2018 Fall tutors

Carol Severino, Director

As a writing center director, my goals are to reach more student and community populations with our services, and with the message about the value of planning and revision in the writing process. I love learning from the students I tutor about the topics they are writing about.  In my leisure time, I like to keep up with my twin sons and my two granddaughters, learn new languages, play the drums, swim, and in the summer, grill and eat outdoors.  I research and write about second language writing and writers in the Writing Center. I also like to write creative non-fiction, especially about travel and family.

Deirdre Egan, Assistant Director

DeirdreThe 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.


AmandaThe only academic paper I wrote before university was during my sophomore year in high school. I picked an unsuitable topic, wrote the Worst Ever thesis statement, and put off writing until the night before it was due. My struggles continued through college, but I suffered in secret. Flash forward MANY years and I now do research on academic writers and writing. If I could turn back time, and step through the writing center door, a thousand times over, I would, but the chance to provide others the support I denied myself is deeply satisfying. When I’m not busy convincing people that academic writing is fun (or at least doesn’t have to be their Waterloo), I’m parenting a teenager, drinking too much coffee, dreaming of warmer climes, and—of course—writing.


CassieI’m a third-year MFA student in the Nonfiction Writing Program and the current nonfiction editor of The Iowa Review. I grew up in Maine and, most recently, lived in New York for a few years while working in the film industry. I really enjoy getting to know students through conversations about their papers, and helping to make the writing process less stressful (even on the night before it’s due!). When I’m not in a classroom, a movie theater, or a bookstore, you can probably find me ordering a pie shake at The Hamburg Inn. I’m also looking forward to facilitating the Writing Center’s creative writing group this fall – Fridays from 2:00-4:00 in 110 EPB!


ClaudiaI’m a Ph.D. student in the College of Education with an M.Sc. in Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages. I have worked with both English and Spanish second language learners on their writing processes in different areas. I also used to teach English Language Literature to Spanish speakers to help them improve their English language skills. I love helping people to overcome their fears about writing and to express themselves because I believe we all have something interesting to say. My areas of interest are education, foreign and second language acquisition, Spanish as a second and foreign language, literacy, literature, and writing. I enjoy reading, blogging, and watching soccer.


DariusI am third-year MFA candidate in the Nonfiction Writing Program who comes to Iowa City from Knoxville, TN. After graduating with my BA in English from the University of Tennessee, I received an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, where I was a James A. Michener Fellow in poetry. I have authored three poetry chapbooks, and the third, The Ghost the Night Becomes, was the 2013 winner of the Gertrude Press Poetry Chapbook Competition. Aside from working in the Writing Center, I teach a creative nonfiction class on the art and craft of writing about politics.

Emma H.

EmmaI'm a masters student in the Department of Linguistics. When I’m not studying or teaching ESL, you can usually find me curled up with a book, baking, or playing D&D with friends. While I enjoy working with everyone who comes by the Writing Center, I particularly look forward to my time with international students.




FernandoI’m a Lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese here at Iowa and I enjoy working with students on strategies to improve their writing in Spanish, both in creative and academic texts. My areas of interest include sociolinguistics, culture studies, applied linguistics and second language acquisition. At Iowa, I teach a variety of courses (Elementary and Intermediate Spanish, Spanish Language Skills: Writing, Spanish Language Skills: Speaking, Spanish in the U.S., Translation workshop English-Spanish) in different platforms (face-to-face, online, hybrid, virtual classroom). When I’m not working I like traveling, hiking, playing tennis, reading, and watching sports and movies.

Ian S.

Ian S.I’m a second-year MFA candidate in the Nonfiction Writing Program and an instructor in the Rhetoric Department. As an undergrad, I completed majors in History and Italian Studies and loved college life so much that I studied abroad twice (first in France, then Italy). When I actually was on campus, I also served as the Student Director of the Writing Center. What I most enjoy about writing center work is getting to focus on ideas and execution rather than grades and assessment criteria. Outside of school, I like hiking and watching videos of fireplaces on YouTube.


IvoI graduated from Ohio State University with majors in English and German. Now I am in my third year in the English PhD program at Iowa. I focus on Victorian and British modernist literature and do research in post-secular studies. In my free time, I like to write and travel the world with my other half. I greatly enjoy helping students of all disciplines with their writing and research. My experience has been diverse enough to teach me both about English as a foreign language and literature as a way to experience and interpret the world. I am eager to share my knowledge with students of all backgrounds and help them experience writing as an extraordinary and exciting adventure which opens our minds to new worlds.


JaclynI am a PhD candidate in the Department of English, and I study literature and periodicals during the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction Era. I earned a B.A. in Literature and Political Science from Mercer University. At the University of Iowa, I teach Interpretation of Literature, and I taught Rhetoric for two years. My favorite part of working in the Writing Center is helping students plan their writing assignments. The initial generation of ideas at the beginning of a project is exciting to me. When I’m not teaching, tutoring, or writing, I’m hanging out with my cat, reading, or watching Gilmore Girls.



I have a PhD in Epidemiology through the College of Public Health, and am currently studying medicine at the Carver College of Medicine. Although I specialize in scientific and technical writing, I love working with students of all disciplines to provide guidance and support throughout the process of shaping an idea 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

Jennifer M.

JenniferI am a Ph.D. student in the Language, Literacy and Culture program in the College of Education. My prior experience as a writing teacher has been in international settings. For two years, I taught academic writing to graduate students at Mandalay University (Burma/Myanmar) and I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia where I mentored first-year female students at Addis Ababa University. I enjoy working as a writing tutor at the University of Iowa because sharing our writing in process with careful readers helps us all develop new skills and improve our confidence. In my free time, I enjoy going for walks, creating ceramic sculptures, and spending time with our fierce and lovely kitten. 

Jennifer J.

JenniferI received my PhD in English literature from the University of Iowa, where I currently teach Rhetoric as a lecturer. My courses focus on the rhetoric of disability, fashion, and sustainability. I am particularly interested in rhetorics of “normalcy” and “purity,” which reinforce problematic cultural narratives and encourage the oppression of minority groups. I also have ten years of experience working as an editor and use this insight to help students get the most out of the drafting and revision process.



KateI graduated from the UI with a major in Spanish and now I am retuning as an MA student in the Department of Linguistics. Last year I worked as a language assistant at La Universidad Nacional de La Pampa in Argentina through the Fulbright program. Since returning to the US, I have been working as a substitute teacher in Spanish in the Des Moines Public School district. I spend a lot of my time thinking about language and words and writing. I am excited to return to the Writing Center as a tutor! Outside of the University I like cooking and eating and being outside. 


KristaMy favorite part of working with students is watching them develop their skills as logical thinkers and helping facilitate their growth. From my experience, a student’s progress toward becoming independent intellectual thinkers becomes most evident in the way they structure their writing. I was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. Currently, I’m a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biology at the University of Iowa focusing on plant development. I teach biology labs for my home department and backpacking and camping classes for the Lifetime Leisure Skills Program. When I’m not my lab you can find me building something out of wood, cooking in the kitchen, or outside reading a good book - lately I’ve been a sucker for sci fi.


LibbyI’m a masters student in the School of Library and Information Science pursuing a certificate in the UI Center for the Book, and have an MFA and MA in creative writing. I am interested in writing pedagogy and creative nonfiction. I love, when tutoring, helping students to work out the most succinct way of saying what they are trying to say. When home I enjoy Netflix binges and dog snuggles. 



LillyI am currently a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics so I particularly like working with non-native speakers of English. I've always loved words and languages, but I have learned the power of persuasive essays too. I enjoy writing arguments and helping other students realize their own power through saying what they want to in a compelling way. When not studying I can be found drinking too much coffee with friends or cooking with my husband.


Lu Ann

Lu AnnLuAnn teaches sections of Rhetoric designed for students who plan to major in health care professions and the health sciences.





MeganIn addition to tutoring in the Writing Center, I teach General Education Rhetoric and graduate courses in pedagogy and scholarly writing in the Rhetoric Department. I also help run the Honors Writing Fellows Program, an undergraduate peer-tutoring program for writers. And I love tinkering with my own writing––mostly essays and poetry––as well as working with other writers on their prose and verse. When I’m not writing, reading, or teaching, I’m probably riding my bike, crafting, or dreaming of my bucket-list goal of going into outer space.


SophieI love working in the Writing Center because I am passionate about helping people recognize the power of their own writing, even if—especially if!—they don’t see themselves as “good writers.” Watching someone’s self-confidence grow is my greatest joy as a teacher, and working in the Writing Center lets me experience those moments continuously throughout the semester.  I'm in grad school pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD project that blends book art and Judaic studies, a radical reinterpretation/retranslation of sibling stories from the Torah created as a hand-made book (using bookbinding, letterpress, and relief printmaking techniques).  I have a BA in Anthropology, an MA in American Studies, and over six years of experience tutoring college students.  Outside of school, my primary goal in life is to pet as many dogs as possible.



I'm a doctoral student of linguistics and have a passion for anything about language. As a non-native English speaker, I’m aware of the difficulties of writing in a second language and appreciate the chance to work with writers with different linguistic backgrounds. I enjoy discussing all sorts of writing and look forward being inspired by others’ words, thoughts, and languages.




AllexisI am a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Global Health Studies and Ethics & Public Policy, with a Spanish Minor and a Human Rights Certificate. I have been a Writing Fellow for over a year, and I'm passionate about helping others to find clarity in their writing. This year I will be working on a Global Health Studies thesis about migration patterns in Spain. I also run the LENA Project, a sustainability non-profit organization, and intern at the Human Rights Center. In my free time, I love exploring nature, reading (of course), and baking.


CarlaI am a third year English and Creative Writing major with a minor in American Studies. I love helping other writers unlock their potential and push their work in new and exciting directions, regardless of whether they see themselves as writers or not. Along with being a part of the Writing Fellows program, I currently serve as one of the co-presidents the UI English Society, which aims to act as a sort of glue to bring together all the different creative/literary groups on campus and in the Iowa City area. I love modernist literature (Faulkner is my favorite writer) and I write primarily poetry, but I have also started tinkering with creative nonfiction and melding the two of them together



JuliaI am a senior majoring in journalism and geography/sustainability. I've had lots of practice thinking critically about my own journalistic writing, and as a Writing Fellow I've worked with peer writers across different subject areas as well. Problem solving with words is one of my favorite things to do, so I always love helping writers find the clearest and most direct path to convey their message. My journalistic work mainly focuses on the environment and food politics, though at the Dubuque Telegraph Herald this past summer I wrote about a wide range of regional topics and issues. In my free time I like to read, grow food with the UI Gardeners, crochet, and hike.