Meet Our Staff

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.

roya.biggieRoya Biggie, Consultant, holds a BA from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an MA in English from Georgetown University. She is currently a PhD candidate in English at the CUNY Graduate Center and an instructor at Hunter College. Her research interests include early modern drama and medicine.


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.

keridiana_chezKeridiana Chez, Consultant, holds a doctorate in English from CUNY’s Graduate Center and a JD from NYU School of Law. Her dissertation, “The Affective Uses of Dogs: Pet-Keeping in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America,” won a Most Distinguished Dissertation of the Year Award from her program. She has taught English at Queens College and the NYC College of Technology, Women’s Studies at Brooklyn College, and writing at the Cooper Union Center for Writing. Her areas of consulting expertise include critical and close reading, brainstorming and outlining, crafting flow between ideas, and organizing essays.

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.

thuy_daoThuy Dao, Front Desk Attendant, is in her fourth year at Baruch, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability through the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies Program. She loves learning, especially about social justice and environmental justice issues. Her honors thesis examines the solidarity economy movement of NYC in relation to the larger global movement. During her free time, she likes to find new restaurants, listen to podcasts, watch foreign films, and find new ways to engage with her Baruch residents as an RA.

john_demingJohn Deming, Consultant, received a BA in Journalism from the University of New Hampshire and an MFA in Poetry from The New School. His main interests include poetry, music, and journalism, as well as composition and rhetoric. He has taught at Baruch College and Borough of Manhattan Community College and currently serves as a full-time lecturer and Assistant Director of the Writing Center in the Arts & Sciences Department at LIM College. He has published his own work in Salon, Boston Review, and Fence, among other venues, and he is Editor in Chief of Coldfront Magazine (

karen_fielderKaren Fielder, Consultant and Library Liaison, recently earned a Master of Arts in English from the University of Wyoming. She is currently a PhD student in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. She brings seven years of experience in college teaching as well as a background working with English language learners and students with disabilities. She believes that the most important quality of an effective writing teacher is the ability to meet students where they are in the writing process.

diana_hamiltonDiana Hamilton, Consultant and Consultant Development Coordinator, is a PhD candidate at Cornell University, where she taught First-Year Writing Seminars and tutored in the Writing Walk-in Service. She received her BA in Comparative Literature from NYU. 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. She is currently writing a dissertation on the concept of style in “experimental” American literature.

dawn_jordan2Dawn Jordan, Consultant, received her MA in TESOL from Hunter College and her MA in Media Studies from The New School. Having worked at the Baruch Writing Center since 2005, Dawn is a veteran consultant, and she also brings an extensive background of teaching and tutoring multilingual students in particular from her work in academic programs at LaGuardia and Hunter College. Currently, she teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) reading and writing as well as business correspondence courses at the United Nations.

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.

xander_landfairXander Landfair, Consultant and Consultant Development Coordinator, holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia and a BA in religious studies from the University of Florida. As a composition instructor, a corporate writing consultant, and a magazine editor, he has worked closely with students and professionals at all stages of development as writers. He currently serves as Assistant Director of the Writing Center at Columbia University. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, The Boston Review, and Guernica: a magazine of art and politics. Specialties: organization and structure; publishing; grammar; creative writing; job search materials; and documentation styles.

matt_lombardiMatt Lombardi, Consultant and Writing Workshop Coordinator, holds a BFA in English from Emerson College and an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. He currently teaches English at Baruch College and has taught as a visiting lecturer from Baruch at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. His nonfiction and prose have appeared in Details, The Daily Beast, The Bellevue Literary Review, and The Millions.

jeffrey_mcclellanJeffrey McClellan, Front Desk Attendant, is in his fourth year at Baruch, pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Management (concentration in Human Resources). He has a strong passion for both helping and working alongside others, which has led him toward social organizations like the New York Needs You Fellowship, Percy Ellis Sutton Urban Male Leadership Academy, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. He spent his last two summers interning at a Financial Services firm in its Human Capital Management Division. His interests include peer mentoring, public speaking, as well as listening to and writing music.

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.

jaime_osnatoJaime Osnato, Consultant, holds a BA in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania and an MSW from NYU School of Social Work. Before tutoring and teaching writing, she worked as a therapist, counseling adolescents and young adults. She also holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Stony Brook University and currently teaches writing at the College of New Rochelle’s School of New Resources.

sharmin_palaSharmin Pala, Front Desk Attendant, is in her fourth year at Baruch, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Mathematics. Her honors thesis analyzes Bangladesh’s import and export strategies as well as the nation’s fair labor laws. She also volunteers at God’s Love We Deliver, an organization that provides meals to individuals who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. Her interests include traveling, painting, and watching action/thriller movies.

adam_pellegrini1Adam Pellegrini, Consultant, holds a BA from Binghamton University and an MFA from the University of Maryland, where he served as Assistant Director of the Writing Center and taught academic and creative writing. He currently teaches writing at City Tech and in Columbia’s Writing Center, and he serves as Poetry Editor for Sakura Review. Areas of expertise include literary interpretation, argument development and structure, concision/precision, and incorporating research.

rachel_riedererRachel Riederer, Consultant and Lexington Review Managing Editor, is the editor of the Daily section of Guernica: a magazine of art and politics. She holds a BA from Harvard and an MFA from Columbia, where she taught in the undergraduate writing program for three years. Her writing has appeared in Best American Essays, The Nation, Tin House, and others. She is especially interested in helping students achieve clarity in their thinking and writing.

heather_samplesHeather Samples, Assistant Director of the Writing Center, received her BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from Columbia University. She has taught writing and writing pedagogy at Columbia and the Cooper Union, in both traditional classrooms and writing centers. At work on a collection of essays about motherhood, she is currently most interested in gender and health policy, the history of fashion and design, and Appalachian folkways.

kat_savinoKat Savino, Consultant and Student Writing Group Coordinator, 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 and as a writing instructor for LEDA (Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America), a non-profit program that helps underprivileged high school students apply for college. Her specialties include brainstorming, literary analysis, application writing, creative writing, gender studies, and ESL. She has published work in the Columbia Poetry Review and Venus Magazine.

shannon_azzato_stephensShannon Azzato Stephens, Consultant, holds a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. She has tutored in writing centers at the University of Rochester and Carnegie Mellon University. While serving in AmeriCorps, she also taught basic skills writing and literacy in Mississippi public schools. Her poetry and essays have appeared in journals including The Sugar House Review, The Susquehanna Review, Coal Hill Review, Icarus, and Anderbo. She is currently at work on a collection of short fiction. Her specialties include creative writing, essay structure and organization, brainstorming, reading comprehension, and incorporating research into academic papers.

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 Jean 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 Governor’s 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. She currently teaches writing at Yeshiva University.

kimberly_whiteKimberly White, Front Desk Attendant, is in her fourth year at Baruch, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social and Environmental Justice through the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Her honors thesis investigates the black power movement and its relationship to the legal system. She interns at the National Lawyers Guild, a civil rights and liberties legal organization, doing grantwriting work. She also volunteers at Third Root Community Health Center, a cooperative in Brooklyn, and enjoys community organizing.

brook_bcwcBrook Wilensky-Lanford, Consultant and Writing Life Event Coordinator, received her MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University, and her BA with High Honors in Theater and Religious Studies from Wesleyan University, and has studied Arabic language at NYU. The author of Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden (Grove Press, 2011), her essays and reviews have appeared in the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Lapham’s Quarterly. For the past ten years, she has worked as an editor for New York City book and magazine publishers. She enjoys incorporating facts into well-structured narratives, especially in history, drama, and cultural criticism. An editor of the online literary magazine Killing the Buddha, she lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with her husband and two cats.

christopher_john_williamsChris John Williams, Consultant, received his BA from Yale University and is a fifth-year MFA candidate in fiction at Columbia University School of the Arts. His short fiction is featured in Of a Monstrous Child: An Anthology of Creative Writing Relationships. He has taught creative writing, essay writing, mathematics, and science at the middle, high school, and university levels for more than seven years. Currently, he teaches at Columbia University, Yeshiva University, and LEDA (Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America). His consulting specialties include critical reading, brainstorming, thesis formulation and revision, argumentation, essay structuring, paragraph and essay coherence, and working constructively with sources.

meaghan_winter1Meaghan Winter, Consultant and Lexington Review Managing Editor, holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MFA from Columbia University. She has taught in Columbia’s Undergraduate Writing Program and Writing Center. Her work has appeared in several publications, and she especially enjoys learning more about psychology, history and places she’s never been.