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 is committed to advancing justice and equity in writing centers and composition classrooms.

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.

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.

Kevin Binder, Coordinator of Tutor Education and Development

Kevin is a second-year fiction MFA candidate. He studied Psychology and International Studies at the University of Michigan, where he took classes in a variety of disciplines. Since graduating, he’s worked as an English teacher in Turkey, a technology consultant, and a marketing copywriter, among other things. As the Writing Center’s coordinator of tutor education and development, he works to make sure all tutors have the pedagogical tools and training they need to succeed in their sessions. In his free time, Kevin likes to avoid writing the novel he should be working on.

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Kyra Kondis, Coordinator of Technology and Accessibility

Kyra is a third-year MFA candidate in fiction writing. She has taught courses at Mason including composition, literature, and most recently, fiction writing workshop. Originally from the DC area, she earned her Bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at SMU in Dallas, TX, where she also tutored students in writing and philosophy. As the Writing Center's Coordinator of Technology and Accessibility, she wants to make sure that Writing Center materials and processes are navigable, user-friendly, and widely accessible to all. Kyra previously competed as a Division-I collegiate swimmer, and in her retirement from athletics, she enjoys writing short stories in the company of her houseplants.

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Shane Chergosky, Coordinator of Outreach

Shane is in his third and final year of Mason’s MFA Program. Originally from Minnesota, he moved to Tempe, AZ where he earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Communication from Arizona State. Whether it’s an internship application or a written argument, Shane is happy to help students develop their writing no matter where they are in the process. As our Coordinator of Outreach, Shane believes no student should go without the knowledge, resources, and strategies the Writing Center has to offer. He has taught Composition and Literature at Mason, and will be teaching Intro to Creative Writing in the fall.

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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. 

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Kira, Office Assistant

Kira is a junior studying developmental psychology. She loves to read to the point where she could be caught reading past bedtime. While reading in class a teacher asked her to write a poem. Since then she enjoys writing poetry, and has the habit of collecting notebooks in order to write everything down. Words are powerful, both in meaning and in love placement. Sharing that knowledge with others is one of the best things that Kira believes she has ever done. Kira plans to obtain a degree in speech pathology to help children with disabilities. She hopes she can share her love of words and reading with every child that she comes in contact with. 

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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.