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 received both my B.S. and M.A. from UIUC. My research is focused on Black women’s racialized, gendered, and classed experiences in higher education. 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


Bio Pic for Kim Savage

Kim S., Office Support Specialist (she/her)

I am here to welcome you to the Writers Workshop! I am available to answer questions, help schedule appointments, and direct you to resources to help you with your writing. If there’s something you want to know more about, I will find the answer!

I work for the Center for Writing Studies and the Writers Workshop providing marketing and management support as they help the entire campus with various writing-related needs. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management (with a minor in Entrepreneurship) from Eastern Illinois University, and an Associate’s degree in Business Administration from Lake Land College. I’ve held previous positions in banking, retail, and even a haunted house (despite this, I still move through them as quickly as possible!).

I have little free time due to my many roles as mom, wife, home manager, and parishioner. When I do have time to relax, I find myself catching up on my ever-growing YouTube “Watch Later” list or pursuing creative outlets ranging from organizing spaces in my house to coloring in children’s coloring books (those tiny, restrained coloring spaces in adult coloring books cause more tension for me than they release. Give me some large, adorable characters, shapes, and scenery to color!).


Faith C., Office Assistant (she/her)

Hi! My name is Faith and I’m a junior majoring in political science and minoring in psychology. In my free time, I enjoy reading, going out, and spending time with friends. Outside of the Writers Workshop, I’m involved with a professional pre-law frat on campus. I’ve been with the Writers Workshop for almost two years, and I’m happy to help out with any questions you may have! Language(s): English


Hannah Kapur Bio Pic

Hannah K., Office Assistant (she/her)

I am an undergrad majoring in bioengineering with minors in computer science and chemistry. I have a penchant for helping others accomplish their goals and am thrilled that I have the opportunity to be the first face writers see when arriving at the workshop! When I’m not at work or in class, you can find me reading feminist literature on the quad, debugging my code, or looking for new shows to binge-watch! Language(s): English, Hindi


Jenna Manzano Bio Pic

Jenna M., Office Assistant (she/her)

Hello! My name is Jenna and I am a junior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Informatics. I transferred from Elgin Community College last semester and so I am still adjusting to life here. I enjoy reading, shopping, and grabbing drinks with my family. I am looking forward to ending my educational journey at Illinois and I am really grateful to be working at the Writers Workshop this semester. I am ready to help anyone and everyone so feel free to reach out! Language(s): English



Alen G. (he/him) Aerospace Engineering

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. My background is in engineering/mathematics and my current research is in the field of optimal control theory. For the past few years, I have served as the teaching assistant for different engineering and mathematics courses. In particular, I enjoy putting scientific and other technical ideas into writing. Languages: English, Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic), Persian (Farsi)


Alex G. (he/him) Communication

I have been a consultant for a year, and I have experience in curating PR content for on-campus organizations. In my coursework, I have completed research reports, persuasive essays, and rhetorical/literary analyses. While I love working with writers at all stages of their writing, I particularly enjoy helping students with brainstorming and outlining. Language: English


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 in 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: 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-based 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: English


Antonio H. (he/him) English/Writing Studies

I have taught Writing Across Media and first-year composition courses at 2 different universities. I have a little over 4 years of tutoring experience at 3 different institutions. I have experience with tutoring students on applications, thesis/dissertations, papers from STEM fields, creative assignments, etc. I have a BA in psychology and my MA in English specialization was in Medieval Literature. Additionally, I would say my strengths are helping students during the brainstorming/outlining stage, as well as with revisions. Language: English


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

Azlan holds an MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction, and is working on a Ph.D. in Writing Studies. Their research interests include: 1) research and fiction as research, 2) art research, 3) how storytelling moves through knowledge creation, 4) the creation of a persona on the page, and 5) multimodal writing. Language: English


Bess S. (she/her) Classics

I’m currently a sophomore in Classics (with coursework in history, physics, and chemistry). Most of the papers I write are humanities-style essays, though I have experience with lab reports as well. I’m also happy to help with application essays and personal statements. I look forward to working with you! Language: English


Brendan L. (he/him) English

Hi! As a Junior at UIUC, this will be my first semester at the Writers Workshop. I’m an English major minoring in Secondary Education. I prioritize establishing structure in a paper and providing suggestions that can be used in the post-consultation revision process and future writing endeavors. Language: English


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, Informatics 303: Writing Across Media, and MACS 104: Intro to Film. 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: 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. Languages: English and Malagasy


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

Elizabeth is a graduate student working toward her Master of Science in Library and Information Science. She earned a B.S./B.A in Marketing, and completed an additional Major in English Literature: Creative Writing (with almost equal experience in both fiction and nonfiction), as well as a minor in Design (focused on fashion and advertising). She has extensive experience with many types of writing, from traditional academic analyses and research to practical writing (e.g., cover letters and business plans). She is also equipped with tutoring experience in various fields. Language: English


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 they are approaching their first research assignment. Language: 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: English


Jordan S. (he/him) Physics, Biophysics

I have helped teach one of the only writing-intensive, undergraduate-level advanced Physics lab classes available for nearly six years now. Furthermore, I have a year of experience as a Workshop consultant helping people from across all disciplines. I specialize in advanced scientific writing and data presentation. Language: English


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

I am a second-year 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. This is my second year at the Writers Workshop. I love working with all kinds of writing, but am particularly excited to help with more personal or creative work. Language: English


Kirsten J. (she/her) English

My greatest writing strengths are in the humanities, and I have significant experience working with literary analysis/criticism. As well, I have plenty of experience working with persuasive writing and scholarship essays. I have some experience in tutoring young students in English. Though English and the humanities are my specialties, I am ready to help with writing in any area. Languages: English and Spanish (basic)


Liz M. (she/her) English

I am a seventh-year Ph.D. 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 levels. I’m happy to work with you no matter where you are in the writing process — from brainstorming to final drafts! Language: 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. Languages: English and Hindi (Fluent)


Marissa L. (she/her) Communication & Media

Hi! I’m Marissa! I am a senior in Communication with a minor in Media, focusing on cinema studies and advertising. I have written multiple short stories and am passionate about the creative writing process. In addition, UIUC has presented me with the Richard Murphy award for the most outstanding undergraduate research paper. UIUC’s Communication major frequently involves public speaking, so I am proficient in speech outlines and presentations. I enjoy working through the entirety of the writing process and look forward to helping with any research papers, creative writing assignments, or public speaking assignments. Language: English


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

Hello! I’m excited to start my third 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 and have written a short film due to premiere in April 2023. I look forward to working with you! Language: 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. Languages: English and French (novice)



Meng-Hsien (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 in 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 class. My latest publication focuses on graduate teaching assistants’ becoming during one-on-one writing consultations. Languages: English and Mandarin Chinese

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. Languages: English and Vietnamese


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! Languages: English, Hindi, and Urdu


Nic Q. (they/them) English

This is my third year of undergrad and my first semester as a peer consultant in the Writers Workshop. As an English major, my favorite areas of study are postcolonial literature/theory and feminist literature/theory. Outside of class, I work with the Education Justice Project as their head intern, and last semester I taught a section of LAS 101. I’m looking forward to helping you develop your voice as a writer! Language: English


Peizhen W. (she/her) English Literature

I am a Ph.D. student in English Literature focusing on Digital Humanities (Literature + Programming), Science Fiction/Fantasy, Fan Studies, 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. Languages: 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: English


Shefali M. (she/her) English

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

Sofia D. (she/her) English

I am a senior majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. I have experience writing in MLA, APA, Chicago, and AP (Associated Press) styles. I enjoy helping people tailor their writing to a particular style or audience, structure arguments, and incorporate evidence. Language: English

Bio Pic for Tara Mobasher

Tara M. (she/her) Journalism

I am a journalism student who has always been extremely passionate about reading and writing. Specifically, I love guiding students through writing their statements of purpose for applications because I get to see them talk about their interests and passions. I am also pursuing a minor in criminology, law, and society and hope to attend graduate school next year. Languages: English and Farsi



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: 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. Languages: 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: English


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