Our Team

The Centre for Academic Excellence provides free writing and academic support to Tyndale University College and Seminary students. Our friendly, knowledgeable student assistants are here to help you at any stage of a writing assignment, to help you master course content, or to assist you in developing better study skills.

If you are interested in becoming a writing consultant or academic tutor, please contact the Academic Excellence Director, Lina Balsamo at lbalsamo@tyndale.ca for further details.

Lina Balsamo, Academic Excellence Director

Favourite Quote:
"Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint." - Jane Austen

Favourite Punctuation Mark:
The question mark. My inquisitive personality delights in making discoveries, and I believe that one of the best ways to learn is simply by asking questions. Would you agree?

Writing Consultants (2015 - 2016):
Elza Manukian

Program: BA Human Services Social Work (Psychology Minor)

Favourite Quote:

On Creation and the Fall: "They wanted, as we say, to 'call the souls their own.' But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own.  They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God, 'This is our business, not yours.' But there is no such corner.  They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives."  - C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)

Favourite Punctuation Mark:
I love the question mark for how bold it is, and I am grateful that I have the freedom to use it as often as I choose.  The Bible is filled with question marks, which is interesting - because the Book that has all the answers is also, I believe, telling us that the best way to get to the truth is to ask questions.  I love placing questions into any sort of text, because it challenges and forces the reader to think about what is being said.  Am I right?

Brent Bonvanie

Program: English (History Minor)

Favourite Quote:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Favourite Punctuation Mark:
The dash. Not the short dash ( - ) but the LONG dash
( – ). There is nothing quite like being in mid-thought – after all, mid-thought is when all the best ideas come – and then randomly inserting a side comment for the reader. It feels friendlier than brackets, as if a storyteller is adding his or her own personal touch to the story. 

Matthew Fidler

Psychology (Philosophy minor)

Favourite Quote:
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
- Edmund Burke

Favourite Punctuation Mark:
The semicolon. Aside from being the staple of the textual wink, the semi-colon is, unfortunately, a tad misunderstood. Though a bit awkward socially, the semicolon will gladly take the stress off of overworked commas and add a nice shade of clarity and direction to a variety of situations. ;)