Consultant Bios

Writing Studio Staff 18-19


Jacqueline Allain

When I’m not writing, I like to watch murder mystery TV shows and play with my cat. I love writing because I love the satisfaction of arriving at a perfect word or turn of phrase after arduously searching. When I’m trying to avoid writing, I cook, clean, or read the news.

Carolin Benack

I like to do nerdy things that don’t require a lot of talent or skill, like putting together jigsaw puzzles or making unnecessarily elaborate popsicles. The best thing about writing is that it makes me understand the world around me. Both the process of getting there and the understanding I gain make me want to avoid writing more often than not though, which is why my apartment tends to be very clean.

Betsy Broaddus

Betsy is a third-year undergraduate student from Houston, Texas (and she won’t hesitate to tell you about it). When she is not working in the writing studio, she can be found editing one of her public policy memos, working with actors in the Me Too Monologues, learning a new musical theatre routine with Hoof ’n’ Horn, or helping first-years find their way through her role as an RA. Betsy enjoys supporting others while they live their truth, yoga, and a good half-hour sitcom. She can’t wait to collaborate with writers to discover more about themselves and their writing!

Emily Brockman

I like hiking, baking, collecting mugs, running, and beachcombing. What I love most about writing is the power it has to communicate in a way that allows readers to view the world from perspectives wildly different from their own. Despite our differences, writing allows people to see each other's humanness in it’s purest form and serves as a bridge between each individual’s unique experience. When I’m trying to avoid writing I fidget and engage in other activities I feel like I can control such as working out, cleaning, or making lists.

Jamie Browne 

Jamie doesn't really differentiate between life and hobbies. Some of the things I like to do but don't usually get paid for are reading and watching science fiction, cooking Southern, Mexican, or African food, hanging out under the full moon, and wandering around in swamps. My favorite thing about writing is when I can surprise my audience. I also love that feeling of finally getting something down on paper that's been banging around inside my head for days. When I'm trying to avoid writing, I usually clean something. 

Lauren Bunch

When I'm not writing, I enjoy cooking, knitting, gardening, and adventuring with my corgi. My favorite thing about writing is the clarity it brings to my thoughts and how I'm often surprised to learn what I really think. When I'm trying to avoid writing, I crack open a book, turn on a podcast, or go for a run.

Rene Caputo

My favorite pastimes include traveling, listening to live music, and walking in tranquil settings. You might also find me reading, playing with a cat, or learning a bit of a new language. My favorite thing about writing is how it allows me to crystallize incompletely-formed thoughts. Walking away from a text helps give me needed perspective about what revisions might come next.

Nelia Ekeji

I like reading, running, baking, practicing my French, and watching Netflix. My favorite thing about writing is the fact that it’s the best way for me to take any thoughts in my head, be it something that comforts or concerns me, and turn it into something tangible. Whenever I’m having difficulty writing or I have a case of writer’s block, I always step away from the piece as a means of clearing my head. I’ll do a variety of activities before returning to it, but a good Netflix binge usually does the trick! ​

Kristiana Gambuti

I’m an avid lover of writing, reading, coffee, podcasts, the beach, baking cookies and fuzzy socks. I also enjoy hanging out with friends and engaging in meaningful conversations. My favorite part of writing is the beautiful and delicate power it has. I can write anytime, anywhere and feel as though I am conversing with something much deeper and greater than myself. Writing is so multi-faceted and every author brings something different to the page. When I am trying to avoid writing (or am having trouble getting my ideas down), I usually go on a walk or a run to clear my mind.

Chase Gregory  

When I'm not writing I enjoy drawing comics, collecting too many discount CDs, hunting for boldly-patterned shirts, and packing plants into every light-filled corner of my living room. My favorite thing about writing is the rare moment when a big messy idea distills to one well-measured sentence. When I'm trying to avoid writing I rearrange the furniture in my apartment (and you know what, that usually does the trick!)

Shannan Hayes

When I'm not writing, I really enjoy making a nice meal. My favorite thing about writing is re-writing. It feels sculptural to me. When I'm trying to avoid writing, I find myself complaining to my friends about writing! (Sorry friends.)

Nick Huber

My academic research has started to overtake my hobbies and I now spend a lot of my “free” time reading about money. When I was of sounder mind, I spent as much time swimming, making music, and reading novels as I could. When writing, I like to amuse myself with miniscule structural gimmicks. I also like the way the process of writing often changes my thinking. Unfortunately, I never have to “try” to avoid writing; that comes easily.

Laura Jaramillo

In my spare time, I watch tons of movies and really enjoy going to the movie theater, even to see movies I know I probably won’t like. My favorite aspect of writing is how my final written thoughts always surprise me a little. They are often quite  different from what I sat down expecting to write. When I’m trying to avoid writing ‘I,’ I try to step back and evaluate whether it is actually necessary to efface myself from the text or not. Sometimes it is and just as frequently, it isn’t.

Maggie McDowell

When I’m not writing I enjoy knitting, reading genre fiction, and ignoring all the writing I’m supposed to be doing. My favorite thing about writing is the moment when the excitement a writer feels about their project finally takes shape on paper in a form they can share with other people—this moment is just as magical whether I’m the writer, or whether I’m watching someone else reach it! When I’m trying to avoid writing I’m stress cooking, and spending quality time with my cat.​

Malini Mehta

I'm currently a teacher-in-training of sorts, working towards becoming a science teacher! I'm a huge fan of fantasy and realistic fiction works, and miss when I used to have whole days to keep my nose in a book. Besides that, I have a bunch of random hobbies and skills, like knitting, Dungeons & Dragons, and most things Nintendo. My favorite thing about writing is seeing my jumbled thoughts going in 20 different directions finally have some kind of order (I'm a huge outliner, though I never thought I would be a few years ago). When I'm trying to avoid writing, I'm usually playing video games or laying in bed.

Alyssa Miller


Brennen Neeley

During my free time, I read (specifically, I binge read, then binge re-read). I also enjoy watching movies, eating, and having conversations so long the day changes before the topic does. My favorite thing about writing is my close connection with every phrase, punctuation mark, sentence--writing is distinctly mine in a way other things aren't. That connection--the authority my words give me--is, I suppose, why I like writing so much. When I take this thought to heart and become too neurotic to write, you'll find me pacing around campus.

Madhavi Rajiv

When I'm not writing, I enjoy playing board games and going on long walks. My favorite thing about writing is being able to create tangible, accessible proof of the merit of my ideas. When I'm trying to avoid writing I work on engineering or coding problem sets.

Yair Rubinstein

When I’m not writing I enjoy hanging out with my dog Rosa. My favorite thing about writing is constantly surprising myself with new ideas and rhetorical styles I never knew I was capable of.  When I’m trying to avoid writing I re-read my old writing, walk my dog, watch Netflix and eventually find a way to trick myself into start writing again!

Margaret Swezey

Some things I enjoy are reading (especially fiction and history), walking (especially in the woods), cooking and eating Indian food, and spending time in the mountains or with her wonderful cat. My favorite thing about writing is using visual techniques, such as concept mapping and color. Laying things out visually really helps me with all kinds of writing process and problems, including brainstorming and organization. When I'm trying to avoid writing, decluttering my apartment suddenly becomes appealing. If I'm avoiding writing, it usually means I'm feeling stuck, so I try breaking the writing task into smaller parts and do one of them, and that usually solves the problem.

Matthew Valnes

Matthew's hobbies include listening to music, reading, and running. I also enjoy watching sports on TV. My favorite thing about writing is when I finally find the perfect way to express an idea that I've been working through in my head. When I'm trying to avoid writing, I'll usually clean something, read, or binge watch TV.