Meet Our Staff

Interested in reading some of our consultants’ essays, poetry, fiction, and scholarship, and in finding out more about their roles as writers, editors, and curators? Check out our Staff Bibliography!

chelsea_adewunmiChelsea Adewunmi, Consultant, is a doctoral candidate at Princeton University and holds a BA in English from Vassar College and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts. She has taught courses in Drama, Twentieth Century Literature, and African American Studies at Rutgers University and Princeton University. Her specialties include close reading, argumentation, and creative assignments, and she is excited to work with students at all stages of the writing process.

briana_alford_jonesBriana Alford-Jones, Front Desk Attendant, is a junior at Baruch studying Corporate Communications. In her free time she writes articles for The Ticker newspaper at school. Her interests include meditation, traveling, poetry, and musicals.


keri_bertinoKeri Bertino, Director of the Writing Center, received her BA from Vassar College and holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University. She has taught college writing in classrooms and writing centers at Columbia University and the Cooper Union, and high school English through Teach For America in Baltimore. She is the co-coordinator of the Writing Across the Curriculum program at Baruch and co-teaches the Honors Thesis Workshops. She is at work on a novel about a rest stop waitress, a mission in an 18-wheeler, and funerals on YouTube.

Priya Chandrasekaran, Consultant, received her BA from Cornell University, MFA in Creative Writing from the New School, and PhD in Anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center.  She is a traveling faculty member for the International Honors Program in Climate Change, and has taught courses in English and Anthropology at Pratt Institute and Hunter College. Her fiction has appeared in Silk Road Review and J Journal: New Writings on Justice.  She enjoys working with students across disciplines.

chong_bretillon2Chong J. Bretillon, Consultant, holds a PhD in French from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she also earned a Film Studies Certificate. She has taught courses in contemporary French cinema, cultural studies of the Francophone world, and French language at Pennsylvania State University-Erie, Hunter College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College. Her areas of consulting expertise include developing thesis statements, close reading, response/reaction writing, and peer review. Chong especially enjoys working with multilingual and international students, and has tutored students in both French and English in the United States and in France.

iris_cushingIris Cushing, Consultant, is a poet and editor residing in Queens, NY. She holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia University and is a founding editor of Argos Books, an independent poetry press. In 2011, she was a writer-in-residence at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, her former home. She is the author of the poetry collection Wyoming, winner of the 2013 Furniture Press Poetry Prize. Her poems and criticism can be found in the Boston Review, Bomblog, Two Serious Ladies, and Artinfo, among other places. Specialties: American literature, art history, business and professional writing, comparative literature, ESL, grammar, MLA style, web writing, music, poetry, proposal and grant writing, publishing, Spanish, theology, American studies, women and gender studies.

Kate Daloz Bio PictureKate Daloz, Consultant, received her MFA from Columbia University, where she also taught in the Undergraduate Writing Program and served as assistant director of the Writing Center. Her first book, We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America will be released by PublicAffairs in April 2016. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.

Deepti Dhir Bio PhotoDeepti Dhir, Acting Associate Director and Multilingual Writing Specialist, earned a dual MA in Foreign Language Education (French) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from New York University and is a certified teacher in both ESL and French. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College where she also spent a marvelous year studying in Montpellier, France. Besides teaching, Deepti has also created written content for large-scale English language proficiency assessments. She is excited to transition to a new full-time role at the Writing Center and explore the many ways of supporting and empowering our multilingual writers.

Vanessa Guida Bio PhotoVanessa Guida, Consultant, received a BA in English and Dance from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She currently works as a Writing Consultant at the Murphy Institute at the CUNY School of Professional Studies and teaches first-year composition at Columbia, where she previously worked at two of the university’s writing centers. Vanessa has also worked as a freelance copywriter, editor, and research assistant, and enjoys working with students at all stages of the writing process.

DianaheadshotDiana Hamilton, Acting Director of the Writing Center, received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University, where she taught First-Year Writing Seminars and served as an Assistant Director of the Writing Walk-in Service. She completed her BA at New York University. In addition to her academic work, she is the author of two books of poetry (Okay, Okay, Truck Books 2012 and Universe, Ugly Duckling 2014), and her critical and creative writings have appeared in The Believer, Esopus, Bomb, and other publications.

Paul Hiller Bio Photo Paul Hiller, Administrative Coordinator, received a BA in Economics from Baruch College. He is currently studying towards an MA in Arts Administration. As an undergraduate, Paul worked as an administrative assistant at the Modern Languages and Comparative Literature department, and participated in the Kakehashi Project, a youth exchange program hosted by the Japan Foundation. His interests include photography, Cantonese, and his two cats.

rachel_kravetzRachel Kravetz, Consultant, received a BA in History from Columbia and an MFA in Painting from Yale, and is now a PhD candidate in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is currently teaching a class on research methods at Parsons The New School for Design, and has taught literature at Queens College and both composition and research methods at Brooklyn College. She welcomes appointments with students in all disciplines.

katieBhindai Mahabir (Katie), Front Desk Attendant, is a junior here at Baruch, double majoring in both Financial Engineering and Psychology in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. Besides being a Front Desk Attendant for the Writing Center, she also works part-time as a mathematics tutor, a peer mentor for SEEK first year students, and at a men’s clothing store where she is a cashier, sales associate, and stocker. Katie is also the Senior Vice President of Technology and Marketing of Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society (XAE). She firmly believes in giving back to her community and helping those in need. Katie lives by a famous quote said by Bruce Lee: “As you think, so shall you become.”

jono_mischkotJono Mischkot, Consultant, received his MA in English from San Francisco State University and his MFA in Fiction from New York University. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Expository Writing Program at New York University and the Pedagogical Coordinator for Curriculum and Staff Development at NYU Poly. He has received several awards for teaching, including the Outstanding Teacher Award from NYU in 2008. His areas of expertise include literary interpretation, essay organization, developing an argument, and writing in the sciences.

kalpana_narayanKalpana Narayanan, Consultant and Workshop Developer, holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MFA from Columbia University, where she taught writing. She was a 2010 Fellow in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and currently teaches at Parsons The New School for Design. Her areas of interest include the intersection between academic and creative writing, film theory, and fiction.

Emily Long-OlsenEmily Long Olsen, Consultant, is a Linguistics PhD candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center, and received her BA in English Writing and Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Besides her research and work at Baruch, she teaches undergraduate and graduate Linguistics classes at Queens College. As an English language instructor, Emily has worked with students of many different language backgrounds and all age groups, both domestically and abroad. In linguistics, her research focuses on sound patterns, particularly a small group of minority languages in the Austro-Asiatic language family spoken in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, and northeastern Cambodia.  This summer, she’ll be traveling to rural Cambodia on a grant from the National Science Foundation to do field research with one such minority language community.

kat_savinoKat Savino, Consultant, is a fiction writer, poet and essayist who holds a BA in English from Montclair State University and an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University. She has also worked at Columbia’s Writing Center, where she served as assistant director, and as a writing instructor for LEDA (Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America). Her specialties include brainstorming, literary analysis, application writing, creative writing, gender studies, and ESL. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Marie Claire, Narratively, DIAGRAM, and The Los Angeles Review. She was the 2011 recipient of A Room of Her Own’s Orlando Prize in poetry.

kat_savinoNina Sharma, Consultant, is a writer from Edison, New Jersey. Her work has been featured in The Blueshift Journal, Teachers & Writers Magazine, The Asian American Literary Review, Drunken Boat, Certain Circuits Magazine, The Feminist Wire, Reverie: Midwest African American Literature, and Ginosko Literary Journal. Her essay “The Way You Make Me Feel” won first place in the 2016 Blueshift Prizes for writers of color, judged by Jeffrey Renard Allen and appears in The Blueshift Journal’s Brutal Nation feature. She also was recently awarded a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. She is formerly the Director of Public Programs at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She has an MA from Columbia University’s American Studies, Liberal Studies program and an MFA from Columbia’s School of the Arts writing program, where she concentrated in nonfiction. She was awarded a fellowship to teach in Columbia’s Undergraduate Writing Program, where she was a lecturer in the interdisciplinary pilot program, University Writing: Human Rights. She is a consultant at the Baruch College Writing Center and an Arts & Culture editor at The Feminist Wire.

shannon_azzato_stephensShannon Azzato Stephens, Consultant, holds a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.Phil. in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. She has taught in writing centers, classrooms, or online at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Carnegie Mellon University, Borough of Manhattan Community College, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. While serving in AmeriCorps, she also taught basic skills writing and literacy in Mississippi public schools. Her short stories, poetry, and essays have appeared in journals including The Sugar House Review, Coal Hill Review, and Anderbo. As a consultant, her specialties include essay structure and organization, brainstorming, argumentation, and reading comprehension. She is an editor of the Writing Center’s online journal of student writing, The Lexington Review.

alexandra_bioAlexandra Watson, Consultant, received her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Brown University, and her MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia. She teaches composition in Columbia’s Undergraduate Writing Program and at the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America. She currently serves as Executive Editor of Apogee Journal, a publication dedicated to highlighting underrepresented voices in literature. She’s writing a novel about insomnia.

joshua_weberJoshua Weber, Consultant, holds a BA in English Literature from Southern Methodist University, and received an MFA from New York University. He has taught creative writing and is currently a Lecturer in Expository Writing at NYU. His areas of consulting expertise are in literary interpretation, essay structure, brainstorming ideas, and critical reading. Other interests are history, film, and fiction.

carin_whiteCarin White, Consultant, is a theatre and visual artist. Recent projects include adapting Hamlet and directing a production entitled Hamlet CU3ED that bridged art installation and theatre Dealing with Ophelia, a dance-theatre piece, presented at Governors Island and DUMBO Arts Festival and Icarus, a new work in development. She completed her MFA in Directing at Columbia University studying under Anne Bogart and Brian Kulick.

Melinda Wilson Bio PhotoMelinda Wilson, Consultant, holds a BA from the University of New Hampshire, an MFA from The New School, and a PhD from Florida State University, where she studied poetry and feminist theory and poetics. Melinda is the author of AMPLEXUS (2010), a chapbook from Dancing Girl Press, and other poems have appeared in journals such as Cincinnati Review, Rattapallax, Diner, Arsenic Lobster, Verse Daily, Agriculture Reader, Burnside Review and Valley Voices. Melinda is Co-Founder and current Managing Editor of Coldfront Magazine, a poetry review journal established in 2006. Originally from New Hampshire, Melinda began working in writing centers over ten years ago. She got her start at the Connors Writing Center at the University of New Hampshire and went on to work in writing centers at The New School, Plaza College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, LIM College and Florida State University.

Joseph Yearous-Algozin Bio PhotoJoseph Yearous-Algozin, Consultant, is a PhD Candidate in English at the University at Buffalo. He holds a MA in Creative Writing from Temple University and a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has six years of experience teaching Composition, Creative Writing and Anglophone literature. Additionally, he is the author of Holly Melgard’s Friends and Family (Bon Aire Projects) and The Lazarus Project (TROLL THREAD), the former co-editor of the literary magazine, P-Queue, and a member of the publishing collective TROLL THREAD.

Hannah Yokoji Bio Photo [web edit]Hannah Yokoji, Front Desk Attendant, is entering her third year at Baruch, pursuing a BBA in International Business Marketing in the Zicklin School of Business. She also works as a part-time Florist and freelances as a professional face painter, notably painting for several Union Square Partnership events. Her interests include the visual arts, horticulture, baking, and traveling.

Serena Zou Bio Photo [web edit]Serena Zou, Front Desk Attendant, is a junior Accounting student with double minors in Economics and Communication Studies. Serena graduated from LaGuardia Community College, having earned an A.S. in Accounting with high honors. She obtained internships with Con Edison and American Stock Transfer & Trust Co. that enriched her practical knowledge and skills in the professional world. As a tutor, she led a team of more than 30 students to pass Principles of Accounting in Spring 2013. Not only has Serena’s adaptability allowed her to quickly transition to Baruch College, but it also helps her enjoy the new excitements and challenges associated with this fresh environment. Apart from her enthusiasm in studies and in extracurricular activities, Serena also demonstrates considerable passion for community involvement through her volunteerism at Selfhelp Senior Center.