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.


AshleyMy absolute favorite part of tutoring in the Writing Center is sharing and collaborating with students. I love hearing what students have to say about their learning and writing processes, which, in many ways, inspires my own. Although I earned my MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction, I enjoy reading all of the varied and diverse writing projects students bring into the Writing Center. When I am not teaching or writing, I can most likely be found on a long walk with my dogs or out at the barn with my horse.


BrittanyI am a second-year MFA candidate in the Nonfiction Writing Program who writes memoir. Before moving to Iowa, I earned my B.A. in Creative Writing from Ball State University with minors in women and gender studies and film and screenwriting. Last year I taught Rhetoric, so I am familiar with the work and expectations in those classes. My favorite projects to work on with students are personal statements and essays. In my free time, I like to read, play video games, bowl, and run.


CharlieI have a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, a M.A. in Cultural Studies from the Liberal Studies Committee of Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, a B.A. in American Studies from the Social Studies Division of Bard College, and a high school diploma from Anamosa Senior High School. In addition to the ancient arts of Rhetoric and the pedagogy thereof, my teaching and research interests include 20th Century U.S.  Cultural and Intellectual History, Critical Theory, Cultural Ethnography, and Transnational American Studies. When not teaching, writing, or in my office meeting with students, you’re most likely to find me hanging out with my kid, practicing yoga, riding my bike, or travelling.


CaitlinI am a PhD candidate in the Department of English, specializing in addiction and recovery in the long British Romantic period (1850-1950). I currently teach in the Rhetoric department, and I'm enjoying my second year of tutoring at the Writing Center. I love meeting students through the center, and getting to learn about their different fields and backgrounds. The writing process can be daunting, but I truly enjoy increasing the confidence of students by providing them with important tools for success. I am a huge fan of pre-writing strategies and the effectiveness of repeated revision. When I’m not focused on writing, I’m hanging out with my cat (Tom-Tom), watching the 49ers, or watching mindless television.


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.


DanielI'm a second-year MFA candidate in the Nonfiction Writing Program. I've previously taught Rhetoric and mentored first year Rhetoric instructors, but I'm spending this semester working exclusively in the Writing Center and for the Iowa Digital Engagement & Learning (IDEAL) Initiative.  As a student, I'm writing a creative, book-length project about the Midwest in the context of America's culture wars. That being said, I'm a Midwesterner--born and raised--though I've lived and worked on both coasts in television and film. My entertainment background comes out in my creative work, work for IDEAL, and in my tutoring style. In the Writing Center, my students and I work together to craft prose that is clear, sophisticated, and engaging.


I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of English, and I study poetry, queer theory, and affect. I currently teach Interpretation of Literature, and I was a Rhetoric instructor before that, so I’m very familiar with those courses and the kind of writing they entail. I also enjoy helping students write and edit professional documents—resumes, personal statements, cover letters, etc. I have a particular interest in helping my students find ways to cope with writing anxiety, since I know from personal experience just how difficult that can be. In my spare time, I love to watch hockey, listen to and play music, and hang out with friends.


EnricoI am a PhD student in English studying American literature from the late 19th century to today. I am currently working on a dissertation that examines the motif of flight in 20th century black American literature. Before coming to Iowa, I earned my BA in English and Creative Writing from The College of New Jersey and worked in the publishing industry in NYC. I currently teach Interpretation of Literature with a focus on literature of alienation. As a tutor, I am most interested in helping writers organize their papers effectively and use clear, succinct language. When I'm not in EPB, I enjoy listening to 90s music, playing RPGs, and writing songs on my guitar.


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 F.

IanI'm a PhD candidate in English, and I study contemporary American literature, New Media, Online Cultures, and Game Studies. I have taught gender and popular culture, rhetoric, and composition, and tutored undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students alike. Before earning an M.A. in Literature, I earned a B.A. in Psychology and worked as a pharmacology research assistant. As a result, I can apply my varied background to help students write in different contexts across the Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM fields. One of my favorite aspects of tutoring is meeting students across disciplines and learning about their projects. When I'm not writing, teaching, or tutoring, I enjoy running, martial arts, cycling, binge-watching shows on Netflix, and spending time with my dog. 

Ian S.

Ian SI’m a first-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


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. 


JulieI am a third-year MFA candidate in the Creative Nonfiction department. I studied English literature and had ambitions of becoming a lawyer, but I discovered that combat sports is much more civilized. I became a full-time MMA fighter, getting as far as the UFC. (I lost all my televised matches; don’t google me) I retired from punching people in the face in 2013. I taught Rhetoric at the University of Iowa for two years and now teach Foundations of Creative Writing as part of the new undergraduate Creative Writing degree. In addition to working as a tutor in the Writing Center, I run the Center’s Creative Writing Group, which meets every Friday afternoon. (Come join us!) I also serve as a tutor every Tuesday afternoon at the Iowa Public Library’s Community Writing Center.


KassieI am in my second year of the English PhD program, focusing on race, gender, and nation-building in 18th century American literature. I currently teach Interpretation of Literature and am thrilled to begin my second semester working in the Writing Center. I enjoy helping students translate their thoughts into writing, whether that means brainstorming, developing techniques to begin writing, or finding greater concision and clarity in drafts. When I’m not in EPB, I’m probably at home watching West Wing (again), beginning (and then not finishing) a craft project, or belting Hamilton (when my roommate is gone).


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. 



LuluI’m a second year MFA Candidate in the Nonfiction Writing Program and a Rhetoric instructor here at the University of Iowa.  I have a background in both creative writing and writing for STEM — as an MFA student my focus is on essays and short stories, but I also hold a B.S. in Environmental Science and have worked as a technical writer for software. In the Writing Center, I’m especially passionate about helping students to tap into their confidence and craft prose that reflects their individual voice. When I’m not teaching, tutoring, or writing, I like to cook, curl up with a good book, or ride my bike to Dairy Queen. 


Lydia I am a PhD candidate in the Department of English, specializing in 19th century British literature and disability studies. I have taught Rhetoric and currently tutor in the Writing Center. I love tutoring and getting to know and work with a variety of students from different fields and backgrounds. I know the writing experience can be stressful and I value helping students develop their confidence in themselves as writers. Revising is one of my favorite parts of my own writing process and I enjoy developing and working through that process with students, helping them figure out how they can better structure and organize their work. When I’m not tutoring, studying, or working on my own writing, I love to read, travel home to Montana, and spend time outside, either cross country skiing in winter or hiking in summer.


MartaI am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese working on a dissertation about the portrayal of children in Hispanic comic books. In addition to courses at all levels of the Spanish GEP, I have lead discussion sections of Sociolinguistics and Peninsular Literature. This is the second semester that I am teaching writing and I enjoy helping students progress from planning effective paragraphs to reviewing the final drafts of their essays. When I am not teaching or writing, I like traveling, reading, and enjoying nature.

Matt H.

Matt H.I am a PhD student in the English Department and I study twentieth-century American literature, with an emphasis on queer authors and literary celebrity. I also teach in the Department of Rhetoric. This is my first semester as a tutor in the Writing Center, and I hope to work with students to develop strategies that will make the writing process seem a little less daunting. I look forward to helping students achieve clarity in their writing, as well as assisting them as they hone in on their own unique, “writerly” voice. When I am not busy attending to the rigors of grad school, I like to watch trashy reality television and eat cupcakes.


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.


NealaI am a PhD candidate in the English program and a teaching assistant for the general education literature program. I study 18th and 19th century British literature with a particular focus on early women novelists and the novel as a form. At Iowa I have also worked as a teaching assistant for Rhetoric, GWSS, and the College of Education. Before beginning my studies in the English department, I was a grade school librarian, a Talented and Gifted education teacher, and an adjunct for St. Ambrose University. I earned both my library and education degrees at the University of Iowa.


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.


WenqiI’m currently a senior studying linguistics with a TESL focus. Having a passion for languages and literature, I’m also studying Italian, Latin and literature translation. As a native Chinese speaker, I’m aware of the difficulties of writing in a second language and appreciate the chance to work with international students. I enjoy discussing all sorts of literature with writers speaking different languages and being inspired by their writings as well as their languages.



BrookeI'm an undergraduate studying English & Creative Writing and Journalism & Mass Communications with a minor in Anthropology. To put it another way, I love writing. Sharing my enthusiasm is one of my favorite parts of tutoring. I am also an Honors Writing Fellow, which means I'm familiar with a variety of undergraduate assignments across disciplines, and especially with Rhetoric and Interpretation of Literature classes. I truly believe that having a conversation about an assignment is the one of the easiest ways to improve it, so come on in if you're looking for some help or even a place to get started. 


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


DaniI am a senior physics and astronomy double major with a minor in mathematics. However, I am an avid writer and reader of various genres. I have taken many creative writing workshops and have been a Writing Fellow for courses focusing on scientific engagement, dramatic literature/staging, and Holocaust history. I also know a bit of Chinese and I love learning about Asian cultures! I think that discussion is the best tool for any kind of revision. When I'm not researching space or writing stories, I am composing music or looking for new recipes to cook and bake.

Emma F.

Emma FI am a senior double majoring in English and Creative Writing and Sociology with a French minor. In addition to fellowing and working in the writing center, I conduct research in The Center for the Study of Group Processes. I have loved reading and writing my entire life, and my passion for working with my peers on their writing grew in high school as my friends and I feverishly swapped application essays. I think that the collaborative give-and-take of discussing your writing with someone else is the best way to help an essay grow. In my free time, I tend to be searching for good hiking trails or spending too much money at the movie theater.

Emma H.

EmmaI am currently a senior majoring in linguistics, classical languages, and anthropology. When I’m not in class, you can usually find me curled up with a book, working at the Iowa City Public Library, baking, or playing D & D with friends. While I enjoy working with everyone who comes by the Writing Center, as someone interested in teaching English as a second language, I particularly look forward to my time with international students.   



JuliaI am a junior 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, so I'm excited to start tutoring in the Writing Center this year. I want to help writers find the clearest and most direct path to convey their message. I also run the student garden as a UI Gardeners co-president and intern as a communications assistant for the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research. In my free time I like to read, crochet, and hike. 


LillyI am a senior studying music and linguistics, with an emphasis in teaching English as a second language (so I look forward to helping non-native speakers of English!). I've always loved words and languages, but in the last year have learned the power of writing persuasive essays. I enjoy writing arguments and hope to help 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.



NickI am a junior majoring in English, history, and mathematics. I have been a writing fellow since 2016 and worked in the Writing Center since 2017. I am also an officer with the UI's English Society, which promotes literature and book-related events on campus. One reason I love tutoring is the opportunity to learn about subjects outside my area of study; during my time as a tutor, I have gained at least as much knowledge as I've shared, and probably more. I am passionate about literature (especially American and Russian literature), education, and politics. In my free time I love reading, hiking, playfully arguing about the day's news, and watching unhealthy amounts of the X-Files. You can usually find me haunting the hallways of the English Philosophy Building, or holed up in one of Iowa City's many cafes.


TessI am a senior majoring in English for Publishing, with minors in Spanish and Psychology. I also work as a Writing Fellow, a job I like because it lets me learn about all sorts of classes that I’m not actually taking. I’ve always loved reading, and when I came to college, writing and tutoring was a natural extension of that. I like tutoring because of how much talking about an assignment can help a writer and how much I learn from reading their work. When I’m not in class, at work, or doing homework, you could find me playing the piano, reading, or spending way too much time watching Netflix.