Meet the Staff
Lorraine Higgins, Ph.D. Rhetoric
Office: Salisbury Laboratories 20
Dr. Higgins is Director of Communication Across the Curriculum (CxC) at WPI. In addition to promoting writing on campus through faculty development and consultation, Dr. Higgins teaches writing and rhetoric in the interdisciplinary Professional Writing Program and in the Department of Humanities and Arts. Higgins earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University (1992) and has taught composition and rhetorical theory to undergraduate and graduate students there and at the University of Pittsburgh. As former Director of Pittsburgh's Community Literacy Center, Dr. Higgins started the ARGUE project to help diverse community groups deliberate about social problems through writing. Her work on argumentation, collaborative writing, community literacy, and composition pedagogy has appeared in many professional journals and books.
Ryan Madan, Ph.D.
Office: Salisbury Laboratories 02
Dr. Madan is a professor of Writing and Rhetoric in the department of Humanities & Arts. Before earning his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, Prof. Madan spent several years as an undergraduate working in writing centers in multiple capacities, including as a peer writing consultant. Now as a teacher and scholar he is interested broadly in theories of literacy instruction and learning. He enjoys talking to students not only about their writing and research projects, but also about their perceptions about what roles writing can and should play in the college environment.
Nicole Smolko (Head Consultant 2012-13)
My name is Nicole Smolko, and I am the head tutor at the WPI Writing Center. I am a Biology/Biotechnology major from the class of 2014, and this is my second year as a writing tutor. I love helping others, and (hopefully) that comes across when I tutor. Grammar is definitely my strong suit, but I also enjoy organizing papers and working on sentence structure. I have a great deal of experience working with non-native speakers, and I am more than happy to assist with learning the English language. When I am not tutoring, I devote my time to the Dance Team, the Women’s Rugby Team, and Alpha Gamma Delta. Hope to see you at the Writing Center soon!
Samantha Varnerin (Acting Head Consultant C13)
Hello! My name is Sam Varnerin, and I am a senior in Civil Engineering. I have helped many of my friends with their writing assignments over the past three years as a Writing Tutor. I love tutoring because I learn from my experiences. My favorite sessions to tutor students in are case study analysis, IQP papers, cover letters, and oral presentations. I am more than willing to lend an open ear for any concerns you have with your assignments. Feel free to say hi if you see me on campus, at lessons for the Ballroom Dance Team, or at any service events for Alpha Phi Omega.
Dan Tennant (Senior Writing Consultant)
Dan has been a part of the WPI community in one way or another for over seven years, and has tutored at the Writing Center for five of them. With experience in both journalism and visual design, Dan's a go-to guy for help with making and delivering presentations, writing papers and articles for public audiences, crafting graphics and layouts, and working on most academic assignments. He also holds a number of senior- and graduate-level sessions throughout the week, in which students can get help on their graduate theses, proposals, presentations, and applications. When he's not working at the Writing Center, Dan can usually be found working on his writing and design business, 9th Phoenix. You can follow him on Twitter at @dantennant.
I am a junior double-majoring in Robotics Engineering and Professional Writing. My favorite part of tutoring is having a conversation about your writing topic to help clarify thoughts and to find and develop new connections and relationships between ideas. Of course, like all the tutors here, I will help you with whatever writing questions you have.
Hi, I’m Brooke. I’m a junior, majoring in biology and minoring in biochemistry. This is my second year at the Writing Center, and I am excited to use the insight I gained last year to help you become more confident in your writing. My strengths include writing lab reports and other technical pieces. Preparing for the IQP in Costa Rica has helped me organize ideas and complete writing assignments on deadline, and I hope to use this experience to help you with the same kinds of tasks in large writing projects.
My name is Nick, and I'm a senior and an ECE/CS double major with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. Most of my experience lies in organizing and writing research papers. This is my third year as a writing tutor, and I've spent a lot of time helping my friends work out their ideas. I look forward to working with you!
Hey! My name is Melanie and I am a senior, double majoring in Chemical Engineering and Professional Writing. While most engineering students (unfortunately) don't recognize that writing will be essential to their success, I learned this early enough in my academic career to add a writing major to my already-busy schedule. The additional work has not only helped me convey my own ideas more effectively, but also helped me help other students do so, too! This will be my third year at the Writing Center, so I'm pretty familiar with the wide variety of projects that students bring and have adapted to helping you with any of them! Having completed my own IQP and begun work on my MQP, I also have experience helping students with those lengthy, complicated projects. So come find me in the Writing Center and I can help you start, improve, or polish any assignment you've got. I'm looking forward to working with you!
Jean Paul Miralda
Hey writers! My name is Jean Paul, and I am a senior majoring in Management Engineering with a Mechanical Engineering concentration. Writing has always been of great interest to me because it is one of the most valuable communication skills that we have. I have plenty of writing experience, from labs to essays to historical investigations and poetry. I have plenty of experience with business writing and memos as well. My forte is on the initial drafts of papers, where we brainstorm and organize the structure of papers, but I will be more than glad to help you out in any area of your writing!
Welcome! My name is Gabriela, and I'm an Environmental Sciences and International Studies double-major. This is my first year as a tutor in the Writing Center, but don't be fooled: I have ample experience in writing. I have worked with translations, technical documents, speeches, reports, and essays. My strengths are outlining, organizing ideas, and research. Furthermore, I have a secret passion for grammar and spelling. I have been helping my classmates with their grammar and spelling issues since middle school. I can't wait to help you become a better writer!
Yunqiu Sun (Mandarin / English Conversation)
Hello everyone! I am Yunqiu Sun, the Mandarin tutor in the Writing Center. I am a junior, double-majoring in Chemistry and Professional Writing. I can help out in Mandarin, writing or regular conversations. I like to meet and talk to people. I love sports, and right now my biggest interest is sky diving.
I am currently a junior, double-majoring in Biology and Professional Writing, and this is my second year tutoring at the Writing Center. I fell in love with writing immediately, and that passion has only grown since. While I harbor a special fondness for creative writing, I also have plenty of appreciation for the more technical and professional forms. I can help you with grammar rules and sentence style, and I particularly enjoy working on the organization and idea development behind a writing piece. Outside of the Writing Center, I play the Clarinet in Pep Band, participate in the Christian Bible Fellowship, and am the Vice President of the Society for Medieval Arts and Sciences, so there's a good chance you'll see me around campus.Maintained by email@example.com
Last modified: January 27, 2013 17:13:26