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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."

Linda Macri, Ph.D. (Director)

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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." A native New Yorker, she lives in Washington, DC, with her three girls, all of whom excel at argumentation.


Sam Allen (Public Health) 

Though known primarily for his appearance on The Price is Right, Sam is a third-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Family Science. He holds a clinical masters degree in Couples and Family Therapy from The University of Maryland, wherein his master's thesis explored the emotional wellbeing of mothers of transgender and gender nonconforming children. Sam's research interests broadly include queer families, racial minority families, and the intersection of the two. Outside of school, Sam works part-time in a private practice as a licensed couple and family therapist, and enjoys teaching yoga classes throughout the DC metro area. In his spare time, Sam enjoys utilizing his experience in culinary school to cook for himself and loved ones, watching documentaries, and making people laugh.


Karen Boyd (iSchool)

Karen studies values and ethics in design and organizations as a doctoral student in the College of Information Studies, and has a particular interest in research methods. She holds an MBA from the Rady School of Management at UCSD and few years of experience in marketing and start-up consulting. She's taught classes and tutored students from 16 to 50 years old in various high-stakes exams and essays for over 3 years, and especially enjoys helping students find their voice in a new language. In her free time, she enjoys swing dancing, craft beer, painting, and 50 or so of the best podcasts known to humanity.


Nina Daoud (Education)

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Nina is a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education. Her research primarily addresses three main areas: (1) college access and affordability; (2) the college choice process of underrepresented students; and (3) the experiences of Black immigrants in the US higher education system. Prior to beginning her doctoral work, Nina received her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her undergraduate degree from Cornell University.


 Norrell Edwards (English)

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Norrell is a doctoral student English literature, specializing in 20th century African American and Francophone literature at UMD. In May 2013, she graduated from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College with a BA in English literature, language, and criticism. Norrell has been tutoring since her time at Hunter College and has developed a long standing passion for learning the writing process by helping others.

Nathanial Gailey-Schiltz (Ethnomusicology)

Nate is a PhD student in Ethnomusicology. His research interests include Japanese traditional and popular musics, the negotiation of masculinity in popular musics, music publishing and notation, and censorship issues.  His MA thesis work focused on popular Japanese music documents housed in Maryland’s Gordon W. Prange Collection.  Prior to coming to Maryland, he completed a BA in Music at Grinnell College in Iowa.

Nabila Hijazi (English)

Nabila is a doctoral student majoring in English Language and Literature with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition. She teaches for the English and Journalism departments. She has been teaching classes in academic writing, writing center theory and practice, and grammar. Twice, she won first place in the "Graduate Research Interaction Day," under the category, "Exploring Identities and Their Expressions." Prior to joining the Graduate School Writing Center, she served as one of the assistant directors for the Undergraduate Writing Center. She continues her research in second language writing and intercultural communication while promoting bilingual education and heritage language maintenance.

Will Howell (Communication)

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William Howell graduated from Macalester College in 2008 with a BA in political science. Since 2008, he has spearheaded outreach and engagement efforts for political campaigns and advocacy efforts in Minnesota and Oregon. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication with a focus on rhetoric and political culture; he seeks to understand how entertainment sources impact US citizens’ political participation, political identity, and perceptions of political issues and actors.

Raino Isto (Art History and Archaeology)


Raino is a doctoral student in modern and contemporary Southeastern European art, working with Professor Mansbach. His research interests include theories and practices of socialist realism (especially those developed in countries ‘peripheral’ to the Moscow center); the relationship between history and memory in communist-era monumental sculpture in the Balkans; animal studies and the spectacle of animal labor in late 19th-century and early 20th-century academic art and mass culture; the rhetoric of the body in mid- to late-20th-century science fiction, fantasy, and sword & sorcery cover illustration; and the intersections and conflicts of postcolonial theory, post-socialist interpretive frameworks, and object-oriented ontology.

Fiona Jardine (iSchool)

Fiona Jardine is a doctoral student at the iSchool, having recently completed a Master of Library Science with a specialization in Information and Diverse Populations. As the Historian (and past President and Vice-President) of student group, iDiversity, she gets to work with amazing students on diversity projects related to information issues and then write about it. Fiona is originally from (the old) York in the north of England, but moved to America in 2008. She is a fairly decent knitter, needle felter, and seamstress, an ardent animal lover, counting bees, prairie dogs, and a free-roaming sulcata tortoise among her ever-growing animal menagerie, and lives up to the English stereotype of drinking lots of tea.

Wendy Laybourn (Sociology)


Wendy is a doctoral candidate in the sociology department. Broadly, her research interests are race/ethnicity, identity, and cross-racial bridging. More specifically, her research interests has two main focuses: identity and popular culture, particularly rap music, and the impact of the scripts presented on conceptions of race/ethnicity; and identity and raced institutions, like family structures and Greek Letter Organizations, and the constraints and opportunities within them for racial/ethnic identity. When she is not researching, Wendy enjoys traveling, attending concerts, and eating yummy food. 

Clark J. Lee (Public Health)

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Clark is a part-time doctoral student in Behavioral and Community Health.  Outside of school, Clark works full-time as a Senior Law and Policy Analyst (Research Associate) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Center for Health and Homeland Security and consults in the area of public health emergency preparedness and response. A lawyer and public health professional by training, Clark focuses his interests on the use of legal and policy tools to address public health and safety issues.  Clark is a former Notes and Comments editor for the Journal of Health Care Law and Policy and is currently a reviewer for the journals Public Health Reports and Neuroethics.  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.


Jenny Lee, Ph.D. (Public Health)

Jenny is a Master of Public Health candidate in the Department of Kinesiology. Prior to coming to UMD, she earned a Ph.D. in chemical oceanography from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program, studying phytoplankton biology. Jenny has written feature articles, journal articles, research proposals, and technical reports. She also worked for six years as an editor of technical material in the fields of medical science and policy, chemistry, and environmental science and policy. Her husband and two children are all current or former Terps, and she is happy to continue in the family tradition. She has a life-long love of folk music, and sings with a Balkan women’s choir.

Jessica Lu (Communication)

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Jessica is a doctoral candidate engaged in the study of rhetoric and public address; she also holds a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Maryland. She explores the construction and maintenance of race and racial identity in the United States by focusing on African American rhetoric and, specifically, efforts to negotiate freedom and citizenship during the era of emancipation and Reconstruction. When she is not writing, reading, or teaching, Jessica can usually be found cooking dishes for carnivores or practicing hot yoga.

Thomas McCloskey (Communication)


Thomas is pursuing his PhD in communication with an emphasis in rhetoric and political culture. He received his MA from California State University Long Beach in 2011 following his time teaching English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine from 2006-2008. His research focuses on the rhetoric of Russian nationalism and identity construction as seen through social movements in the former Soviet Union.

Aaron Ostrander (Physics)

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Aaron is a doctoral student in physics with a BS in physics and math from Berry College. He has done research in math and theoretical physics at the University of Texas at Tyler, Indiana University, the University of Glasgow, and now Maryland. He works in quantum algorithms and complexity theory at the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science. When he isn't contemplating the computational power of the universe, he can often be found reading philosophy, fiction, comics, or Spanish literature.


John Schardt (Bioengineering)