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
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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.


Writers Workshop Consultants

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!



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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 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.

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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.

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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 Joe

Originally from Texas, I made my way to Illinois as fast as I could! I’ve got a beautiful wife and two wonderful daughters. I’m currently working on an MA in Communication, but prior to arriving here, I taught High School Science at Grand Prairie ISD (in the Dallas area). Recently, my research has centered on the rhetoric of César Chávez during the civil rights movement and materializing him more broadly within that rhetorical era. When I’m not reading, teaching, or writing my own papers, I am spending time with the family.

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 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.

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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.

Photo of Michelle

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 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, indulging in Netflix, finding a new crock-pot recipe, and/or listening to John Denver. I look forward to collaborating with students at all stages of the writing process and helping students discover sustainable writing practices; I especially like working with students who are planning long-term projects.

Photo of Porche

“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!

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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.

Photo of Yuki

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English with a specialization in Writing Studies. I research and publish on transnational literacy, second language writing, and writing program administration. During my grad school years, I have enjoyed working with writers at the Writers Workshop as a writing consultant and administrator. In addition to my writing center experience, I have also taught RHET and ESL courses and served as Assistant Director for the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program in the English Department. I am also currently serving as a coordinator and instructor for the International Student Integration and Academic Support program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and active in campus-wide events and programs in promoting services and support for multilingual students at the university.