Graduate School / Academic & Career Support / Community of Scholars Program Writing Initiative

Community of Scholars Program Writing Initiative

About the Writing Initiative

The writing initiative supports Community of Scholars Program (COSP) scholars through individual writing consultations, small writing groups, workshops, Research Share, and Shut Up & Write! retreats.

Writing Resources

Shut Up & Write!

COSP scholars come together to be productive writers in a quiet, accountable community. Scholars bring their laptops and any writing projects they need to work on. We supply coffee and snacks.

Small Writing Groups 

Taking the student’s availability into account, these small writing groups are arranged throughout the academic year to encourage community and accountability among COSP writers.


COSP scholars seeking support with their academic writing can make 50-minute appointments with the Writing Program Coordinator to discuss higher order concerns of their writing projects.


The COSP provides workshops led by U of M staff and faculty to advise COSP students on academic writing and publishing.

Research Share: Student Speaker Series

This is a COSP-scholar led speaker series where selected students share their research with an attentive audience of COSP scholars. Speakers and attendees have the opportunity to discuss their research and get feedback to advance and perfect their work in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. This is a perfect opportunity to practice prelim presentation, conference papers, and job talks.

Who We Are: Writing Initiative Staff

Maija Brown, COSP Writing Initiative Coordinator

Contact Maija

Shakita Thomas Kpetay, Program Associate/Graduate Administrative Fellow

Contact Shakita

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. (in progress) Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota
  • M.A. Education Leadership and Administration, University of Saint Thomas
  • B.A. Sociology and Anthropology: Concentration in Educational Studies, Carleton College

Current Responsibilities

Shakita supports the Writing Initiative and Community Engagement for the Community of Scholars Program.


Shakita comes to us with an extensive background in working in various communities, and she looks forward to working with our COSP program and contributing her knowledge and experience. A native of Chicago, IL, her research focuses on educational access, informal Black education spaces, African American student experiences in education within the twenty-first century, and racial and economic disparities in education.

Sources of Joy

When she is not working, reading, writing, or caring for others, she enjoys zumba and binge watching her favorite T.V. shows.