Our Staff

Tom Deans
Director, Writing Center

I’m a professor in the English Department, where I teach undergraduate courses in first-year writing, prose style, literature, and writing for community organizations, as well as graduate seminars in composition theory and writing across the curriculum. I’ve written books on the relationship of college writing to community engagement , plus a variety of articles and book chapters on composition, service-learning, writing in the disciplines, writing centers, writing assessment, literacy, sacred texts, and Shakespeare. I currently co-edit the Oxford Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines.




Kathleen Tonry
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.



margieMargie Ouimette
Program Assistant
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
Ph.D Candidate, English

GabeGabe studies rhetoric and composition and is in his second year of his PhD program. Besides writing centers, his research interests include multimodal literacies, graduate student writing, and writing across the curriculum. Before working in UConn’s Writing Center, Gabe taught writing to First-Year Writing courses at UConn and to graduate social work students at Rhode Island College. He enjoys hiking and making art, and has a passion for playing board games.





Graduate Student
Ph D. Candidate, Molecular and Cellular Biology
corynneCorynne is a fifth 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.






Graduate Student
Ph D. Candidate, Political Science
Derefe is a 5th Year PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science. His research interests revolve around questions of race with an emphasis on Black Studies. His work stands at the intersection of political philosophy and political theory. A native of Jamaica, Derefe completed his MSc in Government at The University of the West Indies, Mona. He does not enjoy cold weather, and he’s is a huge fan of white sand beaches and Reggae music.




Coordinator for Graduate Writing Support
Ph D. Candidate, Sociology
galiGali is writing his dissertation, in which he analyzes festivals as spaces where communities collectively develop values and symbols. He has taught sociology, human rights, and criminology courses at UConn. Before that, he completed his Master’s in Sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York City as a Fulbright Scholar. Gali is a native of Pamplona in the Basque region of Northern Spain (yep, where the running of the bulls happens). He enjoys stories in any format, cooking and eating food, and hiking with his wife and two dogs. He is quite good at movie trivia.





Assistant Director
Ph.D Candidate, Human Development and Family Studies
JonelleJonelle is a fifth year doctoral student in Human Development and Family Studies specializing in parenthood and parent-child relationships in foster families. Before working in the UConn Writing Center, Jonelle taught an upper-level undergraduate course in Family Studies as well as a graduate course in the School of Social Work at Smith College. She also teaches a First Year Experience course and facilitates a co-parenting class to couples in the midst of divorce. When not working, Jonelle enjoys watching foreign tv shows and reading novels with strong female characters.






Assistant Director
Ph.D Candidate, English
I began working in writing centers as a sophomore at the University of Vermont in 2012 and have been hooked to writing center practice and theory ever since. Though I’m a graduate student in the English Department, I study Composition and Rhetoric more specifically, with interests in (but not limited to) Writing Center studies, literacy studies, digital composition, second-language and translingual pedagogies, and creative/creative nonfiction writing. When I’m not busy being a student and tutor, you’ll find me on the couch with my two cats Katze (the German word for cat) and Koshka (the Russian word for cat) while enjoying (binging) Netflix or shopping online.


High School Outreach Coordinator
English/Secondary Education
Currently studying Curriculum and Instruction in the Neag School of Education, Kaylee enjoys learning about literature and composition in secondary education classrooms. She worked at the Avery Point Academic Center before moving to the Storrs Campus to join the Writing Center staff. When she’s not at the Writing Center, you can find Kaylee reading and walking with her dog, Milly.






Graduate Student
Ruth is a fifth-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.



Graduate Student
Biomedical Engineering/Material Science Engineering

Sana is pursuing graduate studies this year and believes that tutoring at the Writing Center was one of the highlights of her undergraduate years at UConn. Throughout her engineering curriculum, Sana has had experience with scientific and technical writing, but she enjoys writing and reading across all disciplines. After graduation, Sana hopes to travel to rural communities across the world and research healthcare disparities and their possible solutions.



Graduate Student
Kyle is an MA/PhD student in the English department, specializing in rhetoric and composition. He’s particularly interested in the rhetoric of science, ecocriticism (the interdisciplinary study of literature and its intersections with environment), urban ecology, and science writing. His other interests include writing center studies, literacy studies, writing across the curriculum (WAC), translingualism, and technical writing. Kyle also works as a writing instructor, teaching First-Year Writing courses here at UConn; prior to that he worked as a technical writer and illustrator. He doesn’t do anything in his free time, because everybody knows that graduate students don’t have free time.






Anna from Alabama” is a strong believer in bottomless coffee and multi-color highlighters for her endless to-do lists in her hourly planner.  A proud sister of Alpha Chi Omega, Anna is heavily involved in her chapter as Vice President of Ritual and Fraternity Appreciation, and looks forward to victories with her chapter’s intramural basketball and volleyball teams. In her spare time, Anna hopes to make as many trips to NYC as possible and figure out how to block all possible sunlight from entering the blinds in her room in the morning. Before working at the Writing Center, Anna loved her mentoring positions in both UConn Connects and the First Year Experience program. Before settling into her professional career, Anna hopes to write a children’s book worthy of its placement on the shelf of her favorites: Holes, The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure, and Henry and Mudge and the Funny Lunch.



Biological Sciences
Pursuing a career as a developmental pediatrician, Anneliese is a junior Biological Sciences and HDFS double major in the Honors Program. She also has a love for music, swimming, dogs, and reading her ever-growing book list. In addition to working as a second-year tutor, Anneliese is a member of the Minority Association for Pre-Med Students and CHAARG, and she does research in the UConn Child Language Lab. If you can’t find her in the Writing Center, you can probably find her taking a Zumba class, binge-watching Parks and Rec, or jamming out to ABBA’s Dancing Queen.





Human Development & Family Studies/Early Childhood Development

annikaAnnika is a junior from Farmington, Connecticut studying Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Development. She aspires to earn her Bachelor of Nursing degree post undergrad, with intentions of becoming a Nurse Midwife. In addition to tutoring at the Writing Center, Annika is a member of the UConn Law Society, Husky Ambassadors, and Alpha Beta Epsilon, and she spends much of her time working as a Nurse Assistant across the state of Connecticut. When Annika isn’t avidly writing, you can find her playing volleyball, tanning on Cape Cod beaches, painting, taking a yoga class, or traveling. Annika has recently traveled to Italy and Australia. She hopes that this semester doesn’t last as long as her flight to Sydney did!





Digital Marketing and Analytics/International Studies
Brenna is very excited to be back at the Writing Center after spending last semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland! She is very interested in history, human behavior, culture, and international relations, and she hopes to combine her varied interests into a meaningful and enlightening career after graduation. She volunteers as a conversation partner for international students here at UConn and will continue her summer internship at the International Trade Administration this fall. Besides catching up with friends and making up for lost study dates with Homer B., Brenna enjoys staying fit, watching football, traveling, eating good Mexican food, and taking any chance to talk about her dog, Harper



Dazjia is a third-year nursing student and upon graduation aims to work in a critical care setting, with hopes of becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.  When she isn’t volunteering in underserved communities by providing health care and facilitating other health promotion activities, she enjoys communicating in memes, taking long naps, dancing, and hanging out with friends. This being her first year at the Writing Center, she is excited to work with other students and aims to make this year as colorful as her notes.





Sustainable Plant & Soil Systems/Agricultural Education
It’s probably safe to say I spend more time around plants than people. When I’m not in the garden, I’m usually somewhere else outdoors–on the beach in the summer or skiing in the winter. Otherwise, I’m either studying or talking to people about farming or football. After graduating, I plan to become a high school agriculture teacher. I’m excited to be starting my first year tutoring!




Molecular & Cell Biology/Creative Writing
hruvHi writers! My name is Dhruv and I am a fourth-year honors student, second-year writing tutor, and first-year writing fellow. From South Windsor, Connecticut, I study Molecular and Cell Biology, English, and Creative Writing.  Although I am still figuring out how to blend these three interests, today I aim to be a physician and an author. Like many people, I think people in the humanities and sciences can learn a lot from each other. I am the president of two on-campus organizations: UConn Asha for Education and UConn Kidney Disease Screening Awareness Program. In my free time, I enjoy poetry, adventures, and Taco Bell. I’m excited about my new role as a writing fellow. Say Hi if you see me around campus!




Computer Science &Engineering
eliEli’s Computer Science & Engineering major/English minor combo is a labor of love. He  is a lab specialist at the Operations and Information Management Innovation Space and is working on a textbook about machine learning. He stays busy through his involvement with Kodama Taiko, UConn’s Japanese drum group, and as a writer for Spoon University. He bakes bread, is passionate about writing, and thinks you (yes you) should write more.






Political Science/English

Having just returned from a spring semester abroad in London, Emily is more often than not sharing her favorite British movies, books, television shows, restaurants, and adventures with anyone who will listen. While traveling abroad, she prepared to return to UConn to serve as Vice Chair of UConnPIRG and run the New Voters Project campaign by studying the women’s rights movement in the United Kingdom. Emily is passionate about advocacy, law, and writing. In her free time, she loves running, reading, cooking, playing the ukulele, and writing poetry. Emily aspires to become an influential attorney while traveling the world to experience as many cultures, languages, and culinary delicacies as possible.



Allied Heath Sciences/Sociology


Notorious for her uncanny ability to engage in deep conversations with strangers only moments after introduction, Jennn-With-Three-N’s aspires to continue making the most of her social endeavors during her third year at UConn. Academically, she hopes to further her understanding of global health and systemic care practices to explore and alleviate problems that socially, politically, and economically target disadvantaged groups. Jennn is currently the Media/Communications Point Person of RESULTS UConn, an organization that seeks to lessen the effects of poverty and its symptoms through implementing research-based advocacy. She has previously served as a Senator in UConn Hartford’s Associated Student Government and as a Peer Coach in UConn Hartford’s PEER P.A.L.S. Program. She is also a proud graduate of Leadership Greater Hartford’s Leading Off Campus program. She hopes to bring her experiences, undying appreciation for writing, and community-oriented approach into the Writing Center as she steps into the role of a first-year tutor.




Karma is a third-year tutor from Rocky Hill, Connecticut. She intends to be a Nurse Practitioner before pursuing a PhD for research. Her plan includes collecting as many certifications as possible, as well as writing a few poetry books along the way. When she’s not busy fighting for LGBT+ rights or being a Learning Community Ambassador, she enjoys playing tabletop/video games, writing creative pieces, and eating a lot of clementines. Karma’s tutoring style is casual, comfortable, and minimalist— it involves lots of questions to guide students in developing their writing skills. Her goal is for writers to leave sessions with a sense of direction and accomplishment!




Secondary English Education
katieKatie is an Honors student studying English and Secondary English Education while minoring in Public Policy. She serves as the Political Director of UConn Future Educators, the Vice President of the Teacher Education Student Association, and the State Student Chair of the Connecticut Education Association Student Program. Passionate about education, Katie aspires to work as an advocate in education politics and policy after being a high school English teacher. When not at the Writing Center, Katie enjoys attempting to break her personal record of reading as many books as possible in one day (currently: 3), spending time with her 3 corgis, updating her Google Calendar, and getting coffee with friends.






Molecular & Cellular Biology/Urban & Community Studies
I am a food enthusiast–not just regular food, but good food. My dream is to travel the world and try different foods. Being in my final year as a Molecular and Cell Biology major, however, I spend most of my time studying instead. As for my involvement on campus, I am a part of Student Support Services, a fourth-year employee at the African American Cultural Center, and a McNair Scholar. I enjoy conversations related in or out of my field, and look forward to hearing what you have to say!




Economics/Human Rights
Kharl is a proud Filipina American student from West Haven, Connecticut, and is majoring in both economics and human rights. This is her third year as a Writing Center tutor. She is interested in going to law school and possibly publishing her own fantasy novel one day. Through advocacy work, Kharl hopes to increase youth civic participation so that young people feel represented and have a voice in democracy. After graduation, she wants to work to combat voter discrimination among various communities through educating people on their voting rights in the field, but also working to challenge harmful policies in the courtroom. A few of her favorite things are penguins, bullet journalling, and long walks on the beach in mild temperatures.




Healthcare Management/Insurance  Studies/Allied Health Sciences
My name is Kristopher  but you can call me Kris or ‘KB’. Originally from the south side of Chicago, I am a junior and prospective major in Healthcare Management and Insurance Studies/Allied Health Sciences. One fun fact about me is that I’m a former walk-on for the men’s basketball team here at the UConn. As a first year tutor, I’m looking forward to meeting many new people and helping the student body become the best writers they can be.




Theatre Studies/English
Lizz is a senior majoring in Theatre Studies, with a focus in playwriting, and minoring in English. You can often find her helping out with rehearsals for shows at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre. In her free time, Lizz likes to work on plays, explore new theatre, and go on expeditions to find the best coffee and tea shops around. (Her local recommendation is Stafford Coffee Company, and her favorite recommendation is Dobra Tea in Northampton, MA).



Michael is a senior English major seeking to pursue a doctorate in education policy and measurement. Originally from Philadelphia, he repurposes his childhood experiences to fuel his passions for community betterment, education equity, and empowering others. These passions translate into Michael’s campus engagement as president of the cultural organization Brothers Reaching Our Society, as a McNair Scholar, and as a first-year tutor in the Writing Center. Michael has capitalized on his opportunities to make a positive impact and remain consistently involved on campus. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing, photography, dialectical discourse, and spending time with his loved ones.


English & Secondary Education/American Studies

In addition to her enthusiasm for being a first-year tutor, Natasha is excited to serve as Co-Vice President of UConn Future Educators, a role that involves organizing community outreach and social justice events for aspiring teachers. Through her experiences as an FYE Peer Mentor and a tutor at Windham High School, she has learned that she loves dedicating time to fostering student success. In the future, Natasha hopes to inspire her students to pursue their own interests, and push them to see how those interests intersect with writing and reading. In the meantime, you can find her falling victim to her unhealthy addiction to Starbucks, studying in Homer Babbidge, or spending time with friends. She looks forward to assisting the writers who come into the center!




Cognitive Science/Political Science
Odia is a third year writing tutor and a second year Writing Fellow. In the short term, she aspires to be a social and behavioral epidemiologist, but eventually wants a long career in policy making. 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 window-shopping (or actually shopping) online.



peterDespite being a super senior and having switched majors multiple times, I’m thrilled to have found a home in the English Department. I entered UConn as a Finance major and later switched to the pre-Pharmacy track. While Accounting and Organic Chemistry are each rewarding in their own way, I ultimately decided to pursue a degree in English with a concentration in Secondary Education. I hope to someday be a member of the worldwide community of educators who have the pleasure of working with the next generation each and every year. Outside of school I enjoy staying active in the gym and by playing pickup basketball. You’ll also find me in the Student Union discussing my favorite coffee/tea or arguing about Game of Thrones.





Molecular & Cell Biology/Psychology
Ryan is starting his first and last semester as a super senior. He is double majoring in molecular and cell biology and psychology with aspirations of being admitted to medical school. In medical school he will pursue becoming a surgeon—the specialty may be variable, but currently he is interested in neurosurgery. In his spare time, Ryan is a dedicated powerlifter, and last semester he competed in a Collegiate National competition hosted at Texas A&M University. He ultimately wants to return home to Hartford or a similar area to create or fund projects geared toward the bettering the community. Ryan is extremely excited to be starting his fourth and final year as a member of the Writing Center.





Political Science
Sarah is excited to join the Writing Center staff this year after a semester abroad in Seoul, South Korea! She is from Tolland, Connecticut, and is working towards a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Arabic. Sarah plans to continue her education into law school, and hopes to pursue a career in human rights and advocacy. This year she is also working as Program Director of  Cross Cultural Connections at Community Outreach, serving the international and exchange students here at UConn. Some of her favorite things include traveling, reading fantasy novels and comic books, pretentiously comparing American and Korean green tea lattes, and decorating for Halloween in July.



Political Science/Human Rights

Susan is a junior and is double majoring in Political Science and Human Rights. She hopes to attend law school in the future to receive a JD in International Human Rights Law, as she intends to dedicate her career to serving refugees across the world. Aside from working at the Writing Center, Susan works with the Honors department as a student programming assistant and is president of the Middle Eastern Student Association. She is also an avid coffee drinker and enjoys hiking!





Business Management/Digital Arts
Yasmine is a third-year Honors student studying Business Management and Digital Arts. She is interested in working in the media business, but she’d be happy working anywhere—as long as she’s the boss. In addition to working at the Writing Center, she is a photographer for the Department of Student Activities and Secretary of the Business Management Society. In her free time, Yasmine likes to watch movies, play soccer, and go to Broadway shows. She is also an avid fan of cookies and snakes in party hats.



Senior-Elementary Education



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.



Sophomore-Computer Science

nicoleNicole 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.