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.


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.


Amini is a junior here at Mason, after transferring last fall from the only junior college in Virginia, with her Associates of Science degree. She is currently majoring in Finance and plans to pursue her dual JD/MBA after graduating next spring. When she is not preoccupied with studying for the LSAT & GMAT, Amini serves as treasurer of the African Student Association, intern at the Environmental Health & Safety Office, and member (and future president) of Tau Sigma National Honor Society. Aside from writing, the hobbies she loves include photography, event planning, sunbathing, drawing, dancing, cooking (<eating), relearning to play the cello, slaying, and traveling. Her taste in music varies from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Lupe Fiasco; with her faves being Matthew West, Nicki Minaj, and Melanie Fiona. She also started a non-profit benefitting the less fortunate in the DMV & her home county of D.R. Congo. She speaks 4 languages & plans to learn 3 more!


Andrew is a first-year MFA student with a concentration in poetry. He calls several different parts of Ohio home. He received his BA in English from Bowling Green State University where he worked closely with students on community-based learning projects and sometimes read poems in front of people. When he’s not cooking, he can be found in art museums, antique stores, or cafés. He loves getting lost (accidentally and on purpose) in unfamiliar cities and drinking coffee from roadside diners. While he misses the Great Lakes region, he is excited to be a part of the community at George Mason.


Originally from Silver Spring, MD, Anney is a first year in the MFA fiction program. She received her BA in English with a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. After graduating from Guilford in 2014 Anney worked for a small, alternative private school for two years, teaching literature, composition, trans-disciplinary studies, gender studies, and knitting to middle and high school students. Anney enjoys black coffee, knitting, and writing about herself in the third person. Though she doesn’t have anything against cats, Anney strongly identifies as a dog person. 


Ashlee is a first year graduate student studying Teaching Writing and Literature. She received her BA from George Mason University in English with a concentration in Folklore and Mythology and a minor in Secondary English Education. During her year between undergrad and grad school, she taught Elementary Computer Science. Ashlee is excited to work with students on a variety of assignments. She is most familiar with English and education (MLA and some APA), but is also comfortable helping students from other fields. Ashlee is a bubbly opportunist who loves watching detective shows (like Veronica Mars), knitting, and Tom Sawyer, her handsome cat.


Ben is on the search for a safe place for the conventionally challenged. After completing a dual BA/MA degree at Seton Hall University in Creative Writing and English, where he taught freshman composition and literature, produced a talk-art radio show, and reviewed live musical performances for the college paper, he acknowledges that comfort is found in his search. Ben is a first year in the MFA fiction program and plans to meld his love for literature, music, and teaching into a not yet realized career in academia.


Blake Calamas is a 2nd year MFA student with a concentration in Fiction at GMU. He was raised in South Carolina, and received his Bachelor's degree in English and Philosophy at Clemson University. The NOVA area is the farthest north he's ever lived. When he's not in class, Blake enjoys boxing, swimming, and all kinds of intramural sports. He played water polo for Clemson University, and swam competitively throughout high school. On the weekends, he can be found hiking in Shenandoah National Park, or playing with his two cats, Pepper and Baxter. He also loves tutoring, specifically the opportunity to sit down and talk with writers about their work. As a creative writer, he understands that writing is probably the hardest thing in the world there is to do. But having a chance to talk it out and collaborate is always helpful. With a background in both Philosophy and English, Blake is excited about working with a wide range of writers at the Writing Center.


Bradley is a first year student in Mason’s MFA program concentrating in fiction. He has a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and is a licensed Structural Engineer. As a child, he read constantly and wrote daily on his Underwood typewriter. In adulthood, he continued reading fiction and studying writing. He took several evening writing classes. After his children graduated and moved away, he moved to Mason to study writing full-time and feels he’s come full circle. Introverted by nature, he nevertheless learned the value of collaboration from his career, parenting and classwork; from every aspect of his life. He looks forward to working with fellow students from all fields of study. He enjoys music, fishing, soccer, cycling, reading and writing at coffee shops and staying in touch with his three sons, their partners and dogs. He played college baseball, and, thanks to the welcoming Mason Community, he’s now completely over his bitterness at being snubbed for Chicago White Sox Manager.  


Brenna is a senior majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and double minoring in Women and Gender Studies and Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Here at Mason she co-taught a class for international students on improving English language skills through learning gender studies content. After graduating she plans to pursue an MFA in Poetry. She is interested in writing as a transformative social justice practice and is eager to work with writers from a variety of backgrounds. She has studied abroad in China and Denmark, and hopes to travel to South Africa and South Korea next. When she’s not working or studying, Brenna enjoys going to concerts, art museums, and poetry readings.


Carolina is a first year Bioengineering student who likes to work with students from all disciplines. She is from Bogota, Colombia. She is an ESL student herself; therefore, she enjoys working with students from different backgrounds and interests. Carolina is fluent in Spanish, and she has a deep love for the Latino community and culture. Her interests also include the love for art and music.


Chris is a first-year MFA candidate specializing in fiction. Originally from Long Island, he received a BA in philosophy from the University of Richmond in 2014. He also minored in creative writing, and enjoyed producing stories that blend fiction and non-fiction. After college, he started an Amazon business selling LEGO, video games, and other toys and media, and he intends to continue running this business during summer and winter breaks. His main interests are literature, cinema, and running. He is eager to work with students from all majors, but he has a special interest in philosophy, creative writing, English, economics, and political science. He currently lives in Fairfax.


My name is Christina Gottfried and I am currently a senior studying Criminology, Law and Society and minoring in Legal Studies. Within my major and minor I have constantly been exposed to the formalities of legal briefs, as well as research papers. This has helped me to develop an interest in research and analysis. I was born and raised in the capital of the second smallest state in the United States Dover, Delaware and I graduated from a Technical High School concentrating in Criminal Justice. In my free time I love reading and I am currently reading the Game of Thrones series by George R.R Martin. After graduation I plan to attend law school, and begin the next leg of my journey towards the future.


Dave is a first-year nonfiction MFA student. Originally from the Chicago area, Dave moved to the D.C. area to attend Georgetown University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Economics. At Georgetown, Dave was an editor for The Georgetown Voice, the weekly student newspaper. After graduating, he has had a variety of occupations, including hardware store manager, doorman at a bar, and digital director for a United States Senator. Before coming to Mason to study creative writing, Dave most recently worked at a consulting firm writing fundraising emails for non-profits and political campaigns. His fun fact is that he has a number of fun facts, including that he was once an extra on the West Wing and one of his tattoos has appeared in a mathematics textbook.


Ela is a first year MFA Poetry student and newcomer to Northern Virginia. Previously, they were a lifelong resident of South Central Pennsylvania, where they studied English Writing, Classics, and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at Gettysburg College. Ela has had a myriad of odd jobs, varying from writer and photographer for the National Park Service to college RA to meat cutter/ butcher (although they have long since become a vegetarian). Even though they hail from a tiny cow-pasture of a town, Ela has been to many places around the world, including their study abroad experiences in Costa Rica, Italy, France, and the U.K. When they aren’t writing poetry or historical fiction, Ela can be found curled up with their calico cat, Possums, or baking a delicious homemade pizza.  


Elspeth is a first year MFA student studying poetry writing. She recently graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in creative writing and a minor in women’s literature. She is the former editor-in-chief of Jeopardy Magazine and the current fiction editor for Sweet Tree Review. In addition to literary pursuits, she enjoys arts and crafts, cooking and baking, and animals—especially dogs, but she’s not exclusive. This summer she transplanted from Washington State to Virginia, and is thrilled to get to know this side of the country, as well as the Mason community.


Jasmine is a first-year graduate student in the Professional Writing and Rhetoric program at George Mason University. Prior to Mason, Jasmine earned her B.S in English from Towson University in Baltimore, MD. During her time at Towson, Jasmine became well versed in business and technical writing, as well as the art of literary analysis and the argumentative essay. Outside of the classroom, Jasmine enjoys attending Greek events and performing community service with other members of her organization, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Jasmine also enjoys frequenting various Red Robin restaurant locations, watching Pretty Little Liars, and snuggling with her Yorki-poo, Blaze.


Katie, a rare Delawarean, is a first-year graduate student of Creative Nonfiction Writing who is excited to work with students across disciplines. As an undergraduate at the University of Richmond, she studied English, Journalism, Creative Writing, and Dance, writing everything from literary analysis and newspaper articles to personal narrative and performance review. Professionally, Katie has also written technical articles for Environmental Finance Magazine in London as well as proposals, memos, and website content for the corporate sector of a marketing company in Richmond. In her spare time, Katie especially enjoys taking ballet classes, cooking, and eating ice cream. We’re unsure of how often she attempts doing these activities at the same time.  

Kyle F.

Kyle François is from Paris, Iowa, an unincorporated community near the Wapsipinicon River. Kyle graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012, and also attended Depaul University in Chicago. While in Iowa City, Kyle cohosted a biweekly workshop that discussed writing in multiple genres. His free time is spent: sitting outside, bicycling, and enjoying regional cuisines. He writes about the midwest and studies non-fiction at George Mason. He looks forward to his work in the writing center and meeting fellow students at GMU.

Kyle S.

Kyle is a junior in the School of Business studying for a degree in Marketing with a minor in Graphic Design. Before transferring to George Mason, Kyle studied at NOVA and at Miami University (of Ohio), where he also worked as a writing tutor. While he is familiar with the business writing style of his major, Kyle also has experience with other writing styles. When he’s not tutoring, Kyle helps out as a high school and youth wrestling coach, and enjoys watching movies/Netflix, running, and drawing.


Liz is earning a masters in linguistics with a TESL teaching certificate while balancing being a single mom to 5 amazing kids. After completing a BA in English and an internship with the National Journalism Center, Liz worked as a research writer for a public policy group before beginning to teach English. As a native of Fairfax, Liz uses every opportunity to get out and explore other cities and countries. Learning about life outside of the DMV has taken her to 23 countries on 5 continents and counting. When not exploring another city, Liz is writing creative nonfiction stories, selling her hand-drawn lamp shades, taking pictures in abandoned buildings, or at the movies.The best way to get on her good side is by giving her a personalized mixtape and introducing her to new music.


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.

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.


MarLa is an English and Psychology double major, with grand plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology after she gets her BA. After that, she wants to do research and to write until another field catches her fancy. She enjoys writing creatively, painting, reading, acting, and spending time with people. She loves being busy and testing her own limits. While she was technically born in Texas, she can’t remember living anywhere other than Virginia (be it Charlottesville or NOVA).

Michelle O.

Michelle is a former cubicle drone who fled to the freedom of Mason’s MFA program where she is currently in her first year studying fiction. Originally from Long Island, NY, Michelle received a BA in English Literature, with a theatre minor, from CUNY Hunter College in 2006. Since graduating, Michelle has been wandering through the professional world waiting for a grown-up to kick her out. She is currently an associate fiction editor at Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal and some of her own work can be found online. If, in the next three years, she finds herself with any free time she hopes to learn to play more than four chords on the ukulele and travel. Though, she’ll probably just take a nap.

Michelle R.

Michelle is a second year student majoring in kinesiology. She likes working with all different people and loves learning about different cultures. She has lived and visited 15 different countries around the world. Her goal is to get to every continent, including Antarctica. Michelle also enjoys the arts. She has danced from the age of 3, including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, pointe and more styles. She really has an appreciation for dance and the other arts. Her other interests include reading, music and playing sports.


As of Spring 2016, Molly is a Mason graduate with a double BA in Psychology and English—with a concentration in poetry. She is returning to GMU for post-baccalaureate coursework before pursuing a PhD in natural sciences. Her interests reside in infectious diseases, specifically HIV/AIDS. After discovering a true interest and passion for writing, Molly has used it in many fields—most notably as a form of HIV/AIDS activism. As of fall 2015, Molly is a two time published poet, with one piece being featured in an HIV/AIDS anthology. Molly has helped to organize poetry readings, bring awareness to social issues, and works to teach others, as was taught to her, the power of the written word.


Nic is a first year MA student in English, concentrating in Cultural Studies. They grew up in Nashville but didn’t learn to appreciate hot chicken or country music until they moved to the Midwest for college. They studied Creative Writing and Gender Studies at Baldwin Wallace University, just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. During college, they had a few eclectic jobs, including working at the IT office and library research desk, editing the student literary magazine, and throwing open mic nights in their basement. After graduating, they spent much of their time teaching creative writing workshops at a local Cleveland nonprofit for people with disabilities. They’re very excited to be living in Virginia, where maybe someone will appreciate their 1776 references.


Hi! My name is Rebecca. A New England native, I transferred to George Mason University in the Fall of 2015 from Rhode Island College. Originally a Secondary Education major, I switched to an Anthropology major with a Psychology minor when I came to GMU. My college experience has been atypical due to my off-again/on-again status. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to jump back into academia after a long hiatus. That’s why I love the Writing Center at GMU. They have tons of resources available for everyone in the student body. When I am not at the Writing Center you can find me singing karaoke, shooting archery with my husband, Bryan, and playing with my cat, Penny Lane.


Sarah is a senior majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Geology. She has previous experience with writing in multiple scientific disciplines, and can help you with assignments such as lab reports and literature reviews. Sarah has also spent time tutoring students in math and science, ranging from the middle school level to working as a Learning Assistant here at Mason. Her hobbies include trying to be productive while Netflix exists and trying to keep coffee consumption to only mildly excessive levels.


Shaun Holloway is a graduate in the MFA program specializing in poetry. He grew up in Annandale and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to receive his BA in Philosophy with a concentration in 20th century Existential philosophy from Eckerd College.  After several years in Florida, Shaun moved to Los Angeles, and subsequently moved to Massachusetts.  He has also studied abroad in Greece, Turkey, and Egypt.  He has worked at and edited several literary magazines.  In his spare time, he likes watching sci-fi movies and reading graphic novels.  Shaun loves animals, although he does not have one.


Tim is a first-year poetry student in GMU's Creative Writing MFA program. Before becoming a Mason Patriot, he earned both his BA and MA in English at Lynchburg College. During the time in which he was working on his Master's Degree, Tim worked with the Office of Residence Life as a Hall director. In his free time, Tim can be found rock climbing, listening to the strangest mix of music you'll probably come across, watching movies, or reading practically anything (from poetry to comic books to food labels).


Yanar is a Mason alumnus who began tutoring at the GMU Writing Center in 2014. He graduated in Fall 2016 with a BA in English and a concentration in World Literature. In his time at Mason, Yanar has worked on many research projects varying from a review of public education policy to an undergraduate thesis on Middle Eastern fiction. He hopes to attend graduate school in 2017 and continue his academic studies wherever they lead.


Zella grew up mostly in Wisconsin before a mysterious force that was probably fate led her to George Mason. These days, she works on a BFA in Creative Writing while finishing general education requirements for the Honors College and waiting for the mysterious force to tell her where to go next. In the meantime, she writes fiction and poetry, accumulates more used books than she has shelf space for, and forgets to put ink in her printer.

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