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The Undergraduate Writing Program

Consultant Biographies & Specialties

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Allen Durgin
Amber Paulen

Amira Silver-Swartz
Asya Sagnak

Briana Wood
Bridget Potter
Campbell Campbell
C.K. Kirch
Carin Jean White
Celine Aenlle-Rocha
Conor Macvarish
Dasharah Green
Ellie Windsor
Emily Foster
Evan Lim
Helen Ruger
Isabelle Pride
Jason Ueda, coordinator  
Joey De Jesus
Kaneisha Gaston-Ahrin
Kevin Wang

Kimia Heydari
Kirkwood Adams
Kit Klippenstein
Lauren Horst
Lin King
M Constantine
Maria Baker
Nicole Kohut
Niki Cunningham
R.E. Fulton
Rory Macleod
Shyanne Bennett
Stephanie Philp
Steve Preskill
Sue Mendelsohn, director
Thom May
Tyler Campbell
Valerie Jacobs
Vero Montanez
Yousef Tehrani

Allen Durgin

Bio forthcoming

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Amber Paulen

Bio forthcoming

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Amira Silver-Swartz

Bio forthcoming

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Asya Sagnak

Bio forthcoming

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Briana Wood

Bio forthcoming

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Bridget Potter

Bridget Potter, a writer, has a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia and an MFA in Literary Nonfiction from Columbia’s School of the Arts. She taught University Writing at Columbia for three years, and conducted memoir-writing workshops for the Columbia Summer High School program. Her essays have been published in Guernica, Quarto, Best American Essays and Windmill. She has reviewed books for Publishers Weekly and The Wall Street Journal. Before entering GS at Columbia, she had a long career in television, as an executive and also as a producer, most prominently as the head of Original Programming at HBO. Specialties: anthropology, application essays, arts criticism, Art Humanities, comparative literature, Contemporary Civilization, creative writing, dissertation writing, fellowship applications, film & media studies, journalism, literary nonfiction, Literature Humanities, personal statements, sociology, theatre/playwriting, screenwriting, master’s thesis writing, University Writing.

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Campbell Campbell

Bio forthcoming

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Carin Jean White

Carin Jean White is a visual artist and theatre director. She holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University. www.carinjeanwhite.com Specialties: application essays, business & professional writing, comics & graphic novels, creative writing, critical theory, dissertation writing, fellowship applications, fiction, film & media studies, job search materials, journalism, literary nonfiction, mixed media/genre projects, multimedia composing, personal statements, proposal & grant writing, research, theatre, playwriting, screenwriting, master’s thesis writing, translation studies.

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C.K. Kirch (CK) 

Catherine Kirch (CK) earned her BA in English Literature and Cognitive Science at Boston University, and her MFA in Fiction Writing at Columbia University, where she also taught University Writing: Readings in Data Science and Engineering. CK has worked in an editorial capacity for various publications, including Columbia: A Journal of Literature and ArtApogee JournalTri-City Voice Newspaper, and The Morningside Review. She is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary work, especially between the arts/humanities and the sciences. Specialties: music, University Writing, creative writing, job application materials, fellowship applications, science writing, literary analysis, film analysis, psychology, neuroscience.

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Celine Aenlle-Rocha

Celine Aenlle-Rocha is a writer and MFA candidate in fiction at Columbia University, where she teaches University Writing: Readings in Race & Ethnicity and is a Lead Teaching Fellow for the Center for Teaching & Learning. She has worked in an editorial capacity at The Kenyon Review, Columbia Journal, and The Morningside Review, and her creative writing has appeared in Joyland, Nimrod International Journal, Tahoma Literary Review, The Acentos Review, Puerto del Sol, Pigeon Pages, Fatal Flaw, The Suburban Review, and Solar Journal. Celine is the recipient of the 2021 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, as well as residencies from the Fairhope Center and Art Farm. She has taught high school Spanish and, after attending the Columbia Publishing Course, worked in academic book marketing at Oxford University Press on music, film, and linguistics titles. Her pedagogy centers on linguistic and racial justice in the composition and creative writing classrooms. When not writing or teaching, Celine enjoys knitting, sewing, and traveling. Specialties: application essays, creative writing, fiction, linguistics, personal statements, University Writing.

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Conor Macvarish

Bio forthcoming

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Dasharah Green

Bio forthcoming

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Ellie Windsor

Bio forthcoming

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Emily Foster

Emily Foster is a PhD candidate here at Columbia, writing her dissertation on the unfinished 19th century novel. She has seven years of writing consulting experience, starting when she was an undergraduate at Cornell University. She has an M.A. in English Education from Stanford University, as well as an M.A. and an M.Phil in English Literature from Columbia. She’s also a Graduate Teaching Fellow and has taught University Writing several times, as well as Columbia’s introduction to the English major, “Literary Texts, Critical Methods.” She lives with her husband and her two cats, Prickles and Moo. Specialties: application essays, British literature, comparative literature, dissertation writing, ESL, literary analysis, personal statements, master’s thesis writing, University Writing.

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Evan Lim

Bio forthcoming

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Helen Ruger

Bio forthcoming

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Isabelle Pride

Bio forthcoming

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Jason Takayuki Ueda
Jason Takayuki Ueda is coordinator of the writing center. Previously, he has taught composition and worked as a writing consultant at various universities in the city. His interests include modern and contemporary poetry, Japanese medieval history, labor studies, media and culture, cooking, and bike riding. Jason received a BA from Hunter College and an MFA in poetry from The New School. Specialties: American literature, Art Hum, British literature, close reading strategies, comparative literature, East Asian studies, grammar, Lit Hum, MLA style, personal statements and application essays, poetry, University Writing, long projects, American studies.

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Joey De Jesus

Joey De Jesus is the author of HOAX (The Operating System, 2021) and two chapbooks: We Animate the Dream: A Poet’s Run for Public Office (Mount Analog Political Pamphlet Series, 2021) and NOCT- The Threshold of Madness (The Atlas Review, 2019). Joey received the 2019-20 BRIC ArtFP Project Room Commission and 2017 NYFA/NYSCA Fellowship in Poetry. Poems have appeared widely in print and online and have been installed in Artists Space, The New Museum, and elsewhere. Joey is a co-editor at Apogee Journal and sits on the advisory board of No, Dear Magazine. Joey lives in Ridgewood, Queens, where they ran a competitive abolitionist campaign for New York State Assembly District 38 in 2020. Joey holds a M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University, a M.F.A. in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and a B.A. from Oberlin College. Specialties: African American studies, American literature, American studies, application essays, Art Humanities, British literature, comparative literature, creative writing, critical theory, dissertation writing, fellowship applications, fiction, and gender.

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Kaneisha Gaston-Ahrin

Bio forthcoming

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Kevin Wang

Bio forthcoming

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Kimia Heydari

Kimia studies biology and English. Her research attempts to create models that explain the progression of blindness in humans. She loves to explore contemporary visual artists and their newest endeavors in the city. Specialties: American literature, application essays, Art Humanities, comparative literature, fellowship applications, Music Humanities, University Writing.

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Kirkwood Adams

Kirkwood Adams currently works as a writing consultant at Columbia University and Yeshiva University. He has taught composition courses at Fordham, College of Staten Island, FIT and elsewhere. Before living in New York, Kirkwood taught at an elementary school in Boston. While there he also served as a docent in the Gallery Instructors Program at the Museum of Fine Arts. He has an MFA in poetry. Specialties: Application essays, Art Humanities, Literature Humanities, personal statements, poetry, University Writing

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Kit Klippenstein

Chris Klippenstein, known as "Kit" in the Writing Center, is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at Columbia University. She works primarily with Renaissance drama, but her other particular interests include medieval literature, film, critical race theory, and linguistic and structural approaches to texts. In a former life, Kit was an award-winning poet and playwright. She is now an actor and a garment-maker who can often be found trawling the Garment District for the perfect feathered trim. Specialties: Chicago Style, creative writing, critical theory, dissertation writing, fiction, film & media studies, gender studies, linguistics, literary analysis, MLA style, poetry, research, theatre/playwriting, screenwriting, master’s thesis writing, University Writing.

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Lauren Horst

Bio forthcoming

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Lin King

Bio forthcoming

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M Constantine

M Constantine is a writer, editor, and scholar working across art and anthropology. Their research examines how language has increasingly come to mediate the material conditions of collective life and critical aesthetic practice in Berlin's contemporary art worlds. M is also an instructor in the Undergraduate Writing Program, where they teach Contemporary Essays, with an emphasis on theories of language and power. Their pedagogy supports students in mobilizing their own linguistic diversity as resources in collective learning. M loves playing soccer, making ceramics, and watching sci-fi. Specialties: anthropology, art history, Art Humanities, Chicago style, comparative literature, creative writing, critical theory, dissertation writing, film & media studies, gender studies, linguistics, mixed media/genre projects, poetry, University Writing.

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Maria Baker

Maria Baker is a writer of drama, fiction, and cultural criticism, as well as a translator. At the University of Vienna, she focused on German Philology, Theatre & Media Studies and eventually completed her B.A. in the US in English Literature and Creative Writing. She holds an MFA in Writing from Pratt Institute where she co-developed and teaches two Undergraduate Integrative Courses. She’s the facilitator of an on-going writing workshop for senior citizens in Brooklyn and a founder of the writers' collective Verbal Supply Company. Specialties: arts criticism, Art Humanities, creative writing, fiction, film & media studies, German, literary nonfiction, Literature Humanities, poetry, theatre/playwriting/, screenwriting, translation studies, multilingual approaches.

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Nicole Kohut

Bio forthcoming

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Niki Cunningham

Bio forthcoming

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R.E. Fulton

R.E. is a public historian and freelance writer with eight years of experience in writing consulting. They completed an M.A. in American History at the University of Rochester in 2015 and have since taught academic writing at SUNY Geneseo and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Outside the writing center, R.E. can be found leading tours at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, knitting, and talking to cats. Specialties: American studies, Chicago style, dissertation writing, ESL, gender studies, grammar, history, job search materials, personal statements, research, master’s thesis writing

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Rory Macleod

Bio forthcoming

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Shyanne Bennett

Bio forthcoming

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Stephanie Philp

Bio forthcoming

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Steve Preskill

Steve Preskill was a professor of education for many years, specializing in the history of American education and leadership studies. He has a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois. More recently, he acquired an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University. He is currently doing research for a biography of one of his heroes – Myles Horton of the Highlander Folk School. He is delighted to be working in the Writing Center as a writing consultant. Specialties: American studies, history, research, biography and leadership studies

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Sue Mendelsohn, director

Dr. Sue Mendelsohn is the director of the Writing Center and the Associate Director of Columbia's Undergraduate Writing Program. She's taught writing and rhetorical theory for two decades and is co-author with Aaron Ritzenberg of the writing handbook How Scholars Write (Oxford 2021). Her research uncovers the history of writing instruction for African-American college students during the Jim Crow era. Specialties: University Writing, dissertation writing, research, the writing process strategies, personal statements, and application materials.

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Thom May

Thom May is an associate consultant at the Writing Center. He holds an MPhil in English from the University of Cambridge and an MFA in Writing from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers until 2019. In recent years he has taught writing at Cornell University, Baruch College, New York University, and New York City College of Technology, developing classes focused on visual rhetoric, political aesthetics, media representation, advertising, labor, and internet culture. His research-driven plays have been performed in London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Texas. Specialties: application essays, business & professional writing, creative writing, dissertation writing, fiction, film & media studies, international relations, job search materials, legal writing, literary analysis, nonfiction, Literature Humanities, MLA style, personal statements, science & technical writing, theatre/playwriting, screenwriting, master’s thesis writing, University Writing.

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Tyler Campbell

Bio forthcoming

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Valerie Seiling Jacobs
Valerie Seiling Jacobs holds an MFA in nonfiction from Columbia University and a JD from Cornell University. Before returning to academia, she practiced law for more than twenty years. She has experience teaching academic, creative, and legal writing. She is a former UWP instructor and previously served on the editorial board of The Morningside Review. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and other publications. Specialties: University Writing, dissertation and thesis writing, business & professional writing, literary nonfiction, law, research-based writing, and journalism.

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Yousef Tehrani

Bio forthcoming

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Vero Montanez

Bio forthcoming

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Specialties

African American studies: Joey De Jesus,

American literature: Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, Kimia Heydari, Kirkwood Adams,

American studies: Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, R.E. Fulton, Stephen Preskill,

anthropology: Bridget Potter, M Constantine, 

Associated Press style:

APA style:

application essays: Carin Jean White, Celine Aenlle-Rocha, Emily Foster, Joey De Jesus, Kimia Heydari, Sue Mendelsohn, Thom May,

art criticism: M Constantine, Maria Baker,

art history: Kirkwood Adams, M Constantine,

Art Humanities: Bridget Potter, Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, Kimia Heydari, Kirkwood Adams, M Constantine, Maria Baker,

Asian American studies:

astronomy:

biography: Stephen Preskill

British literature: Carin Jean White, Emily Foster, Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, Kirkwood Adams,

business & professional writing: Carin Jean White, Thom May, Valerie Seiling Jacobs

chemistry:

Chicago style: Kit Klippenstein, M Constantine, R.E. Fulton,

comparative literature: Emily Foster,Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, Kimia Heydari, M Constantine,

Contemporary Civilization: Bridget Potter,

creative writing: Carin Jean White, Celine Aenlle-Rocha, C.K. Kirch, Joey De Jesus, Kit Klippenstein, Maria Baker, Thom May,

critical theory: Carin Jean White, Joey De Jesus, Kit Klippenstein, M Constantine,

dissertation writing: Carin Jean White, Emily Foster, Joey De Jesus, Kit Klippenstein, M Constantine, R.E. Fulton, Sue Mendelsohn, Thom May, Valerie Seiling Jacobs

East Asian studies: Jason Ueda,

economics:

ESL: Emily Foster, R.E. Fulton,

Farsi: Kimia Heydari

fellowship applications: Carin Jean White, C.K. Kirch, Joey De Jesus, Kimia Heydari, Sue Mendelsohn,

fiction: Carin Jean White, Celine Aenlle-Rocha, Joey De Jesus, Kit Klippenstein, Maria Baker, Thom May,

film & media studies: Bridget Potter, Carin Jean White, C.K. Kirch, Kit Klippenstein, M Constantine, Maria Baker, Thom May,

French: Kimia Heydari

gender studies: Joey De Jesus, Kit Klippenstein, M Constantine, R.E. Fulton,

German: Maria Baker,

grammar: Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, R.E. Fulton,

history: Joey De Jesus, R.E. Fulton, Stephen Preskill,

international relations: Joey De Jesus, Thom May,

job search materials: Carin Jean White, C.K. Kirch, Joey De Jesus, R.E. Fulton, Sue Mendelsohn, Thom May,

journalism: Carin Jean White, Joey De Jesus, Valerie Seiling Jacobs, 

linguistics: Celine Aenlle-Rocha, Kit Klippenstein, M Constantine,

leadership studies: Stephen Preskill

legal writing: Joey De Jesus, Thom May, Valerie Seiling Jacobs

literary analysis: C.K. Kirch, Emily Foster, Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, Kit Klippenstein, Thom May,

Literature Humanities: Bridget Potter, Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, Kirkwood Adams, Maria Baker, Thom May,

master’s thesis writing: Carin Jean White, Emily Foster, Joey De Jesus, Kit Klippenstein, R.E. Fulton, Stephen Preskill, Sue Mendelsohn, Thom May,

medicine & nursing:

mixed media/genre projects: Carin Jean White, Joey De Jesus, M Constantine,

MLA style: Jason Ueda, Kit Klippenstein, Thom May,

multilingual writing: Celine Aenlle-Rocha, Maria Baker

music: C.K. Kirch,

Music Humanities: Kimia Heydari,

neuroscience: C.K. Kirch,

nonfiction: Bridget Potter, Carin Jean White, Joey De Jesus, Maria Baker, Stephen Preskill, Thom May, Valerie Seiling Jacobs

personal statements: Bridget Potter, Carin Jean White, Celine Aenlle-Rocha, Emily Foster, Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, R.E. Fulton, Sue Mendelsohn, Thom May,

philosophy: Joey De Jesus,

poetry: Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, Kirkwood Adams, Kit Klippenstein, M Constantine, Maria Baker,

proposal & grant writing: Carin Jean White, Joey De Jesus, Sue Mendelsohn,

psychology: C.K. Kirch,

research: Carin Jean White, Joey De Jesus, Kit Klippenstein, R.E. Fulton, Stephen Preskill, Valerie Seiling Jacobs.

science & technical writing: C.K. Kirch, Thom May,

screenwriting: Carin Jean White, Kit Klippenstein, Thom May,

sociology: Bridget Potter, Joey De Jesus,

Spanish: Celine Aenlle-Rocha

theatre/playwriting: Carin Jean White, Kirkwood Adams, Kit Klippenstein, Maria Baker, Thom May,

translation studies: Carin Jean White, Joey De Jesus, Maria Baker,

University Writing: Bridget Potter, Celine Aenlle-Rocha, C.K. Kirch, Emily Foster, Jason Ueda, Joey De Jesus, Kimia Heydari, Kit Klippenstein, M Constantine, Sue Mendelsohn, Thom May, Valerie Seiling Jacobs