacity to hold deeper concepts or challenging issues in our mind and discover solutions to bigger problems – for ourselves or for society. It’s not the only way to develop that capacity, but it helps.


We at ACE are so happy to have Tony on-board to help our OLLU students with their math needs. Like Tony said in his interview, math can be fun and interesting if people are shown the many ways that it can be used and the important role it plays in life.

Welcome to OLLU, Tony!


A big thanks to Consultant and Motivational Monday author Jason Martinez, for being a technological genius with editing and putting together these Popcasts. We could not make the majority of this content happen without his help and knowledge. Two thumbs up to you, Jason!

MFD WC Popcast: The Danis Files, Part 4

MFD WC Pod Danis Files

The Danis Files is a new serial podcast exploring the personal and professional experiences of Our Lady of the Lake Professor Emeritus, Mary Francine Danis, PhD, examining the journey Dr. Danis embarked upon to found the Writing Center.

After a brief hiatus, the Danis Files returns with a new installment.

In this fourth episode, Dr. Danis explores some of her academic history, specifically her academic career choices and how she wound up earning her PhD from Michigan State University.

MFD WC Popcasts: Behind the Scenes of the Danis Files

by Jason Martinez

This passed Saturday, January 31st, Sabrina, Dr. Danis and I gathered to record another episode of the Danis Files. Technically, we will usually record for only about an hour and then that recording is chopped up and made into several smaller episodes.


This episode dealt more with the history of the Writing Center and the various phases and processes involved with realizing the Writing Center and its mission on campus. Future installments will more than likely be idea-centric, such as discussing a specific topic like the concept of tutoring versus editing.

More episodes are on the way! Thank you for listening!

MFD WC Popcast: The Danis Files, Part 3

MFD WC Pod Danis Files

The Danis Files is a new serial podcast exploring the personal and professional experiences of Our Lady of the Lake Professor Emeritus, Mary Francine Danis, PhD, examining the journey Dr. Danis embarked upon to found the Writing Center.

In this third entry, Dr. Danis discusses the topics of tutoring and writing pedagogy with Writing Consultants Sabrina and Jason, and they talk of their own tutoring experiences with regard to student engagement and the role of reflection in the tutoring process. Dr. Danis also introduces the positive experiences working with Writing Consultants, students, and faculty in pursuit of success within the walls of the Writing Center.

For reference, this is the book that Dr. Danis mentions in her discussion:…