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Meet our Consultants

Our faculty and graduate student consultants are trained to assist writers in any discipline, but you may want to choose a consultant based on their specific interests.


Afton is a first-year graduate student in the civil engineering program. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from UMD in 2019. Her graduate research will focus on geotechnical engineering. She previously worked in the Academic Writing and Learning Center as a mathematics tutor. In her spare time, Afton enjoys being outdoors, playing with her corgi, and playing hockey.


Alexandra (Alex) is an instructor in the Academic English Language Program (AELP). She also teaches in the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) & Multilingual Education minor. She received her MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN, and a graduate certificate in Dual Language & Immersion Education from the University of Minnesota. Alex specializes in explaining grammar rules, both to native and non-native English speakers. She loves languages, travel, and learning about other cultures.


Ana is a first-year graduate student pursuing an M.A. in English. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Honors (Civil Engagement and Leadership), with a certificate in Writing, Editing, and Publishing. She teaches one section of WRIT 1120: College Writing. Her academic interests include creative writing, film theory, digital humanities, and anything before 1800. Besides her academic interests, she enjoys old things, baking, coffee, and the occasional Disney movie. Ana considers herself a foodie and is always looking for something new to try. 


Anna, a native of Russia, is an instructor in the Academic Writing and Learning Center at UMD. She earned an MA in English from UMD in 2000 and a PhD in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Writing from Saint-Petersburg University, Russia, in 2011. She recently completed a Master’s of Liberal Studies degree from UMD in the spring of 2015. Anna has been teaching English as a Second language for 18 years. Her research interests focus on argumentation and persuasive writing.


Brandon is a second-year graduate student pursuing an M.A. in English. He has undergraduate degrees in Comparative Literature and Music Education from the University of Utah. He taught music in Salt Lake City public schools for two years until following his partner to Duluth, where he continues teaching a small studio of students. He is interested in all areas of the humanities and fine arts but is particularly delighted by literature, philosophy, history, and music-related topics. He spends many of his spare hours cooking, considering what he might like to cook, and eating.


Emily is a faculty member in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies and serves as the Lead Consultant for the Writers’ Workshop. Emily completed a Ph.D. in English Studies from Illinois State University in 2013 and an M.A. in English from UMD in 2008. She has experience teaching a variety of both upper- and lower-division writing courses, literature, and other general education English courses. Emily also taught English as a Second Language and tutored writing in a range of subjects for both traditional and non-traditional students at 2- and 4-year colleges. In addition to consulting with writers from across campus, she works with the Director of the Academic Writing and Learning Center, Jill Jenson, to offer writing-focused workshops. Emily’s research and publishing interests include women’s life writing, children's and adolescent literature, and Victorian culture. She is currently Managing Editor of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, and co-editor of the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies.


Jill taught writing at UMD for over 25 years in the Department of Writing Studies before becoming Director of the Academic Writing and Learning Center, which includes the Writers’ Workshop. Courses she most often taught included first-year writing, Advanced Writing: Arts and Letters, and Advanced Writing: Business and Organizations. She also regularly taught graduate courses in composition theory and pedagogy. Her research interests lie in the scholarship of teaching and learning, with articles having been published in College TeachingBusiness Communication Quarterly,Change: The Magazine of Higher EducationEDUCAUSE Quarterly, and the International Journal of ePortfolio. Jill also works with faculty members and academic departments wishing to enhance student learning by incorporating writing in their courses and throughout their programs.


Kevin is an instructor in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies. He teaches writing and linguistics classes and enjoys reading about technology and the sciences.


Lindsey is an instructor in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies. She teaches both College Writing and Advanced Writing, and currently serves as the Associate Writing Program Administrator. Lindsey received her B.A. in English from Iowa State University in 2005 and taught high-school English for six years--two years in the Iowa public schools and four years at the American School of Yaoundé in Cameroon, West Africa. A love of the outdoors drew her to Duluth, where she completed her Masters in English at UMD in the spring of 2014. Lindsey’s strengths lie in the Humanities, but she enjoys working with students on all topics in any discipline.


Lydia earned her B.A. from UMD in Spring 2017, double majoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English. She is currently a second-year graduate student in the English M.A. program and teaches WRIT 1120: College Writing. Her academic interests include ecofeminism, utopian literature, and queer and postcolonial studies. She enjoys watching TV and listening to podcasts in her spare time, which she hopes to have again one day soon. Her hobbies include sleeping, doing homework, and eating terribly.


Mia is the English as a Second Language (ESL) Specialist in the Writers’ Workshop. She works with students, faculty, and staff, especially those who are non-native speakers of English, on assignments and other writing projects. She also offers study groups and workshops for English learners on topics such as academic reading and writing, research and citations, speaking and presenting, and grammar. Mia earned a Master’s degree in ESL from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Her thesis focused on identifying and supporting English learners who may have learning disabilities. Mia also holds an MA in Management from The College of Saint Scholastica and undergraduate degrees in English and Education. In her free time, Mia enjoys spending time with her kids and friends, running, yoga, and snowboarding."


Nick is a second-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Science degree with an emphasis in structures. His research focuses on using ground waste glass as a partial cement replacement in concrete beams, in particular comparing the strength of beams with and without glass. Nick grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, and obtained his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from UMD. Outside of school, he enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking and being outdoors.

npaus baim

Npaus Baim graduated from St. Catherine University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and minors in Critical Hmong Studies and Studio Arts. She is furthering her education in the English Master’s program and teaching WRIT 1120: College Writing as a Graduate Instructor. Currently, she is serving as Secretary on the Board of Directors for a non-profit organization, Minors, and she also volunteers as a Writing Assistant collecting Secret War stories for the organization’s book project to educate Hmong youth about their elders’ history. Outside of school and work, Npaus Baim enjoys drawing and painting as well as writing poetry and creative nonfiction. In the past, she has exhibited her art and literary work with HECUA Alumni, Prior Affairs, and the Coalition of Asian American Leaders. 


Samantha is a second-year graduate student in the English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies department, where she also teaches WRIT 1120: College Writing. Samantha received her B.A. in English, focused on writing and rhetoric with a minor in Women’s Studies, from Texas Woman’s University. Samantha also studies social justice theory, Womanism, and cultural studies and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture after completing her M.A. Aside from academic interests, Samantha spends most of her time finding and listening to new music, preferably on vinyl. The more obscure, the better!