Impact Through Writing with Cat Muñoz


Senior Cat Muñoz is an English concentrator and writing and rhetoric minor who has spent much of her time outside of the classroom being a resource for others within the Writing and Speaking Center and the Office of Admission.

“Basically, what I do at the Writing Center is mainly building people’s confidence in their own writing just because I know it can be difficult to even think that you are capable of writing something that meets academic standards,” Muñoz said. “I would say there’s not much time spent looking at grammar or, like, if a comma is in the right place, it’s just making the client feel confident when they leave the center to say their own ideas and trust that it’s something important and valuable to add to the conversation.”

This has been a way for Muñoz to give back to the community and share the information she wished she had known earlier.

“I think that [the Writing Center is] like a support system that’s needed sometimes because I didn’t have anyone that was older than me that had a similar experience to me to tell me what things were normal or like give me little shortcuts,” Muñoz explained. “I also get students that come in with comments from professors from specific papers that have been written and it’s a lot of having to reassure them that this is fine, and everyone gets these, so it’s like a lot of normalizing [improvement] and seeing it as growth; not necessarily as a step back.”

Muñoz also thinks that working in both the Office of Admission and the Writing and Speaking Center helps mediate between the University and its students in a more honest way. Because we are all students, it helps to normalize different experiences and give space for everyone to come in to learn and ask questions without feeling constrained by different power dynamics.  

 “I really just wanted to work in [the Office of Admission] to help incoming students and even the Colgate in Focus group to just make it an experience that was easier for other people to engage with. Even being at the desk feels good in being able to make people more comfortable about asking a question. It’s not stupid, we all have questions,” Muñoz said. “And at the Writing and Speaking Center, the [client is just] a peer, so we can even be wrong and then the client can even tell us some things, but I just think it’s a hidden gem because it’s truly collaborative.”

As she prepares to leave campus, Muñoz hopes to see these resources advertised more during a Colgate student’s first year to ensure that they are more easily accessible.

“Last semester there was a [first time] event […] where [I was asked] to go talk to OUS first-years inside Case [Geyer Library], and I just told them what the Center was like and what the process was like because none of them [knew] what appointments would look like. They had this idea that you had to come in a full paper draft, which is not the case,” Muñoz said. “They didn’t think that coming to the Center could be like just bringing in a prompt and asking somebody to help figure out how to move forward.”

However, both of these positions have also been rewarding experiences that have helped Muñoz reflect on her own personal growth.

“I think I’ve mainly learned […] that you can always get better at everything. You’re only good if you think you’re good because then you’re putting in more effort. I also think […] that the beauty that you see in other people exists in yourself. If there’s ever a writer that I think is really good or something, [I think] like, ‘wow, maybe I’m doing this too,’ so it’s that reciprocal feeling [that] when you help other people, you help yourself because you are seeing a mirror to yourself,” Muñoz said.