Staff

Carol Severino, Director

My favorite part of tutoring is getting to know the students and their areas of interest. I love it when students are enthusiastic about their writing topics and teach me about them. As a writing center director, my goals are to reach more student and community populations with our services, or at least with the message about the value of planning and revision in the writing process. I like to keep up with my twin sons and my toddler granddaughter, learn new languages, play the drums, swim and walk by the lake with my dog, and in the summer, cook what I harvest from my garden. I research second language writing in the Writing Center, especially vocabulary issues. I like to write creatively in English and Spanish, both fiction and nonfiction.

Deirdre Egan, Assistant Director

The Writing Center is a great place to work. It’s busy, friendly and lively, with good conversation and (usually) good coffee. My job is to manage the day to day operations of the Writing Center and to give feedback on work sent to us through our online system. I was born and raised in Ireland and have an electic but occasionally useful background in the health sciences, political science and feminist theory. When I’m not here, I’m studying the bizarre behaviors of American teenagers and being informed, by the four who live in my house, about their peculiar belief systems. I also write (slowly), teach (once in a while) and read whenever I can.

Amanda

My favorite thing about tutoring is the variety of people and ideas that I encounter daily: what a delicious opportunity! I love collaborating on the puzzle of how to best get ideas on the page, especially with students who come from a linguistic tradition (whether another register, dialect, or language) that falls outside the conventions of this Academic English thingy we’re all attempting to emulate. I try to show that we have the option to preserve aspects of our non-academic selves in our writing and, when thoughtfully done, it can enrich our work and push—even if only a smidgen—at the boundaries of scholarly discourse. When I’m not rattling the bars of the academic establishment, I am at home, spoiling my four cats, attempting to pick up Portuguese, and discussing the finer points of Yu-Gi-Oh! with my ten- year-old son.

Chansi

What I love about working in the Writing Center is the variety of work I'm able to see: from a PhD student's dissertation to a freshman's first rhetoric paper--the range of writing and the disparate group of students who bring it in, are what keep my job interesting. I also find working in the WC a great motivational tool for my own writing. As a third-year MFA candidate in the midst of writing my thesis, coming to the WC, where there are always a multitude of students devoted to improving their work, inspires me to improve my own. Off the clock I like to beat my fiancé at Scrabble, haul home cartloads of books from the library, and listen to podcasts voraciously.

Chelsea

I teach Interpretation of Literature and I tutor in the Writing Center as I complete my PhD in English. My research interrogates 20th-21st century conceptual and documentary poetics through a feminist lens. In my spare time, I write children's stories, hike, and try not to burn down my kitchen.

 

 

Claudia

I’m a PhD student in the College of Education. I love working at the UI Writing Center because, although I have worked with English and Spanish second language learners on their writing processes in different areas, I’m still learning a lot about the fascinating world of tutoring (and enjoying it!). I have an M.Sc. in Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages, and I used to teach English Language Literature to Spanish speakers. I love helping people to overcome their fears about writing and to express themselves, because I believe we all have something interesting to say. I enjoy reading, learning new things, blogging, and watching soccer.

 

Drew

I am a Rhetoric instructor and M.F.A. student in the Nonfiction Writing Program who specializes in narrative, arts criticism, travel writing, and life writing. A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, I have worked as a writer and editor at various magazines. I think what I love about the Writing Center is what I love about newsrooms: the chance to help a diverse range of writers take their writing and thinking to a higher level.   

 

Emma

I am a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics, and I have a particular interest in teaching English as a second language. The Writing Center is a wonderful and productive place to work, and I love to help students find effective ways to convey their ideas. The best advice I can give on writing is to not be afraid to revise and refine; your thoughts deserve to be presented with solid arguments and strong organization. As such, I'm always glad to lend an extra pair of eyes to students' work and provide strategies to improve their writing in the future. When I'm not teaching, tutoring, or studying, I like to read, draw, take photos, and spend time outdoors.

Jane

I am a graduate student in the department of Epidemiology through the College of Public Health, with a focus in depression and mental health. Although I specialize in scientific and technical writing, I love working with students of all disciplines to help them shape their ideas into a clear, organized, and well-developed finished product. In my spare time I like to work in my garden, play the cello, and go on adventures with my son and daughter.

 

Jenna

I'm an M.F.A. student in the Nonfiction Writing Program and I teach in the Rhetoric department. My professional background is in journalism, but I love working with writers of all stripes. What I love about my work at the Writing Center is the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with a student and ask the questions and offer the guidance that will allow whatever they're working on — a cover letter, research paper, reading response, reported article, short story, essay, or really anything — to really shine.

 

Julia

I am a PhD student in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. I enjoy working one-on-one at the writing center and listening to students’ thoughts and opinions presented through their writing.  A highlight for me is seeing students become more relaxed and confident in their writing as they progress over the semester.  Writing is not a magical gift, but rather just another skill that can be practiced and improved over time.  My own writing is mostly scientific, and I enjoy making the research world clear and interesting to the general public.  In my spare time I enjoy traveling, photography, exploring Iowa with my bike, and eating good food.

LuAnn

I like spending time with writers in the Writing Center. I like listening to what they say and hearing their thoughts and plans for a paper, and I like seeing these writers’ faces when I ask questions that the writers hadn’t yet considered. I guess I like seeing the writers rethink and re-imagine those plans. This re-seeing is revision. Life is a revision, too. After being a nurse for eleven years, I re-entered school, earned a BA in English and Comm Studies, was a medical researcher, and then earned a PhD in literacy studies. I have taught Rhetoric and similar courses at three universities, and I currently teach Rhetoric to pre-healthcare and health-science students here at Iowa. In my spare time, I write books for the Department of Ophthalmology and play with my grandson and two cats.

Lucy

I am an MFA candidate in Nonfiction Writing and teach workshop classes for undergraduates. My background is in Russian, so I especially enjoy working with international students in the Writing Center, and as someone who now focuses on "creative writing," I love working with all students to help them understand the ways in which more traditional academic writing can be a creative endeavor.

 

Sam

As a graduate student in the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, I am working toward my MFA in playwriting, and I teach in the Theater Department. I love working with all kinds of writers, helping them to formulate ideas, clarify their arguments, and strengthen their sentences. In my spare time, I like to cook, bike, and hang out in my garden.

 

 

Rachel

As a writing center tutor, helping students organize their ideas into practical and effective frameworks from which to build upon is what I find most fulfilling. Developing a strong foundation before the real writing begins can transform a struggling writer into a self-assured writer. My background is almost exclusively in the hard sciences, where I have dabbled in a wide range of biological research fields. I am currently pursuing a PhD from the Department of Microbiology and spend the vast majority of my time in the lab. Since my professional experiences have emphasized writing in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner, my best skills harbor in achieving these goals. For your more artistic works, I would recommend another tutor. 

Raquel

I'm currently working on a PhD in English Literary Studies, specializing in Postcolonial Studies with an emphasis in African Literatures in English. I received a B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University and a MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College in Oakland, California. I've taught Interpretation of Literature and Rhetoric courses. My short stories have been published in The Womanist literary magazine, the anthology Crux, and the Daily Pallete. 

 

UNDERGRADUATE STAFF

Alyssa

For the last few semesters I have worked as an Honors Writing Fellow helping students enrolled in Spanish Writing Skills and Psychology of Gender with their writing assignments. My favorite thing about being a Writing Fellow was hearing from students who were at first apprehensive about sharing their work that they found it helpful and enjoyable to discuss their ideas with another person. I am a senior studying English, Psychology, and Spanish and hope to attend law school next year. I am excited to share my passion for writing with other students.  In my free time, I like to run and, as much as my poor college student budget allows, to travel.

 

Brett

As a senior undergraduate linguistics/TESL student, I have a passion for learning and teaching language. My favorite parts about tutoring at the Writing Center are learning from the wide array of papers my peers bring in and discussing techniques to bring clarity to those papers. I’m working to gain a higher fluency in Chinese before heading abroad next year, so I can empathize with international students who may be struggling with writing in a second language. In my spare time, I like reading and writing poetry, practicing yoga, and planning my post-graduation life abroad.​

Catherine

I am a senior majoring in English and minoring in Italian and theatre. I spend most of my time trying to express myself in poetry, plays, essays, and everyday conversation, and I love helping others do the same.  Language and argumentation are vital to progress, and I think it is important to talk openly about how we use our words and how to improve our communication skills. I believe positive change is much easier to achieve once we are understood! When I am not thinking about the importance of language, I am usually watching Netflix and dreaming about what kind of dog I will get once I graduate.

Erin

I am an undergraduate senior majoring in English. I came to the University of Iowa because of its phenomenal writing program, and I am now in the Creative Writing Track. My passion and focus in the track is playwriting, but I love to read literature of any kind. Serving as an Honors Writing Fellow for the past year has given me the opportunity to learn about a variety of new topics. Thus, one of my favorite aspects of helping students with their writing is collaboration. T​he idea that we can each learn something from each other is motivational to me. In addition to reading and writing, I enjoy going for long runs and playing the piano.

Kathleen

I’m an undergraduate studying history and English with a minor in German. I have worked with a wide variety of classes over the past few years as an Honors Writing Fellow, and love to help students find strategies that work for them as they strive to improve their writing skills. I have a lot of experience helping students to craft stronger arguments in their papers, including writing strong thesis statements, working to analyze documents, and clarifying and strengthening ideas. Some of my favorite activities include reading, baking, and, when the weather is nice, spending time relaxing on the Pentacrest.

Jordan

I am an undergraduate student studying Anthropology and English on the Creative Nonfiction writing track with a minor in Religious Studies. Words give one the chance to experience the impossibilities and limits of reality. When writing, one can craft and manipulate words into rhythmically, sound sentences that string together to form a story, whether it is a fictional piece or a research paper. Working one on one gives me the chance to help others experience the mystery and formula of the written word. When I'm not absorbed in schoolwork and books, I enjoy meditating and practicing yoga as well as running, cooking, and traveling to exotic places.

Megan

I'm pursuing a BM in vocal performance, a BA in environmental science, a minor in theater, and a nonexclusive, non categorical life long study in the art of language and writing. I have a soft spot for poetry, a hankering for comedic (and slightly self deprecating) narrative, and an enormous enthusiasm for essays! When I'm not singing operas, writing, or composting, I love backpacking, bicycling, and rollerblading.

 

Virginia

I am an undergraduate student in English, Creative Writing, and American Studies. As a Writing Fellow, I have interacted both with students who feel confident in their writing and with students who do not. In every case, however, the skill is a process of experimenting with new strategies. I love helping peers discover writing strategies that work especially well for them because these breakthroughs prove that writing is not something some have and others do not. Most of my time is spent doing homework or working for the Honors Program, but I also enjoy playing tennis and reading.