Writing Center

Meet Our Tutors

  • Alexa Williams ’16

    TRAINING ASSISTANT

    Major: English

    Academic Interests:

    Literature (Victorian lit.), drawing & mixed media, Spanish language & Hispanic culture

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Alpha Phi Omega, Presidential Scholarship, Dean’s List

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    I became a tutor because I want to help people improve their writing skills and improve my own writing in the process. I hope that, after tutoring sessions, clients will become more excited to write (or at least have less of an aversion to it) because writing gives one a chance to practice newly acquired skills and showcase one’s thoughts.  

  • Anna Harris ’17

    Majors: Sociology & Anthropology/History

    Academic Interests:

    Education Language Policy in multilingual societies, second language acquisition, ethnic enclaves, magical realist literature, medieval religious thought, technology and social networks

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Arts and Entertainment editor of the Stentor, Ally member, Social Justice Scholar, Richter Scholar, Honors Fellow, Dean’s list, co-authored an article with Professor Odugu

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    Instead of only focusing on the assignment at hand, I hope that my client leaves our sessions having developed the confidence and skills for all of his or her assignments, present and future. In doing so, I hope to aid both my client and myself in becoming more meaningful participants in the Lake Forest College community. 

  • Caitlin Brown ’18

    Major: English & Communication

    Academic Interests:

    Mysticism, Social activism in China, South American literature, Film composing, 19th Century French Poetry, Surrealist Art Movement, 20th Century American literature, Media Law

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Presidential Scholarship, Carnegie Writing Scholarship, Richter Scholar Program, Asian Club, Stentor staff writer, English department research assistant 

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    I struggled with writing in my early high school years and had to adopt the “try and fail” method to become a successful writer. I now love writing and want to help others become comfortable with its process and perhaps even find their own passion for writing.

  • Camille Lemieux ’17

    Majors: Sociolinguistics & French

    Academic Interests:

    Language acquisition, cross-cultural relations, cognitive psychology

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Honors Fellow, Richter Scholar, Presidential Scholarship, Executive Board of Amnesty International, Secretary of French Club

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    Each session at the Writing Center helps a client gain skills for both present and future endeavors at the College. I hope my clients leave feeling confident and prepared to tackle the friendly beast of college writing.

  • Cass Balzer ’16

    LEAD TUTOR

    Majors: English, Sociology and Anthropology

    Academic Interests:
    20th Century Art, Modern and Post-modern Literature, Queer/Feminist Theory, Existentialist Philosophy, Social Movements

    Leadership and Involvement:
    Women’s choir, chamber choir, concert band, WMXM radio, clarinet, Honors Fellow, Richter Scholarship, Patterson Academic Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, Lake Forest Symphony “25 Under 25”

    Tutoring Philosophy:
    Writing is a skill that every student must cultivate in order to succeed.  Though this development may seem formidable, practice and collaboration are incredibly helpful on the road to literary prowess. I tutor because I love to write, and I hope to exchange methods and ideas with my peers.

  • Grace Baumann ’18

    Major: Philosophy

    Academic Interests:

    Environmental Psychology, Philosophical controversy, Cultural studies

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Richter Scholar 2015, Deans List, Active member of Alpha Phi Omega, Archivist and DJ for WMXM, Member of the club rugby team

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    Writing is part of what makes us human. Without the skills to effectively convey thought, meaning, and opinion to others, why write at all? I tutor to help clients feel as though they can cover a blank page with something they can be proud of. 

      

  • Katie Wright ’16

    Majors: Music/Philosphy

    Academic Interests:
    Middle Eastern politics, political theory, linguistics, music theory, and philosophy

    Leadership and Involvement:
    First-Year Writing Contest 2012-2013, Richter Scholarship 2012-2013, Patterson Academic Scholarship, choir and piano

    Tutoring Philosophy:
    Tutoring is, for me, an extremely rewarding experience. I love seeing a client’s face light up when he or she learns something new, and I feel that working as a tutor has allowed me to have many similar epiphanies. However, my favorite aspect of tutoring is probably being able to help clients realize things that they already know; there seems to be a misconception that tutors “fix” clients’ writing when, in reality, we simply expand upon strengths that are already there.

  • KC Stralka ’16

    LEAD TUTOR

    Majors: Politics & Finance

    Academic Interests: American History (The American Revolution), Philosophy (Ethical theory and practice), Politics (American Foreign Relations)

    Leadership and Involvement: Basketball, Club Golf, Honors Fellows, Patterson Academic Scholarship, Dean’s List, Academic All-Midwest Conference

    Tutoring Philosophy:
    I hope to tutor in a way that makes writing more accessible to clients.  I want to make clients feel more confident in their ability to write.

    Tutoring Strengths:
    I struggled with my writing because I was not confident.  Once I took a step back and looked at the process, I realized that writing was not as intimidating as it seemed.  My past fears are my greatest strength because they allow me to empathize with the client.

  • Kristen Whitney ’17

    TRAINING ASSISTANT  

    Majors: Business & Communication

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Cross Country and Club Track, Dean’s List 2013-2014, Honors Fellow, MWC All-Academic Team, Cross Country Captain

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    I tutor because I love to write and I love thinking about writing. I also love reading others’ work and hearing their ideas and unique voice come out through the paper. I hope that I can help students become more confident in their writing abilities. I hope that this new confidence will allow students to see writing in a new light, one in which they no longer look upon essays and term papers with dread. At the very least, I hope to make the writing process seem a little less daunting and a little more enjoyable.

     

  • Lily Starr ’18

    Majors: French & Religion

    Academic Interests:

    French culture, language and art, studying various religions and their philosophies, examining the human condition

    Leadership and Involvement:

    2015 Richter Scholar, Dean’s List, Phi Sigma Iota Honor Society, Gates Leadership Scholarship, Kappa Alpha Theta, intramural volleyball 

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    I am a Writing Center tutor because I believe that writing is one the most important skills to have – no matter what major you are. It is one of the most powerful ways to express your ideas and arguments, and learning how to clearly state your thoughts onto paper is challenging. I struggled with persuasive writing for many years, yet I spent time with my high school professors learning how to clearly develop my essays. Because I went through the process of learning how to become a stronger writer, I want to help guide others through the same journey. 

      

  • Michael Jane?ek ’18

    Majors: Neuroscience & History

    Academic Interests:

    “Les Poétes Maudits” (Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud), Feminist photography and the “male gaze,” Psychology of sexual abuse, Multi-culturalism and assimilation of values, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and its impossibility of interpretation, Neurotheology, Modern European and Asian history

    Leadership and Involvement:

    International Student Organization, Secular Student Alliance, League for Environmental Protection, Muslim Student Association, Photography Club, Richter Scholar, First-Year Writing Contest 2015, Davis UWC Scholar, First Connection Mentor, Publicity Chair for International Student Organization, Vice President for Student Secular Alliance

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    I value tutoring for the exchange of ideas that takes place within it. The client and the tutor grow through writing, forming a bond–a partnership. Ultimately, I tutor to cultivate a love for learning.

     

  • Nathaniel Pettengill ’17

    Majors: English Literature

    Academic Interests:

    Shakespeare, classic film, presidential politics, feminist theory, gibberish words

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Students for Women’s Awareness Network, TransFormers, National Merit Finalist

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    I tutor because I know that feeling of not being able to see how the thoughts in your head are going to translate onto the page. Working through that process with another person makes it so much easier to take those annoying steps, and I hope I can be that person for clients who need to get outside of their head. I want to see clients come out of tutoring sessions confident that they have the ability to make it to the finish line and they always did, because that’s a feeling I try to chase when I’m buried in the writing process.

  • Rachel Jones ’17

    Major: English Literature & Music

    Academic Interests:

    Modernist Poetry, Postmodernist Literature, Shakespeare (primarily Much Ado About Nothing), Feminist Theory, American Dialects, Fandom Culture, The Multiverse Theory

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Presidential Scholarship, Patterson Academic Scholarship, Dean’s List, Writing and Thinking Workshop mentor, Concert Band, Bass Clarinet, Poetry Club, Writing Club

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    When I write, I thrive on the satisfaction that I feel as I see my ideas coming together on the page in front of me. I tutor because I want to help my clients become more comfortable with each individual step of the writing process so that ultimately, they can experience the same satisfaction about their own writing.

  • Samantha Miller ’17

    Majors: Chemistry & Biology

    Academic Interests:

    Infrared Spectroscopy and applications to Biomedicine and Art Conservation, Moral Relativity, Dystopian and Post-Colonial Literature, T.S. Elliot Poetry

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Relay for Life, Circle K, Student Ambassador, PRIDE, Social Justice Scholar, Alumnae City Scholar, Richter Scholar, Honors Fellow, Chemistry tutor, Founder and Manager of Busk ‘Til Dusk, volunteer coordinator of Circle K, Relay for Life Committee

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    Communication is a skill crucial to success in any field, whether you are an English major or plan to live the rest of your life in a science lab. Developing strong writing skills is important because knowledge must be shared in a clear, accessible manner. I tutor because I believe everyone has something to share with the world, and I hope clients walk away feeling as if they have accomplished their short term goals while still growing as a writer and as a person.

  • Sarah Chiren ’16

    Majors: Neuroscience and Religion

    Academic Interests:

    Cell signaling in cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, criminal law, Middle Eastern politics, counter-cultural religions, Russian literature (especially Dostoevsky and Tolstoy)

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Secular Student Alliance, Pride secretary, Synapse exec. board, Nu Rho Psi, Eukaryon, Richter Scholar, Dean’s List

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    When I began high school, writing essays was incredibly difficult for me. My English teacher guided me through the writing process until I understood how to express my thoughts cohesively. I gained confidence in my writing and learned the value and importance of expression in any discipline. I want my clients to find that same confidence in not only the essays they bring to the Center, but in their writing skills in general. 

  • Spencer Michaud ’16

    Majors: English & History

    Academic Interests:

    Modernist Fiction and Poetry, Imperialism, Leftism, 20th Century Art, Linguistics, Critical Theory, American History, Latin American Literature, Continental Philosophy

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Honors Fellow, Deerpath Academic Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    I stress the expressive nature of writing in my practice.  As I see it, my role is to help each client in the development and articulation of each original argument; to that end, I favor collaborative approaches rather than direct instruction.  To me, the most successful appointments are those that end with two different colors of ink on the page.

  • Tom Steen ’18

    Major: Psychology & Neuroscience

    Academic Interests:

    Anything that has to do with how the brain works, cognitive psychology, sensations and perceptions

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Team recognition manager for Relay for Life, Football, Rugby, Athletic Council

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    I tutor because I want others to be able to pick out their ideas and connect them to make a very clear, logical argument. I want my clients to be able to write papers that have arguments that are clear enough for anyone to read and understand what they are trying to say.

      

  • Tracy Koenn ’18

    Major: English Lit & Politics

    Academic Interests:

    Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, classical music, the American political system, modern art, philosophy, especially political theory, the Harlem renaissance, and all spans and periods of literature

    Leadership and Involvement:

    Presidential scholarship, Patterson scholarship, Kappa Alpha Theta, UMOJA, staff writer for the Stentor, Media services student supervisor, swim coach, swim instructor 

    Tutoring Philosophy:

    I tutor because I love to see when ideas click into place in someone’s head, and all of the sudden, they understand the key piece of the writing process that they were missing before. Tutoring also helps me to grow as a person and learn from each client on how I can communicate with others. Overall, tutoring is a learning process each time that yields great rewards for both me and the clients.