The Staff

Susan Lawrence

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.

Courtney Massie

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 multilingual writers' attitudes, beliefs, and feelings about their English writing in American academic contexts. Courtney also teaches Advanced Composition at Mason. She is committed to advancing justice and equity in writing centers and composition classrooms. In the other parts of her life, she's a community organizer, animal rescue volunteer, musician, and hiker.

Idée Edalatishams

Idée Edalatishams, ESL Specialist

Idée joined Mason in August 2020, while finishing her PhD in Applied Linguistics and Technology at Iowa State University. She has taught Composition and ESL courses at different levels, worked as a Graduate Communication Consultant at the Writing and Media Center, and supported graduate communication as an English Speaking and Writing Consultant at the Center for Communication Excellence at Iowa State. Back in her home country, Iran, she was an English Translation major as an undergraduate, got a Master’s in English Language Teaching, and taught English to adults and young adults at several language institutes and Sharif University of Technology. Her primary research is in the areas of spoken corpus linguistics, pronunciation, and international graduate students’ oral communication. Here, at the Mason Writing Center, she provides support for tutors working with multilingual writers, coordinates Writing Groups and the ESOL Opt-in program, and offers communication consultations. In her free time, she enjoys taking road trips, hiking, and making artwork.

Jenny Goransson

Jenny Goransson, Graduate Writing Coordinator

A PhD student in the Writing and Rhetoric program, Jenny has taught Composition at Mason for two years. Her recent research focuses on writing centers expanding into learning centers or merging with learning centers. Other research interests include community literacy, antiracist pedagogy, and the use of yoga and mindfulness strategies in writing instruction. She also serves as an adjunct instructor in the MA in Teaching Writing program at Johns Hopkins University. Before coming to Mason, Jenny worked for eleven years as a high school English teacher at West Springfield High School (WSHS) -- just down the road from campus. At WSHS she founded and directed the writing center for eight years, and has played an active role in the secondary school writing center movement. 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. Jenny is also a mother, distance runner, musical theatre nerd, and lover of podcasts.

Sophia Ross

Sophia Ross, Coordinator of Consultant Education and Development

Sophia is a second-year MFA candidate with a concentration in fiction. After graduating with a BA in English and Writing, she moved to Seattle where she worked for a literary arts nonprofit, and later in higher education. As the Coordinator of Consultant Education and Development, she ensures that all consultants have access to the pedagogical tools and training they need to succeed in sessions. When she isn’t in the Writing Center, Sophia serves as managing editor for the literary journal, phoebe, and takes her corgi, Winona, for walks in the woods.

Ivan Moore

Ivan Moore, Coordinator of Technology and Accessibility

Ivan is a third-year MFA candidate. He received his BA in English with a minor in Italian from the University of Texas at Austin. As the Coordinator of Technology and Accessibility, he ensures that the Writing Center's online resources stay current and accessible. He also oversees the Disability Services Opt-in program, which pairs DS-registered writers with consultants. Outside of the Writing Center, he serves as Assistant Editor-in-Chief for So to Speak, Mason's feminist literary magazine.

Erin Snyder

Erin Snyder, Coordinator of Outreach

Erin is a third-year MFA candidate in fiction. She graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Biology from Sweet Briar College, where she was also a TA in the equestrian program and president of the a cappella group. As the Coordinator of Outreach, Erin believes that all writers should be able to benefit from the Writing Center’s resources, and looks forward to bringing Writing Center materials and strategies to classes across Mason. When she isn’t writing or catering to her horses’ every whim, she enjoys distance running and reading as many books as the library will let her check out.


Marie, Office Assistant

Marie is a sophomore this year. Her major is Criminology, Law, and Society with a minor in Forensic Psychology. With this degree, she hopes to attend law school. At Mason, she is also a member of the cheerleading team. She is excited to get to know all of you in hopes for a fantastic year as she works as an Office Assistant for the Writing Center. 


Maryam, Office Assistant

Maryam is a sophomore, majoring in Community Health with a concentration of Global Health. She moved from Dallas, TX to get an undergrad degree at Mason because of the multitude of opportunities GMU offers. She plans on becoming a public health advisor in the future. Maryam loves to teach little kids and has worked as a Sunday school teacher in the past. There she taught kids how to improve their reading and writing skills. Maryam also enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors, and likes to travel.