Writers Workshop Staff
Carolyn Wisniewski, Director
As a writer, teacher, and scholar, I’m committed to the particular learning that takes place during the one-to-one teaching of writing. Before joining the Workshop as its Director, I worked in four university writing centers, an athletic tutoring center, and a non-profit community literacy center. I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses in persuasive writing, public writing, writing research methods, and composition theory and pedagogy. My recent research includes qualitative and quantitative studies investigating the processes by which novice teachers of college composition develop pedagogical habits of mind and expertise in teaching writing, the implementation of “whole-class workshops” in first-year writing classrooms, and undergraduate students’ perceptions of a rhetoric-based composition curriculum.
Though I come to Illinois most recently by way of Indiana, PA, I have also spent time in Tennessee, Arkansas, Idaho, Washington, and Michigan. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy cooking, reading hardboiled fiction, hiking, visiting natural history museums, and walking around town with my Great Pyrenees, Booger (from Boogertown Gap, Tenn.).
Helen - Assistant Director
I am a PhD student in English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I earned my MA in English at UIUC and a BA in English with an Art minor from Westminster College. At UIUC, I am working on a certificate in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS), and I co-organize The Future of Trauma and Memory Studies (FTMS), a faculty and graduate student reading group. My research interests include 20th and 21st century U.S. ethnic and indigenous literatures, trauma and memory studies, and postcolonial, diaspora, and migration studies. As a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, I understand the importance of mentorship and community to foster the growth of writers, from novice to seasoned scholars. I look forward to contributing as an Assistant Director to the Writers Workshop community and working with writers!
Logan - Assistant Director
Orginally from San Francisco, I completed my MA in English at the University of Illinois, and I earned my BA in English and Communication Arts with an emphasis in film from the University of Wisconsin. As a PhD student in Writing Studies, I'm interested in more deeply understanding how writing and literacy practices unfold in community and non-unversity spaces. While in the past I've taught Writing Across Media (Informatics / Writing 303) and community-based adult education, I'm currently teaching Rhetoric 105 this spring. In the Writers Workshop, I particularly enjoy working with student writers on their personal statements and application essays.
When not on campus, I enjoy pescetarian cooking, scary movies, and spending time with my two-cats-Shosanna and Calliope.
Writers Workshop Consultants
Although I've lived in Illinois for half my life, I still consider my birthplace of California my true home. I'm a doctoral candidate in educational policy studies, writing my dissertation on the contributions of cosmopolitan black feminist artists and entertainers challenging U.S. racial and political discourse. I hold BA and MA degrees in Art History and African Studies. I previously worked as an academic advisor, and taught Art History and Education courses. I use MLA and APA style manuals. I'm delighted to join the Writers Workshop, and I look forward to collaborating with writers during appointments!
Hi, my name’s Albert. I’m a Computer Engineering student at UIUC. I look forward to assisting you on your writing!
Hi! My name is Anirudh. I am a graduate student from the Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering Department, with a concentration in Advanced Data Analytics. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2016. Over the last three years, I have extensively taught Engineering courses in different capacities. I also taught high-school level English to non-native speakers in India. In 2015, I served as a writing consultant for students seeking help with their personal statements for graduate admission applications. When I’m not at the workshop, I’m enjoy singing, and composing electronic music.
My area of expertise is personal statements and technical writing in Engineering. I look forward to meet you through the Writers Workshop!
Carrie is a PhD student in the Curriculum and Instruction department within the College of Education. She is interested in researching writing instruction in K-12 settings with a particular interest in teacher’s practice in general and multimodal composing practices, specifically how teachers navigate and support those practices. She has 14 years of teaching and tutoring experience in the New York City school system as well as an instructor for CI 476 – a course that focuses on how to teach writing in the elementary and middle grades. In her free time, Carrie enjoys writing for pleasure and looks forward to helping students find the writer inside themselves.
Cherish is a freshman majoring in English and a Student Contributor for FastWeb, LLC. Although this is her first year working with the Writers Workshop, she has been tutoring for nearly three years. She is most familiar with MLA format and is proficient in Spanish. Cherish is extremely comfortable with research as well as argumentative writing and speaking due to her five years of debate experience and can provide public speaking advice. Additionally, she has experience with personal statements, application essays, and resumes. Apart from profile writing, Cherish is also capable of reviewing creative writing pieces, such as poetry. She is the Novice Debate Executive Board Chair of UIUC’s Speech and Debate Team, a Soprano I of Illini Women, and an active member of both the James Scholar Student Advisory Board and Volunteer Illini Projects, Inc. Cherish looks forward to assisting students with their writing, guiding their work toward a more impactful, meaningful form.
I am a PhD candidate in political science, in my fifth year at UIUC. I study American political institutions with a focus on Congress. I earned my B.A. at the University of Nebraska and my J.D. at George Washington University. My background is focused on writing in the social sciences and humanities, but I am ready to help with anything from personal statements to reaction essays to research papers.
Hi! My name is Dan. I am a second-year Master in English (Writing Studies). I earned my Bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Secondary Education at Kansas State University. I also worked as a writing consultant there for a year and a half. At UIUC, I have taught RHET 105, and I am currently a peer mentor for new instructors. My research interests include transnational experience, multilingual writing, cross-cultural learning, and tutor training.
Hi! My name is Dominique and I'm a doctoral student in the department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. My research interests include studying the ways in which African American English speakers navigate school spaces, the racialization of language and language ideologies. When I am not at the workshop, I am teaching CMN 111 (a freshman composition I course) and I am well versed in MLA and APA. Working at the workshop is a rewarding experience and I love working with all types of writing.
I am a third year PhD student in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, studying Global Studies in Education. I have a master's degree in Cross-Cultural and International Education and Second Language Acquisition. I have taught university level English to non-native speakers of English in Madagascar, Turkey and Ohio. I am currently working on my dissertation about graduate student writers from the Arab Gulf.
Emily is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership studies, with a concentration in Philosophy of Education, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include human agency and freedom; language and literacy acquisition; pluralism and the “culture wars”; and the philosophy and history of homeschooling.
I’m a Ph.D. student in the English department with a concentration in Writing Studies. My academic interests include composition studies, rhetorics of space, masculinity studies, and writing center studies/theory. Hailing (mostly) from Guthrie, Oklahoma, I got my bachelor’s in English and my Master’s in Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy at the University of Oklahoma. While there, I worked in the Oklahoma Writing Center, and taught regular and Honors sections of Composition I & II, as well as Technical Writing. I currently teach Rhetoric in the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program here at Illinois.
Frank is currently completing a Ph.D. in English with a graduate minor in Latina/o studies. He specializes in Latina/o literary, film, and cultural studies, with a particular emphasis in prison, street gang, and migration narratives, culture, and politics. He holds an undergraduate degree in English from the University of California, Riverside and has previously worked in tutoring centers where he has taught introductory college composition and high school English and language arts. He has also formerly served as an editor for an international, higher education company where he specialized in personal statement writing for undergraduate and graduate program admissions applications. Presently, he teaches rhetoric and literature courses at U of I and is interested helping students of various educational, disciplinary, and cultural backgrounds improve their writing.
My name is Gus, and I’m an environmental engineering masters student. I earned my BS in Physics in 2017 at Loyola University Chicago and for some reason did a lot of writing for other disciplines and studying other sciences in the process. Because of that I’m comfortable working with a range of writing styles meant for a variety of audiences, but, because of my background, particularly with STEM students writing outside of their comfort zones or who need help with technical papers. I also have experience creating resumes and drafting cover letters, primarily for STEM disciplines.
Hilary is a PhD candidate in musicology, whose research focuses on music and belonging in the Himalayas. Though she specializes in writing about music and sound, she also has many years of experience tutoring STEM students in writing in the humanities. Morris enjoys all stages of the research process, and previously has worked as an editor for numerous genres of writing (including newsletters, dissertations, and novels). She is most familiar with the Chicago Manual of Style, but has experience with APA and MLA formats. As a teacher, tutor, and learner, she is especially interested in understanding and utilizing diverse learning processes, especially for students with cognitive disabilities such as ADHD.
I’m Jillian, a senior majoring in Global Studies and History. I’ve been at the Writers
Workshop for about 2 years and I have written and reviewed many types of documents
(mostly for history). I am happy to work with anyone on any bit of writing they might
want to bring in!
I'm Jessica Robinson, a two-time alum of U of I and a current doctoral student in Media and Cinema Studies. My research focuses on Black girlhood, music and other creative art forms and collective organizing. I have enjoyed working at the Writers Workshop for over two years and my favorite part of writing is turn ideas into creative texts!
I finished an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at UIUC in 2016. During this program, I taught creative writing classes as well as Rhetoric and Composition. Since then, I’ve been working toward a Masters of Library and Information Sciences at the iSchool. In addition to tutoring in the WW, I work at the Main and Undergraduate libraries, providing reference assistance and instructing classes on research. My favorite part of writing is developing abstract ideas into meaningful arguments
Kasey is a third year Doctor of Musical Arts Candidate in Vocal Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and this is her second year working as a Writing Consultant for the Writers Workshop. She is an Internationally Acclaimed vocalist who has performed professionally for 24 years and has been teaching Private Voice for over 17 years. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA). Before coming to the University of Illinois, she was an Assistant Professor of Voice Performance at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. She spent the previous 13 years teaching at Elmira College in Elmira, New York and The 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning New York. Kasey is an award-winning vocal artist and an active performer with recent concerts in the United Kingdom, the National Opera Theater in New York, NY and The Newport Summer Music Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. Although she maintains a healthy performing schedule, Ms. Stewart’s first love is teaching. She is an Adjunct Lecturer in Voice at Milliken University, in addition to teaching private voice at The Music Shoppe in Champaign, and at the U of I for Unit One.
One of Kasey’s passions is the use of music as a tool for healing and mental health. She developed A Seminar in Stage Fright for use at Binghamton University where Kasey obtained her BA in Music and her MM in Vocal Performance under the direction of her teacher Mary Burgess. Kasey also created a workshop for Corning Incorporated called In Your Right Mind, How Music and Play Can Alleviate Stress in the Workplace. Ms. Stewart has taught all ages ranging from 8 to 90 and is especially successful with students who have learning challenges such as ADD, ADHD, Anxiety, Tone-Deafness (amusia) and Auditory Processing Disorder. Above all, it is Kasey’s mission to share her knowledge and be of service by using her skills to help people achieve their goals and understand that nothing is impossible if the desire and drive to do so are present.
Kyle is a graduate student returning to the University of Illinois in the School of Labor and Employment Relations following a year in India as a fellow with the American Institute of Indian Studies. Previously, he was a graduate student in Musicology within the School of Music, served several years as an instructor for Music in World Cultures (a writing intensive course), and is a recipient of the Foreign Language and Areas Studies Fellowship from the Center for Global Studies. He is an advanced level Hindi speaker, with experience in technical and business writing, resumes and cover letters, thesis strategy and development, music studies, the humanities, academic writing and research, and MLA and Chicago style guides. He has served on numerous advisory boards and student organizations, and was previously a graduate assistant in the Graduate College Career Development Office. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in English from Western Illinois University. He was trained as an opera singer, sitar player, and enjoys cooking and trying new foods.
Hello, my name is Lara, and I’m a sophomore here at UIUC. I am a double major in English Literature and Psychology, and I have been tutoring English for two years now. I am most familiar with argumentative essays, but I also have substantial experience with creative writing and application essays. While I’m most well versed in literature and psychology, I am comfortable helping people with writing about everything from biology to engineering! When I’m not tutoring at the Writer’s Workshop, I’m working on my novel, reading a book, or working on essays of my own.
I am a junior majoring in English and minoring in Secondary Education. I am interested in literature (specifically 20th century American literature), argumentative writing and speaking, and creative writing. I am most familiar with MLA, application essays and cover letters, and working with ESL students. In addition to working at the Writers Workshop, I tutor English and coach cross country and track and field at Centennial High School in Champaign. I also coach club track during the summer in the suburbs of Chicago.
I received my MA in Teaching ESL, with a specialization in Writing Studies, at UIUC and have taught at universities in China and Vietnam, Boston, California, and New York. I am now working on a PhD in Global Studies in Education, focusing on changing approaches to writing in increasingly multilingual classrooms. I began my work with English language and writing when I lived in Amsterdam, NL for twenty years – as an academic editor, teacher, short story writer, and pirate radio presenter. Currently, I also teach at the Intensive English Institute, volunteer with the Education Justice Project training incarcerated men to teach ESL, and assist international graduate students and their families at Orchard Downs housing, as a Community Aide. I love being part of the thoughtful, dynamic, global culture at the U of I.
I am currently a PhD student in English with a concentration in Writing Studies. My research interests include multilingual writing, translingualism, writing center and writing program theory and administration, and composition pedagogy. I have taught Rhetoric 105 and am currently teaching INFO/WRIT 303 “Writing Across Media.” I particularly enjoy working with writers in the early stages of their writing processes and on long-term projects.
I am currently a grad student in Library and Information Sciences working toward a career in academic librarianship and archival work. My background is in American history, including the histories of science, medicine, and the environment. This is my fourth year at the Writers Workshop and I enjoy consulting with a diverse range of undergrad and grad students who are working on all kinds of class papers, research projects, and applications.
I’m a Ph.D. candidate in the English department and a scholar of lizard people, giant snakes, monsters, and all things subterranean. In addition to tutoring in the Writers Workshop, I am a research assistant for the English department, have worked as the New Media editor for American Literary History’s Online Review, and have taught both English and Rhetoric courses at the U of I. When I’m not working, I’m probably doing yoga, reading for fun, indulging in Netflix, and/or finding a new crock-pot recipe. I look forward to collaborating with students at all stages of the writing process. I especially like working with students who are developing sustainable writing practices for long term projects.
I am an undergraduate junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Creative Writing and Sociology. I specialize in structural formatting as well as creative writing stories. I have previously worked as a writing tutor for junior-high school students at a selective enrollment summer-education program. I am passionate about writing, tutoring, and social sciences
“California born, but Chicago raised me” is my favorite introduction to describe me! Currently, I am a doctoral candidate in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. Briefly, my dissertation investigates Black girls’ stories as a medium for understanding Black girlhood spirituality. I completed my undergraduate and master’s degree here at Illinois. I’m so excited to be joining the Writers Workshop and I’m looking forward to meeting the students who utilize our services!
I am a first year graduate student pursuing an EdM in Secondary Education. I received my BA in Cross-Cultural Studies in 2014, as well as a CELTA certification from Cambridge English Language Assessment and a TESL certification from University of Texas at Austin. I have taught ESL in Jordan and South Korea. My research interests include transnational trajectories and intersection of ESL academies with American international schools. I have experience with APA and Chicago styles, and enjoy helping writers find ways to make their work meaningful and impactful.
Born in California, raised in Colorado, I am now here in Illinois for the next five years or so as I make my way through the Medical Scholars Program, the resident MD/PhD program of the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. My PhD work is in Comparative Literature. Using comparative methodologies, I am currently writing a dissertation that critically analyzes the language, history and underlying philosophical assumptions of mainstream medical education for the purpose of not only reforming medical education itself but also improving the larger healthcare system of which it is part. My work in the worlds of both medicine and comparative literature has helped me bridge an unfortunate divide existing in medicine and elsewhere: that between STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and AHSS (arts, humanities, social sciences). Bridging this divide also informs how I approach both the theory and practice of writing.
I am an undergraduate student pursuing a dual bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Creative Writing with a minor in Cinema Studies. I have varied interests and feel comfortable helping people across all disciplines; however, my main interests include film and literature. In the past, I’ve also worked with graduate school applicants in developing their personal statements. I enjoy working with students at all points in the writing process-- from brainstorming to revising a final draft.
I’m in my second year as a master’s student in Library and Information Science, after earning my PhD in English at UIUC in 2016. I’m interested in how reading, writing, and storytelling create communities and citizens. I’ve taught U of I students in English and BTW courses, and I love working one-on-one with students on papers. I especially enjoy developing ideas and arguments with students in the early stages of the writing process.
I am a senior majoring in English, minoring in Creative Writing, and planning to study law after graduation. My current area of interest of Writing Studies is ESL writing, specifically that done by Korean students in American universities. I am always looking to learn more about and from American literature, speculative fiction, copyright law, and writing tutoring strategies.
Sullivan is a third-year undergraduate in Creative Writing, with a focus on short fiction and non-fiction. He is trained and practiced in writing for Rhetoric, academic persuasive writing, literary/historical analysis, journalistic writing, and creative writing (including short fiction, poetry, and non-fiction). He has had professional experience writing in both marketing and public relations. In his second year, Sullivan coached Juniors and Seniors writing for job and graduate school applications: including personal statements, cover letters, and resumes. He coached students in fields including Finance, the humanities, and STEM. He is experienced in both MLA and APA formats.
I am a graduate student in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership studying social and cultural foundations in education. Broadly, I am interested in studying Black women's lived experiences as legitimate, yet often unrecognized forms of knowledge production. My research interests intersect issues and concepts linked to Black Feminism, the U.S. South, speculative studies, and teacher education. Prior to attending the University of Illinois, I completed my undergraduate degree in History Secondary Education at the University of West Georgia and was a social studies teacher in Atlanta Public Schools. The experience that I have with writing is working with high school students and as a returning 5th year consultant with the Writers Workshop. In addition to teaching high school students, I also work as a writing instructor with Principal's Scholars Program, a UIUC initiative to prepare "underrepresented" students for college readiness. The types of writing that I am familiar working with include the following: reading reflections and responses, course papers, persuasive essays, argumentative essays, scholarship applications, and personal statements. The citation styles that I am most familiar with are APA and Chicago Manual Style. I look forward to the continued rewarding opportunity to collaborate with those persons visiting the Writers Workshop.
I am a first year graduate student pursuing an MBA and a Master’s degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. I received my Bachelor’s degree in 2014 from Ball State University, where I studied Creative and Professional Writing. I also worked at the Ball State Writing Center, where I helped writers on a variety of assignments, from personal statements to rhetorical analyses to short stories. I enjoy working with writers on pretty much any type of writing, and especially love to help them develop and refine not only their piece, but their writing skills as well.