Staff

The Writing and Media Center has a diverse staff spanning a wide variety of disciplines. We are committed to helping you learn and succeed academically. Please come by Carver 208 to get to know us better.

Professional Staff

Christa Tiernan
Director
I am a native of San Diego and hold a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego. My areas of specialization include writing center theory and practice, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and culture, museum studies, and material culture studies. As a firm believer that all writers need readers, I am deeply committed to helping students become more effective and confident writers. In my spare time, I enjoy eating Mexican food, visiting historic house museums, and making miniature cheesecakes.

Patti Poblete
Assistant Director
Born in Toronto and raised in Southern California, I've found the past few years in the Midwest an education in understanding weather. I received my Ph.D. in English: Rhetoric and Composition from Purdue University, where I served as Assistant Director of the Introductory Composition Program for two years. I also worked at Purdue's Writing Lab, both as a tutor and as liaison between the Lab and the composition program. Previously, I received my M.A. in English and B.A. in English: Writing from La Sierra University. My research investigates writing program administration, public rhetorics, and communication through digital spaces. I'm fascinated with pop culture narratives, and I bake a lot of cookies.​


 

 

Communication Consultants

Anne Anthony

Third-year in Biological/Pre-medical Illustration
Dubai, UAE

What I Like About Writing and the WMC:
Writing, for me, is a means of self-expression and a means of organizing my thoughts. I am excited about helping fellow students improve on their communication skills at the WMC!

Isaiah Baker

Junior in Political Science/English/Economics
Eden Prairie, MN

What I Like About the WMC:
Helping others realize their potential!

Angela Benjegerdes

Senior in Communication Studies with a minor in Event Management
Mason City, IA

What I Like About Writing:
My favorite thing about writing is the power to help someone experience a story from your point of view.

Gabrielle Buck

Junior in Child, Adult, and Family Services/Gerentology
Waukee, IA

What I Like About Writing:
Writing is a great way to process information and refine ideas. When I write academic pieces, I always grow in knowledge and understanding throughout the writing process. Collecting facts and placing them into a cohesive piece helps the information become permanent knowledge. I also often write when I want to figure out a problem or make an important decision. Details, pros, and cons are a jumble in my head, and getting them on paper makes any choice easier.

Vivian Cook

Junior in Performing Arts/French
Prescott, AZ

What I Like About Writing:
I love how writing and most other communication endeavors seem to be independent and solitary but are actually all about collaboration and sharing work, ideas, and language with one another.

Abby Crimmins

Senior in Linguistics/Music with a minor in American Sign Language
Mason City, IA

What I Like About Writing:
My favorite thing about working at the WMC is getting to know the students we help. I love seeing their progress throughout our session, the light bulbs clicking as we talk through problem spots, and their expressions of appreciation at the end. I love working in such a positive environment while helping others succeed!

Idee Edalatishams

Third-year Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and Technology
Tehran, Iran

What I Like About the WMC:
Great Atmosphere, Great People!

Zachary Eldridge
Fifth-year in English with a minor in Technical Communication
Boone, IA

What I Like About Writing:
I enjoy writing because it preserves the thoughts of individuals and groups for future generations to benefit from.

 
Rachel Francis

Junior in English Education with a minor in Communication Studies
Britt, IA

What I Like About the WMC:
I love meeting and talking with new people!

 

Dale Grauman
Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication
Cinebar, WA

What I Like About Writing:
I like it when good writing makes a difficult idea easy to understand.

Andrew Guhin

Junior in Psychology
Bettendorf, IA

What I Like About Writing:
My favorite thing about writing and communication is the idea of how powerful the words we use are!

Morgan Helgens

Junior in English Education
Monticello, IA

What I Like About Writing:
I love stringing words together to create something meaningful and powerful. The idea that whole stories, characters' lives, and entire worlds exist merely because someone chose precisely the right words to bring those things to life is magical. Just thinking of all of the beneficial change this world has experienced thanks to powerful communication is both beautiful and inspirational.

Miriam Jakel

Sophomore in English
Hastings, MN

What I Like About Writing:
The best thing about writing is the ability to edit words until they form the purest form of an idea or feeling.

Kathryn Kaalberg
Senior in Apparel Design with a minor in Spanish
Nichols, IA

What I Like About the WMC:
I love working at the WMC because it is both a fun and meaningful work environment. I get to meet some amazing fellow students, while participating in tutoring that facilitates learning and both self- and peer-support with our writing skills and techniques.

 

Zoe Lambert

Sophomore in Exercise Science/Food and Society; Health Promotion
Macomb, IL

What I Like About Writing:
Being able to put my thoughts into words.

Hunter Martin

Senior in Public Relations/Women's Studies and Psychology/History
Ceresco, NE

What I Like About the WMC:
I love working at the Writing and Media Center because it allows me to meet people from across campus and work with many forms of communication.

Emily Matson

Junior in Advertising and English
Minneapolis, MN

What I Like About the WMC:
My favorite thing about the WMC is that awesome feeling of collaboration and creativity when a student and I have a breakthrough in their writing. It reminds me how cool of a space the WMC is and how it has the power to help students feel better about their writing and writing in general

 
Jenna Mertz

Second-year MFA in Creative Writing and the Environment
Delafield, WI

What I Like About Writing:
I love learning about the writing processes of others. It's fun to chat about the quirky, seemingly irrational rituals we engage to get our heads in the writing space.

Rachel Murdock
Fifth-year Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication
Asheville, NC
What I Like About Writing:
I've been a writer since the day I left school :) I've always loved writing stories, newspaper articles, press releases, essays - even instructions!
I believe communication is central to relationships, and therefore central to our existence. I love helping others find the right words to express themselves orally or with the written word. Through working at the WMC, I've learned that revision is writing - finding the right words when you write often takes time and trial - but it's worth the result!

Kaitlyn Pretzel

Sophomore in Meteorology
River Falls, WI

What I Like About Writing:
Being able to express myself in many different ways and being able to help others do the same.

Rebecca Ray

Junior in Financial Counseling and Planning
Weslaco, TX

What I Like About Writing:
My favorite thing about writing and communication is being able to share and receive information that can educate, and inspire ideas, perspectives, and action.

Rachel Reyes

Third-year in Mathematics and English
Mahtomedi, MN

What I Like About Writing and the WMC:
My favorite part about writing is Rewriting--with any paper (both expository and creative)--it's incredibly rewarding to see it improve with each revision, knowing that by the end, my efforts will result a piece that I can be proud of.
At the WMC, I look forward to helping others through this writing process and hope to inspire a similar sense of accomplishment regarding their own writing.

Declan Riordan

Junior in Secondary English Education
Chicago, IL

What I Like About Writing and the WMC:
Getting helpful feedback on a draft!

Raeann Ritland

Fourth-year Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication
Zearing, IA

What I Like About the WMC:
Working one-on-one with students is my favorite part of being a consultant. I also enjoy the variety of projects and topics that students bring; I learn from them all.

 

Christine Salek

Senior in Journalism/English
Sonoma, CA

What I Like About Writing:
Writing lets me escape the confines of what already exists: it lets me be in charge of the ideas I express and the story I tell without regard for others' immediate opinions. At the same time, writing as a collaborative art can allow learning, growth, and expression to flourish, especially in the workshop setting. As such, my favorite part about writing--and communication--is the ability to engage in both aspects of this process however I please.

Anna Segner

First-year MFA in Integrated Visual Arts
Owatonna, MN

What I Like About Writing:
Writing is exploring.

Margaret Severson

Junior in Psychology and Anthropology with a minor in Philosophy
Minneapolis, MN

What I Like About Writing:
My favorite thing about writing is that it has the power to bring people together. One person's writing can be so personal to them but so many others will still relate to it or find it interesting.

Kristen Turnquist
Senior in Public Relations and English
Iowa City, IA

What I Like About the WMC:
I love getting to see people improve over the semester or in a specific piece of work!

Lauren Young

Sophomore, Open Option
Davenport, IA

What I Like About the WMC:
Having a positive impact on a student's education.

 


Administrative Staff

Bailey Burke

First-year in Journalism
Boone, IA

What I Like About Writing:
My favorite thing about writing is creating characters and developing the storylines for them.

Conner Dammann

Sophomore in Chemical Engineering
Victoria, MN

What I Like About the WMC:
The WMC is an amazing place. I have never met a more diverse and friendly group of people who are all equally invested in helping others.

Nia Estes
 

Kaitlyn Hoots

 

 

 

 

Tara Marron
2nd-year Masters in Student Affairs
Carterville, IL

What I Like About the WMC:
Working at the WMC allows me to interact with students with all different backgrounds.  I love being hear about students' experiences and help them in any way I can!

 

 

Isabel Miller

 

 

Amanda Ostrander-Lawrence
Junior in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Social Studies
What I Like About the WMC:
You can come in and work on anything from resumes and cover letters to papers and projects for classes. And the friendly staff is always there to help you!

 
Allie Polk

Senior in Psychology and Sociology
Flower Mound, TX

What I Like About the WMC:
I think I will love getting to see a wide variety students coming to the WMC to actively improve their communication skills to set up a better future for themselves.

Caroline Sass

Sophomore in Supply Chain Management
White Bear Lake, MN

What I Like About the WMC:
What I am looking forward to most about working at the WMC is, the connections, friendships, and experience I will gain by being a Student Assistant. Not to mention, the tasty cookies I've heard so much about!!

Kelly Wenig
Kelvin Williams

Third-year in Management Information Systems
Country Club Hills, IL

What I Like About Writing and the WMC:
My absolute favorite thing about writing is being encapsulated by the story of my words as I form them on my canvas. Secondly, my favorite thing about communication is when it is actually going on. Lastly, as of right now, my favorite thing about working at the WMC is that, in their questionnaires, they ask what my favorite types of cookies are!

Hawn Wong

Senior in Journalism and Communication
Perry, IA

What I Like About Writing:
My favorite thing about writing and communication is how unique and varied writing can be. The English language is so big and continuously growing and that allows for limitless creativity and I love seeing that put to use!

 

Special thanks to Christopher Gannon for the photography!