Meet the Graduate Writing Consultants

Our writing consultants are graduate students who have extensive experience with graduate-level writing as well as teaching and working one-on-one. Feel free to make an appointment with the writing consultant in the academic area most similar to yours, but all writing consultants have been trained to help graduate students with general writing issues in any field.

Foreign languages: a few of our writing consultants feel comfortable reading work in other languages. See their bios for more information.

Abraham

Department: English
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Professional Writing, Humanities & Arts, Application Documents, Oral Presentations, Cultural Studies, Critical Race Theory, Writing Process, Revision, Style/Flow, Creative Writing, Narrative Writing
Bio:
Abraham is a 5th year Ph.D. student in English and is interested in comparative work between 20th century U.S. multi-ethnic literature and Latin American literature. He can speak, read, and write in academic Spanish fluently and has done work in oral and written translation. He's written letters of reference for students applying to graduate schools, jobs, and scholarships. His favorite punctuation mark is one not typically used in academic writing but overused in the comic book genre: the excellent exclamation mark! Boom!!!


Alana

Department: Chicana/o Studies
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Social Sciences, Humanities, Qualitative Methods, Oral History, Critical Geography, Cultural Studies, Critical Race Theory, Fellowships/Grants, Application Documents, Style/Flow, Revision, Editing, Master’s Thesis 
Bio:
Alana is a fourth-year doctoral student in the César E Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. Her research is concerned with histories of displacement, dispossession, diaspora, loss, return, and what these sometimes have to do with rivers, particularly the Río Grande. Her dissertation is a historical study of the Río Grande’s role in land disputes along the Texas-Mexico border. In addition, Alana is pursuing a UCLA certificate in American Indian Studies. Alana is also a poet whose poetry has been published in HuizacheDuende, The Acentos Review, Kweli Journal, among others, and is forthcoming in The Florida Review in its Latinx special feature issue. In 2017, she received 2nd prize in Blue Mesa Review’s Summer Poetry Contest judged by Safina Sinclair. Alana is an alum of Hampshire College, an alternative education undergraduate institution in Massachusetts. There she studied cultural studies, creative writing, journalism, and U.S. immigration history. For a short time as an undergraduate, she worked as a fact-checker for The Nation magazine. At UCLA, Alana has been a recipient of the Ford Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, the Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship Program, the Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Fellowship Program, and the Institute of American Cultures Grant. Her favorite punctuation mark is, of course, the comma. 


Allison

Department: Comparative Literature
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Humanities, Fellowships/Grants, Application Documents, Academic Job Market, Article Manuscripts, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/Flow, Oral Presentations, Revision, Master's Thesis
Bio:
 Allison is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature. Her dissertation focuses on the lovesick female body in early modern literature. Allison earned her BA in Renaissance Studies from Yale University and her MA in Humanities from New York University. She  has experience in teaching and academic publishing. In her spare time, Allison enjoys running, cooking, and watching too much  Netflix. Her favorite punctuation mark is the semicolon, for times when the Facebook relationship between two independent  clauses is complicated.
Languages: Spanish (fluent), Italian (reading only)

Amber

Department: Sociology
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Professional Writing, Social Sciences, Fellowships/Grants, Application Documents, Article Manuscripts, Oral Presentations, Public Speaking, Quantitative Methods, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Style/Flow, Master's Thesis, Dissertation
Bio:
  Amber is a fifth-year doctoral student in Sociology. Her research interests include social inequality, education, teacher-student relationships, and differentials in access and returns to higher education. After receiving her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, she worked as a teacher with Teach For America in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Trainee-ship, the Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, and the Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Fellowship.  Her favorite punctuation mark is the Oxford comma; she used it twice in this bio!  

Ariella

Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, STEM, Lab Reports, Fellowships/Grants, Application Documents, Articles Manuscripts
Bio:
 Ariella is a PhD student in the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) department, where her research  focuses on fabricating porous silicon particles for targeted drug delivery applications. She earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry/Materials Science from UCLA in 2014. Ariella received several awards as an undergraduate, including a Research Experience for Undergraduates fellowship through National Science Foundation and a Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship while studying abroad. As a graduate student, she is a recipient of a MSE departmental fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. When away from the lab (a rare occurrence), Ariella enjoys travelling (Chile is next on the list) and cycling. Her favorite punctuation mark is the question mark. How else would she come up with her experiments?

Bobby

Department: English
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Humanities, Article Manuscripts, Oral Presentations, Application Documents, Writing Process, Revision, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/Flow
Bio:
 Bobby is a PhD candidate in English, with research interests in Anglophone Caribbean literature, comparative ethnic American literature, and rhetoric and composition. He earned his BA in English and Comparative Literary Studies from Occidental College and MA in English from Loyola Marymount University. His favorite punctuation mark is . . .

Brandon

Department: Comparative Literature 
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Application Documents, Humanities & Arts, Oral Presentations, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/ flow, English Language Learners, Creative Writing, Narrative Writing, Scrivener
Bio:
 Brandon is a second-year PhD student in Comparative Literature. His research interests include most branches of literary theory, multilingualism, and the indigenous language literatures of Latin America. He obtained his BA in International Literary and Visual Studies and in Child Development at Tufts University, and frequently tutored ESL. As a graduate student, he has received the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. His favorite punctuation mark is the backslash, because when else has a punctuation mark opened a closed class like conjunctions slash become a pronounceable word in its own right question mark?

Carlisa

Department: Education – Human Development & Psychology 
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Social Sciences, Qualitative Methods, Quantitative Methods, Cultural Studies, Application Documents, Master's Thesis, Style/Flow, Writing Process, Revision, Oral Presentations, Public Speaking 
Bio:
Carlisa is a third-year PhD student in the Education department where she studies the psychosocial development of adolescents of color in and outside of schools. She earned her BA in Psychology at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and most recently, her MA in Education at UCLA. She is a two-time awardee of the Graduate Summer Mentorship Fellowship and a recipient of the UC-HBCU Fellowship. Her favorite punctuation mark is the parenthesis (it gives the reader the "inside scoop").

David

Department: Chemistry & Biochemistry
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, STEM, Fellowships/Grants, Application Documents, Oral Presentations, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Style/Flow
Bio:
David is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Biochemistry. His research focuses on uncovering the structure of the proteins that cause amyloid diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS). Prior to obtaining his PhD, David graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry. He also spent some time in between undergraduate and graduate school working for a biotechnology startup company. David is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Grant. In addition, he has experience applying to NDSEG and NIH NRSA fellowships, as well as internal UCLA training grants. David’s favorite punctuation mark is the exclamation point! 

Drew

Department: Comparative Literature
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Non-Academic Writing, Legal Writing, Professional Writing, Application Documents, Critical Race Theory, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Cultural Studies, Humanities & Arts, Oral Presentations, Article Manuscript, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/Flow, Creative Writing, Narrative Writing, Master’s Thesis, English Language Learners
Bio:
Drew is a second-year PhD student in Comparative Literature. His research focuses on philosophy, critical theory, and literary & film theory. He received his BA in Philosophy and English from UCLA in 2009 before going on to obtain his MA in Humanities (with an emphasis in Continental Philosophy) from the University of Chicago in 2011. Before returning to UCLA, he acquired his JD from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where he worked as a tutor and a Senior Supervising Editor for UC Hasting’s Constitutional Law Quarterly. His favorite punctuation mark is the § (‘section sign’) because of the §ylistic §ophistication it lends to the organization of one’s writing.

Gaurav

Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Application Documents, STEM, Fellowships/Grants, Oral Presentations, Writing Process, Style/Flow, Statistical Reporting
Bio
: Gaurav is a PhD candidate in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His research focuses on understanding the drivers of species diversity in plant communities. He has been awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation and various small research and travel awards. Outside of graduate school, Gaurav enjoys cooking, running, and hiking. He adores em dashes; however, he tends to use them sparingly and is choosing instead to show his admiration for the "Independent clause; conjunctive adverb, independent clause" use of the semicolon.

Gilad

Department: Sociology
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Social Sciences, Policy Writing, Fellowships/Grants, Application Documents, Article Manuscripts, Oral Presentations, Public Speaking, Qualitative Methods, Cultural Studies, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/Flow, Master’s Thesis
Bio:
Gilad is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Sociology, where he specializes in political sociology and the Middle East. He received his BA from New York University and two master’s degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of Maryland, College Park. His favorite punctuation mark, without question, is the Oxford comma.

Jay

Department: Sociology
Writing Specialties: Fellowships/Grants, Application Documents, Social Sciences, English Language Learners, Article Manuscripts, Qualitative Methods, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/Flow, Academic Writing, Professional Writing
Bio:
Jay is a graduate student in the Sociology department where he looks at legal and political contention over international migration in South African cities. Jay holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley; an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics; an MA in Forced Migration Studies at the African Centre for Migration and Society, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; and an MA and CPhil in Sociology from UCLA. For his research, he has received US Fulbright and Fulbright-Hays fellowships and GRM and GSRM awards. He is also a fellow at the Academy for African Urban Diversity co-hosted by the Max Plank Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (MPI-MMG), Germany and ACMS, South Africa. Prior to coming to UCLA, Jay taught English in Central America and studied in Chile and France.  His favorite punctuation could be the question mark though he wonders if that is the really the case?
Languages: French (working), Spanish (working) 

Jeanette

Department: History
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Application Documents, Humanities, Oral Presentations, Cultural Studies, Critical Race Theory, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Style/Flow, Master’s Thesis
Bio:
Jeanette is a graduate student in the History department specializing in the Atlantic World. Her research interests focus on African Diasporic resistance and popular movements in the Americas. After earning her BA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Scripps College, Jeanette has worked as a solidarity activist and journalist across the region for almost a decade accompanying African and Indigenous led grassroots struggles. During her time in Venezuela, she pursued graduate studies at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV) in Caracas and worked with the Cátedra Libre África, a research center focused on Afro-Venezuelan history and the country’s relationship to Africa and the Caribbean. One of her favorite punctuation marks is the em dash.

Jesslyn

Department: English
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Humanities, Humanities & Arts, Arts, Application Documents, Article Manuscripts, Oral Presentations, Public Speaking, Cultural Studies, Critical Race Theory, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/ flow, Creative Writing, Narrative Writing
Bio:
Jesslyn Whittell is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in English. She studies poetics, with a split focus on Romanticism and 21st-century texts. Her research interests include the relationship between computer science and literary form (not digital humanities but algorithmic logic, abstraction, statistics, and data). Her recent projects have engaged works by William Blake, Anna Moschovakis, Douglas Kearney, Morgan Parker, and P.B. Shelley. She earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley in English and Computer Science. Her favorite punctuation mark is the em-dash, especially when it’s used to unsettle a poem's formal conceits.

Kanwalroop (Roop)

Department: School of Law
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Legal Writing, Application Documents, Fellowships/Grants, Critical Race Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Creative Writing, Narrative Writing, English Language Learners, Writing Process, Revision, Style/Flow
Bio:
Roop is a second-year law student specializing in Critical Race Studies and Public Interest Law and Policy. She is interested in immigration law and civil rights litigation. As a staff member of the UCLA Law Review, she is currently writing about citizenship as whiteness and state violence against brown immigrant bodies. After she received her BA in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, she worked as a teacher, organizer, and radio reporter. Her undergraduate honors thesis was published in a peer-reviewed academic journal and used decolonial theory to consider how gender shaped colonial power and anti-colonial resistance in South Asia. Her favorite punctuation mark is the period, because it is the perfect mic drop to the end of a great sentence.

Karen 

Department: Neuroscience 
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Application Documents, STEM, Fellowships/Grants, Article Manuscripts, Oral Presentations, Writing Process, Revision, Editing
Bio:
Karen is a fourth-year PhD student in the Neuroscience department; her research focuses on uncovering the mechanisms underlying multisensory processing in Drosophila melanogaster. Many of her days involve gluing fruit flies to sticks to observe their flight behavior. Karen earned a B.S. in Neuroscience and B.A. in International Development Studies from UCLA in 2013. As a graduate student, she has received an honorable mention from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Outside of lab, Karen enjoys these activities, in no particular order: playing board games, running and cycling, and playing video games to improve her reaction time. Her favorite punctuation is the colon.  

Lauren

Department: Social Psychology
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Social Sciences, Humanities, Application Documents, Oral Presentations, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Style/Flow, Master’s Thesis
Bio:
 Lauren is a third year PhD student in the Psychology department. Her research examines how sociocultural identities such as gender, ethnicity, and political party membership influence political and intergroup attitudes. Prior to UCLA, she earned her MA in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University Teachers College and her BA in History from Middlebury College. For her research, she has received the GSRM award and the Political Psychology Fellowship. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, going to the beach, and encouraging eligible voters to vote. She believes that the period is the unsung hero of punctuation marks.

Macrina

Department: Psychology
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Social Sciences, Fellowships/Grants, Application Documents, Article Manuscripts, Master's Thesis, Quantitative Methods, Statistical Reporting, Professional Writing, Creative Writing, Writing Process, Revision, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/Flow
Bio:
 Macrina is a third-year graduate student in UCLA's Social Psychology doctoral program. After earning her BA in Cognitive Science from Yale University in 2012, she worked for two years as a science editor at The Huffington Post. At UCLA, her research involves borrowing tools from cognitive neuroscience to investigate complex social phenomena, including attitude change, impression formation, and conflict resolution. Macrina is a recipient of the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellowship. She loves coffee, hiking, and singing; also, her spirit animal is most certainly the owl. She believes the comma, which allows one to do things like breathe, organize one's thoughts, and reflect, is an underappreciated punctuation mark.

Marilyn

Bio: Marilyn Gray is the director of the UCLA Graduate Writing Center. She has a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from UCLA. Her dissertation examines Mikhail Bakhtin’s thought and narrative theory from the perspective of Russian theological anthropology. After completing her BA in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Stanford University, she lived and worked in Moscow for four years. During her graduate work at UCLA, she worked for the Center for Digital Humanities assisting faculty with instructional technology and taught Russian language and English composition. She is a big fan of the em-dash and semi-colon when used judiciously.

Maureen

Department: Molecular Toxicology 
Writing Specialties: STEM, Fellowships/Grants, Articles/Manuscripts, Academic Writing, Application Documents, Writing Process
Bio:
Maureen is a fifth-year graduate student studying the serotonin system in Drosophila melanogaster. In 2014, she wrote a successful NSF GRFP application to fund her work examining developmental serotonin dysregulation. Prior to beginning her studies at UCLA, she worked as a research chemist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Here, she received training in the application of reader expectation theory in scientific writing. Maureen gets excited about hiking, botany and cats. She also teaches step aerobics at the John Wooden Center at UCLA. Her favorite punctuation mark is the em dash.

Miranda

Department: Anderson School of Management 
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Humanities & Arts, Business Writing, Fellowships/Grants, Application Documents, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Writing Process, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/Flow, English Language Learners, Creative Writing, Narrative Writing 
Bio: Miranda is a second year MBA student at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. She earned her BA in Comparative Arts & Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, with a minor in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and a concentration in Creative Writing. Between undergrad and graduate school, Miranda lived in England & Spain, where she taught English as a Second Language (she is CELTA-certified) and worked in university admissions.  More recently, she worked for a Big 4 public accounting & consulting firm in human resources operations. An LA-native, Miranda loves the beach, soccer and wine.  Her favorite punctuation mark is the em-dash—for emphasis!

Nihal

Department: Sociology
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Social Sciences, Fellowships/Grants, Application Materials, Master’s Thesis, Qualitative Methods, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/Flow, Oral Presentations
Bio: Nihal is a third-year PhD student in Sociology with a focus on international migration and political sociology of the Middle East. After earning her BA in Political Science from Yale University, she taught high school world history for two years in Massachusetts. She also worked as a journalist and policy researcher in Turkey before starting her graduate program. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship, and the GSRM Fellowship. Her favorite punctuation mark is an unassuming, well-deployed comma.

Riena

Department: School of Law
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Legal writing, Social Sciences, Application Documents, Critical Race Theory, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Grammar/Mechanics, Style/Flow, English Language Learners.
Bio:
 Riena is in her second year at the law school, and is interested in immigration and family law. She is a writing advisor for first-year law students and works as a research fellow. Riena earned her BA in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of Chicago, and wrote a thesis comparing U.S. immigration laws for Japanese and Chinese immigrants and the effects of these laws on U.S. foreign policy. In her free time, she loves to binge watch Netflix and is training for the sprint triathlon. Her favorite punctuation mark is the hyphen.

Rob

Department: Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, STEM, Fellowships/Grants, Application Documents, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Grammar/Mechanics, Lab Reports
Bio: Rob is a second-year Geochemistry PhD student in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences. His research revolves around understanding biomineralization, which is how organisms make their shells or skeletons. More specifically, at UCLA, he studies how the different ways organisms make their skeletons affects how they record chemical signals that inform us about past climate conditions. Rob earned BS's in Chemistry and in Geosciences from Virginia Tech in 2017. As a graduate student, he is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a Center for Diverse Leadership in Science Fellow. Outside the lab, Rob is a science communicator and an advocate for diversity & inclusion in STEM. He regularly makes SciComm posts on social media; is an editor for the blog Climate Currents; and is the founder & president of the organization Queers in STEM, an organization with the goal of empowering LGBTQ+-identifying students and faculty in STEM fields. His favorite punctuation is the semi-colon.

Yuri

Department: School of Law
Writing Specialties: Academic Writing, Legal Writing, Application Documents, Writing Process, Revision, Editing, Grammar/Mechanics, English Language Learners
Bio: Yuri is in her third year at UCLA School of Law and her first year at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Yuri is interested in immigration and criminal law. Yuri was a writing advisor for first-year law students. Yuri earned her BS in Journalism and History at Northwestern University. In her free time, Yuri enjoys hiking and going to the beach. Her favorite punctuation mark is the em dash.