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Writing Center | Consultants

Meet the Staff

When you come to the Writing Center, you will work with one of our writing consultants who are undergraduates and graduate students, mostly in the Department of Literature.

We're students too, so we're well-versed in writer's block! We've put together some of our favorite reads to get your creativity flowing.

Mina Anderson, a first-year MA student, was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and immigrated to the US in 2000. She received her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Psychology from University of Maryland, College Park. She has a weakness for Russian literature and run-on sentences.

Madison Chapman is a junior Literature major in the Honors program. She is from Sarasota, Florida, where every day the weather is perfect and you never have to worry about coats or snow boots. She loves reading everything from Harry Potter to Romantic poetry, and Gothic novels to queer theory.

Veronica Garrison-Joyner is a native of the DC Metropolitan area and has lived here her whole life. She is a first-year MA student whose eclectic literary interests include Dr. Seuss, George R.R. Martin, Nikki Giovanni, J.K. Rowling, Touré, and William Shakespeare. She loves reading and discussing literature, but finds creative writing especially challenging.

Olympia Georgeson is a first-year Creative Writing MFA student who loves reading Tomas Tranströmer, Li-young lee, Mark Strand, the Brontë sisters and Thomas Hardy. She has previously been living in Brooklyn, New York. The most rewarding aspect of academic writing for her is shaping a creative, convincing thesis;and the most tedious, is making the final editing touches.

Eleanor Greene is a senior Journalism major and Creative Writing minor from Central Massachusetts. Eleanor can find something good about most things she's read, and often reads modern teen lit right along with 20th century classics. Eleanor likes writing fast then going back for editing.

Hanna Grieb is a first-year MA student. She was born in Sandy Spring, Maryland, but spent several years in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she studied at Hampshire College. Her favorite books include Desde los blancos manicomios by Margarita Mateo Palmer, No Telephone to Heaven by Michelle Cliff, The Last World by Christoph Ransmyar, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Her greatest challenges with writing are getting started and finally, letting go.

Mary Stone Hanley grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but spent 30 years in Seattle, Washington, whereI raised two sons and got a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Washington. I am a first year MFA student in the Creative Writing Program and love the poetry of Margaret Walker, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, and Hattie Gossett, and others. My biggest challenge in writing is getting through the first draft before I pull my hair out.

Sarah Johnson is a first-year MFA student studying poetry. She is from Danville, IL. Her favorite authors include James Joyce, Louise Gluck, Mary Oliver, William Blake, Toni Morrison, and Harriet Jacobs. She loves learning about the technicalities associated with grammar as well as researching various topics in women’s and gender studies, although she still struggles with being too literal in her writing.

Kara Kornhaber, a senior, studies philosophy, literature and French, and her favorite books are Lolita and A Clockwork Orange. She loves that writing allows her to be creative, but often finds that procrastination is her greatest obstacle to overcome when writing for a class.

Emma Lister is a first-year MA student. She got her BS in Elementary Education with a minor in Autism Studies from St. Joe's. She is a Harry Potter fanatic, and also enjoys slightly more sophisticated readings, like Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson.

Hanna Mangold is a first year MFA-creative writing student. She grew up in Alexandria, VA, but has spent the past couple years living in Shepherdstown, WV while studying English at Shepherd University. She prefers literature from the mid-late 20 authors include J.D. Salinger, Salman Rushdie, John Kennedy Toole, Edward Abbey, and Kurt Vonnegut. Hanna also has a soft spot for children's and young-adult literature such as the works of Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Norton Juster, and Robert Cormier. 

Ragini Menon is a senior double majoring in International Studies and Journalism. She has lived inChennai, Bombay, Bangalore and Hong Kong. She loves a number of Indian authors, including Amitav Ghosh, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and Jhumpa Lahiri. Her biggest problem with writing is leaving it to the last minute!

Joellyn Powers is a 2nd-year MFA student in fiction from Lititz, PA, but she spent the past four years completing a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her favorite authors include mostly contemporary writers, such as Lorrie Moore, Aimee Bender, and Robert Boswell, but she enjoys work by older writers as well, especially Flannery O’Connor and Jane Austen. She loves the absorbing experience of writing a good story, but sometimes has trouble staying focused and determined to finish.  

Sarah Sansolo is a 2nd-year MFA student who has lived most of her life in the DC area. Her favorite authors are Jeanette Winterson and Joyce Carol Oates. She loves putting her thoughts down in words, but she struggles with writing that tricky first paragraph and tends to overuse commas.  

Devin Symons is a second-year MFA student from right here in Washington, D.C. He went to the University of Pittsburgh for undergrad and spent time afterward working and living in Japan and traveling the world. He loves writing and teaching and looks forward to meeting you.  

Alex Tammaro is a first-year MA student from Jupiter, Florida whose favorite book is Moby-Dick, though she generally likes stories involving the ocean, magic, or aliens. She swears by outlines but seriously struggles with introductory paragraphs.

Writing consultants

Beth TeVault was born in Crown Point, Illinois, and has lived in Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. She's a 3rd-year MA student, and her favorite authors include Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Rhoda Broughton, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and the Brontës. She enjoys research, but has trouble knowing when to stop reading and how to start writing. 

Hannah Williams is a first year MA student of Literature. She grew up in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Some of her (many) favorite authors include Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, and Virginia Woolf. The thing she likes most about getting started on a writing project is the excuse to get a fresh cup of coffee.

Join the Staff

The Writing Center is only as good as its staff of talented Writing Consultants. We train and support our staff and set up a schedule that is right for them. So if you are an AU student with an interest in writing and in helping other people, we have an internship for you!

If you are a rising junior or senior or a grad student here at AU, and you have a solid GPA and good writing skills, the Writing Center offers you 3 hrs. undergraduate or graduate course credit and a chance to try out a teaching interest.

After an initial intensive training period, interns work regularly scheduled hours each week in the Writing Center, meeting one-to-one with AU undergraduates to advise them on their writing projects.

Interns also complete a semester-long research project concerning an academic writing topic of their choice and present the results to Writing Center staff at an end-of-semester gathering.

For more information and an application, stop by the Center in Bender Library, first floor, or contact the Director, Dr. Janet Auten: jauten@american.edu.