Sharon Rudnicki Writing Center Launches with Brand Storyteller Miri Rodriguez

On Thursday, the Sharon Rudnicki Writing Center and the Center for the Advancement of Girls welcomed guest speaker and brand storyteller Miri Rodriguez.

Ms. Rodriguez, author of Brand Storytelling: Put Customers at the Heart of Your Brand Story and head of the Global Internship Program at Microsoft, met virtually with upper schoolers, faculty, and staff as she discussed the power of effective storytelling. She conducted a writing workshop with students in the Economics and English classes about how corporate brand storytelling can translate into telling one’s individual origin story and the importance of taking ownership of one’s personal brand.

During assembly, Ms. Rodriguez shared about her journey as a storyteller, and how embracing design-thinking (a solution-based process used by our students) can lead to powerful, effective storytelling. “Stories work when they become an entity,” she noted, adding that the first step is developing and drawing on empathy. Ms. Rodriguez emphasized that a storyteller must take the audience on a journey through character, plot, and conclusion — all while embodying a mission dedicated to guiding the audience to an end goal and feeling or universal truth. “Storytelling is not information, data, facts, or stories,” she added. “Storytelling is a transfer of emotional information.”

This process forces an author to look at their work and consider how they leverage stories — including their own. “Your story is the most powerful story of all,” Ms. Rodriguez stated. “It’s the one thing that makes you unique. What makes you stand out is how you leverage your own personal story.”

The newly established Sharon Rudnicki Writing Center memorializes the life and legacy of longtime English Department Chair Sharon Rudnicki. Mrs. Rudnicki’s warmth and love of literature resonated with students who enjoyed gathering in her space — to spark new ideas and puzzle through the challenges of writing. The Sharon Rudnicki Writing Center will serve as a central hub for writing at AIS that will be open to girls of all ages and will encourage collaboration, foster mutual support, and accommodate learners of varying skill levels and with a range of needs. The center is suitable for both workshop-style writing instruction for groups, as well as for one-to-one tutoring, editing, and mentoring. Agnes Irwin’s student newspaper, The Wick, which Mrs. Rudnicki oversaw, will operate out of the space, as will The Lamp and additional student-run magazines and special publications.

For more information on the Sharon Rudnicki Writing Center, or if you are interested in supporting this project in honor of Mrs. Rudnicki, please contact Senior Development Officer Lauren Stabert at lstabert@agnesirwin.org.

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