Writing Center Staff

Student Tutors

Henry Allen, Tutor Henry Allen I am a senior at Whitman and hail from Oakland, California. Since coming here, my academic interests have led me down a circuitous path. College regulations have induced me to declare a major in philosophy but I am currently pondering a switch to physics. By graduation I may have picked up a Classics minor. As the majority of my college writing has concerned philosophy, I will be able to best help you with papers involving that subject. I am also happy to help with lab reports, though I have only written physics ones at Whitman. When I am back in the Bay Area, I spend most of my time in the water - swimming, lifeguarding, and teaching swim lessons. One of these years I intend to get SCUBA certified so that I may venture into bodies of water deeper than thirteen feet and filled with more interesting items than dead leaves and used band-aids. 

Sierra Dickey

Sierra Dickey is a senior Environmental Humanities major from Truro, Massachusetts. Like most Whitties, she has taken classes across a broad range of departments and would love to facilitate writing for any subject. In particular, Sierra has a rich experience with Film and Media Studies classes and would dig helping you out with a mise-en-scène analysis or a blog post. Composition-wise, Sierra herself has had a long and drawn-out struggle with no-nos like passive voice and comma-bombing, and looks forward to supporting other student's encounters with those enemies. Sierra also writes personal essays and amateur cultural crit. for fun, and loves to tweet.

Allie Donahue

Allie Donahue Hello! I'm a third year majoring in Rhetoric. I believe that all people make sense of the world by stringing random events together into meaningful stories. That's why writing is so important. I enjoy the challenge of logic and analysis, and I revel in the creative, so please share both types of writing with me.

Marisa Ikert

Marisa Ikert Hi everyone! I'm a senior here at Whitman and back for another year as a writing center tutor. As a French major and English minor, reading, writing, and editing are my passions in any language (feel free to bring French papers if you have them too!). I love close literary analysis, and always get a pleasure out of participating in those productive brainstorming and editing sessions that happen in the writing center. Outside of class and the COWS, I also sing in Chorale, participate in the Story Time Project, work as an ESL fellow, and teach French to grade schoolers through the French4Kids program. Hope to see you soon at the new and improved COWS!

Veronika Kiss

Veronika Kiss I'm a senior English major from Banks, Oregon (a tiny town somewhat near Portland). If you're having trouble with any kind of analytical writing, I'm at your service. Given my major, I've obviously churned out quite a few essays on Shakespeare and the like, but I've written several papers for History and French classes as well. Additionally, as an Encounters Writing Fellow, I have experience helping incoming first years get their writing up to speed. When I'm not writing for classes or tutoring, I enjoy applying my pen to more creative endeavors, and if you've gone to Whitman's Renaissance Faire during the past two years, you may have seen a skit that I helped write.   

Jesse Moneyhun

Jesse Moneyhun I'm a second year Rhetoric major from Boise, Idaho. I love creative writing, rhetorical analyses, politics papers, and research papers. I also am (yes, actually) a big fan of Encounters assignments. I'm currently a Writing Fellow for professor Terry's Encounters class, but if you have any Encounters assignments you're working on, feel free to bring them in. In my off time I read, do archery with the Archery Club, and practice Japanese tea ceremony with professor Takemoto. I enjoy helping with any part of the writing process, whether it's idea formation, sentence organization, or simply getting over writer's block.    

Caitlin Rooney

Caitlin Rooney I'm a senior Rhetoric major from Vancouver, Canada. Aside from Rhetoric, I'm really interested in politics and have also taken Sociology, Psychology, and History courses at Whitman. I'm happy to help with research papers and argument papers, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. I also have experience in journalism and writing literary analysis papers. Aside from writing and editing, I like political satire, photography, basketball, and traveling.

Julia Saxby

Julia Saxby I am a senior Religion major from Woodinville, WA. The academic study of religion has been the perfect medium for me, combining all of my key interests: history, language, and culture. Currently, I am focused on writing my senior Religion thesis. Aside from my major, I have also taken many classes in the Spanish and History departments here at Whitman, so I'm no stranger to literary criticism and research papers. While the humanities are my strength, I am happy to provide whatever support I can to students writing for all disciplines.

Elana Simon, tutor Elana Simon My name is Elana Simon and I'm a senior majoring in Politics. While my experience in Politics has given me the opportunity to try many different writing forms from op-eds to research papers, I have also gained writing experience in English and Rhetoric classes. I'm more than happy to work with you on papers across the social sciences and humanities at various stages of the writing process.

Annie Sirski

Annie Sirski Hi! I'm a senior French major from Mt. Baldy, California. While I love working with literature and theory, I began my education here at Whitman writing expository and persuasive papers as a politics major. I recently returned from studying abroad in Morocco and completed an extensive research paper about immigration. I'm happy to help with your writing in the Humanities or Social Sciences in English or French. When I'm not writing, I can be found on the rugby pitch, working at the local non-profit Helpline, or at a Model United Nations conference. 

Hillary Smith

Hillary Smith I am a sophomore English major, with a minor in music and quite possibly French, from Sequim, WA. Creative writing is my passion, so bring me your stories and poems! My area of analytical essay expertise is literary analysis, but I also have experience in historical research papers and persuasive and journalistic writing. I will enjoy helping with any style! Aside from writing, I play four instruments (primarily alto saxophone) and enjoy eating food, watching British murder mysteries, and traveling!

Josh Tacke

Josh Tacke My name is Josh Tacke, and I'm a senior English major, though I have considerable experience writing History, Classics, and Philosophy papers. If you're not a native speaker, I have also taught English in China and Italy. English is also my second language: I was raised by blood wolves in the foremost heights of the Andes Mountains, so you can say that it has taken me some time to acclimate to "society"--to using language at all! That being said, I generally feel comfortable around humans now, though I am known to occasionally burst into howling, or wolfspeak, as we say. Since I am used to sleeping with one eye open (in the wild, one is always in danger of being ambushed at night), you will usually find me working the late night shifts. If you are also a night person, perhaps we can take a break from editing your paper to engage in one of my pack's favorite past times: "howling at the moon." Besides this, I am quite good at sniffing out the problems in your papers. My nose is very reliable. If you would like to learn how to write and edit papers with your nose, schedule an appointment with me, and I can begin to teach you the ways of the wolf.

Julia Thompson

Julia Thompson Hello! I am a senior History major from Seattle, Washington. Much of my academic time at Whitman has been spent in writing-intensive classes, especially History courses. I am passionate about my major and would love to help you with writing History papers, including sources and research strategies. I also have experience with upper-level English courses, Sociology, and a bit of Music and Film analysis. In my spare time I enjoy cooking and baking, hiking, and exploring new places. Come in to see me! 

Emma Woodworth, tutor

Emma Woodworth Hi, my name is Emma Woodworth. I'm a senior ES-Bio major with a strong emphasis in writing. I have experience with writing in a wide variety of subject areas, from hard sciences to history, sociology, English, and creative writing. When not at the Writing Center, I can generally be found outside looking at trees, picnicking, and camping.

Administrative Faculty/Staff

Lydia McDermott, Director Lydia McDermott is the Director of the Center for Writing and Speaking, and an Assistant Professor of Composition in General Studies. Her PhD is in Rhetoric and Composition and her MA is in Creative Writing. She loves to write in practically any genre and especially loves helping others find a passion for writing. Aside from writing, she loves watching and playing soccer, hanging out with her three boys, and walking her dog, Sherlock Bones, around Ankeny Field. Previous to coming to Whitman College, she helped to found and direct the Graduate Writing and Research Center at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Please feel free to drop by her office at Olin East E122, around the corner from the COWS, or to schedule an appointment with her at mcdermlm@whitman.edu.

Jonas Myers, assistant to the director of the Writing Center Jonas Myers is the Assistant to the Director of the COWS. He graduated from Whitman in May of 2013, having majored in English and minored in mathematics. As a student, he worked as a tutor in the COWS (back when it was just the Writing Center, in a drab, closet-like room on Olin's second floor) for four semesters. Jonas believes that academic writing can be an outlet for passion and creativity. Jonas's passions include playing and listening to music (especially jazz), exploring and hiking and fishing, Seattle Mariners baseball, cooking and baking, and good films, among other things. His other position at Whitman is that of Writing Support Specialist in the Academic Resource Center. Email him at myersjm@whitman.edu if you'd like an appointment. You can also find him in the COWS Monday through Thursday from 2 to 4 pm, when he hosts open writing hours. Also, coffee.