A little left brain here, a little right brain there… put them together and you’ve got the highly eclectic junior Ahdenae “Ado” Khodaverdian — Business Management major, Animation and Professional Writing minor, aspiring visual development artist.
Ado is adept at marrying verbal and visual disciplines, a confluence that’s working out nicely, thank you, for the students she tutors in Woodbury’s Writing Center.
“During my first semester, I took an Interdisciplinary Studies course called ‘Journeys,’ which was taught very much like a creative writing class,” she recalls. “It rekindled the love of writing I’ve always had in me. When I was younger, I used to write stories for fun, and still have flimsy spiral notebooks full of them.” Reinforced for her creativity and style, Ado was introduced to Professional Writing and, in short order, assumed the mantle of peer instructor.
“We help students with a broad range of writing assignments, from creative pieces to essays to resumés and cover letters,” she says. “We also aid in any step of the writing process where we can assist — outlining, brainstorming, fixing grammar, revising APA style and so on. What I find most rewarding about tutoring is witnessing the impact on students’ understanding of how to communicate through the written word. If a student returns to the Writing Center repeatedly, I take special pride in seeing his or her writing improve, and in seeing that person grow more comfortable and confident in their skills.”
Tutoring at the Writing Center is a two-way street, Ado suggests. “Learning the intricacies of writing has honed my own communication skills, which, in turn, has helped me in pitching my ideas, presenting arguments for negotiation, creating legible business plans, and so on. Writing is arguably the backbone of all subjects, and the more you strengthen it, the more it aids other aspects of your major.”
For her, writing is invariably a matter of storytelling. “Good writing establishes a connection with the audience, and it’s my goal to be able to touch people through my writing and illustrations,” she says. “I love being able to pick apart the psyche of a character and build a world others can relate to and learn from. I find the mundane quirks that people display to be absolutely fascinating. If I can reach someone by giving them a character to relate to when they need support in a rough spot, I think that’s amazing.”
Having been published in Cultural Weekly and 7500 Magazine, she’s happiest when writing “for animation, for comics, or just for myself.” She’s especially proud of a recent research paper that grew out of her WRIT 112 course. She describes the piece, “The Social Repercussions of Sexual Harassment in the Animation Industry,” as a close look at “the current cultural moment, what’s being done to reduce incidents, and what the industry could be doing to more effectively resolve this persistent issue.”
Not surprisingly, for Ado, the left and right brains have yet to be sated. “I’m interested in learning more about storyboarding, character design, environmental design and prop design,” she says. “I want to be a lot of different things, and I feel like I’d be perfectly happy whether I end up as a fiction writer, an independent freelance artist, a visual development artist for TV animation, a CEO, or a small business consultant. One of my biggest idols is Barbie — yes, the doll — who’s notorious for her sundry careers. Can’t you tell?”