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Faculty Writing Consultants

Jared Featherstone

UWC Associate Director of Writing

Jared Featherstone, M.F.A.

feathejj@jmu.edu

Contact Info 

Jared Featherstone directs the University Writing Center and teaches courses in the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication. He has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park. His interests include mindfulness, contemplative writing, creative nonfiction, service learning, and songwriting. He is a facilitator for the Madison Meditates program.

Lucy Malenke

Assistant Professor of Writing and Liaison to CHBS

Lucy Bryan Malenke, M.F.A.

malenklb@jmu.edu

Contact Info 

Lucy Bryan Malenke is the Writing Center liaison to the College of Health and Behavioral Studies. She also serves as outreach coordinator for the UWC and a writing consultant for students and faculty. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Penn State University and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her personal essays, short stories, reviews, and journalism have appeared in Nashville Review, Sojourners, The Georgia Review, and other literary journals and magazines. In addition to all kinds of writing, her interests include wilderness preservation and philosophy, sustainable agriculture, and service learning.

Hillary Ostermiller

Faculty Associate

Hillary Ostermiller, M.L.I.S. and M.A.

ostermhe@jmu.edu

Contact Info 

Hillary Ostermiller is the Writing Center’s librarian in residence for 2018. As a librarian, she works as a liaison to Communication Studies (SCOM); Media Arts & Design (SMAD); and Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communication (WRTC). She has a B.A. in English, an M.A. in Writing & Publishing, and an M.L.I.S. in Library & Information Science. She has experience tutoring and teaching first-year writing, and also worked as a book editor for several years.

Kevin Jefferson

Faculty Associate

Kevin Jefferson, M.A.

jefferkx@jmu.edu

Contact Info 

Kevin Jefferson is a Faculty Associate from WRTC. He has a background in 19th- and 20th-century British and American literature and a history of long road trips. His teaching and research interests include first-year composition and editing; rhetorics of place, the environment, and the West; and publishing student writing. He works with the student editors and faculty reviewers of the James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal (JMURJ) to promote, publish, and share undergraduate scholarship from all JMU disciplines.

Rodolfo Barrett

Writing Center Specialist

Rodolfo ("Rudy") Barrett, M.S.

barretrl@jmu.edu

Contact Info 

Rodolfo "Rudy" Barrett is a Writing Center Specialist at James Madison University. A former first-year writing instructor, Rudy has worked in the UWC as both an ungraduate peer consultant and a graduate teaching assistant. His research interests include composition pedagogy, intercultural communication, and rhetorics of gaming. 

Graduate Writing Consultants

Kerry Smith

Graduate Assistant

Kerry Smith

Kerry Smith is a 1st-year WRTC graduate student. Her interests in writing include short nonfiction, poetry, legal writing, and rhetorical analyses. She loves to help brainstorm ideas, work through writer’s block, and encourage everyone to be the best writer they can be! Outside school, she spends her time listening to podcasts, reading true crime books, painting frames, and adding to her map collection. When not in Carrier, you can usually find her at the gym struggling to lift weights or at her job downtown.

Undergraduate Writing Consultants

Caroline Abramowitz

Peer Consultant

Caroline Abramowitz

Caroline Abramowitz is a sophomore Psychology major. She volunteers with the Harrisonburg Rescue Squad and Big Brothers Big Sisters and serves as the VP of Membership for JMU’s honor organization, Sigma Alpha Lambda. In her free time, Caroline enjoys coloring books, Parks and Rec, and thinking about how much she misses her dogs. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Lexi Ali

Peer Consultant

Lexi Ali

Lexi is a senior Communications major with minors in Political Communication and WRTC from Brooklyn, NY. She currently serves as the Panhellenic president, which is the governing body of all 14 sororities here on campus. In her free time, she loves spending time with her friends, rooting for the New York Rangers, eating pizza, watching dog videos, and of course, any and all things Harry Potter.

Gabby Baker

Peer Consultant

Gabriela Baker

Gabriela is a senior majoring in SMAD with a concentration in Creative Advertising and Spanish. She is the Membership Director of the JMU Advertising Club and the Design Editor for the Bluestone yearbook. Her passions include traveling, immersing herself in different cultures, and learning new languages. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, being with family and friends, and gaining a reputation as a sentimental individual. After graduating, she hopes to work as a Strategic Planner under a Multicultural Marketing Team.

Amanda Bortell

Peer Consultant

Amanda Bortell

Amanda Bortell is a senior Nursing major with a minor in Chronic Illness. She enjoys outside activities such as spending time with friends, laughing until her abs hurt (just kidding, she doesn't have abs), and eating an overwhelming amount of food. After graduation, Amanda hopes to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner.

Keiva Brannigan

Peer Consultant

Keiva Brannigan

Keiva is a junior Psychology major with a minor in Criminal Justice on the Pre-Forensics track. She is also a member of the Honors College. She plays for the JMU Women's Rugby team and enjoys traveling, hiking, and music. After JMU, she hopes continue on to graduate school in a Forensic Psychology program.

Matt Cappo

Peer Consultant

Matthew Cappo

Matt is a senior WRTC and English major with an Anthropology minor. When he isn't studying, he enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, video games, and documentaries. He also has a tuxedo cat named Mr. Kitty who monopolizes much of his spare time. Upon leaving JMU, he hopes to work as a technical writer or editor in the NOVA area.

Dylan Crigger

Peer Consultant

Dylan Crigger

Dylan Crigger is a senior WRTC major with a Creative Writing minor, so that means he enjoys reading a rhetorical analysis as much as he does reading a piece of fiction. Aside from being a writing consultant, he also works part time at Mr. Chips. In his free time, which can sometimes seem rare, Dylan enjoys driving, hiking, or watching suggested videos on YouTube. He expects to pursue writing as a career, and while that’s not specific, he also likes to keep his options open.

nickd

Peer Consultant

Nicholas Dunard

Nick is a sophomore Intelligence Analysis major with a minor in Political Science. After graduation, he hopes to join the Peace Corps & later work in the US Intelligence Community. In his free time he enjoys playing video games, going to concerts, travelling, and watching TV.

Skylar Ellery

Peer Consultant

Skylar Ellery

Skylar is a sophomore Psychology major with minors in Political Science and WRTC. She is also an active member in Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law Fraternity. In her free time, she enjoys binge-watching movies, traveling to new places, and relaxing on the quad. Skylar hopes to attend law school after her time at James Madison. 

Lydia Erickson

Peer Consultant

Lydia Erickson

Lydia is a senior studying Communications. Outside of the Writing Center, Lydia is involved in Student Ambassadors, Student Government, and InterVarsity. In her free time, Lydia loves playing tennis, singing, playing the piano, and eating any type of dessert. In the future, Lydia hopes to pursue a career in public relations, patient advocacy, or writing.

Austin Jones

Peer Consultant

Austin Jones

Austin is a third year Quantitative Economics major from Blacksburg, Virginia. He is the Lead Organizer of TEDxJMU, Senior Portfolio Analyst of the Phi Chi Theta Investment Fund, Treasurer of the Madison Venture Group, and a member of the the JMU Economics Club and College Federal Reserve Challenge team. Austin spends his free time snowboarding, hiking, and volunteering. After his time at JMU, he hopes to pursue a career in economic development and empowerment, or a graduate program in economics.

Gabby Katz

Peer Consultant

Gabrielle Katz

Gabby is a junior International Affairs and SMAD double major from New Jersey. She currently serves as the Vice President of JMU's first and only sketch comedy team, Maddy Night Live. In her free time, she loves dancing, spending time with friends, traveling, watching one of John Mulaney's three comedy specials on Netflix (again), and talking about how much she loves her mom. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career that combines her passions for both helping and entertaining others.

Shanna Kelly

Peer Consultant

Shanna Kelly

Shanna is a junior SMAD (journalism) and Spanish double major with a double minor in Spanish-English translation and interpretation and honors interdisciplinary studies. Shanna is the opinion editor for JMU's newspaper The Breeze. When Shanna isn't writing or editing articles, she can be found spending time with her Kappa Alpha Theta sisters or reading books in Spanish. After graduation, Shanna hopes to either be a traveling journalist or a bilingual reporter.

Brooke Long

Peer Consultant

Brooke Long

Brooke is a senior double major in Communications Studies and Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication with a minor in Spanish. She is a Wyldlife Leader and a staff writer for Bluestone. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, painting, and swimming.

Caroline Mohan

Peer Consultant

Caroline Mohan

Caroline is a senior WRTC major with a minor in Political Science. She is a member of Student Government, Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity, and Club Rowing. In her free time, she likes hiking and kayaking with her friends, watching classic films, and drinking coffee.

Katie O'Brien

Peer Consultant

Katie O'Brien

Katie is a senior Media Arts and Design major concentrating in Creative Advertising with minors in WRTC and Studio Art. She is a member of Student Ambassadors and Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, and she loves getting involved on campus and meeting new people. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, working out, traveling, volunteering, drawing, and spending time with friends. She plans to pursue a career in media and eventually wants to become a professional editor.

Nico Penaranda

Peer Consultant

Nico Penaranda

Nico Penaranda is a junior English Major with a Creative Writing minor. He hopes to one day become an English teacher and to inspire students as he was inspired by his English teachers. Outside of academics, he enjoys playing guitar, listening to Rise Against, practicing calisthenics or bodyweight training, and wearing his signature leather jacket.

Elizabeth Ren

Peer Consultant

Elizabeth Ren

Elizabeth is a junior studying Economics with a concentration in Finance. She is also a part of the Madison Investment Fund, the JMU Economics Club, and Tri Sigma. Outside of school, she loves to watch Netflix (emphasis on To All the Boys I've Loved Before and Ozark), eat ice cream, and try new things. After JMU, she plans on working in finance or writing for the markets section of an international newspaper.

Adam Robb

Peer Consultant

Adam Robb

Adam is a senior WRTC major with a minor in Religion. After graduation, he hopes to find a career in writing for a non-profit or an institution dedicated to helping others. In his spare time, he enjoys writing music, video games, meditating, reading, journaling, hiking, and stargazing.

Caroline Ryan

Peer Consultant

Caroline Ryan

Caroline is a junior Dance and Communication Studies double major with an Honors Interdisciplinary Studies minor. When she’s not running between Harrison Hall and the Forbes Center, she enjoys listening to podcasts and having deep discussions about Gilmore Girls. Caroline hopes to put her Advocacy Studies concentration to use and pursue a career as a lobbyist for education or social justice organizations.

Jenna Skull

Peer Consultant

Jenna Scull

Jenna Scull is a senior majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in WRTC. Outside of the Writing Center, she is involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters and PRSSA. In her free time, Jenna enjoys playing and teaching tennis, traveling, going to concerts with friends, and watching terribly great reality TV. Looking towards the future, she would love to pursue at least one of her interests in public relations, advertising, community service, or writing.

Caroline Shawver

Peer Consultant

Caroline Shawver

Caroline Shawver is a junior Psychology major and WRTC minor. When not tutoring or working as an office assistant in the Learning Centers, Caroline can be seen upstairs in the SSC grabbing food, enjoying her time with friends, or on the phone with a family member. Caroline plans to continue her education after JMU in pursuit of a fulfilling and impactful career.

kristina

Peer Consultant

Kristina Shuey

Kristina Shuey is a senior SCOM and English major with a minor in Chinese. She enjoys reading books about obscure subjects, eating delicious food (home-cooked preferably), playing video games, and daydreaming about the future.

Monica Slater

Peer Consultant

Monica Slater

Monica is a third-year music major concentrating in vocal performance with minors in WRTC and interdisciplinary studies. She is a member of JMU Opera Theater, JMU Opera Guild, and the Honors College. Most of her spare time is spent in voice lessons, practice rooms, opera rehearsals, and performances, but she loves to read, write, paint-by-numbers, and bake whenever she can. Recently, she was chosen as a Hillcrest Scholar. Upon graduating, Monica will pursue opera performance in tandem with technical writing.

Jemma Stratton

Peer Consultant

Jemma Stratton

Jemma Stratton is a senior Social Work major with a double minor in Spanish and Family Studies. Her interests include dance, traveling, cats, and bad reality television. She is actively involved in the community service sorority Gamma Sigma Sigma and also participates on the board of JMU Belly Dance. After her time at JMU, Jemma hopes to become a certified Child Life Specialist and work as a patient advocate.

Christine Swartz

Peer Consultant

Christine Swartz

Christine is a junior History major with a triple minor in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Secondary Education, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Licensure). She is a member of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity as well as Habitat for Humanity. In her free time, Christine enjoys reading, going on drives, and eating ice cream. After JMU, Christine hopes to teach dual-language social studies at either the middle or high school level. 

Administration

Laura Schubert

Interim Director, JMU Learning Centers 

Laura Schubert, Ph.D.

schubelk@jmu.edu

Contact Info 

Laura Schubert is an Assistant Professor of Writing and teaches for the School of Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communication. She has a Ph.D. in Composition and TESOL and experience teaching English Language Learners. Her most recent project is a first-year writing textbook, co-authored with Dr. Kurt Schick, titled So What? The Writer's Argument. She conducts research on tutoring efficacy, writing mindsets, and tutoring outcomes.

Joan Fahrney

Assistant to the Director, JMU Learning Centers

Joan Fahrney

fahrnejb@jmu.edu

Contact Info

Joan Fahrney's primary duties include administrative support to the Director, departmental human resource support for hiring, payroll, wage, and audit, data analysis and reporting, and coordination of the administrative support staff. 

She is currently working toward her BA in Integrated Business Informatics and Human Resource Development.  In her spare time, Joan enjoys time with her family, genealogy, and antiquing.

Michael Dioszeghy

Fixed Assets Support Technician, JMU Learning Centers

Michael Dioszeghy

dioszemj@jmu.edu

Contact Info 

Michael Dioszeghy assists with the management and maintenance of the Learning Centers’ budget and equipment. He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Life Coaching.

He enjoys learning about new technology, computer science, paintball and Ultimate Frisbee. 

adrienneg

Program Support Technician, JMU Learning Centers

Adrienne Griggs

griggsae@jmu.edu

Contact Info 

Adrienne Griggs (’10) is the Program Support Technician for the Learning Centers. She handles all of the hiring and payroll for student employees, supervises the office assistants, and oversees the program space. She founded and advises Campus Kitchen at JMU, a student organization that recovers and repurposes food to serve in the community. She is passionate about food insecurity and local food. When not on campus, you can often find her in the kitchen trying new recipes, or enjoying a game of fetch with her dogs, Paisley (chocolate lab) and Jasper (great dane).

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