The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Writers Workshop


Writers Workshop Staff

Carolyn Wisniewski, Director
Photo of Carolyn Wisniewski, Director of the Writers Workshop at the University of Illinois

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.).

Laura Stengrim, Assistant Director
Photo of Laura

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication, where I'm writing a dissertation about American rhetorics of globalism in the World War II era. I have an M.A. in Writing Studies from the University of Illinois. My first experience with the teaching of college writing was as a peer tutor at a small liberal arts college in Minnesota, and I loved it. Since then, I've worked as a writing consultant and teacher in many different institutional contexts, ranging from an engineering college in Colorado to a community college in Arizona. In January 2014, I returned to Illinois to complete my degree, and I've been working in the Writers Workshop since then as a consultant and now as Assistant Director.

Tam Decquir, Office Manager
Photo of Tam

I am a Chambana transplant by way of Huntley, another cornfield in upstate IL. While I still consider Chicago's Hyde Park academic neighborhood my heart and home, Champaign gives me life too. I have a BA in Biology and minored in communication, which lead me to a long career in advertising and marketing. And now, my great affection for words and creative communication have brought me back to work in higher education. As the Writers Workshop Office Manager, it is my goal to surprise and delight our UIUC community with access and information about our excellent consultative service. Outside WW, I can be found with my family, happily discovering the arts, sports and natural habitat these twin cities have to offer. I welcome you to join us and write:right.


Writers Workshop Consultants

Photo of Adrienne

I am a third year graduate student in the English Department, studying 19th century American Maritime Literature. I am from Southeast Alaska, I love whales, boats, and sunshine, obviously. I've been at the Writers Workshop for almost a year, and appreciate being able to make a tangible difference for so many writers on a daily basis. Personal Statements are my favorite, because I like helping writers to remember how awesome they truly are.

Photo of Allison

I am currently in my second year of the MA/PhD program in English with a concentration in Writing Studies. My academic interests include writing program administration, institutional rhetoric, composition studies, and disability rhetoric. I was born and raised in Ohio, where I completed my undergraduate coursework at Denison University, a small liberal arts college. After graduating from Denison with a B.A. in English Literature, I worked in higher education administration at Denison before beginning my graduate studies at the University of Illinois. Working in Denison's Writing Center ignited my interest in composition studies, and I am delighted to be able to continue this work in the Writers Workshop this year. I especially enjoy helping students brainstorm and organize their ideas. I look forward to working with you!



Photo of Anna

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.

Photo of Charles

I am a Ph.D student in the History of Education, Education Policy Studies (EPOL) here at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My focus is on Reconstruction-era and early 20th Century education, with a focus on African-American education. I enjoy working here at the Writers Workshop and am looking forward to another fulfilling year.

Photo of Dominique

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. Working at the workshop has been a rewarding experience and I look forward to engaging in interactive sessions.

Photo of Dorothy

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.



Photo of Emma

I am a second year Master's student in Urban and Regional planning with a focus on the issues of housing and segregation. I grew up in Michigan and have a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. I have a background in copyediting, news writing, and a strong interest in policy writing. I love to debate social ideas and hear different perspectives. I am happy to help with technical writing, writing about data, and persuasive arguments.

Photo of Heather

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.

Photo of Jacob

I am a PhD student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, studying Language & Literacy 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.

Photo of Jessica

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!!!

Photo of Karoliina

I'm a Masters student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and I have a Ph.D. in English (Masters in English and in English Philology). In addition to my 1200+ hours of consulting experience at the Workshop, I've taught several semesters of writing and literature in English and leadership seminars at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I also work at the tech help desk and office of instructional design at Library and Information Science.

Photo of Kevin

I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership and an adjunct professor at Rockford University. My research interests include the history of general/liberal education, curriculum reform in secondary and higher education, and the broader history of (higher) education. At the University of Illinois, I have taught Educational Psychology and Foundations of Education for several semesters; and at Rockford I have taught Psychological Foundations of Education. In each of my courses, writing has been a central component and I consider it to be a crucial foundation of a liberal education. I have worked as an editorial assistant for the History of Education Quarterly from 2008-2015 and have freelance editing experience in proofreading academic manuscripts prior to their publication. I have worked with undergraduates and graduates, traditional and nontraditional students, pre-service and in-service teachers, and students with a variety of linguistic talents. As the son of immigrants, I particularly enjoy working with the latter group and respect the rigors of learning in a new place. Please feel free to bring any type of writing you may have and I will be happy to help you realize your vision for the piece.

Lisa C.
Photo of Lisa C.

I received my MA in Teaching English as a Second Language, with a specialization in Writing Studies, at UIUC in 2008 and since then have taught at universities in China and Vietnam; San Diego and Santa Barbara, CA; and Boston. I have now returned to work on a PhD in Global Studies in Education. 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 be working one-on-one with students and their writing here at the Workshop, facilitating the International Graduate Writing Group, and teaching at the Intensive English Institute. I just love being part of the thoughtful, dynamic, global culture at the U of I.

Photo of Liwen

I am working on my Master’s in Teaching English as a Second language. Before graduate school, I was an interpreter, a translator, a language teacher, and a test prep instructor. My interest is ESL, language testing, educational measurement. What makes being a consultant awesome is that I get to hear great ideas from different fields. I am looking forward to meet you in the Writers Workshop!

Photo of McCall

My name is McCall, and I am a senior majoring in English and minoring in Informatics. This is my second year working at the Writers Workshop. In addition to tutoring at the Writers Workshop, I am also a tour guide on campus and intern at a publishing company at Research Park. My favorite part of tutoring is getting to work with other undergraduates and getting to know more about them through their writing.

Photo of Maria

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.

Photo of Mark

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. My work focuses on the philosophy of higher education, notions of global learning, and aesthetic education. When I'm not consulting, I'm scribbling away on my dissertation in the Main Stacks and running it off on the track at the ARC. I love the respectful community of the Workshop and look forward to a new year of impending deadlines and inspired discussions.

Michael H.
Photo of Michael

I am an MFA student in Creative Writing, focused on Poetry. I have taught Rhetoric 105 and Creative Writing 106 here at the University. I love the unique one-to-one consulting experience of the Writers Workshop, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to help writers become more confident in their own writing.

Photo of Rebecca

I am a senior majoring in English and minoring in Communications and Gender Women's Studies. This is my second semester at the Writers Workshop. In addition to tutoring at the workshop, I like to stay involved with the campus and community, such as being a FYCARE facilitator and interning at the local office of Big Brothers Big Sisters. I love tutoring at the Writers Workshop because I enjoy seeing all of the different perspectives on our campus and collaborating with other undergraduates to produce great writing.

Photo of Robert

Robert Anthony Ward is a Ph.D student in the College of Education specializing in Educational Policy Studies. He hails from Detroit, Michigan and is a graduate of the Detroit public school system. The current project that he is working on is the privatization of public education in New Orleans, post-Katrina. His other academic interests include: social theory, social foundations of education, race and cultural diversity, critical race theory, history of education reform, and hip hop as a form of literacy. Of all his intellectual pursuits, Robert finds the greatest challenge and joy in the process of writing effectively and helping others in their quest to hone this craft as well. If you have a writing question please visit Robert at the Writers Workshop.

Photo of Samantha

I am a Masters student in English with a concentration in Literature. My research interests include 20th century American literature, pop culture, and disability studies. I have taught sections of Rhetoric 105 at the University of Illinois and enjoy its rewards and challenges. I look forward to working at the Writers Workshop this year and to working with writers in a more collaborative, one-on-one setting.

Photo of Susana

My name is Susana, and I am a 5th year senior double majoring in Rhetoric with a concentration in Creative Writing and Spanish. This will be my third year consulting at the workshop. Not only have I helped writers with resumes and course papers, I have also helped writers with their Spanish course papers. One thing I really love about working here is seeing all the different types of writing people bring in because every time I finish my shift, I feel as if I've become more knowledgeable in subjects I would have never known about if it wasn't for this experience.


Photo of Tiffany

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 the how both teachers’ and students’ lived experiences outside of school shape classroom dynamics and interactions. My specific focus is on the pedagogy and activism of Black women living in the southern region of the United States and also examining social studies curriculum as a framework for teaching and implementing social justice particularly with students of color. 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. I am looking forward to the rewarding opportunity to collaborate with those persons visiting the Writers Workshop.