Meet the Fellows
Writing fellows are a select group of graduate students recommended by their departments for their demonstrated mastery of writing in their disciplines and their aptitude for peer review. In ongoing training with the GSWC Director, fellows develop an understanding of writing in the disciplines, theories of tutoring, and working with international graduate students, among other topics.
Learn more about the work our fellows do in this feature article, "Meet the Writing Center Fellows."
Director: Linda Macri
Oral Communication Fellows
|Sarah Aghazadeh (Communication)||Victoria Ledford (Communication)|
Linda Macri, Ph.D. (Director)
Dr. Macri is the Director of Academic and Professional Development in the Graduate School and has directed the Graduate School Writing Center since 2014. From 2005-2013, she served as the director of the Academic Writing Program in the English Department. Her interests are in composition studies and rhetorical theory, graphic novels and comic studies, and women’s literature. She has taught a range of courses from "English 101" to "Writing for Non-Profits" to "The Rhetoric of Fiction." She currently serves as a co-chair of the Consortium on Graduate Communication. According to Dr. Macri, directing the Graduate School Writing Center is "the best job on campus because everyday I get to learn about the amazing research that our passionate, committed graduate students are engaged in."
Diana is a doctoral student in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science program. She has studied social interactions in various research settings using a variety of methods, ranging from behavioral observation to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). As an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, where she earned a BA in Psychology with a minor in Philosphy, she analyzed face-to-face interactions between adolescents and their mothers, and between therapists and their clients. Currently, she works with Dr. Elizabeth Redcay to study the behaviors, cognitive abilities, and brain systems that support interactions among children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Diana previously tutored at the Undergraduate Writing Center and is excited to once again help others translate their thoughts into clear and effective writing.
Natasha is a Doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. Her research interests include race & migration, immigrant and transnational families, and gender and work. She is the co-author of ”Migration Matters: Mobility in a Globalizing World” published by the Oxford University Press in 2016. Natasha has a Master’s in International Development from the London School of Economics, UK and a BA in Economics from Fergusson College, India. She has worked in migration research and policy advocacy for the Government of India, the International Labor Organisation (ILO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). In her free time, Natasha likes to practice yoga, bike, run, cook, read, and constantly update her list of '100 best books'.
Natalie Crnosija is a doctoral student in the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health. Her research interests include spatial epidemiology, land use, and air pollution monitoring. Natalie has a Master of Public Health degree from Stony Brook University, where she first worked as a writing tutor. When not at work, she likes to read, cook, watch films and hike.
Mary is a doctoral candidate in the department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology in the College of Education. She earned her BA in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Science and a certificate in Writing from Wesleyan University. Mary’s research focuses on how children learn math through play and games, and how social interactions during play can facilitate math learning in early childhood. She has experience as a graduate research assistant and teaching assistant for EDHD courses. Outside of academics, Mary enjoys baking and reading, as well as spending time with her friends at local cat cafes. On campus, she is also a Catholic Terp and a member of the Terrapin Tap Troupe.
Courtney is a doctoral student in the Minority and Urban Education program in the College of Education. She is a member of the Society of McNair Fellows and earned an M.A. in Special Education from The George Washington University. Her life's work has focused on building partnerships with resilient Black youth through education, advocacy, and workforce development. Courtney's research investigates unschooling, homeschooling and other forms of self-directed education as current and historical forms of Black fugitivity and refusal. Her work illuminates the liberatory education practices and decolonized parenting strategies engaged by Black families to help facilitate their children's autonomy, agency, and freedom. Beyond her academic pursuits, Courtney enjoys long walks, murder mysteries, and supporting families as a birth worker.
Kelsey is a doctoral student in Electrical Engineering with undergraduate degrees in EE and Physiology and Biology from the University of Connecticut. She studies auditory neuroscience, or how the brain processes sounds, using a combination of experimental and computational approaches.
Jordan is a doctoral student in Theatre and Performance Studies. Jordan's research interests are in black theatre and performance, black feminist theories and praxis, musical theatre, black girlhood studies, and popular entertainment. As such, Jordan's dissertation project is centered on black women in musical theatre in the nineteenth- and twentieth centuries. Her work has been published in Theatre Journal. A publicly engaged scholar, Jordan is also the co-host and co-producer of Daughters of Lorraine, a podcast on black theatre from a black feminist lens, which is supported by HowlRound Theatre Commons. Jordan is a playwright and dramaturg, whose work centers upon the lives of black girls and women. When not working, Jordan loves reading, listening to podcasts, tweeting, and watching reality television (currently Survivor!)
Hailey Gibbs is a doctoral candidate in the Human Development and Quantitative Methodology program in the College of Education. Her research primarily examines children’s question-asking, their exploratory behaviors, and the understanding of the relation between evidence and knowledge-building. She earned her BA in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy from Salisbury University in 2016 and joined the HDQM department to study with Dr. Lucas Payne Butler that Fall. She has experience as a teaching assistant in several different EDHD courses, including "Child Growth and Development," "Adolescent Development," and "Learning How to Learn,” and currently works full time as the lab manager for the Cognition and Development Lab. Hailey also writes and edits thought pieces for Medium, and has published on the journalistic platform, the Conversation. When not working, Hailey is probably reading, playing music, or looking for a new hiking spot. Learn more about her work on her website.
Teodora Kljaic is a doctoral student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in the College of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. She earned her BA in Biochemistry and Neuroscience at a liberal arts institution - Grinnell College. At Grinnell, her love for writing started in courses of film analysis, philosphy and anthropology. She continued her education at UMD where she earned a MS in Chemistry doing research which combined carbohydrate chemistry, peptide chemistry, glycobiology and enzymology. Her PhD research focuses on analytical method development for kinetic isotope effects on enzymes involved in or responsible for various bacterial infections. She has been a TA or tutor for Biochemistry, General and Organic Chemistry classes. Throughout the years, she was sought me out to help people edit their school essays, Master’s theses, and applications to post-baccalaureate, graduate school and medical school programs. Outside of academics, Teodora enjoys reading, running and dancing to Afro-Latin and Caribbean music.
Kristina Kramarczuk is a doctoral student in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership in the College of Education and is currently working as a research assistant for the Maryland Center for Women in Computing in the Computer Science Department. Her scholarship primarily focuses on studying access and opportunity for underrepresented students in science and science identity development. She has a Bachelor's of Science in Microbiology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (2016) and a Master's in Education and Social Change from the University of Miami (2018). During her professional career, she has served as a high school chemistry teacher in Miami, Florida, a computer science teacher for high school girls across the country, and a teaching assitant for a "Digital Learning" course through the College of Education. In her free time, Kristina likes to play competitive soccer, spend time with friends, and read new books.
Clark is a PhD candidate in Behavioral and Community Health. Outside of school, Clark consults professionally in the fields of public health, traffic safety, and emergency preparedness. A lawyer and public health professional by training, Clark's research interests focus on the use of legal and public policy interventions to address public health and safety issues related to societal sleepiness and fatigue. Clark is a former Notes and Comments editor for the Journal of Health Care Law and Policy and is currently a reviewer for several research journals in the areas of public health, sleep and circadian science, and traffic safety. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia and is certified in public health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.
Briana is a doctoral student in the College of Education. She earned her M.S.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Social & Economic Justice from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She works full-time as a program coordinator in the Clark School of Engineering. Her research interests include underrepresented students in STEM, transfer pathways, and minority serving institutions. Briana fills her free time with live music, old movies and travelling. On any given weekend you can find her sitting crisscross applesauce with a good book or putting miles on her car with the windows down.
Alex Breslawec Peterson is a PhD candidate in Biochemistry, researching the mechanism and specificity of biofilm-degrading enzymes under the guidance of Dr. Myles Poulin. She graduated from Georgetown University with a BS with honors in Biochemistry and a minor in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a security focus. Alex is currently serving as a vice president of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student Organization. Outside of her studies, Alex enjoys traveling, trying out new restaurants in Washington DC, and cuddling with her cat, Boots.
Heather is a doctoral student in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science program, working with Dr. Matthew Roesch. Before coming to UMD, she earned her BA in Psychology from St. Mary's College of Maryland and was a research assistant at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University. Her research seeks to understand what parts of the brain are involved in choice and decision-making, and how the functions of these brain regions are affected by psychiatric conditions, aging, and drug addiction. Outside of school, Heather enjoys watching horror movies, reading comics, and drawing.
Ahana Mallick is a doctoral student in the Biological Sciences Graduate Program in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. She completed her Bachelor's of Science in Microbiology from the University of Calcutta (2016) where she also studied the effect of plant extracts on gastric adenocarcinoma cells. During her Master’s of Science in Chemical and Molecular Biology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (2018), she was involved in developing reagents to aid in T-cell diagnostics and therapeutics. At UMD, her research is aimed at understanding how serotonin modulates olfaction in the fruit fly (Drosophila). She is also actively engaged in mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students as part of her TA appointment in various courses. In her free time she can be found exploring the city, painting or trying out new recipes in the kitchen.
Upamanyu is a doctoral candidate in Mechanical Engineering with his research focused primarily on multi-scale mechanistic simulations of cellulose. His research is very interdisciplinary and broadly falls in the interface of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Besides, he also has training in experimental techniques such as nanofabrication, Atomic Force Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, tensile and ballistic tests. Before starting his Ph.D., Upamanyu received his MS in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University. Throughout his graduate career, he has been a TA and lab instructor for various courses such as Engineering Mechanics and Heat Transfer. Upamanyu enjoys collaboration and has already published in journals such as Nature, Small Methods, Advanced Functional Materials, ACS Nano, Materials Today, Chemical Physics Letters and Applied Physics Letters. He has experience of writing a review paper published in Advanced Materials as a current progress report and a book chapter for Nanotechnology series to be published by Springer. When not doing research, Upamanyu enjoys reading, listening to music, attending concerts and hiking.
Chandra Reyna (Sociology)
Chandra Reyna is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, a former McNair Scholar, and a National Science Foundation Fellow. Her scholarship broadly tries to understand how macro-level social processes affect day to day interactions at the intersection of race, gender, and family. Her previous research examines institutional responses to social and racial justice work taking place on predominantly white college campuses. Her current projects explore racial identity and racialization in Latinx and multiracial families. In her free time, Chandra can be found watching medical dramas, singing along to Beyoncé, or sitting outside soaking up the sun.
Victoria Scrimer (Theatre and Performance Studies)
Victoria earned her MA in English Literature at Catholic University and is now a doctoral candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies where she has taught Text & Context in Western Theatre and the Art of Public Speaking. Victoria is a practicing dramaturg and, in a past life, she worked as a fundraiser and technical writer for several non-profit organizations including the YMCA and Greenpeace. Prior to returning to graduate studies in 2014, Victoria served as an Americorps volunteer, providing literacy training in DC public schools. Victoria’s research interests are in 20th and 21st century dramatic theory and activist performance. She is currently working on her dissertation, “Beyond Resistance: Performing Protest in a Postdramatic Age.”
Sarah Aghazadeh (Communication)
Sarah Aghazadeh is a doctoral candidate in the Department of the Communication at the University of Maryland. She earned a B.S. in public relations and an M.A. in interdisciplinary studies from San José State University. Sarah currently teaches public relations courses and assists her advisor with research for health literacy promotion and chronic disease prevention. Prior to seeking a Ph.D., Sarah coached fitness classes and weightlifting, which expanded her research interests to include various health communication and health advocacy topics.
Victoria Ledford (Communication)
Victoria Ledford is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication. With both her BA and MA in Communication from Marshall University, Victoria came to UMD to pursue research in health communication. Victoria’s research examines how stigma influences behavior and how persuasive health campaigns can be used to motivate positive behavioral changes. She also works with the Department of Communication’s Center for Health and Risk Communication. Victoria has taught public speaking, argumentation, and research methods courses for the department. She is passionate about teaching and public speaking, as a former student and coach on her college’s speech and debate team. When she’s not teaching, coaching, or doing something academic, you can probably find her lifting weights, scrapbooking, or hosting a Zoom game night.