Meet Our Writing Fellows

Several of our Writing Tutors are also Writing Fellows who are Bates students that have taken EDU s19 Theory and Practice of Writing and Tutoring, a course regularly offered each short term and in which students deeply engage with the academic field of composition and writing center studies while practicing their teaching and tutoring skills in a practicum supporting writers, students, and teachers in the local Lewiston-Auburn community. After completing the course, Writing Fellows apply their training and experience to working as leaders and model tutors within the WLC, supporting Bates students as writers and Bates faculty as teachers of writing.

Please read below to learn more about these Writing Fellows and their approaches to tutoring.

Tife Agunloye’25 (He/him)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: W-CAT

Major(s): Philosophy; Economics

Minor(s): Digital & Computational Studies

Activities on campus: Bates Men’s Soccer

Tutoring Philosophy: Tutoring is the recognition of the authenticity of students’ voices and how it paves the way to confidence and conversation. Creating an environment where tutors can commit to disrupting the narrative of race in language, challenge biases, and set in motion the methodology of inclusion is a prerequisite for student growth and agency. Together with providing students with an environment where they have agency over their dialect and language allows for students to feel welcomed and accepted when they write because at the heart of writing is the writer’s voice.

Tutor Reading Pick: “Making Commitments to Racial Justice Actionable”. Author: Rasha Diab, Thomas Ferrel, and Beth Godbee, with contributions by Neil Simpkins

How it helped: This reading deepened my understanding of what it actually meant to feel that your voice matters as a writer. All tutors are writers too. Being able to amplify your own voice, and take pride in your writing, is something that is necessary for writers and for tutors to help aid and protect.

Esme Alfaro’24 (She/her)

Winter 2021 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor, Language Tutor

Major(s): Classical & Medieval Studies

Minor(s): History

Activities on campus: Raices Unidas, Bobcat 1st

Tutoring Philosophy: I strive as a tutor to create a learning environment where everyone feels comfortable enough to express their identity through their writing. To be able to successfully help the writer, it is important to make sure that I am facilitating in a clear and concise manner; I have to listen to the needs of those seeking help and understand what they need. Being able to take away the uncertainty around writing through facilitating engaging conversations surrounding writing is how as a tutor, I help replace that uncertainty with confidence in our writing center.

Tutor Reading Pick: “Student’s Right To Their Own Language from the Conference on College Composition and Communication.”

College campuses are places for growth, and as a member of a college campus it is vital that the campus accepts my identities in order for me to grow which is why this statement from the CCC resonates with me; college students are entitled to their identities and languages in higher academia and as a tutor I strive to encourage the navigation of identity and language through writing.

Ben Auerbach’25 (He/him)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor; Language Tutor for Spanish

Major(s): Hispanic Studies

Minor(s): N/A

Activities on campus: Bates Men’s Rowing

Tutoring Philosophy: My tutoring philosophy is to create an environment where the tutor and tutee are comfortable. I hope for power dynamics to be recognized and used for good and I hope for students to feel like they are able to express their ideas in the way they’d like to.

Tutor Reading Pick: “Should Writers Use They Own English?”, Vershawn Ashanti Young (2010). This text opened my eyes to how dialects can be used to write in English. It’s not that I didn’t think you could write in a different dialect, I just never saw it done before.

Nick Brown’25 (He/him)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: W-CAT

Major(s): History Economics

Minor(s): N/A

Activities on campus: Bates College Cross Country/Track and Field, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Tutoring Philosophy: Writing is my preferred means of communicating. Through writing, I feel empowered to express ideas and thoughts with clarity, without shortcuts. As a tutor, I want to help my peers find their own authentic voice through writing.

Tutor Reading Pick: “Tutoring the Whole Person: Supporting Emotional Development in Writers and Tutors.” By Dana Lynn Driscoll and Jennifer Wells. This piece spoke to me as it shatters the myth of separation between emotional and academic thought.

Martha Coleman’23 (She/her)

Winter 2021 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor, Language Tutor

Major(s): American Studies; French & Francophone Studies

Minor(s): Educational Studies

Activities on campus: I am a co-president of the Bates Gospelaires!

Tutoring Philosophy: My approach to peer tutoring is based in relationality; as a tutor I strive build strong relationships with the writers I support, and I work to be “accountable to those relationships” (Littletree, Belarde-Lewis, and Duarte) by bringing an encouraging and collaborative mindset to each tutoring session. Additionally, I believe that engaging in “reflection and reflexivity” (Garcia, 50) by critically examining my privilege and working to dismantle unjust systems of power, privilege and oppression, is essential to being a good peer educator. This self-reflection constantly informs both my own writing and my tutoring in the WLC.

Tutor Reading Pick: Suhr-Sytsma, Mandy, and Shan-Estelle Brown. “Theory In/To Practice: Addressing the Everyday Language of Oppression in the Writing Center.” The Writing Center Journal, vol. 31, no. 2, 2011, pp. 13–49.

I found this reading particularly impactful when I took the writing tutoring course because it presents specific examples of the important role tutors play in interrupting unjust systems and oppressive language in the writing center and in academia as a whole.

Danny Cronin’25 (He/him)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: W-CAT

Major(s): Undeclared

Minor(s): Undeclared

Activities on campus: Much of my extracurricular activity is actually in the form of my own independent activities; for instance, I take time every day to myself to either lift weights or run. This has been a big part of my keeping sane this year at college.

I’m a Dana Scholar for the class of 2025. I’m also involved at home with Save-A-Lab Rescue and Project 143 Orphan Hosting.

Tutoring Philosophy: Our intersecting identities co-create a unique lens through which we as individuals view the world. As such, I believe that all of us foster one-of-a-kind ideas that ought to be shared with the public. Writing serves as a brilliant means of doing this. The potential for identity and insight to weave itself into writing is what motivates me to ensure that those I work with feel empowered to share their genuine perspectives even while operating within the frameworks of assignment guidelines and/or rubrics.

Tutor Reading Pick: The most influential reading I came across in EDU s19 was Nina DeBoni’s “A Queer Writing Center.” DeBoni envisions a writing center that functions as an “intricately woven tapestry” of writerly identity, and this utopia is what keeps me coming to the writing center and pushing folks to speak their minds in their writing.

Caroline Davis’23 (She/her)

Winter 2021 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor

Major(s): Psychology

Minor(s): Educational Studies

Activities on campus: Merimanders A Cappella co-president, Senior Fellow for Admissions, DJ for WRBC Radio.

Tutoring Philosophy: I like to think about the writing process itself as the progressive strengthening of a cognitive schema. A schema is defined as “everything you know about something, and all of the connections among that knowledge.” Writing is all about making connections: within disciplines, across disciplines, within texts, across texts, between texts and personal experiences, and more. As a writing tutor whose job is to aid students in the learning process, my goal is to facilitate the development and strengthening of cognitive schemas to help students advance in their literacy journey.

As a native English speaker whose natural way of communicating happens to align with standard academic English, my literacy schema is limited at best. This is why I believe in meeting students where they are when it comes to language and inviting them to walk side-by-side with me through the process of becoming literate in a variety of discourses, dialects, and disciplines, building and strengthening our literacy schemas along the way.

Tutor Reading Pick: “Learning and the Brain” by Daniel Sanford. As a psychology major, this is the piece that brought it all together for me– the connections between tutoring practices, writing processes, and brain function, and the impact this can have on tutors and tutees.

Alexis Evans’24 (She/her)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor

Major(s): Sociology

Minor(s): Digital & Computational Studies

Activities on campus:

Tutoring Philosophy: My tutoring philosophy centers around encouraging people to write in a way that is natural to them. For many writers, standard academic writing can feel like a significant barrier. My goal is to provide support for students of all linguistic backgrounds to grow and develop as writers.

Tutor Reading Pick: “Should Writers Use They Own English?” by Vershawn Ashanti Young
In his article, Young provides a compelling argument for embracing diversity in academic writing.

Sacha Feldberg’24 (She/her)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: W-CAT

Major(s): Politics

Minor(s): Educational Studies

Activities on campus: Varsity Softball, Harward Center for Community Partnerships, Student Teacher at Farwell Elementary.

Tutoring Philosophy: We are all in our own stages in our writing gardens. Any student can blossom with the right amount of dedication and support. I want to help other students grow and feel confident in their voices.

Tutor Reading Pick: The most influential text that I remember reading in my EDUC 221 class was “Making Commitments to Racial Justice Actionable” by Diab et al. This reading talked about how systems of oppression in the writing center can be changed by each conversation and article that discusses it. I strive to create an open, welcoming space when I tutor.

Rachel Liazos’24 (She/her)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: W-CAT

Major(s): Politics

Minor(s): Educational Studies

Activities on campus: Varsity Softball, Harward Center for Community Partnerships, Student Teacher at Farwell Elementary.

Tutoring Philosophy: I believe tutoring is most effective when tutors and students are in conversation with each other. In order to create a safe environment to have these conversations, it is necessary to abolish any power structures and establish a mutually beneficial relationship. When working with students, I aim to have conservations that expose us to new ideas, challenge existing biases, and propel us into richer discussions. I also strive to embrace and uplift the linguistic and neurodiversity of Bates students to create a supportive learning environment that celebrates language in all its forms.

Tutor Reading Pick: “Should Writers Use They Own English” by Vershawn Ashanti Young. This piece opened my eyes to the ways in which commitment to the practices of “traditional academic writing” can silence the voices of others. As Young astutely notes, the ideas that writers have are far more important than the format in which they are presented!”

Julianne Massa’25 (She/her)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor, W-CAT

Major(s): English

Minor(s): N/A

Activities on campus: Jazz Band

Tutoring Philosophy: Academia has always tried to melt writing down into a formula. Many students see Standard Academic English as creative shackles; one voice fits all. But students shaped by different backgrounds, languages, or experiences would not have the same things to say. As a tutor I help students whose voices are typically marginalized in academia recognize that although they are tethered to certain made-up rules that cater to those in power–white, middle-class men–there is room for their voice, stemming from their unique identity. This starts with encouraging students to bring their languages and dialects into tutoring sessions, while also acknowledging my own privilege as a white, native English speaker.

Tutor Reading Pick: “Should Writers Use They Own English?” by Vershawn Ashanti Young. This text exposed me to the concept of “code-meshing,” incorporating your own unique dialects and languages into academic writing. It made me realize that Standard Academic English is often exclusionary and does not have to be the “norm.”

Avery Mathias’23 (She/her)

Winter 2021 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor, W-CAT

Major(s): Biology; Art & Visual Culture

Minor(s): Chemistry

Activities on campus: Women’s XC and Track and Field, Multifaith Chaplaincy Facilitator, Vivarium worker, Tea club secretary.

Tutoring Philosophy: As a result of my experiences as both a tutor and tutee, I strive to build a relationship with my students so that I can better understand their perspective, strengths and weaknesses, and form a strong line of communication. I hope my tutees will feel that they can confide in me so that we can establish their goals and fears about an assignment and the writing process as a whole. I will work to prioritize my tutees’ needs by meeting them where they are at in the writing process and helping them to determine their measure of success. I think that it is my job as a tutor to help students develop their own skills and academic voice rather than teach them how to write. Ultimately, I will remember that there is no correct path. No student has exactly the same needs and as a result we must cater to the goals of every individual and do our best as tutors to help them fulfill them.

Tutor Reading Pick: “Welcoming and Managing Neurodiversity in the Writing Center” by Alice Batt (2018) – I had had very little exposure to the term neurodiversity and the perspective it introduces so I found this reading to be integral in my learning process.

Aru Poleo’24 (She/her)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor, Language Tutor

Major(s): Philosophy; Politics

Minor(s): Digital & Computational Studies

Activities on campus: I’m also a Sparq mentor, love to boulder, bake, and recently I’ve started learning how to make games!

Tutoring Philosophy: I recognize the limited potential for revolutionary change within the university, but I still think we ought to try whenever possible. If any change is going to come from within the structure of the university, I believe writing centers are the space where it’s going to happen.

As a tutor, I strive to help students see the power of their writing, of embracing their linguistic diversity, of pushing back against the rigid, white supremacist structures of Standard Academic English. However, as a tutor, I also realize students will sometime need to force their writing and their voice to fit into what the academy violently pushes advocates for. I want to help my peers identify what the line between these two things is, how they can push it to its limits, and how they can take back ownership over their own writing– something I’m still struggling with myself.

Tutor Reading Pick: If I had to pick only one reading, I would pick Camarillo’s “Burn the House Down: Deconstructing the Writing Center as Cozy Home.” It gives a quick summary of the seminal piece by Bawarshi and Pelkowski “Postcolonialism and the Idea of a Writing Center,” and elaborates on how writing centers can challenge the way power operates in the university.

Cerise Stanley’25 (She/her)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: W-CAT

Major(s): Economics

Minor(s): Anthropology

Activities on campus: I am a member of the Women in Economics Club, Bates Yoga Club, and Garden Club.

Tutoring Philosophy: Writing is hard. Even the “best” writers sometimes struggle to effectively transfer their ideas onto paper. As a tutor, my objective is to guide writers as they develop their writing process, understanding that each writer possesses individual goals and needs when entering a tutoring session. There isn’t a final point where a writer cannot improve their writing, and that’s the beauty of it. My hope is for writers to leave their tutoring session motivated to write, with an appreciation for the writing process and its limitlessness.

Tutor Reading Pick: Alice Batt, “Welcoming and Managing Neurodiversity in the Writing Center.” As a neurodivergent learner myself, I understand firsthand the challenges of navigating neurotypical academic spaces; making sure neurodivergent writers feel comfortable and accommodated in the writing center is crucial to facilitating a productive tutoring session.”

Amanda Taylor’23 (She/her)

Winter 2021 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor

Major(s): Psychology

Minor(s): Rhetoric, Film & Screen Studies

Activities on campus: Varsity Softball, Tour Guide, Statistician for fall sports.

Tutoring Philosophy: When I was younger I was taught that practice makes permanent; there is no perfect persay, but there are processes and steps that you can take to better yourself and reinforce your skills. This holds true in the writing and tutoring process: there is no “perfect,” no matter what stage of writing you’re at or what kind of writing you’re engaging with, but you can improve and develop your skill set. Writing is a process – and besides turning an assignment in – there is no end to your growth as a writer. Subscribing to and appreciating the process and the practice of writing rather than the product is something I prioritize as a writer and a tutor.

Tutor Reading Pick: “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan is a heartfelt and personal piece that offered a perspective to me for considering multilingualism and different identities when I tutor. Standard Academic English can be a hindrance so it is important to adapt and cater tutoring sessions to the tutees’ preferences.

Joaquin Torres’25 (They/them)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor

Major(s): Neuroscience; Theater

Minor(s): Digital & Computational Studies

Activities on campus: Orange Whip (Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Team), Robinson Players.

Tutoring Philosophy: The WLC is a safe space, a brave space, and a marketplace of ideas. Here, I and everyone I work with welcome and encourage diverse perspectives, linguistic identities, and backgrounds. Mutual respect and collaboration are the things I value the most when working with students in exploring their ideas and writing.

Tutor Reading Pick: Bawarshi and Pelkowski’s “Postcolonialism and the Idea of a Writing Center” explains the colonialist nature of Writing Centers and strongly urges for them to recognize and value linguistic diversity as well as critically discuss the power dynamics involved.

Star Yang’24 (She/her)

Spring 2022 Writing Fellow Cohort

Current Role(s) @ WLC: Writing Tutor, Language Tutor

Major(s): Psychology

Minor(s): Educational Studies

Activities on campus:

Tutoring Philosophy: I believe that tutoring should be about creating a retrospective experience for the tutees, helping them step out of the work and take a look and ask questions that will help them think back on their choices and thoughts during the writing process. I think it’s also about giving the pen back to the writers themselves, making sure that they are the ones who are steering the ship and making the important decisions, and I’m happy to sail along and give suggestions. Growing up bilingual, I also believe that one’s cultural language background should not be sacrificed for Standard Academic English. I’ll always encourage my tutees to allow their personal color and characteristics to show in their own writings. Last but not least, writing should not just be about the assignment, it’s also our way of drawing out what is going on in our mind, it’s a bridge, a connection.

Tutor Reading Pick: “I spent a great deal of time thinking about the power of language–the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth.” Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”.