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) response to 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, and forthcoming publications from this study will appear in Research in the Teaching of English and Journal of Response to Writing. My co-authored research (with a team of writing center consultants) comparing face-to-face and synchronous online tutorials has appeared in The Writing Center Journal, and I have begun a follow-up study comparing experiences across in-person, live online, and asynchronous online tutorial modes.


Azlan S., Assistant Director (they/them)

Azlan holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction), and is working on a Ph.D. in Writing Studies. Their research interests include: 1) collaboration, storytelling and fiction as research, 2) art research, 3) public art facilitation, 4) the role of storytelling in knowledge creation, 5) multimodal writing, and 6) scholarly communities across departmental boundaries. Language: English



Meng-Hsien (Neal) L., Assistant Director (he/him/they/them) 

I’m a fifth-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. As an AD, I commit to bettering the writing center community and creating a learning environment where writing can be fun! Languages: English, Mandarin Chinese


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 including writing, reading, graphic design, and organizing spaces in my home. 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


Alyssa M., Office Assistant (she/her)

Hi! I’m a junior majoring in English with a double minor in Creative Writing and Medieval Studies. When I’m not at the Writers Workshop or in class, I usually can be found getting coffee from one of the two hundred places that sell it here on campus. Most of that is followed by me wishing I had gone to Dunkin’ instead. I like re-watching my favorite movies, reading outside, and taking long car rides. Language(s): English, Spanish


Maddie N., Office Assistant (she/her)

Hi! My name is Maddie and I’m a freshman majoring in history. I’m excited to be granted the opportunity to interact with the UIUC community and help students navigate the Workshop through this position. In my free time I enjoy obsessively watching Law and Order, going on long walks, and reading a good book. I’m looking forward to providing assistance to the patrons of the Workshop this semester!



Andrew K. (he/him) English

I am a Junior majoring in English (interest in Sci-Fi and American Literature) with a minor in Philosophy and interests in music and game design. I have history writing academic papers in the Humanities, but have also written in Anthropology with my personal strengths lying in detail and logic. I may have the most experience in the Humanities, but I genuinely enjoy writing across the curriculum. Language(s): English


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

I have taught first-year composition courses at 2 different universities (e.g., RHET 105) and Writing Across Media. I have 5 years of tutoring experience at 4 different institutions. I have experience with tutoring students in the following areas: school/internship/Med school applications, thesis/dissertations, papers from STEM fields, creative assignments, research papers, personal statements, etc. I have a BA in psychology and my MA in English specialization was in Medieval Literature. My current research concerns automation/AI’s impact on how writing is conducted. My strengths are helping students during the brainstorming/outlining stage and idea development, as well as with revisions. Language(s): English


Bess S. (she/her) Classics

I’m a junior in Classics (with coursework in history, anthropology, physics, and chemistry), and this is my second semester with the Writers Workshops. I’m most familiar with 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(s): English


Bianca X.
(she/her) Food Science and Human Nutrition

I am a 4th-year Ph.D. student in Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN). I specialize in scientific writing within the STEM fields, including data presentation and research proposal development. My experiences as a journal article reviewer and at the Office of Proposal Development have equipped me to effectively review and revise scientific writings. As an international student who has faced significant challenges in writing in English, I deeply understand the difficulties non-native speakers may encounter in their writing process. Therefore, my goal is to help students, especially those from diverse cultural backgrounds, overcome these challenges and develop strong writing skills. Language(s): English, Mandarin Chinese


Cong W. (she/her) Education

I am a PhD student devoted to mastering the English language, a journey that began during my undergraduate studies. Over the course of six prolific years, I have gained extensive experience as a TOEFL writing instructor. My pedagogical approach prioritizes fostering logical coherence and understanding the common challenges students face when composing. With a keen understanding of these concerns, I am well prepared to facilitate an enriching writer’s workshop and guide students towards enhancing their writing skills. Language(s): English, Mandarin Chinese


Cyrus M. (he/him) English Secondary Education

My experience as an English educator along with my limited background in STEM has given me a unique perspective on writing tasks. Additionally, I was in the US Army and come from a family of veterans, which allows me to provide assistance to our ROTC and Veteran students. I am someone who frequently engages in debates and discourse, and I am very interested in rhetorical and argumentative writing. However, I am also interested in fictional and informative writing. Language(s): English, Japanese


Dani N. (she/her) Flute Performance & Literature

I am a DMA candidate in Flute Performance & Literature with a minor in Ethnomusicology. I’m happy to be in my third year as a consultant in the Writers Workshop, where I’ve also worked as an Assistant Director. I love supporting writers on a variety of projects from creative, academic, and ethnographic work to applications for grants and jobs and professional documents like contracts and syllabi; I am passionate about the writing process as an exercise in self-discovery, expression, and empowerment and especially enjoy working with writers from diverse backgrounds. Currently, I am writing my dissertation on classical flute practice in Bulgaria (research funded by Fulbright), training to teach the Alexander Technique, and working as editor of the UIUC School of Music’s annual magazine, sonorities. Language(s): English, Bulgarian


David L. (he/him) Statistics

I am a Statistics PhD student. I’ve lived in China and India. I’ve taught English in China, South Korea, Italy, and the USA, and I am especially interested in argumentation and the use of evidence.  Language(s): English, Mandarin, Hindi.


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, 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(s): English, Spanish

Note: Elizabeth utilizes a software called Glean to record a meeting’s audio so she can use the transcript to aid in producing writing that may be shared with clients, like post-session notes and comments and suggestions for their documents. Audio recordings are only used to create the transcript and are utilized for nothing unrelated to that specific meeting with the writer.


Emily L. (she/her) Speech and Hearing Science

I am a first year graduate student pursuing my master’s in Speech and Hearing Science. I have a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Spanish for Professional Use, as well as a minor in Linguistics. I also have 3 years of prior tutoring experience and am most experienced in tutoring English and literature papers, business writing, and writing in the humanities. I’d love to help you brainstorm and develop ideas, create an outline, or work with you to revise a draft! Language(s): English


Emma O. (she/her) English

I am a Junior here at UIUC as an English major with a minor in sociology! I have always loved writing and have been helping students with their essays since I was a Freshman in high school. To this day, I continue to help first-generation students through the college application process to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible! I enjoy helping students work through their writing process, whether that is with a completed first draft or brainstorming essay ideas! Languages: English, Spanish, Italian


Fin M. (they/she) English/Writing Studies

Fin is a Ph.D. student in Writing Studies, specializing in multimodal writing. They have previous experience supporting writers as a writing tutor and as a teacher. Their goal is to ensure that writers leave their appointments more confident and comfortable in their writing, ready to revise and improve their project for their specific goals and purposes. Language(s): English


Hector I. (he/him) Aerospace Engineering

Hello! My name is Hector, and I am an undergraduate (sophomore) in Aerospace Engineering. My past experiences of writing include 2 years of writing tutoring at my high school (Illinois Math and Science Academy), research in physics for Fermilab, and engineering tech writing in NASA student challenges. In addition to STEM writing, I also have experience tutoring rhetorical writing for humanities courses (especially literature and history) and applications/personal statements. I look forward to helping with any writing you may have! Language(s): English, Spanish


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, French, Tibetan


Jordan S. (he/him) Physics

I am a Ph.D. student in Physics who has worked with the Writer’s Workshop for about two years now. My previous experience has been in helping to teach one of the only writing-intensive, undergraduate-level advanced Physics lab classes available since 2017. I leverage a grounded, writer-guided approach to my sessions so writers can build confidence and learn to critically analyze their text. My goal is to teach methodical writing and editing methods that will remain useful throughout the rest of your career. While I specialize in advanced scientific writing and data presentation, I leverage my two years of experience as a writing tutor to help writers from all disciplines. Language(s): English


Kevin N.
(he/him) Biology
I am a 4th year PhD student studying ecology and evolutionary biology! Between undergrad and grad school I have taught courses and workshops in biology, chemistry, physics, and statistics, published four first-author papers, and successfully written numerous grants. I also have worked as a science writer for the Institute for Genomic Biology at UIUC. I have extensive experience with lab reports, research papers/manuscripts, data analysis and interpretation, grants/fellowship applications, personal statements for graduate school and medical school, and pop science articles/press releases. While science writing is my specialty, my approach is general and I’d be happy to help with writing from all disciplines! Language(s): English


Kirsten J. (she/her) English

I am a senior in my second semester with the Writers Workshop. My personal writing experience is primarily in the humanities and especially literary criticism, though I also have experience with application essays, scholarship essays, and other types of persuasive writing. As well, my minors in both communications and business have given me experience in these areas. In particular, I enjoy helping students with brainstorming and organizing their ideas! Language(s): English, Spanish (basic)


Liz M. (she/her) English

I am a Ph.D. candidate in English and Medieval Studies. I have 6 years of experience teaching writing, 5 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(s): English


Marina T. (they/them) Information Sciences

I am a PhD student in Information Sciences, a field that involves writing and analyzing humanistic, scientific, and other interdisciplinary works. Within this field, I research the content, marketing, and teaching of youth literature. My BA is in English, and my college coursework involved equal amounts of literary analyses and creative writing, chiefly creative nonfiction, long-form journalism, and prose. I am a big fan of writing multiple drafts, and I look forward to supporting you as we polish your words and sharpen your insights, in any form and in any field! Languages: English, Brazilian Portuguese (heritage speaker)


Mark S. (he/him) Education/Creative Writing / History / Curriculum & Instruction

Hello! I’m excited to start my fifth semester at the Writers’ Workshop. I enjoy helping 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. I also enjoy talking about application essays, taught LAS 122 a few years ago, and have written multiple short stories and films. 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, French (novice)


Peizhen W. (she/her) English Literature

I am a Ph.D. candidate 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. Language(s): English, Mandarin Chinese


Portia E. (she/her) Chemical Engineering

I am an undergraduate (sophomore) majoring in Chemical Engineering. I always love talking to writers about their ideas and interests. My strengths lie in brainstorming, generating outlines, and creating clarity. I am always ready with a listening ear, and my goal is for you to leave your appointment feeling confident in your writing! Language(s): English


Rayven M. (she/her) Education Policy

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


Virginia W. (she/her) English

My name is Virginia, and this is my first semester as a consultant for the Writers Workshop! I spent the last two semesters interning as a communications specialist for the University of Illinois Neuroscience Program, and I am interested in pursuing a career in either publishing or communications. While I enjoy and appreciate all genres of writing, I especially love working with students on professional, application, and humanities pieces. My interests include reading, listening to podcasts, doing jigsaw puzzles, and going to coffeeshops with friends. Language(s): English


Zion T. (he/him) History and Latina/o Studies

I am a Junior majoring in History and Latina/o Studies, and this will be my second semester as a consultant. I have extensive writing experience in American and Latina/o history and some experience in sociology and literature. I have had short-form articles published in Chicago’s Puerto Rican community newspaper “La Voz del Paseo Boricua” and I have been an editor with the Undergraduate History Journal at Illinois for what will be my 3rd year. I have some experience writing personal, argumentative, and analytical essays in Spanish as well as some experience in helping with Personal Statements. Language(s): English, Spanish (intermediate)

Related Links: