Academic Support

The work of the Biology Department is enhanced by academic support staff, peer writing tutors, and campus-wide support programs.




Sylvia Deschaine

Sylvia Deschaine provides able administrative assistance for the science departments in Carnegie Science Building. The building reception office contains a computer, faculty and student laser printers, an IBM Selectric typewriter, two photocopiers, faculty and staff mail boxes and postal supplies, and a kitchenette.  Sylvia hires and supervises the student workers who staff the office.


Carnegie Reception Desk (207) 786-6490
Carnegie Science Building FAX: (207)786-8334



Mary Hughes

Mary Hughes

Mary Hughes coordinates ongoing occupational health and chemical safety training and waste handling practices in Carnegie Science. Working closely with the Bates Campus Safety Department personnel, Mary assures that chemicals are handled, used, and disposed of in compliance with Federal (EPA, OSHA) and State DEP regulations. In addition, Mary works with faculty in Biology, Neuroscience, and Biological Chemistry in the development of protocols and experiments involving animals or people as part of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). In this capacity, Mary provides annual training for students, faculty, and staff using animals for research or teaching.

Mary Hughes, 207-753-6942
Carnegie Science Hall, Room 410

Writing at Bates Program

Writing Specialist in the Sciences

The Writing at Bates Program is staffed by professional writing specialists who assist students, staff, and faculty with writing problems and program development.

Louise Brogan, the Science Writing Specialist, provides direct support of writing in the Natural Sciences, trains the Technical Writing Assistants (TWA’s), and supervises and trains the Peer Assisted Learning Specialist (PALS) leaders.

Make an appointment with Louise.

Louise Brogan
Writing Specialist in the Sciences
224 Coram
Bates College
Lewiston, ME 04240
Voice: 207-753-6985

Technical Writing Assistants (TWA)

TWA Diane Saunders ’11 providing feedback to a group in Bio 242 lab.

For over 20 years, the Technical Writing Assistant program, a collaborative effort between the Department of Biology and the Writing at Bates Program, has provided much needed peer-level scientific writing assistance for students in the writing-intensive biology core curriculum. Select students in the biology, biochemistry, and neuroscience majors are trained as peer tutors (TWAs) by the Scientific Writing Specialist (Louise Brogan). The TWAs are then assigned to work as Teaching Assistants in the lab for the biology core courses. TWAs critique some written work in lab and also hold evening help hours at times of peak demand.

Apply to be TA/TWA:  TA/TWA application 

Peer Writing and Speaking Center

Peer Writing Tutor at work.

For non-technical writing, students may also find the Peer Writing and Speaking Center helpful. The Peer Writing Tutors are located in the Learning Commons of Ladd Library for drop-in consultations.  Please see the Project’s website for their hours each semester.



The George and Helen Ladd Library offers many resources useful to our majors. LaVerne Winn, the Science Reference Librarian, provides introductions to the library’s science resources and On-Line Research Literature Tools for students and courses on an as-need basis.



Grace Coulombe

The Mathematics and Statistics Workshop provides individual tutoring and assistance for students in introductory courses having a quantitative component as well maintaining various resource materials.

For more information or to make an appointment please contact:


Grace Coulombe, Director
Voice: (207) 786-8374

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