Rhetoric and Composition

Meet the Writing Associates

Meet the Writing Associates

Welcome, from the Writing Associates of Oberlin College!

Here you will find bios from all of the Writing Associates at Oberlin College. Read on to learn a little more about them and what they enjoy doing at Oberlin outside of their classes.

Writing Center Writing Associates

Take a look at the bios from our Writing Center Writing Associates (WCWAs)! New to the Writing Associates Program this fall, they are really excited to be working with students in Writing Center, who can drop-in with any piece of writing, from any discipline, at any stage in the writing process.

Maddi Kimball
Hometown: Discovery Bay, CA

Maddi is a member of the Oberlin women’s soccer team, and the ads manager for The Oberlin Review. When she’s not on the field or in the basement of Burton, she’s probably at the Local, or any place that has a good cup of joe to keep her running smoothly. Her hobbies include talking about her dog, and showing you picture after picture of his adorable face. Lately, she’s thought about picking up a new hobby – if you have any ideas, let her know.

Andrew MacPhail
Hometown: Denver, CO

Andrew is a Denver native who misses the mountains but has grown fond of small-town Ohio. When he drove out to college, he had to choose between bringing his books or his mountain bike. He only regrets this choice during move in day when he has to haul his boxes full of books to his third floor dorm. In his time outside the classroom and the Science Library, Andrew enjoys performing with the Obertones, loudly celebrating Broncos touchdowns, and practicing the violin. If you come across any decent skiing in Ohio, please let him know.

Caracol Haley
Hometown: Seattle, WA

Caracol is a self proclaimed “attention lover” who can often be found on the stage of the ‘sco. When she is not at the ‘sco or the Writing Center, she is probably out on a run or dancing in the safety of her own bedroom. She majors in Comparative American Studies and Sociology, and also has experience with English essays, but is willing to help with any writing. Lastly, Caracol’s new favorite hobby has been coloring in her Moana coloring book.

Jake Berstein
Hometown: Newton, MA

Jake is a fourth-year Politics major with minors in Rhetoric and Composition and Studio Art. When he’s not writing short descriptions about himself, he splits his time working in the ‘Sco and as the Features editor for the Grape. Although he hails from outside of Boston, he loves the desert and cacti. Ask him about houseplants!

Jad Kaiss
Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon

Jad is a junior from Beirut, Lebanon majoring in Theatre and Economics. He is enjoying the ~Oberlin experience~ by living in South Hall, playing club soccer, and being a PAL Coordinator. You can catch him procrastinating in Wilder Bowl all the time.

Clara Margaret Flood
Hometown: Cedarburg, WI & Oberlin, OH

ClaraMargaret is a Geology major, horseback rider, dog and cat lover (no, she refuses to pick between them), aspiring photographer, violinist, reader, and writer. She’s trained her cat to do tricks (such as lie-down, roll-over, speak, and many more) and thinks that if Geology doesn’t work out for her, she might have a career as a cat whisperer (but she really hopes she’ll find a path in Geology). And speaking of cats, one of her favorite pastimes is curling up on a couch with a cat in her lap, a good book in her hands, and the sound of rain pattering away against the window. Unlike many of her peers, she cannot stomach coffee and thinks the only way it should be consumed is a scant tablespoon of coffee drowned in a cup of milk and several generous heaping tablespoons of chocolate syrup.

Carrie Klein
Hometown: Madison, NJ

Carrie is an English and Environmental Studies major with a minor in Creative Writing. Her current favorite spice is cinnamon. She enjoys checking her mailbox optimistically every few days and finding new places to do readings that make them seem exciting. In her free time, she can be found cooking for her co-op, playing frisbee, or hoping that it will be Spring soon. This semester, she hopes to find a nice pair of rain boots at the Free Store.

Chloe Deshusses
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC

Chloe is a fourth-year Biology major with Chemistry and Rhetoric and Composition minors (the perfect balance of biology, chemistry, and writing!), with a specific interest in epigenetics and molecular biology. When she’s not hanging out in Love Lounge, you can find her in the kitchen in French House or the chemistry stockroom. She likes pineapple on pizza, squirrels (but hasn’t seen a live albino squirrel in 3 years at Oberlin!), and reading. She’s often guilty of using internet-speak irl and spends too much time thinking about the influence of memes in everyday communication.

Barbara Turnbull
Hometown: Burlington, VT

Barbara is a second-year Chemistry and Politics major from Vermont with a love for all kinds of writing. At Oberlin, you can find her cooking in the co-op or “studying” in the science library. Her three needs are coffee, clogs, and tofu. Bring your roughest of drafts, and come chat with Barbara about writing, veganism, or classical music!

Peri Leavitt
Hometown: Narberth, PA

The two words that come closest to encapsulating Peri’s essence are “camp counselor.” When not goofing around the backwoods of Pennsylvania, she can be found goofing around on Oberlin’s campus–giving tours, practicing in the con (less often than she should), or attempting to befriend professors in their office hours. While music and English are her primary academic fields, she is happy to look at and learn about work from any discipline, as she secretly wishes she could have fourteen additional majors.

India Wood
Hometown: Winchester, MA

India is a Winchester, MA native and a third-year Psychology major with an Education concentration. When she’s not hanging out in the Writing Center, you might find her facilitating PRSM workshops, doing tours and interviews for the admissions office, eating in Pyle Coop, hanging out in the Oberlin HIV Peer Testing office, or volunteering as a sex educator for pre-teens with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in town. In her free time, India loves going on hikes, putting hot sauce on her coop beans and vegetables, taking inappropriately long naps, and talking about the majesty of bears.

Rehaan Bux
Hometown: St. Charles, IL

Rehaan Bux is from St. Charles, Illinois. He is a likely Biology major and Chemistry minor, with a love of music and writing. He is always seeking ways to improve his own writing, and he loves to help others improve their writing as well. Outside of the classroom, Rehaan is an avid reader, and enjoys other activities such as drawing, playing video games, and playing tennis.

Simon Beer
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Simon does not like chocolate or baseball. Do not try to discuss chocolate or baseball with him. Simon’s favorite hobby is home brewing, mostly because it seems important to honor his last name. Daniel Day-Lewis and Simon Beer are both Irish Jews. Simon describes himself as a “human-sized shrimp.”

Austin Feuer
Hometown: Fort Collins, CO

Austin is a third-year from Fort Collins, Colorado, and he studies English and Politics. When he’s not in class, he works as a Resident Assistant, Writing Associate, Ninde Scholar tutor, and as a TA and English Department rep. He is a triplet, which is a funnish fact that he can always rely on when enduring the myriad ice breaker activities that Oberlin offers. When he decided to matriculate at Oberlin, he simultaneously committed to four years in the assumedly uneventful rural Midwest, but really there is always plenty happening on campus for him–lounging with a book in Slow Train or playing Settlers of Catan with a few buddies are two choice favorites. He can’t wait to meet all of you—here’s to a great semester!

Zoe Swann
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Zoe was born weighing less than two pounds and expected not to live a month. At that time, no identical twins had ever survived the pregnancy complication her sister and her had experienced. They were born without developed lungs in constant danger of brain damage. Their lives were saved by Dr. Mike Foley, a perinatologist whose love of life and scientific ingenuity enabled us to exceed all statistical expectations. Years later, Dr. Foley gave Zoe the humbling opportunity to study with him in his obstetrics department, leading to many medical internships. Now she wants to save lives as a Navy doctor, by emulating Dr. Foley’s love of life and applying similar scientific ingenuity. She has found equally great freedom and structure in writing in science. Outside the OR and classroom, you can find me translating poetry and music from several languages, playing Viking Chess, ballroom dancing, or composing my own lyrics styled after 1920s pop.

Gabi Shiner
Hometown: Newton, MA

Gabi is a third-year English major and Creative Writing minor from Newton, Massachusetts. Her favorite things to write are English essays, weird short stories, and cultural analyses. She loves to deconstruct TV to anyone who is lucky enough to get her started on what she thought of Season 3 of Bojack Horseman or Jim and Pam’s storyline pre-season 4. She also likes to listen to pop music on her headphones really loudly while walking around campus with a straight face, just to add a little mischief to her day. Outside of the writing center, Gabi co-directs Primitive Streak (Oberlin’s oldest improv group), participates in theater, plays a little music here and there, and embroiders.

Ryanne Berry
Hometown: Jamesburg, NJ

Ryanne Berry is a fourth-year pursuing an English and Religion major and a Politics minor. In addition to working as a Writing Associate, Ryanne has worked at The Oberlin Review and the Faculty-Student Partnership program. She spends most of her time in Mudd, but when she’s not there you can probably find her cooking in her apartment.

Victorie Albacete
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

An English & Biology major with a Hispanic Studies minor, Victoria enjoys working with writing in both Spanish & English, especially in the brainstorming stage of the process. In addition to her work as a WA, Victoria is one of the Editors-in-Chief for both The Synapse and the Plum Creek Review, as well as the Production Manager for The Oberlin Review. She’s also worked at DeCafé since her first semester at Oberlin (stop by and say hi sometime!). Outside of work, Victoria loves dancing with Movimiento, planning future travels through her family’s native Argentina, and checking out stacks and stacks of books from the OPL. She’d be thrilled to talk with you about Harry Potter (Hufflepuff 4 life!), the essential nature of the Oxford comma, the crazy weird evolution of the English language, and why you should always use a kettle to heat water for tea.

Course Writing Associates

Peruse the bios of our Course Writing Associates (CWAs) as you wish – we promise you’ll get to know them a bit better. As CWAs, these students work directly with one course for an entire semester to help students negotiate the learning of writing alongside the learning of course content. Trained in writing pedagogy and equipped with knowledge of the specific course’s content and assignment goals, CWAs are able to offer their students specialized guidance and serve as an accessible peer-resource throughout the semester.

Lucas Brecher
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
First Year Seminar Program (FYSP) 093: Disability

Lucas is from Los Angeles, but don’t hold it against him. In his spare time he enjoys needlepointing, programming computer music, and staycations. He spends most of his time with his dog Homer and would love to show you a picture of him. Favorite prospective emo band names include Post-You, Malcom and the Middle, and I Wish God Were Alive to See This.

Emily Peterson
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
ESOL140: Expository Writing for ESOL

Emily is a third-year English and Environmental Studies major. Although originally from Chicago, she calls Ann Arbor, Michigan her hometown now. Aside from being a fan of the Midwest, Emily enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, cooking in a co-op, playing the double seconds in Oberlin’s steel pan band OSteel, and writing about books.

Julie Schreiber
Hometown: Montclair, NJ
FYSP 116: The Vermillion River Watershed

Julie is a little bit worried that she may never sleep this semester, but that may be the price she’s willing to pay for her busiest-yet-most-promising year yet at Oberlin. She originates from Montclair, New Jersey, the best alternative to actually living in New York City, and enjoys studying political science, playing field hockey, working at the ‘Sco, and writing for The Oberlin Review. If you’re ever looking for her, there’s an 85% chance she’s in Slow Train, drinking cold brew and writing a really long email to her parents. She just returned from eleven weeks at her beloved summer sleep away camp and is still adjusting back to life in modern society, and she is so excited to be a Course Writing Associate this semester!

Gwennie Gardiner
Hometown: San Diego, CA
History Department

An English and History double major with a minor in Comparative American Studies, Gwennie has a particular fondness for puppies and coffee. When she’s not working as a History Writing Associate, you can find Gwennie copy-editing at the Review, playing on the soccer team, or running on the track team. Overall, Gwennie is excited to continue to help grow the History Writing Associate Program this fall.

Bri Di Monda
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA
RHET100: Academic Writing for the American Classroom

Bri is a fourth year comparative literature and French major who has spent her Oberlin years head cooking pizza night in Tank, working for Donor Relations, and occasionally writing for The Oberlin Review. In warmer months she can be found either bike riding with friends or sitting in the arb on floaties, while in the winter she stays under blankets in her room or wears fur coats to go outside.

Luke Fortney
Hometown: Orange County, CA
FYSP124: Work and Its Opposites

Luke began his editorial career two years ago—on the day same day his career as a writer ended. After being rejected from Oberlin College’s Creative Writing program three consecutive times, he turned to copy editing with The Grape newspaper and has since been promoted to managing editor. Although feature stories are his specialty, he enjoys reading (and editing) news, op-eds and satire. In the past year, he has developed a more healthy relationship with feedback and can now cook dinner for friends without having to qualify that “it’s missing something.” His culinary interests extend to the fridge, where he stores his own homemade salsa, pickled jalapeños and an extensive collection of hot sauces.

Juna Keehn
Hometown: New Paltz, NY
History Department

Juna is a third year History major who never knows if the H in History should be capitalized or not, but would love to help with other grammatical/writing questions that are not quite so tricky. At Oberlin she is a member of Oberlin Students in Solidarity with Guatemala and the pottery co-op, and she eats in Tank. She likes card games and singing with people who have better voices than she does. Also, if you every want to play pick up basketball, she does too!

Morgan Stein
Hometown: Mamaroneck, NY
FYSP143: Deconstructing Technology

Morgan is a fourth year Biology and Environmental Studies double major, who is usually walking quickly and drinking coffee. She likes growing vegetables, rock climbing, pasta, and Modest Mouse (which is kind of embarrassing). She dreams of moving to Alaska and living in her truck.

Kameron Dunbar
Hometown: Detroit, MI
POLT120: Introduction to International Politics

Kameron is a third-year Politics major who is sick of hearing himself talk, so he became a Writing Associate to read other people’s thoughts and opinions. You might catch him in Mudd working on a Policy Memo, trying to think of something fresh for his column “Kam’s Korner” in The Grape, or vigorously typing a response to his HuffPost editor. If it’s too early to be awake, you might find him in the Admissions Office giving interviews to prospective Obies or doing other things that interns do. Kam loves Faygo (hates Lacroix) and suggests that you Google it if you’re unfamiliar–it’s a staple in his hometown Detroit.

Brian Cabral
Hometown: Chicago, IL
FYSP076: Privileged and Marginalized

Brian is a fourth-year Sociology major and Rhetoric and Composition minor from the Southwest side of Chicago. He enjoys doing research through the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and assists professors in their research agendas. Outside of academics, Brian spends his time working at the student employment office, serving as co-chair of La Alianza Latinx, and playing rugby. Brian loves to engage in interdisciplinary work, so you can feel free to come talk with him about your writing in whichever discipline you are a part of.

Matana Maron
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
FYSP025: Marie Curie’s Legacy

Matana is a student at Oberlin who is double majoring in English and computer science. She eats in the Kosher-Halal Co-op and does improv with the troupe Neurotic Fiction. She also has a pet mouse named blue.

Jack Graddis
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
BIOL320: Invertebrate Biology

Jack is a third-year Biology major and Rhetoric minor with a love of music and plants. He is from Los Angeles, but much prefers wetter, greener climes. He does not have a dog, but wishes he did.

Rebecca Klein
Hometown: New York
RHET105: Writing to Learn & Participate

Rebecca is a double-degree Guitar Performance and Creative Writing major. Originally from New York, she moved to the Midwest for high school and hasn’t gone back to the East Coast since. Besides her work as a CWA, Rebecca has worked for Oberlin’s Disability Resources as a Student Accessibility Advocate. When Rebecca isn’t in the practice room, she likes to read National Geographic, drink coffee, and imagine she’s surrounded by mountains instead of cornfields.

Lulu Scherman
Hometown: Nyack, NY
PACE220: Arts Behind Bars

Lulu is a third-year English major with a minor in French and Rhetoric. She is named after the state of Louisiana, but is from a small town in New York. She loves the following: milk, pottery, paperback books. She rarely leaves Slow Train.

Sydney Allen
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
FYSP152: Be An Intellectual

Sydney is a third-year English and History major. Her passion is journalism, and when she isn’t helping students as a Writing Associate, you can find her in the Burton Basement working as News Editor of The Oberlin Review. She is obsessed with the Review and will talk about it any time someone gives her the chance, much to the chagrin of her roommate and friends. Her goal is to end the 20-year feud between the Review and the Grape, but unfortunately, the Grape might be a bit too immature and disorganized for that… She is also a defender on the women’s lacrosse team. She loves defense because, although offenders get all the glory and stats, defense is way more satisfying — who wouldn’t want to stop Kenyon from getting any points?! She loves challenging herself and putting herself in situations she is ridiculously unqualified for, like signing up for an 11 mile “Tough Mudder” obstacle course or agreeing to go on a 12 hour, overnight, rucksacking hike.

Faith Shaeffer
Hometown: Hastings on Hudson, NY
RHET303: Writing About Travel

Faith loves winter, and all cold-weather related things. When she isn’t curled up in Mudd with a big blanket scarf she can be found hopping between the Art Library and the frisbee fields with a cup of Earl Grey tea and a few pairs of wool socks on. She loves to read both fiction and nonfiction and is constantly seeking the perfect method to balance her reading list with her schedule. She is very open to suggestions for how to achieve this.

Natina Gilbert
Hometown: Portland, OR
ENGL299: Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature

Natina is a fourth-year English and East Asian Studies double major.  Hailing from Portland, Oregon, the veritable coffee mecca of the United States (sorry Seattle!), she spends too much time at The Local drafting essays.  She primarily works with courses in the English department and has a soft spot for Elizabeth Bishop.

Otto Vock
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
RHET102: Writing for College and Beyond

Otto is a gender non-binary poet from Jersey City, New Jersey who’s become extremely passionate about writing education and helping other realize the writer inside of them. They’re studying Environmental Studies, English, Creative Writing and Education. When they aren’t cursing themself for the amount of heavy reading those disciplines entail they are writing and performing poetry, cooking in a co-op, thinking about the gender dynamics in the Overwatch community and lore amidst immensely long gaming sessions, and playing guitar.

Frances Purcell
Hometown: Boulder, CO
PSYC430: The Psychology of Social Conflict

Frances Purcell is a fourth-year Religion major and Dance minor, who also loves studying Classics, Psychology, and Rhetoric. Outside of the classroom and Writing Associate Program, Frances directs ViBE Tap Dance Company, teaches the Beginning Tap ExCo, teaches dance to kiddos in town, and works in the Conservatory Library. Her strengths include climbing mountains, passionate discussions about Lord of the Rings, and memorable exits involving moonwalking. Her weaknesses include shadow puppetry, hulahooping, and eating a few too many biscuits from Slow Train. Frances prefers she/her/hers pronouns and would love to meet you (preferably over biscuits).

Olivia Pandolfi
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
ESOL130: English for Speakers of Other Languages

Olivia is a co-editor-in-chief for Wilder Voice, works for SWAP: the Oberlin Book Coop’s management team, and sings. You might find her counting the Student Union’s $$ as a bookkeeper, reading Harper’s monthly, downloading more podcasts than she can keep up with, or re-watching West Wing (again). Come to Olivia with questions about post-colonial literature, Nicaraguan poets, or the recipe for the best lentil soup you’ll ever eat. (She’ll also work on your writing with you, including research papers, analytical essays, poems, resumes, and dramatic confessions of love and/or hate.)

Sadie Gelman
Hometown: Northbrook, IL
Art History Department

Sadie is an art historian, artist, and lover of ramen and naps.

Colin Sanborn
Hometown: Northampton, MA
Art History Department

Colin has bounced from state to state throughout his life, but currently calls Massachusetts home. He is an Art History major with a particular fondness for the Baroque period and a deep appreciation for writing in general. He also loves the Mountain Goats, Batman comics, and the supernatural/paranormal, and would be happy to hold forth on any or all of the above.

Eliza Guinn
Art History Department

Eliza is a fourth-year who is excited to be working both as a Writing Associate and a copy editor for The Oberlin Review. She’s also the co-chair of the Student Labor Action Coalition, and spends her free time reading science fiction and talking about science fiction. She spent the summer studying French in Provence and seems to think that this has turned her into a wine expert.