Meet Our Staff


Photograph of Diana HamiltonDiana Hamilton, Director, received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University, where she taught First-Year Writing and served as an Assistant Director of the Writing Walk-in Service. Her research focused on style and subjectivity in “experimental” writing. She has published three books of poetry, and her critical and creative writing appears in Art in America, Frieze, The Believer, Amodern, Prelude, Lambda Literary, Esopus, and BOMB, among others. As the Center’s director, she is especially interested in reshaping Writing Center practices to better serve English language learners.

Rachel Rys, Assistant Director, received her Ph.D. in Feminist Studies from UC Santa Barbara with an interdisciplinary emphasis in Writing Studies and a Certificate in College and University Teaching. Her doctoral research focuses on visual and multimodal communication, particularly how the comics medium can be used to share academic feminist theory and pedagogy with diverse audiences both within and beyond the university. She has worked in a range of teaching and instructional development positions across high school, community college, and 4-year university contexts. As assistant director, she is especially interested in supporting consultants and staff in the day-to-day operations of the Center.

Hannah Brenner-Leonard, Administrative Coordinator, received her MS in Education and BFA in Art and Design Education from Pratt Institute. Over the past decade she has worked in various capacities throughout the arts education field, as both a teaching artist and administrator, developing an interest in creating opportunities for student-centered growth. Throughout her career in the arts education field she has maintained a robust art practice, which encompasses drawings, paintings and mixed media pieces exploring concepts of home and place. In her spare time she enjoys baking bread, sewing and exploring museums.


Writing Consultants

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!

Alyssa BaylorAlyssa Baylor is an MA student in International Education Development at Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds a BA in International Studies from Trinity College. Prior to studying at TC, she developed and taught a writing composition course at a new university in Africa (Rwanda and Mauritius). She has experience working with students from diverse backgrounds and especially enjoys helping students develop their own unique voice in their writing. As a native New Yorker, she loves discovering new places to enjoy a good cup of coffee or to listen to live music. Her research interests include African education, critical pedagogy, culturally relevant curriculum development, and teacher education.

chong_bretillon2Chong J. Bretillon 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.

Photograph of Sasha Graybosch Sasha Graybosch holds a BA in English from the University of Kansas and an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. Her short stories and non-fiction have appeared in Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading and The Commuter, Hobart, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal, Failbetter, Canteen, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. In 2008, she helped open the first writing center at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she worked for ten years as a professional writing consultant and taught developmental writing courses. She’s also a writing consultant at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. She has experience supporting students with diverse language backgrounds and learning needs, and she enjoys coaching writers to develop a reflective and confident writing process.

Shamecca Harris is a creative writer and teaching artist born and raised in Harlem, New York City. Prior to pursuing a career in the literary arts, she wrote and edited digital content for publishers including XXL Magazine, ABC News and The Huffington Post and worked as an editorial liaison for various Fortune 500 companies to help develop and execute their content marketing strategies. She has since committed herself to work that bridges the gap between her passion for writing and commitment to social justice. Her essays and political commentaries have been featured in digital publications including Global Citizen and Hello Beautiful among others. She has a BA in English from Georgetown University and currently teaches English Literature and Composition at The City College of New York where she is also pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Image of Anu JindalAnu Jindal is a fiction writer and educator. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and aBA in English and Film Theory from Dalhousie University. In addition to his work at Baruch, he currently teaches Creative Writing at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and has formerly served as a contributing editor at Electric Literature. His writing appears in Electric Literature, Joyland, The New Quarterly, Matrix, and elsewhere.

leela_khanna Leela Khanna is a PhD student at New York University in socio-cultural anthropology. She holds an MA degree in South Asian studies from Columbia University and a BA degree in political studies from Bard College. She has previously tutored at writing centers in New York City and in Upstate New York. Her research interests include gender studies, critical theory and politics. She enjoys working with students on argumentation, structuring essays, brainstorming and critical reading.

Dean Kritikos is a poet and educator. He received his MA in English from St. John’s University and has taught composition there. He’s worked in writing centers at St. John’s, Queensborough Community College, and Columbia School of Social Work, and is currently Professional Writing Specialist at College of New Rochelle. He has published critical work in the quint, Talisman, War Literature and the Arts, Lehigh Valley Vanguard, and the collection Oceanic New York; his creative work appears in ATOMIC, NYSAI, Walk Write Up, anthologies from Great Weather for MEDIA and Crack the Spine, and the project Lament for the Dead.

Photograph of Joss LakeJoss is a fiction writer and educator. He received his MFA in fiction from Columbia University and his B.A. in English Literature from Wesleyan University. He has taught writing across the city at programs and institutions including Columbia University’s School of Continuing Studies, Columbia University’s High School Summer Program, SEO Scholars, 826 NYC, Behind the Book, and the School of the New York Times. His first novel is forthcoming from Soft Skull Press. He is a firm believer in student-centered writing and holistic teaching practices.

Image of Zefyr Lisowski Zefyr Lisowski is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, and educator from North Carolina. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Hunter College and has been the recipient of fellowships and support from Tin House Writers Workshop, the Center for the Humanities’ Adjunct Incubator Grant, Sundress Academy for the Arts, and more. Zefyr’s the author of the short poetry collection Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and is a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal; she has had work appear in Literary Hub, Muzzle, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. She’s especially excited about trans and queer competency in higher education; de-colonial and anti-oppressive practices; brainstorming; essay organization; developing an argument; writing across disciplines; and issues of accessibility in writing center spaces, among other topics.

Holly MelgardHolly Melgard is a poet, book designer, editor and holds a PhD in English from SUNY Buffalo. She has taught Introduction to Writing Composition, Literature, and Creative Writing at the college level for the last 10 years. Her research interests include contemporary poetry, poetics, philosophy, computation and digital textuality. When consulting, she especially enjoys brainstorming ideas, thesis development, critical reading, topic and transition sentences, as well as spicing up introductions and conclusions.

jono_mischkotJono Mischkot 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.

Poupeh Missaghi is a writer, a translator both into and out of Persian, Asymptote’’s Iran editor-at-large, and an educator. She holds a PhD in English and creative writing from the University of Denver, an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, and an MA in translation studies from Azad University of Tehran, Iran. Her nonfiction, fiction, and translations have appeared in numerous journals, and she has several books of translation published in Iran. Her debut novel trans(re)lating house one was published by Coffee House Press in February 2020. She currently teaches at the writing department of Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. She has been working as a writing consultant since 2012 and particularly enjoys working with non-native English speakers and in areas of multilingualism, translanguaging, brainstorming, close reading, critical thinking, research strategies, essay structure, and creative writing.

Niel Rosenthalis

Nathaniel Rosenthalis is a poet, critic, and educator. His poems can be found in Lana TurnerDenver QuarterlyConjunctionsThe Harvard Advocate, and elsewhere and in a number of chapbooks, most recently “A Shirt for Today” (Yes Poetry Press.) His criticism appears in Boston ReviewThe Common ReaderOn the Seawall and elsewhere. He holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and Washington University in St Louis, where he was the Senior Fellow in Poetry. In addition to his work for Baruch College, he has experience teaching and consulting at Washington University, Columbia University, and the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

kat_savinoKat Savino 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.

shannon_azzato_stephensShannon Azzato Stephens 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, and 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 publications including Guernica, BuzzFeed, Southwestern American Literature, and Flash Fiction Magazine. In addition to her teaching and writing, she is deeply involved in higher education labor advocacy and is a member of the Leadership Training Program at the Professional Staff Congress-CUNY. Her consulting specialties include essay structure and organization, brainstorming, and argumentation. She is an editor of the Writing Center’s online journal of student writing, The Lexington Review.

Monroe StreetMonroe Street teaches writing, lit, and theory courses at CUNY and is a psychoanalyst-in-training at the Institute for Expressive Analysis. To the side of this academic and clinical work, Monroe also writes and records experimental music, performing on occasion with trans-disciplinary artist Wilder Alison. Accompanying Monroe’s work with Writing Center students is thus a bricolage of interests: psychoanalysis, musics (popular & not), literature & linguistics, queer & intersectional theory, and visual art. Monroe is pleased to consult with students writing projects related to these—and plenty of other—areas of inquiry.

Daniel TehraniDaniel Yousef Tehrani is a teacher, writer, and musician with an MA in TESOL from Hunter College. In addition to being a writing consultant at Baruch, he has been a tutor and workshop facilitator at the Bronx Community College Writing Center since 2009 and has taught ESL at the International English Language Institute at Hunter College. Daniel is committed to professional development and has presented at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing and the Northeast Writing Center Association. His specialties are non-native and non-traditional students, grammar, creative process, and helping blocked or anxious writers. Outside the writing center, Daniel writes lyrics and poetry in English and Persian alongside composing and performing. He also speaks Spanish and Turkish.

Rebecca van Laer holds a Ph.D. in English from Brown University. Her writing appears in Electric Literature, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and Salamander, and she is the author of a chapbook, Don’t Nod (Long Day Press, 2018). In addition to her work at Baruch, she has taught literature and writing at Boston University and at Brown. In her one-on-work with students, she enjoys focusing on developing thesis statements, working with sources, close reading, personal statements, and creative assignments.

joshua_weberJoshua Weber 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 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 is Managing Editor of Coldfront Magazine, Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Manhattan College, and adjunct faculty at LIM College. She is currently working on editing a poetry anthology focusing on the new challenges facing feminism in 2020 and beyond. She is author of Amplexus, a chapbook from Dancing Girl Press, published in 2010. A graduate of The New School’s MFA program and the doctoral program at Florida State University, she has published poems in Diner, Burnside Review, Valley Voices, Agriculture Reader, Verse Daily, The Cincinnati Review and The Wisconsin Review among many others. She co-curates the Poor Mouth Reading Series in Riverdale and Razor Blade Readings in Inwood. In her limited spare time, Melinda enjoys reading novels, particularly those with a semi-historical lens, and spending time outdoors with her two dogs, Margie and Baldwin. Melinda lives in the Bronx.

Joseph Yearous-Algozin Bio PhotoJoseph Yearous-Algozin 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.

Anna Zeemont is an English PhD student at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she concentrates in Composition-Rhetoric and American Studies. Much of her research revolves around literacy, particularly in urban educational settings such as CUNY. She’s especially interested in decolonial and anti-racist approaches to teaching writing in college classrooms and beyond. Prior to starting her PhD, she earned a BA in English and Biology at Oberlin College and worked as a secondary educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently teaches composition and English courses at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.


Front Desk Team


Headshot of Maria DeJesusMariah DeJesus is currently a junior pre-med student at Baruch College focusing on Biology with a minor in Psychology. Aside from her responsibilities at the Writing Center, Mariah is currently the President of Chi Alpha Epsilon NHS, which acknowledges exemplary students while giving back to local communities. Other interests include theater, reading, and constantly going to museums.

Heenakshi Malhotra is an international student from India and a junior at Baruch College, majoring in Graphic Communication and double minoring in Philosophy and New Media Arts. Besides pursuing design and writing as a career, she enjoys reading, cooking, yoga, and watching documentaries. She is currently serving as the President of the Advertising Design Society at Baruch College.


Ariana Warner is a sophomore at Baruch College, majoring in Management with a minor in Computer Information Systems. On campus she is the secretary of the National Association of Black Accountants, a peer mentor for TEAM Baruch, and is involved with the Caribbean Student Association and the Undergraduate Student Government. Ariana enjoys photography, film, as well as dancing. Ariana always looks for new opportunities in which she can grow as a person and expand her knowledge. She believes that constant learning is key and looks forward to what the rest of her years at Baruch bring.