Abby Gibson, Consultant

Abby Gibson (she/her) is a Ph.D. Candidate with the History department at USC and the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West (ICW). She earned her B.A. in United States History and Film Studies at Pepperdine University and her M.A. in the history of the American West at the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, she worked as the Book Review Editor for The Western Historical Quarterly, the premier journal in the field published by Oxford University Press. Abby’s research interests lie at the intersection of religious and environmental history in the late 19th century and early 20th century American West. Most recently, her work on spiritual encounters in Los Angeles and the greater West has appeared in The Journal of Alta California and on the ICW blog. Abby has served as a Teaching Assistant for undergraduate US history courses for the past two years and has experience editing and building résumés and other application materials. Helping students think through complex ideas and articulate them effectively in writing has been Abby’s favorite part of teaching at USC. Outside of the classroom, Abby loves to watch bad movies (on purpose), play softball on her community team, and try out coffee shops around L.A. Please ask her for the best study spot recommendations!  In Spring 2023, Abby works Monday mornings and Friday afternoons.

Photography of Abby Gibson

Ana Howe Bukowski, Consultant

Ana Howe Bukowski (they/them) is a Ph.D. student and Teaching Assistant in Communication at Annenberg. Their research attends to the histories of public access television, artists’ video, queer media activism, and critical infrastructure studies, all with a focus on the regional context of LA. Their areas of writing expertise include communication, media studies, cultural studies, art history, gender and sexuality studies, literary analysis, education/pedagogy, philosophy, and critical theory. Additionally, they have experience writing personal statements, grant applications, and cover letters. Outside of academia, they have worked as a copy editor, arts writer, and fashion copywriter, and currently co-direct an after-school arts teaching initiative. They received an MA in Art History from McGill University and a BA in Art History and Book & Media Studies from the University of Toronto.  In Spring 2023, Ana works Monday and Tuesday mornings.

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Brian Arechiga, Consultant

Brian Arechiga (he/him) is currently a Ph.D. candidate studying English Literature at USC Dornsife. Although he researches Mexican-American and post-modern literature, his primary research focuses on conspiracy theories. By studying them through the lens of literary analysis, he hopes to understand how conspiracies pervert traditional storytelling techniques in order to push their twisted narratives. Prior to USC, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA with a degree in English and minor in History. His undergraduate research thesis focused on a semiotic analysis of the 2016 conspiracy PizzaGate. For the last six years, he has guided high school and college students through their numerous essays, college applications, cover letters, résumés and other miscellaneous writing tasks. Outside of schoolwork, Brian enjoys playing music, creating video games, writing screenplays, and taking care of his cat, Kiwi.  In Spring 2023, Brian works Monday mornings and Tuesday afternoons.

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Caitlin Joy Dobson, Consultant

Caitlin Joy Dobson (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the Dornsife Gender & Sexuality Studies Graduate Certificate program. She earned her M.A. in public diplomacy from USC, and her B.A. in both journalism and cultural anthropology from Michigan State University. Through an intersectional, transnational, and critical cultural studies lens, Caitlin examines violence and trauma and, under the umbrella of sexual violence, the distinct form of power-based harm known as multiple perpetrator rape. Her dissertation research embraces a comparative critical media studies approach to understanding how MPR is depicted through media representations. She is co-creator of the Multidisciplinary Intersectional Approaches to the Study of Violence and Trauma Research Group. With a professional background in public diplomacy and international human rights nonprofit work, Caitlin is passionate about trauma-informed approaches to pedagogy. She is available to work in collaboration with students who wish to improve their assignments, strengthen their critical thinking skills, and identify their own sense of purpose in writing.  In Spring 2023, Caitlin works Friday afternoons.

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Celeste Oon, Consultant

Celeste Oon (she/her) is an M.A. student and TA in Cinema and Media Studies. She previously completed her BA in Linguistics and Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research revolves around internet platforms, online communities, and celebrity/fan relations. She’s particularly interested in how power and intimacy are negotiated among individuals in digital spaces. Her main areas of writing experience are in the social sciences and humanities. She also has a passion for helping students with application materials (for schools, scholarships, special programs, etc.) and has worked with many non-native speakers. In the past, she has served as a writing coach, tutor, and editor-in-chief for student publications, and as a translator for unions. Nowadays, you can find her dipping her toes into the podcasting space. Outside of her studies, she enjoys finding good restaurants around L.A., listening to loud music, and wasting time watching Reels and TikToks.  In Spring 2023, Celeste works Monday afternoons and Wednesday (mornings through early afternoon).

Photograph of Celeste Oon

Cory Elizabeth Nelson, Director

Cory Elizabeth Nelson (she/her) is Director of the Writing Center and an Associate Professor (Teaching) in the Writing Program.  Cory received her Bachelor’s degree from Marlboro College, where she studied English and theater, and her Ph.D. from Brandeis University, where she studied English and American literature.  Cory believes that writing allows us to see the world in richer, more complex ways – and she loves to help students find their own ways of seeing and thinking on paper.  When she’s not in the Writing Center or the classroom, Cory loves searching for the perfect brownie recipe, experimenting in her sketchbook, and playing with any and all cats, especially her own.

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Dan Rosen, Consultant

Dan Lark (he/him) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Division of Cinema and Media Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts. He received his B.A. in Anthropology, with minors in linguistics and classics, from the University at Buffalo and his M.A. in Cinema and Media Studies here at USC. Dan is familiar with the expectations and nuances of writing across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. His areas of writing experience include anthropology, archaeology, film and media studies, gender and sexuality studies, linguistics, critical theory, classics, and game studies. Before returning to graduate school, Dan worked in the non-profit sector and also has experience with résumés, cover letters, graduate school applications, and other forms of professional writing. His research focuses on how social and political ideas and positions are coded into digital media, web platforms, and video games.  In Spring 2023, Dan works on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

Photograph of Dan Rosen

Dina Murokh, Consultant

Dina Murokh (she/her) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Art History and a recipient of the Visual Studies Graduate Certificate. Her main areas of expertise are in academic writing for the humanities, writing for the art industry, grant writing, CVs and résumés, and graduate school or job applications.  She was recently a graduate intern at Getty Publications, has extensive experience as an editor of all kinds of documents for colleagues and friends, and enjoys working with students through all the steps of the writing process. Dina’s dissertation addresses the perception and circulation of art in nineteenth-century U.S. public culture, and her research areas broadly include art history, visual studies, mass culture, cultural history, institutional history, and media theory. She holds an A.B. in Art History and a Certificate in European Cultural Studies from Princeton University.  In Spring 2023, Dina works Wednesday evenings and Friday afternoons.

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Ellie Xu, Consultant

Ellie Xu (she/her) is a Ph.D. student in Clinical Science. Her research focuses on understanding how deficits in emotion regulation contribute to the development, maintenance, and recurrence of affective disorders, such as depression. Ellie received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology from the University of Chicago, and has experience reviewing academic essays in those fields, as well as résumés, CVs, cover letters, graduate school applications, and fellowship applications. Outside of work, Ellie enjoys hiking, reading, and exploring neighborhoods and restaurants in the Los Angeles area.  In Spring 2023, Ellie works Tuesday and Friday mornings.

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Hannah Hartman, Consultant

Hannah Hartman (she/her/they/them) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Medical Biophysics department of Keck School of Medicine and a Teaching Assistant in the Biology department at Dornsife.  Her research focuses on developing new and innovative techniques to study calcium signaling in the brain through imaging and protein-protein interaction. She hopes to pursue scientific communication after concluding her studies and champions the use of evidence-based, relevant research in argumentation and writing. Her areas of writing expertise include professional writing, thesis-driven opinion pieces, critical thinking/analysis, grant applications, research papers and scientific proposals. She specifically has a passion for helping non-native English speakers express their ideas beyond any language barrier. Outside of academia, Hannah is an avid rugby player and powerlifter, and spends her free time cooking, attending LGBTQ+ events, renovating her home, recording original music, and making friends with feral cats.   In Spring 2023, Hannah works Monday evenings and Wednesday afternoons.

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Ifetayo Olutosin, Consultant

Ifetayo Olutosin (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Comparative Studies of Literature and Culture program in the Dornsife School of Arts & Sciences. She has served as a Teaching Assistant and Assistant Lecturer for USC’s Spanish and Comparative Literature departments. She graduated from Grinnell College, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Spanish with a concentration in Latin American Studies. Her areas of writing expertise include sociology, literary analysis, gender and sexuality studies, Spanish grammar, graduate school personal statements, and letters of intent. In her free time, Ifetayo enjoys being out in nature, baking, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.  In Spring 2023, Ifetayo works Monday and Wednesday mornings.

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Jacqueline Johnson, Consultant

Jacqueline Johnson (she/her) is a Ph.D. student in the Division of Cinema and Media Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts. Prior to coming to USC, she received her B.A. in Sociology and Education from Boston University and her M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin with a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. Jacqueline’s research centers around the connections between race, gender, contemporary television, and new media platforms. Her areas of writing experience are primarily in the humanities and social sciences including cinema and media studies, gender and sexuality studies, American studies, ethnic studies, communication, sociology, and education. Jacqueline also has experience with résumés, cover letters, and graduate school applications. She spends her free time reading celebrity gossip, romance novels, and viral tweets.  In Spring 2023, Jacqueline works Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Photograph of Jacqueline Johnson

Jaden Morales, Consultant

Jaden Morales (they/them) is a second-year Ph.D. student and Teaching Assistant in the Department of American Studies & Ethnicity. Prior to USC, Jaden received their B.A. in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration from Yale University. Their graduate research considers the social and political intimacies that link the geographies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean to the Pacific vis-á-vis transnational circuits of bodies, capital, commodities, and knowledges to examine the formation of U.S. empire and global colonial-capitalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jaden’s area of writing experience spans the humanities—history, ethnic studies, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies—as well as application materials such as résumés, cover letters, and personal statements. Before graduate school, Jaden worked for two years as a litigation paralegal for an employment and labor law firm in Washington D.C; thus, they’re also apt to assist with legal and business writing. Outside the classroom, Jaden enjoys curating playlists, exploring L.A.’s food scene, and teaching themselves to rollerskate.  In Spring 2023, Jaden works Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons.

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Lauren McGary, Consultant

Lauren McGary is a graduate student in the Sol Price School of Public Policy.  She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University with a degree in Political Science. In her professional experience, she has conducted social justice and policy research and writing. She has a passion for storytelling and spends her leisure time watching movies, listening to podcasts, and writing screenplays and short stories. She has three years of experience supporting students in various liberal arts and humanities subjects at Barnard’s Writing Center. In addition to supporting writers in various academic disciplines, she is skillful at offering feedback on cover letters, personal statements, and applications.  In Spring 2023, Lauren works Monday (mornings through early afternoon) and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

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Maggie Roberts, Consultant

Maggie Roberts (she/her) received her Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and is currently in her first year of USC’s Cinema and Media Studies MA program. She has held positions as both a writer and editor for several Canadian publications, taught English as a second language abroad and worked in peer tutoring at her former institution. In addition to her consultant role at the Writing Center, she works as a teaching assistant at the School of Cinematic Arts. Her areas of writing expertise include academic writing, creative writing, and plain-language and business writing, including memos, reports, résumés and cover letters.  In Spring 2023, Maggie works Tuesday evenings, Wednesday afternoons, and Thursday (mornings through early afternoon).

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Maria Isabel (Isa) Nieves Bosch, Consultant

Maria Isabel (Isa) Nieves Bosch (she/her) achieved a double major in International Affairs and Religious Studies and a minor in Media and Film Studies from Skidmore College. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Award, after graduating, that allowed her to live in Surakarta, Indonesia where she taught English at a vocational school.  Now she is a USC graduate student at the Cinema and Media Studies M.A. program, where she continues to develop her teaching skills as a TA and sharpens her writing on film analysis. She loves reading all kinds of books, enjoys creative writing as a hobby, and plays tennis on the weekends.  In Spring 2023, Isa works Wednesday afternoons and Thursday (mornings through early afternoon).

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Mary Ippolito, Consultant

Mary Ippolito (she/her) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at USC. She received her B.A. in Sociology from UCLA with a minor in English. She also received an M.A. in Sociology from USC. Her research interests include sociology of education, cultural sociology, social stratification, imagined futures, and emerging adulthood. Her writing is published in Teachers College Record and Adolescent Research Review. Before joining the USC Writing Center, she worked in the UCLA Athletics Peer Learning Lab (APLL) and Academic and Student Services (AS2) Department as a peer learning facilitator, academic mentor, and supervisor. She has also volunteered at a community college writing center. Her main areas of writing experience include the social sciences and humanities, as well as personal statements and graduate application materials. In her spare time, she likes listening to music, watching movies, and photographing the cats of the world.  In Spring 2023, Mary works Tuesday and Friday afternoons.

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Max Berwald, Consultant

Max Berwald (he/him) received his B.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University and is a doctoral student in the School of Cinematic Arts. He has taught English as a second language at a variety of levels, led workshops on screenwriting and memoir, and worked professionally in copywriting and public relations. Areas of writing expertise include literary analysis, film studies, history, professional writing, and creative writing. His fiction has appeared in Blackbird, the Massachusetts ReviewChicago Quarterly Review, as part of Tin House’s online flash fiction series, and elsewhere.  In Spring 2023, Max works Monday afternoons.

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Meagan Meylor, Consultant

Meagan Meylor (she/her) is a doctoral student in the English department at USC. Born and raised in Southern California, she attended California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) on a full academic scholarship, receiving a B.A. in English Literature, a B.A. in Rhetoric & Composition, and a certificate in technical writing. Her areas of writing experience include literary studies, history, philosophy and critical theory, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, American studies, critical race theory, environmental studies, and eco-criticism. With expertise in technical writing, she enjoys working with students on résumés, CVs, cover letters, grad school applications, business memos — any piece of writing that needs help with organization and clarity! During her 7+ years of teaching and tutoring experience, she has worked with domestic and international students, both at home and abroad in China and South Korea.  She is currently working on her dissertation, which explores environmental and literary “atmospheres” of Los Angeles.   In Spring 2023, Meagan works Wednesday evenings and Thursday (mornings through early afternoon).

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Roger Anderson, Assistant Director

Roger Anderson (he/him) earned his Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, where he studied English Literature and Art History, and his Master’s degree from the English Department at USC in the Film, Literature and Culture program. Prior to joining the Writing Center, Roger taught freshman writing courses in USC’s Writing Program, where he also served as an Instructional Coordinator. Roger has a passion for working with international students, helping them master not only the grammatical and syntactical aspects of writing in English but also the rhetorical and stylistic expectations of the academic discourse community.

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Sergio De Iudicibus, Consultant

Sergio De Iudicibus (he/him) earned his Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa as a concentrator in French and Italian literature. Having pursued pre-medical studies in addition to the humanities, Sergio is passionate about interdisciplinary thinking. His experience with writing ranges from fictional essays and textual analysis to scientific research and psychoanalytic criticism. At USC he serves as a Teaching Assistant for SCA while he completes an M.A. in Cinema and Media Studies. Sergio’s research addresses the history and influence of Italian film, which he approaches through formalism, historical materialism, sound studies, and musicology. Fluent in four languages, Sergio has published translations in the Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies and the Princeton University Press, as well as book reviews for Resonance: The Journal of Sound and Culture. When he isn’t locked in a darkroom making prints, he enjoys good espresso and classical piano.  In Spring 2023, Sergio works Tuesday and Thursday (all day) and Wednesday mornings.

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Skyler Osburn, Consultant

Skyler Osburn (he/him) graduated summa cum laude, with degrees in English and philosophy as well as a minor in French, from Oklahoma State University. He completed his MA in cinema studies here at USC and is now a PhD student in the same discipline. His primary areas of writing proficiency are the formal analysis of film and literature, philosophical history and argumentation, and literary theory and criticism. He has presented his work for the Popular Culture Association and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. His current areas of focus are the Marxian-economic analysis of film history, the political philosophy of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and Buddhist readings of film theory.  In Spring 2023, Skyler works Wednesday evenings and Thursday and Friday mornings.

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Stephanie Mullings, Consultant

Stephanie Mullings (she/her) is a Ph.D. student in Creative Writing and Literature. She received her B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Michigan and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University. Her main areas of writing expertise include creative writing, social sciences and humanities, history, and academic writing. Stephanie’s fiction writing has appeared in various literary magazines, including BoulevardCatapult, the Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. She is originally from Chicago, an avid WNBA and N.B.A. fan, and a proud sneakerhead.  In Spring 2023, Stephanie works Monday and Friday afternoons.

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Tamara Black, Faculty Consultant

Tamara Luqué Black is an Associate Professor of Teaching in the USC Writing Program. Originally from Washington, DC, Dr. Black joined the Writing Program in 2014, after earning her Ph.D. from UCLA and teaching there for a few years. Her graduate training emphasized social theory, qualitative methods, and the sociology of gender. Now a proud Trojan, Dr. Black enjoys working with students at all stages of the writing process. She specializes in Social Sciences, Economics, and Technology at both the 150 and 340 levels. Her work with the Academic Honors and Fellowships Office also equips her to coach students applying for prestigious fellowships.  In Spring 2023, Tamara works Monday and Wednesday (early afternoons and evenings) and Friday (midmorning through early afternoon).

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Zaina Ujayli, Consultant

Zaina Ujayli (she/hers) is a Ph.D. student in the American Studies & Ethnicity Department. Her research is currently on the female writers and activists of the twentieth-century Syrian American diaspora. You can read her published work on them in ArabLit Quarterly and American Periodicals. Before she came to Los Angeles, she completed her M.A. in English Literature at the University of Virginia. In the past, she has worked with students on research papers, personal statements, dissertation chapters, cover letters, and fiction. When she is not sifting through archives, she is fighting with other screenwriters over tables at her favorite coffee spots to try to make progress on her own screenplays.  In Spring 2023, Zaina works Monday evenings and Thursdays (mornings and evenings).

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Zak Breckenridge, Consultant

Zak Breckenridge (he/him) is a Ph.D. student in English Literature. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Bard College at Simon’s Rock and master’s degrees from the University of Utah and the University of Chicago. He has worked as an ESL teacher, a college composition instructor, a sustainability educator, a technical writer, a copyeditor, and a writing tutor. His primary areas of writing competency are critical, analytic, and argumentative writing in the humanities and social sciences, but he has experience with scientific papers, newsletters, op-eds, application materials, and other forms. His current research applies critical theory, environmental humanities, and anticolonial thought to the literature of the American West.  In Spring 2023, Zak works Tuesday evenings and Thursday (mornings through early afternoon).

Photograph of Zak Breckenridge