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Jakiela, Rivenburg, and Uhrinek Bring Veterans Writing Workshop to UPG

by Samantha Taraboletti

A writing workshop geared towards veterans and those closest to them will begin on Monday, Oct. 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. This meeting will be a non-formal meet and greet for people who are interested in the workshop to meet with Professor Lori Jakiela, Jason Rivenburg, veteran and student at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, and 2017 Pitt-Greensburg graduate Gretchen Uhrinek. The location of this meeting has not yet been determined.

Rivenburg hopes that this writing workshop will be an outlet for veterans. He wants veterans in the community to get to know each other because of the similar experiences that they have gone through.

“It gives veterans a voice. I think all people need to be heard. I think veterans need it a little more,” Rivenburg said.

Rivenburg is a veteran and he loves to write. He served multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is in charge of overseeing the group and he will be at every meeting to pass on his love of writing to fellow veterans.

When asked why Rivenburg wanted to start this writing workshop, he said “It was all Jakiela. She started the funding requests well before she ever told me about it.”

The workshop is not being funded by the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, according to Rivenburg.

Uhrinek will be one of the instructors of the workshop. She will also work in the areas of public relations and grant writing, because she wants this workshop to last more than a school year. She wants it to be an ongoing venture.

Uhrenik became involved in the project because she has always “wanted to make a difference in some way.”

Uhrenik believes her love of people and her love of words will guide her in this endeavor.

Through this workshop, Uhrinek wants to “help build a community and help people tell their stories.”

Uhrinek created a website, Twitter account, and Facebook page for the workshop in order to reach out to veterans within the community. The registrar has an email list of all of the veterans on campus that Rivenburg plans to utilize in order to reach veterans on campus.

Both Rivenburg and Uhrinek believe that writing is therapeutic and that the veterans can learn about themselves through this writing workshop.

“Writing is therapy,” Rivenburg said.

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