The Writing Center

The Tutors

Our tutors are accomplished graduate and undergraduate Mason students. Our graduate tutors are enrolled in the MA programs in English and Linguistics, and in the MFA in Creative Writing. Our undergraduate tutors are talented writers and scholars who come from majors across the university.

Abi

Abi is a first year MFA student studying creative nonfiction. She received her BS from Utah State University in English with a concentration in creative writing, so she hasn’t spent much time on anything else. Though she lived the majority of her life in Utah, she’d like to claim Oregon as home because she was born there and it’s cooler than Utah. She’s had experience tutoring in writing centers before, and she worked as the lead fiction editor for her university’s literary journal. She loves indoor plants and cats, and hopes one day to have an indoor jungle so her future cat can live a happy life.

Alayna

Alayna is in her third year as an MFA candidate in Poetry here at GMU and is very excited to be back at the Writing Center again during her final year. She knows this area and university quite well—she earned a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing also from Mason in 2015 and has lived in Northern Virginia for most of her life. What brought her to Mason originally was a love of numbers and a declared Math major, until the formulae revealed a more intense love for arranging letters into language. So here she is, eager and ready to discuss all things writing. She also loves to talk about ballet and has a particular fondness for Baryshnikov and Patrick Swayze. When she is not reading, writing, or trying to transport herself into 1977's The Turning Point, she can often be found opening and closing the sliding back door for her perfect, but incredibly indecisive, cat Charlie.

Allie

Allie, who was raised in Northwest Indiana but is a true Chicagoan at heart, is a first year MFA Nonfiction student at GMU. She attended Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she received a BA in Creative Writing. She didn’t always love to write, however; Allie’s passion for English classes was nonexistent up until her junior year of high school when a caring teacher showed her how beautiful writing can be. Now, she strives to show others that a marked up paper doesn’t equal bad writing. In her spare time, she loves to go out to eat, listen to musicals, and add to her ever-growing collection of books, even as 60 unread novels sit on her shelf at any given time.

Alyssa

Alyssa is a first year poetry student in Mason’s MFA program. She graduated from Harvard in 2011 with her BA in Psychology. In 2012 she moved to DC to start a job in the tech world, where she took full advantage of the free meals and yoga at work. Now working as a freelance writer and editor, Alyssa has gotten used to paying for yoga, but still seeks all opportunities to avoid cooking. Having grown up in one of the coldest towns in the country, Alyssa is well-acquainted with snowy weather. When she’s not curled up in front of the fireplace reading poetry or leaving her mittens on the metro, you can find her skiing, hiking, running, or biking in the mountains. Despite her fondness for winter, Alyssa actually really (really) hates being cold.

Amanda

I was born and raised in a small town only a parkway ride away from New York City. Although I started out as a Civil Engineering major, I graduated from George Mason this past May with a BA in English, a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. I’m excited to be returning to Mason as a grad student and will be pursuing an MFA in Fiction! During my time as an undergrad I played for Mason’s Division 1 Softball program for two years. Meanwhile, off the field I set out to find creative outlets to feed my passion for storytelling. As a result, I soon found myself serving as Secretary for the Undergraduate English Society (UES). When I’m not chewing through my latest book or scribbling down stories of my own, you can often find me at the gym, in the kitchen (cooking up tastes of epic proportions), or on the couch binge-watching action movies.

Andrew

Andrew spent his whole life in Indiana until he traveled to London during his junior year of undergrad. He considered not coming back, but his mother would have missed him, so he ultimately did and earned a B.A. in English from Wabash College (Crawfordsville, IN) in 2005, and later an M.A. in American Literature from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2009. At this point, having seen most everything Indiana had to show him and searching for something new and original, he instead decided to do the third most cliché thing possible in that situation and joined the Peace Corps, serving in Ukraine as a university TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) volunteer from 2010-2012. On his way back, Andrew got lost for two years in the mountains of Colorado before finally finding his way to George Mason to write and study nonfiction in the MFA program; he is currently in his third year here. His mother does miss him but says she understands.

Caely

Caely grew up nearby in Leesburg, VA, and is incredibly excited to tutor at the GMU Writing Center! Her degree in English and minor in Creative Writing comes from the College of William and Mary, and she's pursuing an MFA in Poetry at GMU. She knows her way around an English paper, but she's also really into American Studies and GSWS. Caely has some professional experience in magazine editing, writing book reviews, and creating content for websites. Bring her your writing, and she'll definitely show you a picture of her puppy.

Celia

Celia is a rising senior currently pursuing her BA in English with a concentration in Literature. Her past educational experience includes earning an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Northern Virginia Community College. Prior to joining the staff of the Writing Center, Celia spent two years as a homework tutor with Vecinos Unidos, an organization that provides free homework assistance to children. Recently accepted into the Honors English Program, Celia plans to develop a thesis related to Grahame Greene's The Power and the Glory. In her spare time, Celia enjoys playing the piano, watching movies, eating ice cream, and listening to music.

Corey

Corey is a first-year MFA candidate in Creative Writing who is originally from New York. He graduated with a B.A. from Goucher College, where he studied continental philosophy and creative writing. He recently published his first short story, forthcoming in Narrative Northeast. In his spare time, Corey enjoys reading novels and watching his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees.

Darcy

Darcy is in his third year of studying Creative Nonfiction for his MFA. He received his BA in creative writing from Frostburg State University in 2010. Originally from the DC suburbs, Darcy moved to the mountain side of Maryland after high school until he relocated to Fairfax last year to resume his academic career. Darcy has worked for various colleges over the last decade, primarily assisting in tutoring programs both as a tutor and an administrator. At the George Mason University Writing Center, Darcy handles technology services for students and tutors and manages the center's website, social media, and online writing labs. Darcy also teaches composition and is the coordinator of GMU's graduate student reading series, Loudfire. Outside of school, Darcy is fond of cooking, tea, collecting records, and his handsome cat, Francois.

David

David is a George Mason Undergraduate Senior studying Psychology with a concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois; he's had experience working in Developmental Psychology, administrative work, and volunteered at non-profit organizations. He will be closely working with the Office of Disability Services and loves to help any and every student he meets on campus! David loves meeting new people and looks forward to working with the diverse student body here at George Mason University. A couple of his favorite hobbies include: listening to all types of music, playing basketball, and eating at restaurants (if eating out could be a hobby!) So if you’re ever around on campus, feel free to stop by and say hello!

Dustin

Dustin is a senior pursuing a B.S. in computer science here at George Mason University. When he least expected it, he found himself at the Writing Center after he discovered the value of discussing his writing with others. Although he’s studying computer science, his writing experience ranges from project documentation to argumentative essays. He’s excited to work with both writers in his own discipline and writers across the many other disciplines that Mason offers. While Dustin isn’t in class or doing late-night coding marathons, he is likely out in the streets taking photos or at home building and tweaking his many keyboards.

Eileen

Eileen is an undergraduate senior who has lived all her life in Virginia (which she acknowledges is pretty boring). Her English major concentration, Writing and Rhetoric, has enabled her to become familiar with several types of writings, including research papers, a literary analysis, and case studies. She's also familiar with business documents such as executive summaries and a recommendations report. Of particular interest to her is her eventual senior thesis topic which is centered on Writing Intensive courses. Outside of academics, she's passionate about kayaking, her dog that looks (and sounds!) like Chewbacca, and watching television shows about fishing, although she'd like to note she’s never fished a day in her life.

Emma

Emma is an English major concentrating in Linguistics. She is minoring in Japanese Studies, and is currently studying for the N4-level Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) this December. Though this is her first semester tutoring at George Mason, she tutored previously at Chantilly High School, and worked as an RA for the Virginia Governor's Japanese Academy. When she isn't playing Bloodborne or The Witcher 3, Emma is writing her own fiction. She has participated in NaNoWriMo for the past three years; last year she wrote a fifty thousand word fantasy in one month, completing the challenge for the first time. Emma is a conversational tutor, but, being an introvert, she is ready and willing to give a student space and quiet when they need it.

Indigo, Graduate Writing Coordinator

As a doctoral student in Writing and Rhetoric, Indigo’s work explores critical pedagogy and transformative approaches to teaching writing. After working in Latin America for three years, Indigo completed a Master of Arts degree in Comparative Literature with a certificate in Immigrant Literacies from San Francisco State University (2012). She also holds an MFA in writing from Mills College (2009) and a BA in Environmental Studies from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon (2003). In addition to her work at GMU, Indigo is an Assistant Professor of English at NVCC Woodbridge. She joins the Writing Center as the Graduate Writing Coordinator. Outside of academia, Indigo is a poet, wanderer, and midnight whiskey drinker.

Jenna

Jenna is a first-year creative nonfiction MFA candidate. She was born in Germany and lived in Europe until she turned sixteen. Though Annapolis is very different from Zagreb or Berlin, she managed to adjust. After earning a BS in English from Towson University, she helped run a math tutoring center in Maryland for seven months. Working on topics like fractions, algebra, and geometry with students of all ages helped her realize the importance of instilling confidence in others. When she isn’t blogging about the book she just finished, she enjoys spending time with her two rescue dogs, Männlein and Sisi.

Jesse

Jesse is a first-year graduate student pursuing an MFA in Fiction, after orbiting Mason for years. He received his BA in English from St. Mary's College of Maryland and bounced around Baltimore County, Pennsylvania, Howard County and Georgia before settling in Fairfax. He's been published in Fiction on the Web, Fiction 365 and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Professionally, he's revised too much documentation. He's excited to work with anyone who values finding the right words and clarity of language. Outside of working on his Depression-era novel he enjoys comics, horror movies, synthwave, a vast Steam library, existentialism, one-liners, spoiling his cat, pitch-black coffee, and giving music recommendations.

Jhanvi

Jhanvi is a nonfiction MFA candidate from the Big Bad Midwest. Growing up in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, she learned to speak Kiswahili, Kutchi (courtesy of her Indian heritage), and Hindi (from her Bollywood binge-watching sessions). She moved to America as an International Student, attending Gettysburg College for a BA in Sociology. While there, Jhanvi wrote a copious amount of research papers, ethnographies, literature reviews, and analytic papers – her senior thesis was based in race, gender, and film. When she's being an idealist, she imagines that she will move to Copenhagen (where she studied abroad for a time) and become a famous writer, working mainly from cute street side cafes.

Katie

Katie is so excited to be at Mason for her second year as an English MA student concentrating in the Teaching of Writing and Literature. A native Virginian, Katie earned her BA in English Literature and Writing from the University of Mary Washington. While in undergrad she was the viewpoints editor and columnist of her college newspaper, editor in nonficiton for the literary journal, and choreographer and dancer for the Performing Arts Club. After graduating, not sure what to do next, she haphazardly found an AmeriCorps program involving tutoring adults on reading and writing English. She found such a passion for making a difference in people's lives through education that she went on to teach her own Adult ESL class for a little while in the community. The program also gave her some random skills such as how to prepare taxes. Far too in love with college for her own good, she has also worked in many departments at her Alma Mater including Residence Life, the Counseling Center, and is also currently working in Transfer Admissions as a counselor. Along with reading Victorian Literature, Katie loves eating copious amounts of cheese, writing, hiking, laughing, marathoning Lord of the Rings, and eating more cheese.

Kiley

Kiley, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, is a first year student in the MFA fiction program. She majored in English, and one of her favorite college experiences was interning as a book editor. She loved working with a diverse range of writers from various disciplines and genres to bring their ideas to life on the page! Since her experience is rooted in the humanities, she especially enjoys creative or journalistic pieces, as well as analysis, research, and position papers. She's a shameless bookworm, and you can usually find her reading in a random, albeit cozy corner in her free time; she has a special interest in contemporary short fiction. She is equally enthusiastic about podcasts, coffee, '80s music, her cat Miles, and of course, you! She can't wait to meet you, hear your ideas, and collaborate with you!

Lauren

Lauren is a first-year graduate student of Fiction Writing. She received dual BAs in Literature and Creative Writing from Pepperdine University. She specialized in the Victorian novel, feminist theory, and YA literature. Professionally, Lauren worked as the Associate Editor of Pepperdine Graphic Media, as well as a Modern Art museum attendant. She learned to love travel when she studied abroad in Florence, Italy; she has familiarity with Italian and Spanish. In her spare time, you will find her drinking coffee, going to museums, and dancing ballet. She is a California girl, born and raised, and is dreaming of swimming in the Pacific as soon as possible.

Loryn

Loryn is currently a junior studying Civil Engineering with a minor in Environmental Engineering. While born in Fairfax, she spent her formative years growing up in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, which has made her determined to work abroad after she graduates. She hopes to use her degree to work alongside local communities to improve living conditions in developing countries. In her free time, Loryn likes to explore new places around Virginia and D.C., spend time outside, eat good ethnic food, and read.

Luz

I'm originally from Bogotá, Colombia and have lived in Northern Virginia for over 15 years. I’m a Spanish major and I'm also pursuing a minor in Latin American Studies. This is my senior year at GMU. As an ESL student myself, I have experience working with multilingual students and I'm looking forward to working with Spanish writers. I enjoy reading magical realism by Latin American authors, especially Gabriel García Márquez whom I’m very proud to call my fellow Colombian. When I'm not splitting my time between a busy household and school, I enjoy learning about US history, going on road trips, and planning the next trip to my home country.

Madeline E.

Madeline is a senior at Mason pursuing a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a minor in Conservation Studies. She grew up running around barefoot on her grandmother's farm; naturally she developed a deep love for animals, plants, and exploring the outdoors. On weekends, she interns at a wildlife rehabilitation center and volunteers as a keeper's aid with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. If you get a chance, ask her about her work with the red pandas and clouded leopards. She’s unsure of her future for now, but she wants it to involve conducting research on a subject merging anthropology and wildlife conservation. She's a big music fan, spends too much money on concerts, enjoys watching Survivor, and going hiking with her dog.

Madeline G.

Madeline is an MA student at Mason studying English with a concentration in Professional Writing & Rhetoric. A Mason alumna, Madeline also earned her BA in English from Mason and has been a tutor at the GMU Writing Center since 2015. As indicated by her academic pursuits, she is fascinated by the mechanics and rhetoric of language, having inherited an apparently congenital obsession with grammar from her family of writers. In addition to tutoring, Madeline is a technical writer for a consulting firm that conducts analysis for NASA. When she is not writing about rockets and Mars or (re)reading historical fiction and Harry Potter, Madeline likes to be as active as possible: cycling, hiking, figure-skating. Photography, specifically abstract, also has a place in her heart. Once Madeline has completed graduate school, she hopes to join her parents’ writing consultant business and continue transferring her writing skills to others.

Mary

Mary is a first-year graduate student pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction. She grew up in the American Southwest and spent much of her adult life in Texas where she earned a BA in English. Her professional background is in technical writing, mostly in biomedical research and education technology. Mary enjoys working with multilingual writers and loves tips about foreign novel translations. Her interests are literary fiction, most film genres (lately, it’s been heist movies), and hiking. She listens to all kinds of music and dances when no one is watching. Mary has three children in college in Utah who hope to graduate before she does. (This message approved by the Committee to Send Mom to George Mason.)

Michael

Michael is a first-year Fiction MFA student. Originally from Richmond, he received his BFA in Fiction at GMU in 2016. As an undergraduate, he served as the Vice President of the Undergraduate English Society, where he co-founded the UES Writer's Workshop. Professionally, Michael has worked as a first reader for the Cricket Magazine Group since 2014, assessing poems and stories for their children's literary journals, Babybug, Ladybug, Spider, Cricket, and Cicada. His other academic interests include folklore, epic poetry, geology, and astronomy. His not-as-academic interests include exploring dungeons in Legend of Zelda, cryptozoology, and grooving out on bass guitar.

Phebe

Phebe is a fourth-year BFA Poetry undergrad who is eager to work with students across disciplines. Phebe has been working at the Northern Virginia Writing Project since the start of her Mason career, playing an integral role in the Project's annual Student Summer Institute (SSI)--a summer camp for young writers grades 9 through 12. Phebe's fields of interest include literary translation, international poetry, and Russian language. Additionally, her expertise as a both a participant and judge of Poetry Out Loud competitions has imparted with her an odd reverence for the art of recitation and sonics. When Phebe runs out of words, she can be spotted at a quaint Occoquan marina, navigating the wakes and quells of boating culture as a novice dockhand. Post-boating season, she can be sighted in the kitchen making one mean apple pie.

Rachel

Before beginning the MFA program in creative nonfiction at George Mason, Rachel studied journalism and philosophy at the University of Central Florida in sunny, gator and tourist-infested Orlando. She bought a one-way plane ticket, packed three suitcases full of shoes, and traded hurricanes for earthquakes in San Francisco, where she reported on business, politics and breaking news. Rachel has interviewed world champion skiers, delved into the subprime mortgage crisis, and taken a yoga class with inmates at San Quentin. For the last five years, Rachel and her boyfriend roamed North America in an RV with their chocolate Labrador retriever, Ellie. Every September, she embarks on a masochistic ritual of watching the Miami Dolphins play football. She makes a mean chili.

Ryan

Ryan is a 3rd year MFA student studying creative nonfiction writing. Before moving to Fairfax, he grew up in central Massachusetts and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he got his BA in English. As Coordinator of Tutor Education and Development, Ryan serves as a first source and mentor for tutors to improve their tutoring skills and engage in constructive professional development.

Sean

Sean is a graduate student from New York in the Fiction MFA program at George Mason. He received a BA in English language and literature from Skidmore College, as well as Spanish and film studies minors. While there, he worked as a writing center tutor across many disciplines, wrote a ridiculous amount of film reviews for the student paper, and served for three years as a copy editor. He is also an extensive traveler, having studied abroad in both Peru and England, as well as driven cross-country to hike the national parks. When he’s not buried under an increasing amount of homework, he likes writing, watching movies, and listening to music.

Sofia P.

Born in Kentucky, raised in Ohio, and granted her BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida, Sofia finds herself returning to both Fiction and four legitimate seasons as a first year MFA candidate at Mason. She has several years’ experience tutoring young writers and looks forward to leveling up her skills in collaboration with her fellow Patriots. While her main focus lies in the literary and creative genres, being an ex-Digital Media major and the daughter of a language professor has introduced her to the stylings of varied disciplines. Outside of academia, she is a lapsed kendo practitioner, an avid reader, and a fandom lurker. These days you can catch her exploring Northern Virginia, filling her Pokedex along the way.

Sophia R.

Sophia, a NoVA native, is a first-year MFA in Creative Writing student with a concentration in Fiction. She received her BFA in Creative Writing at GMU as well! Professionally, she has worked as an editorial intern at a local magazine, written copy for online publications, and helped develop a non-profit organization. Her genre experience ranges from literary analysis to lab reports. When not at GMU, Sophia works as a trainer for psychiatric service animals and spends her free time reading and watching movies.

Tanya, 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 an 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 as a Foreign Language in her home country Ukraine for seven years, working with students of different proficiency levels in English. 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.

Tricia

Tricia is a second year MFA student in fiction. She has been a staff writer at a communications and technology company for the last four years and was the book fair manager for The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) from 2008-2011. When she is not reading or writing for work or for school, she spends her time volunteering at her son's elementary school. She lives in Fairfax county with her family.

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