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Meet the Spring 2017 Writing Tutors!

Our tutors share why they love writing and working with fellow scholars at the SLC.

Alexis Picard - Alumna, English, Asian American Studies Minor

I would like to see a writing culture that incorporates insightful and enthusiastic dialogue. As a tutor, I want to develop meaningful relationships with fellow peers, participate in our shared appreciation for writing, and confidently enhance our unique voices as writers.


Amanda Chang - 2nd Year, Molecular and Cell Biology

Writing has always been a passion of mine because it allows me to express myself and share my experiences with others. I hope to use this passion to empower other students to find and explore their own writing voices, which they can then use to provoke thought in themselves and in their communities.


Andrew Kim Henry - 4th Year, English

Writing can be intimidating; it still intimidates me. I have learned to push past that fear and engage with the writing process. It is an intimate and subjective process, from what one’s writing style to what one writes about. The storyteller in all of us can be cultivated and refined with a little bit of support. I hope to foster fellow writers’ skills as they explore their inner storyteller.


Annie Pinto - 4th Year, Anthropology & Conservation & Resource Studies

To me, writing is an expressive and emotional experience that allows me to connect with others, voice my opinion, and relieve stress. Through tutoring, I hope to foster a writing culture where everyone feels comfortable conveying themselves through the written word.


Anvi Bahl - 2nd Year, Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies

Writing has always been the primary tool by which I have made sense of the world around me and my relationship to it. I believe that writing affords expression to all individuals, especially in situations where the right to speak is one held by privileged communities within society. Writing cultivates empowerment, and I hope to facilitate this process within individuals as a writing tutor.


Blue Fay - 1st Year, Intended Sociology

Everyone comes to writing in a different way. For some it is a means of expression and enjoyment, for others, a dragon they have to slay. Whatever the case, I believe that writing is not something we have to do alone. The kind of writing culture I am interested in seeing is one that is supportive and encouraging, and that values the stories we have to share.


Claire Newfeld - 2nd Year, Philosophy

I hope to see a writing culture at Cal that is much less associated with stress and responsibility and more appreciated as a mechanism for communication of ideas. Writing, regardless of the length of the piece or the percentage of the course grade, should ideally not be daunting or scary. It is an opportunity for one’s voice to be heard.


Dana Abdelgadir - 3rd Year, Public Health

For me, engaging with writing as a process allows me to create finished and rewarding pieces that are uniquely mine. In experiencing and embracing the process of writing, we can all come to better understand and value ourselves as writers.

Dorrin Akbari - 2nd Year, Legal Studies

Every act of writing, regardless of its genre, is an attempt at telling a story, and no story would be whole without narration—the writer’s voice. Finding one’s voice as a writer is what distinguishes those who write for the sake of writing from those who write to be heard. I’d like to contribute to a writing culture that encourages writers to write in a manner that makes people want to listen.


Ellen Zhang - 3rd Year, History

I believe writing is a necessary balm to the solitude and inertia of everyday life, because it enables us to communicate honestly, compassionately, and without fear. As a fellow writer, I hope we can use the vehicle of written word to speak our minds bravely, make mistakes, learn about each other, and become more ourselves.


Gabija Safranavicius - 3rd Year, Social Welfare and Interdisciplinary Field Studies  

I am so excited to be joining the SLC Writing Tutor program, as it has been an incredible opportunity for me to engage in developing and capturing the diverse thinking that goes on at Cal. I am looking forward to a semester of exploring new ideas and critical thinking— as well as meeting new people and collaborating through academic variables. Reading and writing are an essential part of who I am, and I am so excited to learn and develop new perspectives through the tutoring position.


Hannah Berkman - 4th Year, Media Studies & Psychology
Each student has a unique voice that they can use to enliven, illuminate, and deepen intellectual discourse, from the university and beyond. I believe in a writing culture where the ideas we discuss inspire and provoke further thought, discussion, and action.


Haoming Tang - 1st Year, Chemistry

Writing, what a beautiful word it is. Its beauty lies in the simple fact that everybody is capable of articulating their unique perspective, vision, and story through a piece of work. As a multilingual writer, I hope to excavate the best potential in my fellow writers to help them produce the kind of writing that they always desire to actualize. Yes, writing is a process of self-actualization, and we are thrilled to empower you to here at the Student Learning Center.


Harry Tunggal - 2nd year English Major, Journalism Minor

In an odd way, finding the right combination of words in the perfect order is both deeply frustrating and profoundly rewarding, but I love to write because of it. Writing is my personal creative outlet, and I’m at my happiest when I’m putting my thoughts to paper. I hope that my own love for writing will rub off on the peers that I tutor, and that they will use their voices to engage with their communities in a meaningful way.


Isabella Garcia-Mendez - 2nd Year, Political Science & French, Creative Writing Minor

For me, the aspect of writing that matters most is the journey and not the destination.  When I am writing, i feel as if I am free to express myself and discover parts of myself that I didn't even know existed.  I hope to be able to help other writers find this avenue of freedom, growth, and discovery as a writing tutor for the SLC.


Jessica Calderon - 4th Year, English
I encourage my fellow writers to master writing conventions not just to get a good grade, but to discover their academic unique voice and ideas. The power of language can be realized via writing and I hope to facilitate this process of discovery for my peers!


Joe Ayers - 3rd Year, English, Theater & Performance Studies, Dance & Performance Studies

In my opinion, writing is an art, one that should be deeply respected because it has such great power and influence. I hope to inspire my peers to find their voices and empower themselves through their writing. My goal is for them to see writing not as a source of stress and anxiety, but rather as a source of validation and infinite possibility. If I had to sum up my philosophy about writing in a quote, it would be, "I don't write for you to love me. I write for you to feel me."


John Gleb - 4th Year, History

“A writer is someone who writes”; all of us have something to say, and therefore, to write about. I want to help students find clear and creative ways of expressing themselves, ways of talking about their ideas in a language both uniquely their own and accessible to all. Let’s share with the world what we know!


Julia Konstantinovsky - 3rd Year, Political Science, English and Public Policy Minor

Writing is a tool of self-discovery as well as empowerment. Writing creates the opportunity for agency, and, as a tutor, I hope to support other writers in embracing the apparent obstacles of the process in order to closer engage with their academic work, their powerful thoughts and ideas, and their life experiences.

Juliette Pascual - 2nd Year, Conversation and Resource Studies

Writing can embody strength, success, and resistance, making it not only a vital academic tool, but an agent of personal empowerment. I envision Berkeley’s writing culture becoming a supportive community that encourages our students to develop their voices and their confidence in self-expression.


Kailey Martinez-Ramage - 3rd Year, Economics
For me, writing is a powerful tool of expression and communication. As a tutor, I hope to support my peers in finding their voice and gaining confidence as academic writers.


Karis Tanksley - 3rd Year, English

Since I was a kid, writing has been a form of communicating with myself and others, usually on topics that were harder to say out loud. Now that I’m a tutor, I want to join you in this communication style, help you feel more comfortable in it, and encourage you to challenge yourself. We’re all writers, and with that in mind, I hope you’ll find yourself as a part of a larger community of scholars and thinkers as you develop your skills.


Kelsey Liu - 4th Year, English & Integrative Biology

I believe writing and editing should happen in an environment suffused with open-mindedness, purpose, and love. I want people of every skill level to be comfortable sharing their insecurities about writing, to receive proper attention and support, and feel pride in the work they produce.


Laila Esfandiari - 3rd Year, Integrative Biology
While writing is often an anxiety-inducing task, I believe it is critical professional tool and a vital mode of self-expression. As a tutor, I hope to make writing not only accessible but also enjoyable to my peers.


Lauren Kelly - 3rd Year, History

Throughout my life, writing has been a fun and challenging form of communication that pushes my mental limits. As a tutor, I hope to encourage writers to feel comfortable, open, and enthusiastic about their individual progress in writing. I would like to help foster a supportive community of students who all enjoy this process of writing together.


Lilian Vasquez - 3rd Year, Social Welfare & Ethnic Studies
I hope to foster a writing culture where writers can freely express their ideas and engage in critical analysis. I envision a program where, by reflecting upon and revising their own work, writers feel empowered to develop meaningful and original scholarship.


Madison Burson - 2nd Year, History and Political Economy

For me, writing was always a means in which I could articulate my thoughts and perceptions of the world, giving me a sense of understanding of my own ideas. As a writing tutor at the SLC, I hope to help others find this clarity and voice as well, and in doing so create a community at Cal in which we can communicate and empathize with each other.


Max Lopez - 4th Year, American Studies

Join me in generating dialogue and community around the practice of writing! Together we can learn about writing as both a craft and an art while we work to transform ourselves and the world around us in the service of justice.


Megan Conner - 2nd Year, English and Environmental Economics & Policy

To me, writing is a means to investigate and communicate with others. People are all quite different. When someone takes their pen to paper, the articulation of their thoughts can produce newfound pockets of knowledge for others with contrasting backgrounds and perspectives. I hope to see an SLC culture that works to encourage this type of  knowledge exchange.


Minjun Chang – 2nd Year, Applied Mathematics

Writing is a way for me to express myself and to communicate. As a tutor, I want to raise people’s interest in writing. I hope a close community where people use writings to exchange ideas can be established at SLC.


Miranda Gonzales - 3rd Year, Nutritional Science, Chicano Studies Minor

For me, writing is a source of pride, a means to convey my ideas and thoughts with confidence. As a tutor my goal is to empower my peers through writing. I am always excited to learn from them about their areas of study, as well as their unique contributions to the world of knowledge.


Monica Yoo-jean Lee - 3rd Year, Integrative Biology

Growing up, writing has been a creative outlet where I could freely express my thoughts without fear of judgment or misunderstanding, What I hope to cultivate as a tutor at UC Berkeley is the courage for students to voice their own ideas without needing to follow a "correct model." I hope to achieve this through effective and stimulating conversations with the peers I meet on campus.


Monique Lupu - 4th Year, English

For me, writing was always a liberating form of self-expression—until I started writing papers for school. Academic writing can feel stifling and mundane, but a GSI once encouraged me to view it as art that we have agency to create. Cal’s culture of free speech reminds us that words have the power to release our vision, passion and purpose to the world – let’s do it with boldness, sophistication and style!


Morgan Robertson - 3rd Year, English

I am a writer who writes, everything from notes to journals to academic papers. Writing can be approached as an obstacle but also as a tool for self development. I, as well as the SLC, believe that we should walk and talk through the writing process together. I look forward to working with my peers on a one on one and making personal connections together as we learn.


Parker Kjellin-Elder - 4th Year, Economics & English

Writing is a platform that can clearly and effectively communicate the ideas that tumble around my mind. I am excited to work with fellow students as we help each other discover our own unique voices.


Paula Gomez Villalba - 3rd Year, Integrative Biology

I view writing as a way of organizing and exploring my thoughts to create a road map that guides a reader through my mind. I believe in a writing culture rooted in conversation where ideas flow freely and challenging questions are welcomed.


Qingyang Song - 3rd Year, Chemistry & History

For me, writing is the most active form of learning across the disciplines. I am excited to support and grow with my fellow writers as we deepen our understanding of texts, process our thoughts, and build compelling arguments through conversation and writing.


Rachel Henry - 3rd Year, Public Health

I hope that the writing culture I see at the SLC is a direct reflection of the beauty and diversity that exists at Cal. We as Cal students are not afraid to speak up about the issues and the people that we care about — the writing culture at the SLC should do justice to this unique and unafraid place that we are in. Everyone has a voice that is worth being heard, and I hope that the writing culture at the SLC is an environment that fosters each person’s voice.


Rassidatou Konate - 2nd Year, Public Health

To me, passion is an essential key to success. I also believe that passion is not innate, but rather acquired. I hope to help promote passion for sharing ideas, expressing our thoughts and exploring possibilities as central to building a strong writing culture at Cal. Writing is travelling and I hope to help my peers go on journeys that will open up incredible new doors for them here and beyond.


Rebecca Lieber - 3rd Year, Comparative Literature

Writing is unique in its forgivingness—you can write and rewrite until your ideas are reflected with clarity. I believe in a writing culture that embraces uncertainty as a valuable part of the writing process. I hope to inspire my fellow writers toward self-inquiry, and away from self-doubt!


Sarah Palmer - 4th Year, Bioengineering and Asian American Studies

For me, writing is more than a method of communication, it is also a means of discovering and developing one’s thoughts. I look forward to expanding my writing experiences and repertoire while helping others form their own strong, confident voices.


Skyler Marshall - 3rd Year, English, Celtic Studies Minor

I always tell my peers that I am a reader, not a writer, but there are nuances to this statement. As a bibliophile, I adore the physical aspect of reading books – the binding, the smell, the typeface; this also applies to writing – the paper, the pen, the laptop’s keys. Reading, writing, and tutoring itself engages all of your senses in a way that is extraordinary. When I am tutoring, I have the opportunity to connect with another human being to discuss big ideas that are shaping the world in which we live.


Taylor Chan - 3rd Year, English, Ethnic Studies Minor
While writing can be frustrating and intimidating for many (myself included), it can also be an outlet for transformation, self-expression, and creativity. I strive to work with student writers to discover and develop their own voices, while learning and bettering myself in turn!


Tianyi Dong - 3rd Year, History & Economics
The process of asking questions, challenging presumptions, and crystallizing one’s thoughts on paper allows us to see a whole new world. Writing is the most rewarding part of the learning process for me, and I hope to make it the same for you!


Tracy Soon - 4th year, Computer Science

For me, writing has been a way to exercise my agency as a thinker. As someone who fell in love with writing rather late, I hope to help fellow student writers discover the joy of writing and appreciate it early in their academic careers.


Wai Ho - 4th Year, English

When I write, I feel like I'm entering a conversation. As a writer, I want to dialogue thoughtfully and critically without silencing other voices. My vision for the writing culture at Cal is for student writers to enter into conversations with other writers and thinkers, and respond to each other across cultures and disciplines with grace.


Yisheng Tang - 2nd Year, Comparative Literature & English

Writing is the most wonderful task, through which the writer creates thousands of worlds, letting the readers visit, edifying them and contributing to the world. Thus, I enjoy the tutoring experience in SLC, which is an equal and mutual one. It is my great fortune to get access to those precious arguments from other great writers, learn from them, and possibly help them achieve more.