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.).
Anna - Assistant Director
Anna White is a first year master's student in the graduate school of library and information science. She loves consulting writing--especially personal statements. When she is not in the Writers Workshop, you can find her working reference in the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library.
Dorothy - Assistant Director
I am a first 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 also worked as a writing consultant at a writing center as an undergrad in Ohio. I am very interested in languages and culture, especially issues faced by international students at American universities.
Writers Workshop Consultants
Alexandra van Doren is a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative and World Literatures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in Holocaust Studies, working in Polish, Spanish, American, and German languages and literatures. While previously living in Los Angeles, she taught creative writing at inner city high schools and also worked at a family service center where she provided instruction for children with autism in preparation for their bar and bat mitzvot. She is currently a writing consultant at the Writers Workshop, an associate editor at the European Union Center, and a writing instructor for the Education Justice Project at the Danville Correctional Center. She is thrilled to join the team at the Writers Workshop and looks forward to working with U of I students and staff!
Alison Syring was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and grew up in Shorewood, Illinois. She received a BA in English and a BA in history from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins University, and she is pursuing her MFA in creative writing (fiction) at UIUC, where she has taught rhetoric and creative writing. Between college and graduate school, Alison was a technical writer contracted to the Department of Justice, as well as a freelance editor.
Hello! My name is Ashley and it is pleasure to work as a consultant in the Writers Workshop this academic year. I enjoy interactions with students and peers and each opportunity to assist in working with writing projects. I have a particular interest and skillset in technical writing and research reports related to life and physical sciences. As a PhD student in Nutrition with Bachelor’s and Master’s studies in Biochemistry, Agriculture, and Education, I have a breadth of interests and writing styles. I am largely familiar with the prescriptions of the APA publication manual.
I have undergraduate degrees in English and economics, and now I’m a Ph.D candidate in Art Education. In between, I spent many years in Chicago working as a public high school art teacher, while curating art shows, making art, and writing art criticism in my spare time. I’m quite happy to work with students at any level of English writing proficiency, and learning about a variety of subjects in the process is an extra benefit of the job. As a severely nearsighted person, I am particularly sympathetic to writers with disabilities.
I am a hybrid graduate student – I currently am in the Department of Education but I come from a background in the sciences and am working on science literacy and communication. Because of my interdisciplinary interests I have taken courses in several departments (including integrative biology, education, sociology, communication, advertising, library and information science, engineering, and more) and have experience writing in both the social and life sciences. This includes technical pieces, publications, presentations, grants, curricula, mediated messages, as well as theoretical and empirical papers. I am particularly interested in how to translate academic work for the public, and would love to help you to convey your message to your target audience!
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’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.
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department, studying late 19th- and early 20th-century British and Irish literature. My research focuses on the relationship between Irish literature and Irish national identity at the turn of the 20th century. In addition to consulting at the Writers Workshop, I teach rhetoric and literature classes in the English Department. I enjoy brainstorming and discussing ideas with writers one-on-one and look forward to working with writers from all disciplines here at the Writers Workshop.
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 a consultant to the Writers Workshop community and working with writers!
I am a PhD student in Language & Literacy Education with a concentration in Second Language Acquisition & Teacher Education. I have a master's degree in Second Language Education. I have taught secondary and university level English to non-native speakers of English in France, Turkey, Indiana, and Kansas. My expertise areas are ESL, personal statements/cover letter, CVs, APA, and social science writing
I'm a Midwest girl with roots in St.Louis and Chicago. I am a current doctoral student in Education Policy Studies with a minor in Gender and Women's Studies. My research is related to Black girlhood, Black feminist art practice and new media art making. I'm so excited for my first year at the writers workshop! Looking forward to meeting some great students!!!
I’m Jillian Davis, in my third year as an undergraduate here at the University of Illinois. I study History and Global Studies and I’ve worked on a variety of writing forms in my time here—from resumes to research papers. Writing is a key component to any subject, and I am happy to work closely with my peers on their text.
Kasey Stewart is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Vocal Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an Internationally Acclaimed vocalist who has performed professionally for 24 years and has been teaching Private Voice for over 15 years. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA). Most recently, 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. Kasey teaches in all vocal styles including classical, jazz, pop, country and she especially enjoys working with beginners.
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.
I am a sophomore majoring in English with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language and Secondary Education. I am interested in literature, argumentative writing, creative writing, and the writing process. 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’m also on the Montage Arts Journal staff here on campus.
I received my MA in Teaching ESL, with a specialization in Writing Studies, at UIUC and have taught at universities in China and Vietnam; San Diego and Santa Barbara, California; and Boston and New York. I am now working on a PhD in Global Studies in Education. My research focuses 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. I’m so happy now to work one-on-one with students here at the Workshop, teach at the Intensive English Institute, 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.
Nihao（Hello）！My name is Liwen. I am a first year PhD student in Education Psychology, specialized in Studies in Interpretive, Statistical, Measurement and Evaluative Methodologies for Education (QUERIES). I have a Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language, and I also worked as an English teacher in China for many years. For the last two years, I have taught the ESL service courses for graduate and undergraduate students on campus, and have met and worked with many of our students in the Writers Workshop as well. As an ESL writer myself, I benefit a lot from our workshop’s service, and I am very happy to give back by sharing the same service with all the writers on campus.
As of now, I’m a second-year MA student in English with a focus in Writing Studies. Before starting graduate school at UIUC, I worked as a florist and as a writing consultant in the Madison Public Library system helping patrons develop their writing practices. My research interests include literacy, disability rhetorics, sound studies, and multimodal composition, the latter of which I’ll be focusing on in my Writing Across Media class this semester. I’m really looking forward to beginning at the Writers Workshop and working with writers across disciplines to commit their ideas to the page.
I am currently a Masters student in English with a concentration in Writing Studies. My research interests include writing center and writing program administration, composition pedagogy, multilingual writing, and code-switching. I have taught Rhetoric 105 and have also worked at two other writing centers. I love working with writers one-on-one, particularly in the early stages of writing because I love talking about ideas in relation to writing.
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 am a senior in the creative writing major. I am working at the workshop for my second year. I have lead
a research project at the writing center to help understand the students we are serving. I am looking
forward to meeting and working with all of you at the Writers Workshop.
“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 graduate student in the Department of Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership doing research in the area of Social and Cultural Foundations of education. My current project explores the intersection of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) with public universities, and examines the ways in which changes in MOOC technological infrastructure can impact pedagogical and institutional practices. I have taught writing in many different academic contexts, and enjoy helping students employ their own reflections and experiences to address the writing task at hand. In my spare time I enjoy writing poems and submitting them to literary magazines for rejection
Hello, my name is Renee Tillman and I am a junior studying speech language pathology. While this may be first year consulting, this past year I did research on the revision of personal statements in the Workshop. On campus I am also involved in 4-H House Cooperative sorority, Campus Crusade for Christ, and National Student Speech Language Hearing Association.
I finished my Ph.D. in English at the University of Illinois in Spring 2016 and am now working on a Master’s in Library and Information Science. I’m interested in how reading, writing, and storytelling create communities and citizens. Over the last eight years I’ve taught courses in English and Business and Technical Writing, and often worked one-on-one with students on their papers. I especially enjoy developing ideas and arguments with students in the early stages of the writing process.
Stephanie Pitts-Noggle has a BA in Art History and Classics from McMaster University, and MA in Art History from the University of Chicago, an MS in Library and Information Science from UIUC, and, for the past three years, has split her time between a Certificate of Advanced Study from the School of Information Sciences and a PhD in Art History. After completing her first Master's she worked in as a proofreader, editor, and technical writer at a small publishing company in Evanston, IL. Last year, she served as lead author on a journal paper accepted for publication in College and Research Libraries. She also teaches library instruction sessions on developing visual literacy skills across the academy.
Stephanie has extensive experience with both APA and Chicago styles, as well as the effective use of images, charts, and graphs in scholarly work. Her disciplinary foci are the humanities and social sciences, however, she also has some experience working with medical and nursing students. As a teaching assistant, she taught writing to freshmen art history students for many years. She has also worked closely with ESL students, and is familiar with the unique needs of students with ADHD and dyslexia.
The experience that I have with writing is working with high school students while I was a social studies teacher for 3 years, as a teaching assistant and research assistant for the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, and as writing instructor with the Principal’s Scholars Program.
Writing types that I am familiar working with are the following: reading reflections and responses, course papers, persuasive essays, argumentative essays, comparative essays, document based question essays, change and continuity essays, scholarship applications, and personal statements. The citation styles that I am most familiar with are APA and Chicago Manual Style.
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.