Location: Library - 2nd Floor
Writing Center Staff
Amanda Pruka grew up in rural, southeast Minnesota. In 2005, she graduated from Winona State
University with bachelor’s degrees in English and political science, as well as a
minor in women's studies. After graduating, Amanda moved to Busan, South Korea to
teach English. She had a wonderful experience living and working in Busan. She eventually
moved back to Minnesota and began working as a substitute teacher and community education
instructor. She started at the IHCC Writing Center in 2008, her favorite job so far.
In addition to her work at Inver, she is also pursuing a master’s degree in library
science at Saint Catherine University.
Amanda is interested in theatre (as an audience member), popular science, philosophy, politics, music, art, and, of course, literature, particularly 18th and 19th Century British and Russian literature. She also loves to swim, play chess, garden, cook, and travel. Amanda lives in sunny Minneapolis with her writer/editor husband and their cat, who mostly likes books for napping on.
Heidi Thury is an Inver Hills alumna. Heidi worked as a peer writing tutor while attending IHCC
and graduated with an AA degree in 2006. She completed her Bachelor's degree in English
at the College of St. Catherine in 2009 where she also minored in Theology. She is
currently pursuing a Master’s in ESL at Hamline University.
When she isn't working, Heidi spends hours searching the shelves of libraries and bookstores for the next great read. She is an avid Jane Austen fan and enjoys reading Regency and Renaissance history. She also likes to travel and spend time with her family. She grew up in Inver Grove Heights but currently resides in South St. Paul with her sister and their three puppies and two cats.
Keith Richter is in his 17th year at Inver Hills and teaches English full time, although he continues to work in the Writing Center. He teaches mostly developmental and college-level composition, but his other teaching interests include American Indian fiction and gothic literature. He grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, near the banks of Salt Creek and within earshot of the public (inmate?) address system at the state penitentiary. He prefers tallgrass prairies to forests, and runzas are a part of his DNA. Forgotten president Franklin Pierce (the only incumbent president NOT re-nominated by his own party) and thespian Don Knotts (winner of five Emmy awards!!) are rarely-mentioned branches of Keith's family tree.
Before and after achieving a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Nebraska in 1992, Keith worked for the National Park Service's Midwest Archaeological Center. While there, he participated in archaeological surveys and excavations at such places as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Cuyahoga Valley National Scenic Riverway, the St. Croix River, James A. Garfield's residence, and Herbert Hoover's birthplace. After spending a few years carefully uncovering the rusty nails of dead presidents and pulling ticks off his body, Keith sought a career indoors, so he went back to school, receiving his M.A. in English from Kansas State University in 1996. Keith's office is in room 233 in the Learning Center (Library Building).
Laurel Watt has been teaching at Inver Hills since the fall of 1991. She teaches Reading, Writing, Study Skills and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Inver Hills. In addition, she coordinates the training for Peer Tutors. She is a big fan of Learning Communities as a best practices learning experience for students and professional development for faculty. She’s the loud one in the Writing Center, having earned an M. F. A. in Voice before going into Education. Runzas and tallgrass prairies are not part of her DNA, but working alongside Keith all these years has made her a convert. In her spare time she reads fiction and non-fiction and gardens like a woman obsessed. She can be found (or heard) in room 234 in the Writing Center next to Keith (poor guy).
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