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.

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.

Anna Ciriani Dean, Consultant, holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. She previously worked as an ELL assessment specialist at Educational Testing Service, where she developed test content for TOEIC and TOEFL, and she currently teaches college composition courses and grammar workshops for ESL students at Fordham University. Her research interests include second-language writing, task-based language teaching, writing-center pedagogy, and assessment.

iris_cushingIris Cushing, Consultant, is a poet, editor, scholar and educator. She holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia University and is a founding editor of Argos Books, an independent poetry press. 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, FENCE, Hyperallergic and the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day series. among other places. She is currently working toward her Ph.D in English Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. 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.

sasha_graybosch Sasha Graybosch, Consultant, is a fiction writer, writing instructor, and consultant. She received a BA in English from the University of Kansas and an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. Her fiction has appeared in Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, Canteen, elimae, DOGZPLOT, Vitrine: A Printed Museum, and elsewhere. She began working in writing centers as an undergraduate peer tutor, and since 2008 she has been a professional writing consultant at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she also teaches developmental writing courses. She has experience supporting students with diverse language backgrounds and learning needs, and she enjoys working with writers throughout the process, from generating and developing ideas to refining language choices.

leela_khanna Leela Khanna, Consultant, 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.

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.

Poupeh Missaghi, Consultant, is a writer, English < > Persian translator, Iran’s editor-at-large for Asymptote, and an educator. A Ph.D. graduate from the University of Denver’s creative writing program and holding an M.A. in translation studies, she has published both fiction and nonfiction work in Entropy, The Brooklyn Rail, The Feminist Wire, World Literature Today, Guernica, The Quarterly Conversation, and elsewhere.

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 City 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. She is currently working on her dissertation in linguistics, for which she is on a grant from the National Science Foundation to do field research on one such minority language in Cambodia.

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, writing has appeared in publications such as Longreads, The Margins, The Blueshift Journal, Teachers & Writers Magazine, The Asian American Literary Review and The Feminist Wire. Her essay “The Way You Make Me Feel” won first place in the 2016 Blueshift Prizes for writers of color. She is a recipient of a 2017 Asian Women Giving Circle grant award for her writing workshop, “No-Name Mind: Stories of Mental Health from Asian America.” She received her MFA from Columbia University, where she also taught in the interdisciplinary pilot program, University Writing: Human Rights.

Matt Swagler, Consultant, received his PhD in History from Columbia University in 2017. He has taught courses on African history and politics at New York University and the City College of New York. His writing has appeared in the International Socialist Review, the Review of African Political Economy, and an edited volume on student movements in Africa. Having worked as a researcher in Congo-Brazzaville, Senegal, and France, Matt appreciates the challenge of learning multiple languages. He welcomes students working on any aspect of their writing, and has expertise in focusing research topics, outlining, using sources, backing up claims with evidence, and strategies for revision.

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.

Rebecca van Laer, Consultant, holds a B.A. in English from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from Brown University. She has taught literature and writing at Boston University and at Brown. Her creative writing appears in Salamander, Hobart, The Cimarron Review, Prodigal, and elsewhere. Her areas of expertise include close reading, developing thesis statements, and creative assignments.

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.

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.

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.


katieKatie Mahabir, Front Desk Attendant, is a senior here at Baruch, majoring in Quantitative Psychology, an ad-hoc major in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. Besides being a Front Desk Attendant for the Writing Center, she works as a mathematics tutor, volunteers at Elmhurst Hospital and is part of the NSF-REU Program. 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.”

Tenzin Woesel, Front Desk Attendant, is a senior at Baruch College studying Psychology with a special emphasis on Developmental Psychology. She currently interns at Elmhurst Hospital, and is a major advocate for raising awareness of mental health disorders, especially in underrepresented communities. In addition to her job at the Writing Center, Tenzin also works as a waiter at a small ramen shop. Her interests include reading, biking, and watching broadway shows.

Serena Zou Bio Photo [web edit]Serena Zou, Front Desk Attendant, is a senior majoring in Corporate Communication. While completing her Associate degree in Accounting, Serena interned at two corporations where she gained experience through working as a business professional. During her exchange semester at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea in Fall 2016, Serena recognized how skilled communication could overcome language barriers and create profound cross-cultural friendships. After Serena’s studies at Baruch, she plans to pursue a professional degree in the dental field. In her free time, Serena enjoys reading, volunteering, traveling, and learning Cantonese.

DianaheadshotDiana Hamilton, 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 God Was Right, forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse in 2018), and her critical and creative writings have appeared in The Believer, Admodern, Prelude, Lambda Literary, Esopus, Bomb, and other publications.

Deepti Dhir Bio PhotoDeepti Dhir,  Associate Director, 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. Having lived abroad in countries such as Dubai and Singapore for a good portion of her own life, she’s especially interested in supporting and empowering our multilingual and international student population.

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.