Adrian is a Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics Education. His dissertation addresses how school leaders frame the problem of improving middle school mathematics instruction and their corresponding strategies for supporting teacher learning. Adrian’s research published in Teachers College Record as well as Education Administration Quarterly. Current writing projects include his dissertation as well as a collaborative book on improving mathematics instruction at scale. Prior to attending Vanderbilt University, Adrian taught high school mathematics and physics in St. Louis as a Teach For America corps member. For fun, Adrian practices and teaches yoga around Nashville.
Aileen is a Ph.D. Candidate in History. She researches U.S. interactions with Latin America (particularly Mexico), U.S. national security policy, militarization, and drug control history. Her dissertation examines the effects of U.S. drug policies and policing efforts in 1970s Mexico. Aileen’s research has been supported by the Fulbright-García Robles Fellowship (Mexico), and her opinion pieces have appeared in History News Network, The Global Intelligence, and Time Magazine. Prior to entering graduate school, Aileen served as a U.S. Marine Corps officer. Aileen enjoys long distance running, travel, and singing karaoke.
Alex is a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of English. She specializes in twentieth-century literature with an emphasis on women’s writing and feminist theory. In particular, she is interested in the intersections between gender and genre fiction. At the moment, she is studying ghost stories and detective fiction as narratives that allowed women writers to explore new forms of authorial agency. When she is not working on literature-related projects, Alex likes to drink too much coffee, go on hikes, and binge-watch supernatural television series such as The Walking Dead and Stranger Things.
Alisha is a senior specializing in science communication and journalistic writing. To her, the writing process feels like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, and at the Writing Studio, she can help you find the pieces you need. Alisha is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Orbis: Advocates for the Earth, an environmental magazine on campus. Alisha enjoys travel, photography, and driving on the left side of the road. She also leads adventure trips (and folds tents) for Vanderbilt Outdoor Recreation. Her current life goals are to adopt a chihuahua and to write for National Geographic Magazine.
Amy is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy who works on ethics, social and political philosophy, and feminist philosophy. Her dissertation focuses on the ethics of blame and self-blame. In the future, Amy plans to work on the phenomenology of chronic pain and illness. When she is not teaching or writing, Amy volunteers as a member of a weekly philosophy and social justice reading group with men on death row in Nashville. Amy lives in West Nashville with her best friend, a Dachshund/ Labrador rescue dog named Abbey.
Amy Voss Farris
Amy is a Learning Sciences Ph.D. student who thinks and writes about young people’s learning and development in STEM disciplines in and out of school settings. Her research concerns designing computer programming and modeling experiences in elementary classrooms. Amy is a licensed therapeutic foster parent and advocate of children’s rights and family reunification. Formerly, she was a staffer at a science and technology museum in Birmingham, Alabama. When she’s not working, she can be found in one of Tennessee’s rivers with various children, her spouse, and two big fluffy dogs.
Amy is a senior pursuing majors in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, as well as Communication of Science and Technology. She enjoys dancing to 80s new wave music, squealing at animals, and eating black beans, and she can’t wait to be a part of your writing process.
Ariana is a Maryland native and third year Writing Studio consultant majoring in English/Creative Writing with minors in Music and Psychology. This past summer, she taught middle schoolers about unusual ways to commit murder while encouraging them not to practice this new knowledge on each other (as a Detective Fiction TA at Duke TIP). When not helping clients think through their ideas at the Writing Studio, Ariana is the executive poetry editor of the Vanderbilt Review, an assistant poetry editor of the Nashville Review, a sister of SAI music sorority, and a volunteer ambassadore with Vanderbilt Next Steps. In her free time, she likes to thrift for cat t-shirts and brightly colored jeans, rest in child’s pose and say she’s doing yoga, loiter on Spotify, and read poetry to her patient pup, Lucy.
Audrey is a sophomore double majoring in Economics and English in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is also interested in minoring in Chinese Language and Culture. After growing up and attending international school in Hong Kong, she moved to Little Rock, Arkansas two years before starting at Vanderbilt. When she is not studying, she enjoys singing, writing and mentoring international students. If you have any music or restaurant suggestions (especially Asian ones), definitely let her know!
Beth is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science studying political psychology. She loves helping writers gain confidence and gets overly excited about personal statements. In her spare time, she enjoys building sand sculptures, looking for street art, and trying to swim. Her favorite things include pancakes and public transportation. She is also a fan of alliteration, apparently.
Deann is a Graduate Writing Fellow and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of English. She is a native Texan who came to Nashville by way of Austin, where she taught high school English for four years, and London, where she completed her first Master’s Degree in Shakespeare Studies. Her dissertation considers the literary strategies used by Renaissance authors to respond to new technologies for timekeeping. In her spare time, you can find her watching anything on HBO, looking at pictures of puppies, advocating headstands as a regular physical practice, or squealing at her baby son.
Edward is a sophomore from Chicago in the College of Arts and Sciences. At Vanderbilt, he is pursuing a major in economics and also serves on the executive board of the Asian American Student Association. He has previously interned at Northwestern University Law School and at the 1871 start-up incubator. In his free time, he enjoys playing pickup basketball at the Rec and reading anything from investment strategies to fantasy fiction. He is also a huge Chicago sports fan and likes any team that doesn’t play on the South Side.
Holli is a PhD candidate in the Department of Cancer Biology. Originally from Wisconsin, Holli completed a B.S. in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a M.P.H. from the University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health. Her dissertation work focuses on the mechanisms of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma progression and possible therapeutic targets in these pathways. Holli is also an active member of the Cancer Biology Student Association and works as a graduate teaching assistant. When not hovering over a lab bench, Holli goes rock climbing and hiking out in the Tennessee wilderness.
Kara Wilson is a senior in the College of Arts and Science majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature. She is thrilled to be back in the Writing Studio once again after a semester abroad at the University of Edinburgh. When you ask her what she will do after she graduates, she smiles and shrugs. In her free time, she sings alto in the Vanderbilt University Concert Choir, listens to music and podcasts, writes in her journal, and lurks in the candle aisle at Target.
Kelly Swope is a PhD student in the Philosophy Department and a four-year veteran of the Writing Studio. He holds an MA from Columbia and a BA from Vanderbilt and has previously been a freelance writer and editor, adjunct professor, and high-school teacher.
Kylie is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English. Her research interests include contemporary world literature, narrative theory, and postcolonial studies with a particular focus on science fiction and other forms of non-realist literature written in English. She is also engaged in research related to teaching and writing pedagogy. When she is not reading or writing, Kylie spends most of her free time training for marathons, attempting to practice yoga, and playing ultimate frisbee.
As an undergraduate, Lyn worked at her institution’s writing center. Now, as a fourth year PhD candidate working in the field of philosophy, she is excited to return to the occupation of writing consultant. When she is not talking about writing or working on problems in ethics, she enjoys escapist activities like reading books and watching films.
Marilyn is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Chemical and Physical Biology program, where she uses X-rays and magnets to figure out how proteins and DNA talk to each other. Other writing-related activities include co-editing the BRET Results and Discussion newsletter, serving as Editor-in-Chief for the Editors’ Club at Vanderbilt, and occasionally writing for the VUMC Reporter. Her free time is filled with cooking, binge-watching Netflix with her dog, and fighting a losing battle against the mosquito-infested foliage in her backyard.
Mary Catherine Cook
Mary Catherine is a junior from Birmingham, AL majoring in Political Science and minoring in French and Corporate Strategy. She enjoys learning about national security and U.S. foreign policy, and she spent this past summer in Washington, D.C. working with a senator on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Her passions include coffee, obscure Shakespeare plays, and watching old movies on rainy days. She is excited to begin her first year at the writing studio, and looks forward to helping her fellow students better organize and express their ideas!
Mary is a junior studying American History and Medicine, Health, and Society in the College of Arts and Science. When she isn’t working at the Writing Studio, she can be found researching small cell lung cancer at VUMC, tutoring high schoolers, or going for a run around Nashville. Her favorite place to write is in the comfy leather chair just outside of the Studio, and she once spent almost $20 on Post-It notes. True to her Seattle roots, Mary loves coniferous trees, wears a lot of plaid, and likes it best when the weather is 55 degrees and overcast.
Matthew is a senior studying English Literature with a minor in Spanish. His literary interests include Joyce, Eliot, and Faulkner, and he hopes to pursue a doctorate after graduating. He also loves creative writing and worked for Granta Magazine this past summer as an editorial intern. He is a member of the Curb Scholars Program and the founder of Vanderbilt Creative Writing Organization. Outside of reading and writing, he enjoys playing basketball and listening to rap music.
Owen is a senior pursuing majors in Religious Studies and English. He is from Bowling Green, KY, a town noteworthy for its corvettes, its music, and its caves, where Owen has spent two summers guiding underground boat tours. He is currently working on a senior honors thesis in religious studies that will explore Max Weber’s theory of disenchantment through the lens of popular culture, applying a structural analysis to things like Ghostbusters, The X-Files, and Christmas films. He enjoys running, movies, stand-up comedy, and playing music.
Peter is a Graduate Writing Fellow and PhD candidate in the interdisciplinary field of Religion, Psychology, and Culture, where he is also a fourth-year fellow in Vanderbilt’s program in Theology and Practice. Informed by his clinical experiences as a crisis counselor and hospice chaplain, Peter’s research bridges phenomenology, psychoanalysis, trauma theory, and the philosophy of religion. His dissertation explores the philosophical and psychological limitations of empathy, particularly its ethical prospects for social and political recognition. In teaching and writing consultation, Peter encourages generous yet critical dialogue, hospitality toward strange perspectives, and the willingness to accept oneself as an ever-growing novice.
Rachel is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English. Her research interests include literature from the eighteenth century, particularly texts that explore the relationship between the Ottoman and British empires. She fell in love with writing in college and now loves to share her excitement with others and helping them to develop their own voices. When she’s not reading or writing, Rachel will be sitting in front of a canvas painting or outside hiking through whatever state park is closest.
Sari is a PhD student in the English department, studying nineteenth-century British literature. Her research interests include the nonfiction essay, experimental and epistolary or periodical genres, and intersections between aesthetics, ethics, and philosophy. She also loves writing creative nonfiction essays. Besides reading and writing, she enjoys playing the piano, listening to music, running, and hiking.
Scott is a sophomore pursing a major in Earth and Environmental Science and conducts research on quartz growth kinetics when not in the Writing Studio. He was born and raised in New York City. He writes for the life section of The Hustler and can’t wait to meet you!
Wietske is a 4th-year PhD candidate in the English department. Her dissertation looks at how science in the British nineteenth-century inspired a redefinition of the human. She explores how this new human is imagined in literature as fantastical monsters, such as Frankenstein’s creature, human-animal splices, and early robots. When not reading or writing, she enjoys various handcrafts, but especially painting pictures inspired by the wild Moors of North Yorkshire, England, where she grew up.
Zach Gospe is a junior from Los Altos, California who is majoring in English and minoring in Computer Science. While Zach greatly enjoys writing scientific, analytical, and nonfictional works, he is most passionate about poetry and fiction. When he is not writing or reading, Zach can most often be found writing music, attempting to paint, baking, going for long walks, or coding.
Gary Jaeger, Director
Gary has been teaching writing and consulting writers for over a decade. In addition to being the Director of the Writing Studio, he is a senior lecturer in the Philosophy Department where he teaches classes in ethics, political philosophy, and Indian philosophy. His research interests are primarily in practical reasoning and metaethics. He is the author of Repression, Integrity and Practical Reasoning (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and has published articles in journals such as the Journal of Value Inquiry, Philosophical Explorations, and Metaphilosophy. He earned a PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago (2006) and a BA from Johns Hopkins University (1999), where he double majored in philosophy and writing. Before coming to Vanderbilt, he taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
John Bradley , Assistant Director
John is Assistant Director of the Writing Studio as well as Senior Lecturer in the English Department. He earned his PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was introduced to writing center pedagogy and built up his passion for writing instruction and his conviction in the power of talk for the writing process. John’s research interests focus on twentieth-century American poetries, especially those of avant-garde and experimental movements.
Jeff Shenton, Assistant Director
Jeff has worked with the Vanderbilt Writing Studio since 2008 as a graduate consultant and Fellow, and is now taking the reins of Assistant Director and Senior Lecturer in Anthropology. His PhD is in anthropology from Vanderbilt University. Jeff’s research concerns changing land use, aspirations, and conceptions of the natural world among indigenous residents of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Previous to his graduate career at Vanderbilt Jeff worked in neuroscience research and has experience writing and publishing in both biomedical and ethnographic fields. Jeff graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 with a BA in English and French, with a concentration in creative writing.
Rebecca Chapman, Assistant Director
Rebecca is Assistant Director of the Writing Studio as well as Senior Lecturer in the English Department and Women’s and Gender Studies program. She earned her PhD in English and graduate certificates in Gender Studies and in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, which inform her research interests in gender and sexuality in Shakespeare and early modern British literature and culture, queer theory, art and literature as sites of resistance, and the social politics of grammar.
Administrator: Sarah Friddle firstname.lastname@example.org