Director, Writing Center
Tom Deans is a professor in the English Department, where he teaches everything from first-year writing to graduate seminars in Rhetoric & Composition, but the favorite part of his job is being Director of the Writing Center. He came to UConn in 2005, after having been a professor and writing program administrator at Haverford College, and before that Kansas State. He has written two books on the relationship of college writing to community engagement, plus a variety of articles and book chapters on composition, writing across the curriculum, service-learning, literacy, religion, and Shakespeare. He is currently serving as series editor for the Oxford Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines and working with a range of UConn departments on writing assessment.
Associate Director, Writing Center
I joined UConn’s faculty and the Writing Center in the autumn of 2005 after earning my doctorate at the University of Notre Dame. My dissertation, on early print and late-late medieval literature, continues to inform my teaching and research in the English Department. My passion for very old books is only half my story, however. On the way to my graduate degree I taught English at the University of Central Bohemia, worked in Ireland herding goats, and on the editorial staff at HarperCollins in New York. When I did arrive at graduate school to study medieval literature, I also found myself drawn to the work going on in writing programs, and particularly in Writing Centers. In the room that housed the Writing Center at Notre Dame I discovered a rush of interesting conversations all going on at once – from philosophy to history to physics – and all somehow related to writing. I realized I had found a kind of secret that was trying not to be a secret: Writing Centers are these wonderfully intellectual, interdisciplinary spaces, sometimes hushed, sometimes raucous, always engaging, and I was hooked. I spent the last year of my degree finishing my dissertation and working on a Writing Center project that fostered a high-school/university partnership in South Bend. I feel fortunate to be a “free-range” medievalist, with opportunities to think about the role of writing across the full breadth of the curriculum. I primarily focus on our undergraduate staff and tutoring services – precisely the place where I first heard the buzz of ideas that turned out to be about students and writing. I hope you’ll come in with your own questions, ideas and writing: we’ll talk.
Margie began working at UConn in 2007, after working at Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Southern California. She enjoys the busy pace of the Writing Center and the broad range of interests and backgrounds each tutor brings to the writing center. It’s really exciting listening to tutors and writers discuss their writing and she hopes you will make an appointment and come see what we do!
Graduate Student, Assistant Director/High School Outreach Coordinator
Chris is a PhD student in the English Department, studying rhetoric and composition. He is interested in community engaged scholarship as well as writing center studies and how they intersect. Chris began as a writing center tutor/administrator at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering while completing an MA in literature at NYU. Chris taught first year writing at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus while completing an MA in rhetoric and composition there, and has also taught at UConn and other Connecticut State Colleges.
Eleanor is a PhD candidate in the Department of English where her research focuses on how reading practices shaped and were shaped by the many voices of nineteenth-century literature. Before joining the Writing Center, Eleanor worked as an administrator at the Royal Academy of Dance in London and taught first-year writing for four years here at UConn. She has published both critical articles and poetry, and is passionate about advocating for graduate students in their personal, professional, and academic lives. Eleanor is excited to learn more about discipline-specific writing and to work closely with such a diverse student body.
Graduate Student, Assistant Director
Vanessa is a PhD student in the Department of Linguistics. In addition to being a tutor, she also offers workshops on English Language Use for English Language Learners. Prior to coming to UConn, she graduated from the University of Novi Sad (Serbia) with a BA in English Language and Literature. She also spent a year as an exchange student at the University of Mississippi, and has done internships as an ESL instructor. Growing up bilingual (speaking Romanian and Serbian) has naturally led to her interest in languages and bilingualism. As a linguist, her main areas of research are syntax and language acquisition from a (bimodal) bilingual perspective, focusing on languages such as Romanian, Serbian, English and American Sign Language (ASL). Her hobbies include running, table tennis, and volleyball.
Curriculum and Instruction
Chris is a doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction and his research interests include adolescent literacy and struggling readers. He has a particular interest in reading comprehension in students with autism spectrum disorders. Previously, he earned a BA in cognitive science and history at Hampshire College and an MA in Special Education at UCONN. Prior to coming to UCONN, Chris was a Humanities Instructor and Residential Dean at Franklin Academy, a boarding school for high school students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities. At Franklin, he taught classes in American history, literature, songwriting, social justice and also served as an advisor to seniors and post-graduate students. When away from work and studies Chris enjoys gardening, hiking, cooking and reading things unrelated to his studies. He lives in East Haddam, CT with his wife, son and dog.
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Corynne is a fourth year PhD student in the Molecular and Cellular Biology department. She is very excited to kick off her first year working for the writing center. She obtained her BS in chemistry and biology from Saint Michael’s College, a small liberal arts school in Vermont. While in school, she interned at Green Mountain Antibodies, a small company where she gained much of her technical skill prior to graduate school. Her doctoral thesis will explore the assemble mechanism of P22, a bacteriophage. Away from the lab, she loves adventure in the great outdoors hiking, biking, and running. She can often be found enjoying farm life, petting donkeys and goats or tracking down mischief chickens.
Eeman is a senior who is deeply passionate about global health and development, with a particular focus on the Middle East. This passion has led her to design her own major titled, Health & Human Rights in the Middle East, while also majoring in Physiology & Neurobiology. She loves discussing politics, religion, death, and babies- all topics you should probably avoid on a first date, but definitely bring up with her. Eeman is a first-generation American, a massive foodie who finds the process of eating too tedious, and an avid traveler. She aspires to be a physician in a human rights organization, based in Syria or Palestine. She dabbles in different forms of self-expression, including fashion, memes, and writing, one of which particularly excites her to work in the Writing Center this year.
Jose Angel Ortiz Jr. is a Senior studying graphic design in the School of Fine Arts. He enjoys experimenting with different methods of creating visual media as well as producing/recording music. He love to travel and hike. His favorite vegetable is a tomato. Jose hopes to one day own a design-consulting firm in NYC doing independent studio work for fashion and media clients.
Karma is a junior majoring in Nursing with dreams to become a Nurse Practitioner or a Nurse Anesthetist. Eventually, she wants to get her doctorate so she can do research. In addition to working at the Writing Center, Karma is a Learning Community Ambassador and frequents Tea Club. When free time comes by, she enjoys playing tabletop/video games, writing creative pieces, volunteering at the nursing home, and eating a lot of clementines. She’s ardent about working at theWriting Center and is looking forward to seeing everyone!
Kaylee is a senior majoring in English and Secondary English Education with a concentration in Creative Writing. This is her first year at the Storrs Writing Center but she has worked at Avery Point’s tutoring center since her freshman year. She looks forward to teaching middle and high school, and hopes to eventually be an administrator assisting schools and their communities. Kaylee is also a volunteer in her hometown, assisting with children and family services. Beyond the Writing Center you can find Kaylee reading, hiking, and playing with her puppy Milly.
Kharl is a third year student from West Haven, Connecticut, studying economics with an interest in double minoring in human rights and public policy. She is interested in going to law school and possibly publishing her own novel one day. She is an active member of UConnPIRG, Mock Trial Society and UConn FASA (Filipino American Student Association). A few of her favorite things are penguins, Doctor Who and long walks on the beach in mild temperatures.
Natural Resource and the Environment
Mauri is a third year PhD student in the department of Natural Resource and the Environment. While her research background is in avian ecology, her dissertation will focus on conservation planning topics related to landscape ecology and exurban ecosystems. Mauri was a student-athlete at Virginia Tech, where she played soccer and completed a B.S. in Biology. She also received an M.S. from Ohio State studying the breeding ecology of Northern bobwhite. She is dedicated to teaching, whether it be youth soccer or Intro Biology courses, and is excited to be continuing with the UConn Writing Center this year. In her spare time, she enjoys running, watching and playing soccer, hanging with her dog Pip and/or human friends, and watching Big Bang Theory marathons on TV.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Nick is a senior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology. Partial to birds, he conducts research on how they disperse an invasive insect called hemlock woolly adelgid by carrying the bugs on their feathers. He also serves as president of the birding club. Nick enjoys the peer-review process for scientific writing during UConn Bird Lab discussions, so he is excited to engage in this work at the Writing Center. His goal is to teach students how to develop their ideas through conversation. In his spare time, Nick likes to run, swim, and revive his high school French skills.
Cognitive Science/Political Science
Odia is a junior Honors Student pursuing a dual degree in Cognitive Science and Political Science. She aspires to be an epidemiologist, and eventually a policy maker. On campus, Odia serves as secretary for the African Student Association and Vice President for Sisters Inspiring Sisters. Beyond her classes and involvement, Odia spends her free time writing novels, engaging in the performing arts, and above all, sitting in a room with all of her friends as they windowshop online.
Ruth is a third-year MA/PhD student in the English department. She focuses on rhetoric and composition, and she’s specifically interested in classical rhetoric and the ways it connects with digital communication and the first-year writing classroom. She comes into the Writing Center with experience in both academic and creative writing and hopes to be able to connect strategies from both in her own writing and in her tutoring. This is her first semester in the UConn Writing Center, though she worked for two years in the center at Pepperdine University before moving cross-country for graduate school. In her free time (not that grad students have much of that), she enjoys listening to and performing music, reading Hemingway novels, and drinking strong coffee.
Molecular & Cell Biology/Psychology
Ryan is starting his senior year double majoring in molecular and cell biology and psychology, on the pre-med tract. After college, he plans to attend medical school, where he will start down the path of becoming a surgical oncologist. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys participating in community service projects, and powerlifting. He ultimately wants to return home to Hartford to create or fund projects geared toward the betterment of the community. Ryan is extremely excited to be starting another year as a member of the Writing Center.
Shauna is a senior studying both Allied Health and Speech, Language, and Hearing. She is actively involved in the Public Health Learning Community and likes to run, free write, and read poems by Walt Whitman and Edgar Allen Poe—as well many contemporary authors. She also makes time for Netflix. While most of her academic interests are in the sciences, Shauna’s love for writing and helping people brought her to the Writing Center.
Greetings writers! I’m Sierra from Manchester CT, and I’m majoring in Secondary Education. I was a tutor at the West Hartford regional campus Writing Center for three semesters, and I’m more than excited to contribute my time and experience here. This past summer, I was an orientation leader for incoming freshman and transfer students at the West Hartford campus, and I also learned how to play tennis among other fun things. My personal goals for this academic year are to learn as much as I can from all of my classes, read the entire Harry Potter series, and become a yogi. After graduation I hope to travel around other countries before perusing my career goals.
Sydney is a senior honors student pursuing a degree in English, as well as minors in Business Fundamentals and Communications. In addition to tutoring, Sydney also works as a student writer in the CLAS Dean’s Office. Her goal is to be a published novelist, but she plans to pursue a career in PR and Communications for a non-profit or higher education. She is currently writing a dystopian novel for her honors thesis, and has completed a young adult, fantasy trilogy. Sydney has been an FYE Mentor for English majors, and an intern at WNPR in Hartford. Sydney also currently serves as a member of the CLAS Student Leadership Board.
Cindy is a senior majoring in Biology and is a pre-med student. Though she has a few more years, she hopes to go to medical school to continue her studies and become a medical examiner. Since coming to UConn, Cindy has also developed an interest in accounting and is considering pursuing an additional degree. Before moving from California to Connecticut for school, Cindy was involved in her church and school choirs and played the violin and clarinet. She enjoys watching crime-related shows, such as Chicago PD, Law and Order SVU, and CSI. In California, she participated in many volunteer events, raising money for breast cancer research and volunteering at the local hospital. She hopes to become more involved in programs at UConn over the next few years!
Isaac is a senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences majoring in Economics and minoring in Statistics. In addition to working at the Writing Center, he is a research assistant in the Economics department, a Founding Father at UConn’s chapter of Phi Delta Theta and a member of several other student organizations on campus. Having been born and raised in New York City, Isaac plans to return to New York and pursue a career in Investment Banking. Besides studying and working, Isaac enjoys keeping up with current events and the stock market, traveling, photography, snowboarding and hanging out with his friends.
Mindy is a senior in the NEAG School of Education, as well as the Honors program. She has been in Connecticut for most of her life, but she loves to travel and explore new states and countries whenever possible. This summer, she was lucky enough to visit New Jersey, New York and Canada. She has a love for the city and hopes to move there after graduation. Outside of school, she is an avid runner and spends much of her free time running though the trails on campus or walking around Horsebarn Hill.
Nicole is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science. She is a part of the Honors Program and is looking to pursue a minor in business and possibly American Sign Language. She has an interest in any and all music and is always looking for a read that will catch her attention immediately. As for non-academic activities, Nicole likes to volunteer her time to community organizations and always tries to donate bimonthly to the Red Cross. It is Nicole’s goal in life to just always try and enjoy life day to day.