Meet Our Tutors
Claire Becker is a PhD student in the History Department. Their research focuses on the history of early modern Spain and the Iberian Atlantic, but they also love reading theory and have a background in Visual and Cultural Studies. Claire’s strengths lie in the humanities, but they are open to working with writers in any discipline and at any stage in the writing process.
Tessa Brunnenmeyer is a PhD student in the Philosophy department and is interested in the history of Early Modern Philosophy and historical methodology. She loves tutoring because she gets to learn about so many different disciplines and ideas from her tutees. She specializes in argumentative writing but is happy to help in any discipline, at any stage of the writing process. Her overarching goal is to help tutees find more confidence in their writing that they can take with them into the future.
Jacob Carter is a PhD student in Visual and Cultural Studies who focuses on film and media studies. He specializes in first-year writing, argumentative writing, and visual analysis but enjoys helping writers from any discipline. He likes the collaborative aspects of tutoring and looks forward to working with tutees to clarify and develop their ideas.
Claire Corbeaux is a PhD student in the English Department. Although she studies English, she minored in physics as an undergraduate and hopes to be able to use her interdisciplinary training to assist students in their writing across disciplines. Claire enjoys working with writers and feels happiest when reflecting on the growth that she and the writers she works with have made through the tutoring process.
Caitlin Davie is a Mental Health Counseling student at the Warner School of Education. She graduated from the University of Rochester, where she was an English major, Writing Fellow, and writing studies research assistant. As a writing consultant, Caitlin hopes to give students the tools they need to make informed and confident decisions about their writing.
Laura Jones has a professional background in career development and is currently pursuing her EdD in Higher Education at the Warner School. She also serves as the lead instructor of the WRTG 27X courses at the U of R. She enjoys helping writers with professional writing, as well as personal statements and other kinds of application materials for graduate school, research programs, and internships.
Emily Lowman is a PhD student in the English Department, with backgrounds in English and Psychology. She teaches rhetoric-based courses for the WSAP and enjoys working with students from all disciplines, particularly in the areas of developing and supporting argumentative writing, and in strategizing about the writing process. She is the co-coordinator of the Graduate Writing Project and welcomes opportunities to work with all writers on all kinds of writing projects.
Fluent reading in French
McKayla Okoniewski is a professional tutor and the Writing and Speaking Center Assistant. She has a background in Writing and Rhetoric and Medieval European Studies. McKayla is deeply invested in the process of writing and how it is individual for each writer. She has worked with people on many genres—ranging from astrophysics journal articles, to medical and graduate school applications, to a book proposal on public speaking, to essays about Taylor Swift—and loves to learn new things and work with people from all backgrounds.
Liz Phinney is a PhD student in the Chemistry Department, researching nanomaterial synthesis for photocatalytic applications. Her strengths are in scientific writing but she enjoys helping tutor other types of academic or creative writing as well. She can also help with personal statements or graduate application essays (particularly for STEM fields). Her goal is to help students take away valuable tips and techniques for future writing through the open dialogue that one-on-one tutoring allows.
Xinyue Wang is a doctoral student in the Ed.D. in Counseling program at the Warner School. She has backgrounds in Communication Studies, English, and Educational Psychology. She has been mainly working with international students since her undergrad. She is interested in understanding international students' experiences and fostering the development, well-being, and sense of belonging for the student population in higher education settings. She loves writing and working with people from diverse backgrounds. Being a writing consultant, she enjoys exchanging ideas and generating new ideas, as well as learning and growing with other writers.
Fluent in Mandarin
Micah Williams is a PhD student in the English Department. His interests are in African American literature, 20th and 21st-century American literature…rather any literature associated with social justice, particularly those that intersect race, gender, and sexuality. Micah has tutored for two years at his previous institution, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and hopes to continue assisting students at the U of R with articulating their thoughts and developing their unique voices in inclusive, interdisciplinary ways. He appreciates working and learning with all students on many types of writing, but his favorite projects to tutor include argumentative essays, personal statements, and narrative writing.
Yue Guzhang is a PhD student in the department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Her research focuses on eye movements and visual perception. She specializes in scientific writing, but is happy to help in any discipline. She enjoys having intellectual conversations and brainstorming with writers on their writing projects. She is also happy to help with personal statements and application essays.
Fluent in Chinese (Mandarin)
Winifred Dorlean - Chemistry
Writing was never of interest to me until my last two years of high school. During this time, I enrolled in heavy rhetoric-based writing classes, and I was also exposed to different types of literature. During these formative/transitional years, I was inclined to engage in writing more frequently; when I got to the U of R, I was excited to become a Writing Fellow, so I could help others perfect their craft and become successful writers! One part I enjoy about tutoring is helping a tutee create their action plan! After an hour of tutoring, it can be difficult to know "what's next" and I enjoy playing a role in clearing up that uncertainty!
Jerry Dulluog - Health, Behavior, and Society
I'm experienced with both creative writing and argumentative essays. I enjoy helping my peers express their ideas through writing.
Anisha (Ani) Goorha - Biochemistry and BCSC
I’ve always loved writing and reading. I think that writing is a great way to express yourself in whatever form that you like. I love to work with others to learn about how they best express themselves through writing. I am always excited to meet new people and to chat about stressful writing assignments or to help brainstorm ideas!
Mel Harrell - English: Language, Media, and Communication
As a tutor, my main goal is always to make the sessions helpful and comfortable for the tutee. I understand being shy or nervous in sessions, so I do my best to address the tutee's needs and make the session fun! I love to brainstorm ideas, but also get into the nitty-gritty details of longer essays.
Geneva Hinkson - Politics, Philosophy, and Economics; Minor in Sustainability Studies
I swim in analytical and argumentative circles most days—philosophy, economic theory, political philosophy, law, history. For me, writing is a fight for courage and for clarity. It is a daunting project to externalize an idea on the page. As a writing fellow, I enjoy helping my peers in their versions of this fight.
Alexa Ingrassia - English: Language, Media, & Communication and Political Science
I have greatly enjoyed helping my peers to achieve their writing goals within tutoring sessions. As a writing fellow, I strive to boost others' confidence in their writing abilities and create a supportive environment that encourages them to question and grow. It has been a great experience to work with fellow students from both similar and different academic backgrounds on their written works.
Quinn Kubistek - Linguistics and Creative Writing
Despite currently being a linguistics and creative writing major, I have had much experience in the STEM fields, having taken many classes in high school and on Rochester's BME track. I have seen and experienced the struggles in many types of writing (from fiction to lab reports) and wish I had had someone to go to with these struggles to talk and work through them. I am excited to be able to be that person I never had for my peers.
Eric Kukenberger - Economics and Political Science
Writing can be the perfect medium to express our deepest, most critical, and important thoughts to the world. This is also what makes it such a scary and daunting process! I love turning the jumbled mess of ideas in my head into a structured, impactful, and compelling piece of writing that will make my readers think. Much of my experience is with argumentative research papers, particularly in the social sciences, but I am eager to work with writers of any discipline get their ideas out in a positive and comforting space where all ideas are welcome.
Grace Lee - Microbiology; Minor in Health Policy
One thing I love about writing is its ability to communicate identity through voice. It's so rewarding to be let in on that process with my peers, and I hope to encourage others to grow as communicators through writing.
Ruchita Makhun - Financial Economics
From a young age, I devoured books, exploring numerous realms outside the real world. This sparked a passion for creative writing, making me want to become a Writing Fellow. I love being able to help others pour their thoughts on paper to battle writer's block and feel confident in doing so. Writing is all about expressing yourself and I wish to let others know that too!
Fluent in Mauritian Creole, French; Business Proficient in Hindi
Annie Maloney - Physics and Astronomy; Minors in Creative Writing and Math
I’m an avid reader and writer of pretty much all things. I’ve written a lot of research and analytical essays, lab reports, and creative fiction, and absolutely love the practice of writing as a mode of communication, a device of discovery, and a tool of exploration. My favorite part of tutoring is helping to build a writer's excitement and confidence with their work, and express their ideas the way they want!
*Please note: I am currently enrolled in PHYS 235W and ASTR 232W, so, due to WSC policy, I am not able to tutor students from those courses.*
Eleyna Maves - English; Minor in Japanese
Writing is one of my oldest passions and one of the ways I’m most comfortable expressing myself. I’m interested in any writing that breaks the rules of format and convention to test the limits of the medium. My favorite part of tutoring is getting to talk through the writing process with another person and collaboratively workshopping their piece.
Katie O’Leary - Biology and East Asian Studies
For me, tutoring is so rewarding because I love helping writers walk out of the session more confident and feeling better about their writing. I strive to help writers find their voice, while helping them enjoy the process.
Quynh Anh (Angie) Pham - Digital Media Studies & Computer Science
Writing is hard - and that's okay! Let's talk it out! I view tutoring as accompanying a fellow student on a journey to take control of their writing process, become more confident, and come to their own voice.
Fluent in Vietnamese
Mahnoor Raza - English Literature, Political Science
Writing can make you feel happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time, and I try to be a resource for students of any discipline as they navigate this often intense but always rewarding process. Because of how messy and unpredictable writing can be, I try to create a safe space where students can be vulnerable, experimental, and exploratory. I love witnessing eureka moments when writers figure out a piece of the puzzle, realize all the different possibilities branching out before them, or discover a new idea or perspective that they hadn't considered before. As a bilingual writer myself, I also enjoy helping students who write and think in more than one language. My hope is that students walk away from the tutoring session confident in their skills and voices, and excited to continue exploring the evolution of their work and their own growth as writers.
Fluent in Urdu and Hindi
Nora Rooney - Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Minor in History
One of my favorite feelings while writing is that moment everything suddenly clicks. The writing process can be difficult, but I think that these kinds of realizations make the challenge worth it. As a Writing Fellow, I love watching other writers have their own epiphanies with their work, as all of the pieces start to fall into place. It reminds me why I love writing so much.
Lillian Stolberg - Mathematics and Business; Minor in Statistics
What I enjoy most about tutoring is the way both of us will learn something new from each session. I love playing around with organization and testing flow - I'm consistently amazed by the way switching two parts of a piece of writing can completely change its meaning.
An Vo - Biochemistry
What I enjoy most about tutoring is that I get to learn so much about other disciplines and their people through reading the pieces of writing that fellow students bring to me. I hope to just have conversations with students about what they're writing and accompany them through the writing process from brainstorming through the final draft.
Fluent in Vietnamese
Jack White- Neuroscience; Minor in Chinese and Clinical Psychology
One of my favorite things about tutoring is being able to facilitate the writing process for students from all kinds of backgrounds here. I love being able to share that there's so much more to understand and learn from writing if you put your mind to it!
Kathy Yan - Business Analytics; Minor in Chinese and Anthropology
Writing can be difficult. Trust me, we've all been stuck somewhere in the writing process, unable to produce a single ounce of writing. Sometimes you just need someone to look at your work, to test out different methods. I'm here to offer a space for kind, non-judgemental feedback on work from any discipline :)
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese
Amna Arain - Archeology, Technology, & Historical Structures; History; Film
I’ve always had multiple languages spoken at home—from Farsi to Urdu to English—and now that I study archaeology, I’m always encountering and studying foreign or ancient languages. So, how language interacts with culture, identity, and social structures is always a topic I’m interested in. I’m very excited to be a tutor because I’ve been involved in public speaking since I was quite young, and I have been working with people of all ages—and myself—on always trying to express oneself and ideas in different ways in any type of public speaking. I think college is a fantastic place to find the ever-changing narrative or story within your public speaking persona.
Fluent in Urdu and Hindi
Sonali Bello - American Sign Language and Psychology; Minor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences
I love confidence and helping people learn how to feel it, being a Speaking Fellow puts me in a unique position to provide the tools to people to teach themselves how to become their most articulate and confident selves.
Garrett Briggs - Political Science
Being a speaking fellow is amazing because I can connect to others through learning about their passions. It is also fulfilling because I enjoy helping others prepare for otherwise intimidating tasks, such as interview preparation or class presentations. Watching someone build confidence over time is a really rewarding process to be a part of, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to help out!
Zakilya (Zak) Brown - Brain & Cognitive Sciences and Psychology; Minor in Creative Writing
The really cool thing about public speaking, presentations, conversations, and interviews is that anyone can be amazing at these skills; all we need is a safe place to practice and grow. Trust me, I used to be the worst at all of these. As a Speaking Fellow, I enjoy being a safe place for students who are early in their speaking journeys :)
Karenrose Kamala - Economics
Hi! I’m Ro, a senior currently majoring in Economics. I’m originally from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. What I love about tutoring is the impact you get to have on someone’s journey—I see it as a way of paying it forward. It reminds me of how much teachers/professors/mentors have done for me, and how I could never put a price on it.
Fluent in Swahili
Juliana Montes - Cognitive Ethnomusicology
Hola hola! My name is Juliana and I am a junior. I have created my own major here at the university that is focused on cultural music and how it affects the brain differently. I have a big background in research specifically focused on music and its effects on us mentally. Since I am also Mexican and first generation student, I understand that trying to navigate academics at a predominantly white institution can be a bit anxiety-inducing. This anxiety can double when it comes to having to communicate or present to an audience you are not used to, but that is why I am here to provide a helping hand!
Fluent in Spanish
Christin Napierkowski - Mathematics and British American Literature
I am an undergraduate junior working towards degrees in math, English, and teaching & curriculum. I have always been interested in language and communication, especially since I intend to pursue a career in education. I love being a tutor because I enjoy helping others in any way I can, and I am especially passionate about helping students find confidence in their voices and their unique identities as communicators.
Charles Ndlovu - Business and Finance
Hi, it's your boy Charles! I am a business major with a keen interest in Investment banking. When tutoring, I love watching the progression from beginning to end of the session. Comparing where someone starts with a project or presentation to the progress they make by the end of the session is so fulfilling. It reminds me that if you put in an effort, change or improvement can happen without you even realizing it.
Fluent in Ndebele, Zulu
Ha Nguyen (An) - Business Information System and Political Science
My background in Political Science and Business Information System means I have to learn to communicate complex ideas, maybe a political ideology or an algorithm, in an accessible and engaging manner. That's why I have become fascinated by the power of words, especially as we engage and exchange ideas. So I hope through tutoring, I can empower students to also effectively advance their ideas, whether it's through a speech, a presentation or a conversation.
Fluent in Vietnamese
Lillian Ravikoff - Linguistics and Brain & Cognitive Sciences; Minor in American Sign Language
My passion for speaking comes from a love of spoken word poetry and I developed an appreciation for the power that comes from expressing yourself verbally over the written word. Although I am a bit of a chatter box, the moment I get up to speak in public, I start shaking. As a Speaking Fellow I hope to help people work though speech anxiety and be able to express themselves clearly and confidently.
Campbell Sy - English: Creative Writing; Minors in Social Psychology and Journalism
I love language and having the ability to make it unique to yourself. I believe everyone's voice matters and should be backed by their confidence in it. Being a speaking fellow allows me to help peers gain confidence in their voice, and find ways to make it themselves. I have had a long journey of self confidence in my voice, and especially here at Rochester. I am always excited to be able to help someone else along their own journey.
Hannah Wang - Clinical and Translational Sciences; Minor in Psychology
Hey! Public speaking sucks! I struggled a lot with it myself but love how it challenges me. I'm a sophomore on the pre-med track and I really like helping people gain confidence through their speaking!