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Who We Are

 


Chale Abad

Chale Abad (pronounced “sha-lay”, rhymes with filet) is an undergraduate pursuing a double degree in computer science and film and media arts. She enjoys narratives, research papers, and informative speeches. The voice and delivery of a piece is what intrigues her within the writing process, although she can help with ...
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grammar and “punny” paper titles too. Her experience includes working with her high school’s yearbook and newspaper, forensics performances, and angsty poetry. She has an incomprehensible love for turtles and Taylor Swift.

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Dimonica Blount

Dimonica Blount is from St. Louis, Mo. She is an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science with a minor in Healing and Humanities. Her goal is to find a career that can make a difference in someone's life. She enjoys all types of writing, but her favorite of all is ...
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poetry. Her favorite season is fall because she enjoys the cool weather and the nice, warm autumn colors. Not only does she enjoy the season, but her birthday is in October, which gives her another reason to love that time of the year!

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Nathan Cho

Nathan Cho is currently a graduate student at UMKC pursuing a Master's in Public Administration. At UMKC he recently finished a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Urban Studies, History, and Classical Studies. He most enjoys working with papers in the humanities about social issues, history, and/or film and literature analysis. His favorite part of the ...
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writing process is brainstorming - helping writers to find subjects and topics to write about. He wrote his senior political science honors thesis about the connection between voting and life expectancy in Kansas City. Nathan loves to eat. His favorite food is pizza. He enjoys pizza perhaps too much.

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Melley Destahun

Melley Destahun is currently an undergraduate student and is a pre-occupational therapy health sciences major. She is passionate about public health and helping communities in need of aid and education. She hopes to spend some time working in public health, but her ultimate educational goal is to obtain ...
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a master's degree in occupational therapy. She most enjoys creative writing. Her favorite part of the writing process is the initial brainstorming that takes place when you first approach a paper. Her favorite season is fall because it has the balance between hot and cool weather without the allergies that spring brings.

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Mitchell Dotson

Mitchell Dotson is a sophomore majoring in art education and hopes to become a ceramics teacher after graduating. As a writer and writing consultant, Mitchell most enjoys working with research papers. His favorite part of the writing process is gathering...
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sources for research and brainstorming ways to bring research together into a coherent thesis. Mitchell enjoys reading Stephen King novels because of King’s majestic way of making the grotesque beautiful.

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Thomas Ferrel

Thomas Ferrel is Director of the Writing Studio, Co-Director of the Greater Kansas City Writing Project, and an instructor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has a Ph.D. In English and Education Leadership, Policies, and Foundations from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; an M.A. in English (literary and cultural studies emphasis) from the University of Hawai'i at Mãnoa; and a B.A. in ...
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English with a minor in history from MidAmerica Nazarene University. Thomas has published in Composition Forum, Praxis, Across the Disciplines, the National Writing Projects's Projects in Action series, and The Writing Center Journal. His research focuses on critical pedagogy, institutional social justice work, and writing center studies. His current projects explore the rhetoric of service and how teachers carry commitments to equity and principles from their classroom pedagogy into service work for their departments, home institutions, local communities, and professional disciplines. He enjoys working with writers from any discipline and at any point of the writing process and particularly appreciates opportunities to gain new perspectives and knowledge from writers working in fields outside of his own. A fun Friday night for Thomas involves cooking (and eating) spicy food with his teenage children and their friends while listening to real genius playlists that result from cross-generational, collaborative music mixing and intergenerational conversations. If there's a writer, a recipe, or a tune that he should check out or his life won't be complete, email it to Thomas at ferrelt@umkc.edu.

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Brynn Fitzsimmons

Brynn Fitzsimmons is a graduate student in the English M.A. program with an emphasis in manuscript, print culture, and editing. Prior to coming to UMKC, she obtained her B.A. in humanities letters with minors in writing and biblical studies from Maranatha Baptist University in ...
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Watertown, Wisconsin. After graduation, she worked as a journalist and later as a legislative assistant before coming to UMKC in August 2017. Brynn believes the writing process should be fun and she loves helping writers find ways to enjoy their writing no matter their topic, discipline, or background. When she is not writing academic papers, she likes to write journalistic pieces as well as both fiction and creative nonfiction, mostly dealing with topics like chronic illness and mental health. Her published work has appeared in The Maranatha Advantage, The Waterloo/Marshall Courier, The Herald-Independent, and The One Year Adventure Novel blog. She also enjoys hanging out with her cat, Frances, while drinking coffee and trying to read a book while Frances attempts to lay on top of it. Brynn has yet to figure out if Frances is secretly a bookworm, or if she simply does not appreciate having her human pay attention to something other than her.

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Mia Flynn

Mia Flynn is currently in her first (gulp) year as a Ph.D. student in UMKC’s counseling psychology program. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in Michigan with a degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. While there, she worked as a writing consultant for three years and missed it so much that ...
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she had to return. Mia enjoys working with all types of writing and meeting students wherever they are in that process. She especially enjoys getting to work with students on organization and finding a focus in their writing! Her predissertation project will begin spring semester and will likely focus on family dynamics and their impact on quality of life and anxiety levels. When she is not spending time learning how to be a graduate student, she can be found reading outdoors, playing with dogs (even if they are not hers), or hunting for beach glass if she is near water.

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Jennifer Fournier

Jennifer Fournier is an advanced law student in the Master of Laws (LL.M.) program at UMKC Law School and is a participant in the Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology through the Department of Sociology. She has worked as an attorney as well as in non-profit and social service organizations as part of ...
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programs that support people with disabilities. Jennifer's favorite form of writing is humor, and she writes daily accounts to her "gang" about all the absurd things that just keep happening to her. While Jennifer loves sharing hospitality, she lacks even the most basic domestic skills so she is very grateful to have family and friends who fill in for her in these areas while she supplies the conversation. Jennifer hopes to encourage and support UMKC students from all fields to discover the joy of writing.

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Sarthak Garg

Sarthak Garg is currently an undergraduate student in the six-year medical program at UMKC, pursuing a major in liberal arts with a minor in chemistry. He enjoys working with all types of writing, but he favors scholarly/research papers of any kind. He has worked on his own papers in a litany of ...
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of fields ranging from life and biological sciences to semiotics and critical race theory. In terms of the writing process, he relishes the inception of a work. Coming up with ideas, developing arguments, researching sources, and synthesizing articles are among his favorite elements of writing. His favorite thing to do is cook. As a scientist at heart, he loves experimenting with different international cuisines, resulting in delectable fusion cuisine. But more than cooking, Sarthak loves eating. He loves trying new things, but at the same time stays true to his roots and savors Indian cuisines the most.

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Jessica Gettleman

Jessica Gettleman is currently an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology within the Honors College. She mostly enjoys working with essays that expose writers' unique voices and allow them to incorporate their individual experiences and ...
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personalities into formal academic writing. Her favorite part of the writing process is writing conclusions because she enjoys drawing connections between different points in a paper and offering ideas for future applications of this information. In addition to working as a consultant at the Writing Studio, Jessica is involved in many other organizations on campus including the Psi Chi Honorary Society and UMKC's Propel Program. She also works in three different research labs between the School of Medicine and undergraduate campuses and hopes to earn a PhD in Cognitive Psychology in order to research and teach at a university. In her free time, you can find her listening to Luke Bryan songs at the gym, eating way too much sushi and pizza, or asking owners of golden retriever puppies if she can pet their dogs.

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Mindi Gowen

Mindi Gowen is in her fifth (and final, halleluiah) year as a Ph.D. student in the Counseling Psychology program. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a double major in Psychology and English. Prior to starting this program, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines for 27 months, where she taught English to fifth and sixth graders who continue to inspire her to ...
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read and write as well as encourage a love of reading and writing in others. She enjoys working with all types of students at any point in the writing process, but she has a special place in her heart for other graduate students working on theses or dissertations, as she can really empathize with the challenges that arise with these projects. Her dissertation project is attempting to gain further insight and understanding of Congolese refugees living in Kansas City in an effort to support resettlement agencies and help them provide the best services and resources that address the specific needs of this community. When she's not writing her dissertation, she can be found at outdoor concerts, hunting for hidden treasures at the thrift store and used book store, or trying to convince her sister to move somewhere warm after graduation.

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Hannah Hagan

Hannah Hagan is a sophomore majoring in English and minoring in editing. Her favorite things to read are memoirs and autobiographies, as well as mysteries and crime dramas. Her favorite part of the writing process is brainstorming. She is a member of ...
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the international English honor society Sigma Tau Delta and likes to spend her free time exploring Kansas City. After she completes her schooling, Hannah wants to work as a librarian and do freelance editing on the side.

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Duy Ho

Duy Ho is currently a senior undergraduate majoring in computer science. Even though his major seems mostly related to mathematics, science, and programming, he does enjoy writing quite a bit. He is interested in stories with twisted ...
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plots such as the Hunger Games, The Walking Dead, and Detective Conan. His favorite part of the writing process is brainstorming and devising ideas. During that process, the writer needs to force their brain to function more efficiently than other times, to think in the most logical way, and to organize the work in the most reasonable order. Having spent many hours sitting in front of a computer to trace a code bug, Duy is patient and already too familiar with the feeling of scratching his head and starting over. As for extracurricular activities, he is participating in the International Student Council and the Vietnamese Student Association to help create more events for international students and promote the culture from his home country, Vietnam. During his free time, his favorite activities are playing pool and table tennis. Because his future career mostly will consist of sitting at one place, he certainly loves to go outside and have fun with any free moment he can get.

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Taylor Howard

Taylor Howard is currently an undergraduate student studying pre-pharmacy with a chemistry minor. She enjoys writing styles that are full of personality and depth. Editing the rough draft is her favorite part of the writing process, mainly because ...
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she is able to piece together ideas and polish statements that make for a more respected piece of literature. In the past, she has co-authored research papers for Washington University School of Medicine and has had several of her own poems and essays published. She loves rich literature, cultures, movies, and decadent desserts.

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Abby Jamison

Abby Jamison is in her third year as an undergraduate English major with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She enjoys working with all types of writing, but especially enjoys literary analysis, creative writing and research papers. Abby's favorite ...
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favorite parts of the writing process are outlining and composing a thesis. She is currently working on a historical fiction manuscript and loves to write poetry during her free time as well. Her favorite pastimes are journaling, scrapbooking and exploring new places. A perfect day for Abby would be composed of book shopping, hiking and French fries!

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Kara Kynion

Kara Kynion is the Graduate Writing Specialist. She has an M.A. in English (Rhetoric and Composition) from the University of Kansas and a B.A. in English and Spanish minor from Truman State University. Kara has been part of the writing center community since she started tutoring as an undergraduate, and her interest in ...
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the writing center is what motivated her to attend graduate school. Her Master's thesis connected writing center and service learning theories. After graduating from KU, she worked as the Assistant Director of the Writing and Communication Center at the New Economic School in Moscow, Russia. She enjoys collaborating with students in all stages of the writing process, but especially likes brainstorming and revision. She finds working with students one-on-one and in larger classroom or workshop settings to be equally rewarding. In her free time, she writes. Her chapbook Attachment Theory was published by Dancing Girl Press, her first academic publication appears in a collection about writing in Post-Soviet countries, and her nonfiction has appeared in The Kansas City Star, The Rumpus, Brevity's blog, and Midwestern Gothic. She's also an avid gardener, working in her neighborhood's community garden and growing seedlings in her apartment. Finally, she's a music lover and never misses a Bruce Springsteen or Wilco show.

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Kara Lewis

Kara Lewis is a sophomore double majoring in Creative Writing and French. In addition to working at the Writing Studio, she is also a member of many on-campus organizations, including the Honors Program, the international honors English society Sigma Tau Delta, and ...
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Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority. In her free time, Kara loves to read poetry and teen fiction, watch Gilmore Girls and Orange is the New Black, fangirl over Taylor Swift and the British royal family, and play with her cat. Her favorite part of working at the writing studio is fostering and encouraging confidence in the writing process, as she truly believes everyone is capable of writing well and has a unique story to tell. Someday Kara would like to be a professor within the English department, while continuing to write and publish poetry.

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Kylee Lewman

Kylee Lewman is currently an undergraduate student at UMKC, studying liberal arts with a minor in communication studies. Her goal is to help as many people as she can in her lifetime. In the past, Kylee was a teacher, and has developed her own pilot ...
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pre-school workshop, tutoring program, and worked as a teacher at multiple early childhood centers. She currently is writing her senior honors thesis on the analysis of the portrayals of refugees in children’s picture books. She enjoys both conducting research and reading the findings of others. Her favorite part of the writing process is brainstorming to discover endless opportunities for ideas and expressions, although she greatly enjoys all parts of the writing process. Kylee’s favorite hobby is watching The Office on Netflix. Other than that, she loves to write, play the guitar, and paint.

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Ituwa Lubani

Ituwa Lubani is an undergraduate student here at UMKC. She is a health science major and a communications minor. Her favorite season is spring because she was born in March, and she loves ...
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the rain.

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Julia Martin

Julia Martin is currently an undergraduate student in her senior year at UMKC. She is studying communications with an emphasis in journalism. Her favorite types of writing include creative writing, poetry, and ...
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journalistic writing. She enjoys the editing and perfecting part of the writing process most. She is currently working for UNews as a writer and is also working on various personal writing projects. In her free time, Julia likes to read, hike, bike, and spend time with her husband and dogs.

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Edgar Muniz

Edgar Muniz is from Kansas City and is pursuing a degree in business administration with a focus in finance. He is in his junior year of college and plans to extend his years attending college to obtain his MBA. He enjoys free ...
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writes and creative writing. The part of the writing process he enjoys most is the final draft because it is when it is the smoothest. He also enjoys playing recreational soccer.

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Monica Oh

Monica Oh is currently a fifth year doctoral candidate in the counseling psychology program. She was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from the University of North Texas and earned her bachelor’s degree in both psychology and ...
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dance. She enjoys working with writers who are in the process of writing their master’s thesis or doctoral dissertations. As a fellow student at UMKC, she understands that writing is a skill that can cause stress and anxiety in students. Therefore, as a writing consultant, she hopes to highlight the strengths of writers and help them feel a little more confident about their writing abilities. During her free time, Monica likes to spend time with her two friends who are also doctoral students in the counseling psychology program. She also enjoys watching movies and finding new places to eat in Kansas City.

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Patrick Sanders

Patrick Sanders is an undergraduate student expected to graduate in May '20 with an English creative writing major and an editing minor. He enjoys working with and writing works of fiction, but also rhetorical analyses and critical discourse. His favorite part of the writing process is the euphoria after ...
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completing a particularly difficult project. He writes music reviews for a variety of small publications and his personal blog, and has self-published a book of poetry called Notes from a Blue Moleskine. He also records ambient music under the moniker ps, with one record called "music for thinking." Some of his minor obsessions include home-brewing coffee, experimental music, synthesizers, painting, philosophy, and more recently, horticulture. His favorite author is Albert Camus; he believes that Camus has a timeless, tastefully pretentious writing style.

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Lindo Simelane

Lindo Simelane is a graduate student pursuing an M.A. degree in economics. He has a B.A. degree in finance and economics from Wartburg College in Iowa. During his undergraduate career, he worked for a writing center and enjoyed every ...
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minute of it. He loves to work with challenging subjects that present an opportunity to learn something new in a collaborative space. He also enjoys reading, running, and having new cross-cultural experiences. He is very excited to join the writing studio team.

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Jermaine Thompson

Jermaine Thompson enjoys reading, writing, and explicating poetry. He is presently in the thesis-writing phase of his M.F.A. in poetry. Since This American Life is already taken by his favorite podcast, his manuscript is tentatively titled ...
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Preaching to the Choir. He has an M.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing from Mississippi State University and obtained his undergraduate B.A. in English from Stillman College. Jermaine also enjoys rhetorical analysis and writing arguments. However, in the cumulative decade of tutoring and teaching high school and college English courses, he has never met a writer or writing project that he could not help—no matter the state of frustration and disarray. His favorite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid. The first chapter book he ever read was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and his favorite season is football. Bring him your tired, your poor, your muddled writing yearning to be free (of development and organization concerns)!

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Nam Vu

Nam Vu is a second-year undergraduate working on a B.A. in English literature. He enjoys most types of writing, particularly any writing that reflects upon or analyzes works of literature. He believes that every student can work on their writing to become a better writer than ...
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the previous version of himself/herself. He enjoys working with the intricacies of the drafting process, especially when dealing with the structural elements of writing. He likes to be outdoors whenever he can. He has a passion for hiking and visiting national parks because they give him inspiration and recharge him.

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Melissa Wharton

Melissa Wharton is an undergraduate student majoring in English Language and Rhetoric. She enjoys taking big ideas and translating them into words, and loves most any writing focused on a topic about which a writer is passionate. She also believes that anyone can become a successful writer with the right amount of ...
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encouragement and determination. Some of Melissa's favorite non-academic writing include many unfinished NaNoWriMo projects, a research paper about Bible translations, and a personal blog on which she shares whatever big ideas she's thinking about at the moment. Outside of writing, Melissa watches nerdy television, cooks for her non-culinarily-minded roommates, and is involved in several ministries both on and off campus, such as UMKC's Friends of Internationals. Melissa enjoys learning about anything interesting, and her favorite colors are outer space and glitter.

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Visit Us!

Writing consultants primarily work with writers face-to-face. In order to meet with a Writing Studio consultant, you can walk in or make an appointment by calling (816)  235-1146. Sessions last 20 - 50 minutes. Consultants will work with you at any point in the writing process, so bring whatever you have, whether it is an assignment sheet or your fifth draft. When working with a paper, we encourage you to bring the assignment sheet as well.

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