Meet the Staff

Administrative Staff:

Dr. Carolyn Wisniewski

Dr. Carolyn Wisniewski, Director (she/her)

As an administrator, teacher, and scholar, I’m committed to the learning that takes place during the one-to-one teaching of writing. Before joining the Workshop as its Director in 2015, I worked in four university writing centers, an athletic tutoring center, and a non-profit community literacy center. I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses in persuasive writing, public writing, writing research methods, composition theory and pedagogy, and writing center theory, research, and practice. My recent research focuses on two areas: (1) feedback on student writing and (2) modes of writing center tutorials. In 2018, I was awarded a research grant from the Council of Writing Program Administrators to support a study of how graduate instructors from across the curriculum learn to respond to student writing. My co-authored research (with a team of writing center consultants) comparing face-to-face and synchronous online tutorials recently appeared in The Writing Center Journal, and I have recently begun a follow-up study comparing experiences across tutorial modes as the Writers Workshop returns to on-site tutoring in addition to our live online and asynchronous online appointments.

When I’m not teaching, I enjoy cooking, reading detective fiction, and hiking with my horgi (huskey-corgi mix), Barley, and my Great Pyrenees, Booger (from Boogertown Gap, Tenn.).


Dan Z., Assistant Director

Dan Zhang is a PhD candidate in the department of English and the Center for Writing Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before coming to UIUC, she earned a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Secondary Education and taught English Language Arts in Kansas. At UIUC, while pursuing her PhD, Dan keeps teaching a variety of English writing courses and works with writers at the Writers Workshop. Language(s): English, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese


Dani N., Assistant Director (she/her)

I am a DMA candidate in Flute Performance & Literature with a minor in Ethnomusicology. In addition to my work as a writing consultant, I have years of experience as a private flute instructor, flute & music education teaching assistant, and peer writing & research mentor. Currently writing my dissertation on classical flute practice in Bulgaria and its intersection with local expressive culture (research funded by a Fulbright study/research grant), I am interested in the global-historical complexity of Western art music and how understanding both its systemic situatedness and its intrinsic diversity can provide a path forward for a more critically, socially, and globally engaged practice. I am a co-founder/editor of the online, public-facing interdisciplinary arts publication The Collective. When I am not fluting, writing, or attending the local Alexander Technique training course, I read quasi-philosophical escapist fiction (mostly), watch anime with my husband, and play with our spicysweet tortie cat, Sila. Language(s): English and Bulgarian


Rayven M., Assistant Director (she/her)

I am a 4th year Ph.D. student in Education Policy, and I’ve gotten both my B.S. and M.A. from UIUC. With a heavy background in Gender and Women’s Studies, I am very proficient in social justice topics and how to critically analyze texts about race and gender (as well as other identities). One genre I enjoy working with is diversity statements, and I have facilitated presentations about writing diversity statements for the academic job market! Language(s): English and African-American Vernacular English



Alex G. (he/him) Communications

As a communication major, I am particularly familiar with writing that is designed to persuade diverse audiences who may not be receptive to the writer’s ideas. Outside of writing done for my major, I have written informative blogs for Bike at Illinois, an organization on campus. I greatly enjoy structuring ideas and the process of brainstorming that precedes writing.


Allison C. (she/they) Social Work

Allison is a fifth year doctoral student in Social Work, with a minor in College Teaching. This is their third year with the Writers Workshop. Her research focuses on applying social justice theory to criminal legal social work education through restorative and transformative justice practices. They love to work with writers on theoretical and philosophical brainstorming; organization and outlining; identifying writing barriers; and experimenting with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral writing strategies. She excels with a variety of genres, including case and clinical writing, narrative and reflective writing, course assignments in the social sciences and postsecondary education, graduate school and job application materials, personal statements, dissertation and thesis chapters, and APA style. She enjoys working with writers from diverse backgrounds, particularly neurodivergent writers and non-traditional students. Language(s): English


Anna F. (she/her) English, Ph.D. Literary Studies

I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of English, with a focus on Black literature. If you are a humanities or arts student, I am your consultant! Prior to being an English major, I was in theater and dance, so I have a well-rounded balance of creativity and research writing. I am versed in writing and looking over research papers, conference papers, short stories, and poetry. Language(s): English


Azlan S. (they/them) English / Writing Studies Ph.D. Candidate

At UIUC, I’ve taught Rhetoric 105, The Odyssey Project, and Writing Across Media. I’m a creative writer and MFA interested in both Fiction and Poetry, and my research focuses on how storytelling moves through knowledge creation in both Humanities and STEM programs.


Bri L. (she/her) English / Writing Studies

Bri (she/her) is a sixth-year Ph.D. student in the Center for Writing Studies affiliated with the English department and the department of Gender & Women’s Studies. Her research focuses on the intersections between digital and queer rhetorics, specifically in the form of multimedia production by social media content creators. At UIUC, she has taught Rhetoric 105 and Informatics 303: Writing Across Media. She previously earned her MA in Composition with dual emphases in Literature and Applied Linguistics/TESL from California State University, San Bernardino. She has worked in writing centers in various capacities since 2006. Language(s): English


Devin E. (he/him) Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

I have been a writing tutor for two years. I enjoy working with writers from all departments. Before graduate school, I worked for the federal government and two non-profits, during which time I wrote three books, over a dozen peer-reviewed publications, and had a frog species named after me. My background is in science writing, but I like getting a taste of everything and I am happy to help with any type of writing project. Language(s): English and Malagasy


Elizabeth S. (she/her) Library and Information Science

I have been working as a writing tutor for four years, and I love every minute of it. My own research sits at the intersection of urban history, book history, and digital humanities. I regularly work with python, xml, and rest APIs. I enjoy helping writers at any stage of the writing process whether they are an expert researcher in need of an eager listener or if they are approaching their first research assignment. Language(s): English


Hilary M. (she/her) Music

Hilary is a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology who specializes in writing about music and sound. She enjoys all stages of the research and writing process and has years of experience tutoring STEM students in writing in the humanities. As a tutor, teacher, and learner, Hilary is especially interested in understanding and utilizing diverse learning processes, especially for students with cognitive disabilities. Language(s): English


Julia K. (she/her) Education/Curriculum & Instruction

I am a graduate student working towards my Master’s in Secondary Education – English. I have had three years of tutoring experience at the University of Washington where I earned my BA in English- Creative Writing. I love working with all kinds of writing, but am particularly excited to help with more personal or creative work. Language(s): English


Liz M. (she/her) English

I am a seventh-year PhD student in English and Medieval Studies. I have 6 years of experience teaching writing, 4 years of tutoring experience, and 5 semesters of experience teaching literature at the 100 and 200 level. I’m happy to work with you no matter where you are in the writing process – from brainstorming to final drafts! Language(s): English


Maha K

Maha K. (she/her) Political Science / English

This will be my 4th semester as a writing consultant at the Writers Workshop. I have also taught LAS 101, assisted Professor Ben Miller with his research, interned for State Representative Carol Ammons, been a part of the Illinois Trial Team, and worked with Professor Hale at the Freedom School. Currently, I am an RA at Bromley Hall, the VP of Illini CHAARG, and a senator in Illinois Student Government. I love working with students on their creative writing projects and with their professional application material. Language(s): English, Hindi (Fluent)


Mark S. (he/him) Creative Writing / History

Hello! I’m excited to start my second semester as a writing center tutor. I enjoy helping students brainstorm or work on outlines for any genre or topic. I’m most familiar with the requirements of history research papers, rhetorical analyses, and English papers, but I also enjoy talking about application essays. I look forward to working with you! Language(s): English


Martha L. (she/her) English

Martha obtained a dual honors B.A. in English Literature and B.F.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in Women’s Studies at Penn State University; she began tutoring in Fall 2013 and received the Outstanding Writing Tutor Award for the 2015 academic year. She came to the University of Illinois to pursue her doctorate focused on Renaissance literature in 2017. Martha comes to the Writers Workshop with specialized experience working with English as Second Language (ESL), Neurodivergent (ND), and STEM students on every kind of writing imaginable! She looks forward to helping you develop your writing skills. Language(s): English and French (novice)


Mel M. (she/her) Ethnomusicology / Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (minor)

I am a PhD student with a background in ethnomusicology, cultural studies, anthropology, hip hop studies, gender studies, music performance and education, and Russian, East European, and Eurasian area studies. I have years of experience as a graduate teaching assistant and as a student writing papers for courses in the humanities. I have written successful grant applications for research abroad, and would be happy to help you with grant writing, personal statements, and other application materials. I have enjoyed working with students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and I especially love working one-on-one with students. I am excited to help you achieve your writing goals! Language(s): English, Russian, and Ukrainian


Minh N. (he/him) Bioengineering

I have tutored for a year in the Writers Workshop as of August 2022, and have several more years of writing tutoring outside of the Writers Workshop. I enjoy personal statements and have helped with many graduate school applications, scholarship essays, and also enjoy public speaking and presentations. Language(s): English and Vietnamese


Mona A. (she/her) Journalism

I am currently a graduate student earning my Master’s in journalism! My area of specialty when I earned my Bachelor’s was math. I’m the assistant news editor for the Daily Illini and a T.A. for Journalism 200. In addition, I conduct legal research for Professor Benjamin Holden and write for the Undergraduate Law Review club! I’m also heavily involved with the Arab Student Association and Palestine Children’s Relief Fund on campus. I look forward to assisting with all types of writing! Language(s): Arabic and English


Nabilah N. (she/her) Law

I’ve worked as a tutor since 2017, specializing in academic writing, history, math, and test preparation. I have also worked as a copywriter and editor for small businesses, as an adjunct instructor for international law students, and have a BA in literature. In addition, I have a diverse legal background and have considerable research experience. I especially enjoy helping students write essays for various subjects, do research, and prepare personal statements, cover letters, and resumes for professional programs. My goal is to support writers, regardless of where they are in the process. Excited to work with you! Language(s): English, Hindi, and Urdu



Neal L. (he/him/they/them) English / Writing Studies

I’m a fourth-year Ph.D. student in English/Writing Studies, focusing on transnational literacies/intersectional identities. Prior to being a graduate student at UIUC, I had taught writing domestically and internationally at various educational settings. At UIUC, I have taught Rhet 105 & Rhet 233 and implemented a wide array of pedagogical tools and methods in my own classroom. My latest publication focuses on graduate teaching assistants’ becoming during one-on-one writing consultations. Language(s): English and Mandarin Chinese.


Ngan B. V. Curriculum and instruction

I am a doctoral student focusing on Language and Literacy Education. I tutored writing for 1 year during my MA study and taught EFL to college students in Japan for 4 years. Language(s): English and Vietnamese


Peizhen W. (she/her) English Literature

I am a Ph.D. student in English Literature focusing on Digital Humanities (Literature + Programming), Nineteenth Century British Literature, Science Fiction, etc. I hold a B.A. in English Literature from Tsinghua University. I have tutored in academic writing for five years, and have taught 100 and 200 level courses in writing and literary studies at UIUC. My research fields are highly interdisciplinary, and I am happy to work with students from humanities, STEM, fine arts, and other areas. Language(s): English and Mandarin Chinese


Sarah U. (she/her) Library and Information Sciences

Before my transition into information science, I was an assistant professor of biology for two years. I have a lot of experience with scientific writing in the classroom and professional science writing. I’m happy to help with any point of the writing process and especially love helping people hone their voice for applications and fellowships. Language(s): English


Savannah B. (she/her) English / Writing Studies

Hi, I’m Savannah! I am a graduate student in the Center for Writing Studies and have been tutoring at the Writers Workshop for two years. I have worked with undergraduates and graduates alike on everything from seminar papers to dissertations to manuscripts and everything in between! My strengths are asking in-depth questions about your work and coming up with writing plans that we can utilize during and after our sessions. I also prioritize familiarizing myself with your writing background and establishing the criteria of your project. Looking forward to working with you this semester! Language(s): English


Shefali M. (she/her) English

Hello! I’m a senior majoring in English and minoring in secondary education. I have experiences in teaching LAS 122, tutoring students of all grades and subjects, and student teaching a writing class at Edison Middle School. I enjoy working on writing you would see in a traditional literature classroom, but feel free to stop by for help on anything! Language(s): English and Hindi



Tim B. (he/him) Music Performance and Literature (Voice), D.M.A.

I have a research base in Gender Studies and Musicology, specializing in feminism in the Victorian Era. In addition to working on a dissertation focusing on Jenny Lind and her tour with P.T. Barnum (1850-1851), I have also written on Aaron Copland and the McCarthy hearings as an exploration of Copland’s The Tender Land through Gender and Political Studies. Language(s): English


Vanessa P. (she/her) Social Work

I served as the teaching assistant of SOCW 300 Diversity: Identity and Issues for four semesters, and will teach this course as an adjunct professor in Fall 2022. I have a Master of Science in Social Work and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. Language(s): English and Spanish (working professional proficiency).


Zoë F. (she/her) English

My name is Zoë and I am currently a senior at UIUC. This is my second year tutoring at the Writer’s Workshop. I am majoring in English with a minor in Public Relations. I love tutoring a variety of genres, with specific emphasis on English, history, and other humanities essays. Language(s): English



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