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Professor Pigliacelli: The face and words behind the Writing Center

By Karis Fuller
Staff Writer

If you ever wander the second floor of Humanities Hall, you may have come across a room outlined in pieces of paper with words like ‘thesis’, ‘citation’ and ‘MLA’ in bold font. This room has been help to many students in regards to everything English and home to department member Mary Pigliacelli. Pigliacelli, an adjunct English professor, is the director of the campus Writing Center and an avid reader. She is one of the unsung heroes of Post.

Photo by Karis Fuller
Mary Pigliacelli, director of the Writing Center.

After earning her BA in English Literature from Marymount Manhattan College, Pigliacelli landed a job at McCall’s Magazine, “It was the 80’s… it was a lot easier to do that then,” Pigliacelli said. At McCall’s, Pigliacelli edited, wrote and assigned articles. “I wanted to make connections in the publishing industry because I knew I wanted to freelance when I had kids. A few years later she decided that family should take precedence, and she elected to write on a freelance basis. “It was quite lonely, freelance,” Pigliacelli said. “You’re calling people who very often don’t quite want to talk to you,” she added. The experience, opportunities and the growth of her family encouraged her to go back to school and study for her graduate degree in English.

Pigliacelli has been at LIU Post for 12 years now. While she was in the graduate program at Post in 2006, Pigliacelli joined the Writing Center to assist fellow students in everything writing related while studying for her M.A in English. “I came for a degree and never left!” she said.

Piglicelli began teaching in the English department 12 years ago, mainly introduction course such as English 01 and English 02. In Sept. 2015, Pigliacelli became the director of the Writing Center. The Writing Center, located on the second floor of Humanities Hall, provides students with assistance in writing for an array of classes. “We help with any kind of writing that students are doing not just assignments,” Pigliacelli said. Whether it be an assignment or free time creative writing, the Writing Center offers assistance to help students put thoughts to paper.

Pigliacelli’s passion for literature stretches further than the classroom. She makes this apparent when she discussed the book she’s currently reading, “Future Home of the Living God,” by Louise Erdrich. “It’s very interesting and terrifying,” Pigliacelli said. “Evolution is reversing itself and nobody really knows how and why,” she added. Her all time favorite book is more mainstream?. “I’m going to go all English teacher and say “The Iliad.” I reread it every time I teach it and I think about it all the time, it’s so applicable to life,” Pigliacelli said.

“It’s the type of thing you can read over and over again and get something new from it,” she added.

Seren Jones, an LIU Post alumna who graduated in 2016 with a major in English and minors in journalism and geography, worked with Pigliacelli in the Writing Center throughout her time at Post. “She is one of the friendliest and most approachable professors I’d come across during my time at Post,” Jones said.“But she was also someone who really cared about the well being of the students who came into the center to seek help, as well as that of her workers,” she added. “Basically she was the coolest boss I’ve ever had!”

Junior Brianna Licausi, a 2015 majoring in health and physical education took Professor Pigliacelli’s English introduction class. “She actually cares about you, and takes the time to learn about the students,” Licausi said. “Professor Pigliacelli is one of those professors I actually want to talk to!” she added.

Pigliacelli said that all are welcome in the Writing Center. With that, her true passion for the job and what she does at Post shone through. “This is 100 percent my dream job, my favorite thing to do in the world is to talk to people about writing,” she said.

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