The Staff

Dr. Susan Lawrence, Director

Susan Lawrence teaches in the Writing & Rhetoric program at Mason, focusing on writing center studies, academic writing, professional & technical writing, and research methods including discourse analysis. Her recent collection Re/Writing the Center: Approaches to Supporting Graduate Students in the Writing Center, co-edited with Terry Myers Zawacki, makes the case for writing centers' intentional, tailored support for advanced graduate student writers. In current projects, Susan is examining the role of theory in empirical studies of writing and exploring the synergies among writing centers, communication centers, and research centers. She has published on writing in the disciplines, examining how biology and history students use evidence in different ways, and developing the prototype for an on-line writing tutor for engineering students. Susan consults with professionals in government, business, and non-profit organizations about communicating with public and congressional audiences. She earned her PhD in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon and rows on the Occoquan Reservoir.

Dr. Courtney Massie, Assistant Director

Dr. Massie joined the Mason community in January 2017 after several years at The University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her PhD in English. She worked in UT-Austin’s University Writing Center from 2012 through 2016, first as a writing consultant, then as a graduate student administrator. Her research interests include anti-racism, critical pedagogy, and empathy in the writing center context; her current project explores the impact of writing center employment upon tutors' own writing processes and identities. Courtney also teaches Advanced Composition at Mason. She spends a lot of time reflecting on how writing centers and composition classrooms can become more just and equitable spaces.

Tanya Bychkovska, ESL Specialist

Tanya received her Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Ohio University. During her graduate program, she tutored and taught academic writing to multilingual writers, and as the Assistant Coordinator of the writing lab, she trained tutors to work with students whose first language is not English. Before coming to Ohio University, she had tutored and taught English in her home country Ukraine for seven years. Tanya’s research focuses on lexical, grammatical, and stylistic features in second language writing, technology in language teaching, and English for Academic Purposes. Here, at the Mason Writing Center, she provides support for tutors working with multilingual writers and also serves as a Coordinator of the ESL OPT-in program. In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga, exercising at a gym, and exploring the D.C. area.

Sarah Johnson, Graduate Writing Coordinator

A PhD student in the Writing and Rhetoric program, Sarah has published on cognitive strategies for writing consultants, theorizing how mindfulness meditation might be used to optimize consultants' and writers' cognitive loads, and has also co-authored work examining student resistance in digital reflective writing. Her current research focuses on the connections between translingual pedagogy and anti-racist writing assessment. Sarah also teaches English Composition at Mason. She recently spent a year in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, where she taught English and Creative Writing to multilingual high school writers. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from American University, where she was a graduate fellow and interim assistant director in the writing center and taught English composition. Here, at the Mason Writing Center, she provides support for graduate writers working on thesis, dissertation, and academic projects and develops workshops for graduate writers. When she isn't reading, writing, or tutoring, she enjoys running on the Potomac and expanding the reaches of her dog's vocabulary.

Jenna Kahn, Coordinator of Tutor Education and Development

Jenna is a third-year Creative Nonfiction MFA candidate. She was born in Germany and lived in Europe until she moved to Annapolis, Maryland at sixteen. She empathizes with students making the transition to life in the United States, and she especially enjoys collaborating with multilingual writers. At Towson University, she majored in English and minored in German. She also has a background working with young adults on the Autism Spectrum and advocating for students with disabilities. Jenna thinks tutoring is an opportunity to build confidence in writers by highlighting their strengths and making detailed plans for revision. 

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Kyra Kondis, Coordinator of Technology

Kyra is a second-year fiction MFA candidate. Originally from the DC area, she spent undergrad studying English and Philosophy at SMU in Dallas, TX, which she quickly learned does not count as the "wild west." As an undergraduate, she worked as a tutor and ESL writing liaison. She genuinely loves writing and hopes to channel this passion in her tutoring. She previously competed as a collegiate swimmer, and in her retirement from athletics, she enjoys painting in the company of her houseplants.

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Millie Tullis, Coordinator of Outreach

Millie is a second-year MFA candidate studying poetry. As an undergraduate, she majored in English and Philosophy at Utah State University, where she also worked for three years as a writing tutor. As the Outreach Coordinator, she is passionate about making Writing Center knowledge and resources accessible to professors and students. As a writer herself, she believes that peer feedback is an invaluable part of the writing process. She loves talking about writing almost as much as she loves talking about her cat. 

Aaron, Office Assistant

Aaron is a sophomore majoring in Accounting. He is an alumni of the nonprofit organization Urban Alliance. Over the last two summers, Aaron has had internships with both the Smithsonian and Bank of America. His dream job would be to become a forensic accountant. In his free time, Aaron likes to play sports, work out, read, and hang out with friends.

Francisca, Office Assistant

Francisca is a Sophomore majoring in Global Affairs with a concentration in International Development. She is an active member of the Black Students Association and African Students Association. She has participated in the GMU HIV/AIDs Awareness fashion show and will be a member of the Black Mamba Afro Dance team on campus. Her dream is to work at the World Bank Organization and start Microloan banks for women living in poverty. Francisca loves dancing, watching history documentaries, learning new languages and exploring different cultures.

Stephanie, Office Assistant

Stephanie is a junior majoring in Criminology, Law, and Society and minoring in Biology. She is an active member of the Honor Committee and Mason's Spirit Squad as well as a volunteer for Mason Admissions K12 Partnerships program. Her ambition is to one day be able to conduct investigations while working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. When she receives a break from the busy life of a college student, she enjoys to binge watch movies and shows or explore Northern Virginia.