Meet the Writing Fellows

Alina Caulfied

Class: 2020
Major(s): English, Public Policy
Minor(s): Philosophy, Sociology, Energy and Environmental Policy
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Blue Hen Leadership Program, Outing Club, Greek Life, The Review, yoga, spending time outside, listening to music, playing piano, reading, photography, environmental issues/climate change, social issues, space, philosophy, being environmentally conscious
Favorite books and authors: Jhumpa Lahiri, John Steinbeck, Jane Austen, Malcom Gladwell, Annie Dillard
Advice to college writers: You know more than you think you do about writing; you have a wealth of knowledge and resources available to you and all you have to do is absorb it.
Mallory Coughlin

Class: 2020
Major(s): History Education
Minor(s): Disability Studies
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Project Sunshine, Catholic Campus Ministry
Favorite books and authors: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth Silver; George Orwell, Gillian Flynn
Advice to college writers: Try to find some aspect about your paper topic that you find truly interesting and exciting, then tap into that excitement to carry you through the writing process.
Will Eichler

Class: 2019
Major(s): English Education
Minor(s): Disabilities Studies, Applied Music on Saxophone
Hobbies/interest/clubs: University of Delaware Marching Band, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, playing saxophone, listening to music, reading and writing, watching movies, playing video games
Favorite books and authors: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Harry Potter Series, The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, Clint Smith III, Seamus Heaney, Langston Hughes, Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin, William Shakespeare
Advice to college writers: It’s all about your own ideas, not anyone else’s.
Matt Ellias

Class: 2019
Major(s): International Relations, History
Minor(s): German
Hobbies/interest/clubs: HenMUN, UD International Relations Club, going to the beach, reading history, traveling, international politics
Favorite books and authors: Dostoyevsky, Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare (especially Richard III)
Advice to college writers: There isn’t a single template for what makes good writing. Everyone’s style is different, and what makes it good is its ability to communicate effectively.
Julia Gambogi

Class: 2019
Major(s): Mechanical Engineering
Minor(s): Mathematics
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Reading, Hiking, Travel, and Board games
Favorite books and authors: Patrick Rothfuss – Kingkiller Chronicles, George R.R. Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire, Tamora Pierce – Alanna, Mark Lawrence – Broken Empire Trilogy, Orson Scott Card – Ender’s Game
Advice to college writers: Write about topics you are interested in and want to write about; it will make the process more enjoyable and the paper more exciting to read! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either from the Writing Fellows or your teacher. College writing is a lot different from high school writing, so if you need help we’re here for you!
Jordan Kavanaugh

Class: 2019
Major(s): International Relations, Economics
Minor(s): Spanish
Hobbies/interest/clubs: I play the saxophone and I’m a huge political nerd. At school I’m a member of the marching band, the editorial editor for the UD Review, and a Senator for the Student Government Association.
Favorite books and authors: Favorite authors are hard to pin down, they vary depending on the year. I’d say for now that my favorite author is Gore Vidal. I have a few favorite books, however, including To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, and The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut.
Advice to college writers: Try to make every prompt your own. The mistake that many college students make is in thinking that every professor wants a tried and true paper that fits a certain formula. In my experience, I write the best papers when I become engaged with the topic and am able to add my own personal flair to the paper. It shows a level of writing beyond the formulaic and also makes writing the paper a whole lot more fun!
Paige Kistler

Class: 2020
Major(s): English
Minor(s): History and Museum Studies
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Creative writing, obsessing over most nerdy things (i.e. Star Wars, Marvel, Game of Thrones, etc.)
Favorite books and authors: The Harry Potter series, Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson, Leigh Bardugo, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Peter and the Starcatchers series, Rick Riordan, and Red Rising
Advice to college writers: It might not be easy to start. Your grammar might not be spot-on and you might have trouble communicating all your thoughts exactly the way you want them to at first. But, if you keep trying and if you want to improve, you will see improvement. No matter what, though, keep writing.
Katie Kornienko

Class: 2020
Major(s): Finance and Fashion Merchandising
Hobbies/interest/clubs: UD Figure Skating, UDress Magazine, Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, fashion blogging
Favorite books and authors: The Kite Runner, The Alchemist, Shoe Dog, Gone Girl, Crime and Punishment, Lean In, Malcolm Gladwell, George R.R. Martin, Stephen King
Advice to college writers: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone – the best writing comes to fruition when you take risks and believe in your abilities.
Pallavi Kulkarni

Class: 2020
Major(s): Neuroscience B.S.
Minor(s): Biological Sciences, French Studies
Hobbies/interest/clubs: On campus I am involved with UDRESS, Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity, Undergraduate Research, and UDaB. I love yoga, traveling, listening to podcasts, writing.
Favorite books and authors: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Complications by Atul Gawande are great! Some favorite authors of mine are Malcolm Gladwell, Atul Gawande, and Harper Lee.
Advice to college writers: It is ok if you absolutely hate your first draft. You don’t need it to be perfect (it’s called a draft for a reason) and let your thoughts and ideas just flow out on to the paper!
Amanda Langell

Class: 2019
Major(s): English, History
Hobbies/interest/clubs: 186 South College Blog, Caesura Magazine, creative writing, watching sports, attending Broadway plays, and reading romance novels.
Favorite books and authors: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, and anything by Katie McGarry.
Advice to college writers: Learn to love your own writing. Once you accomplish that, everything else will seem a little less intimidating.
Christopher Lynch

Class: 2019
Major(s): History Education
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Club Swim Team
Favorite books and authors: The Scarlet Letter, John Keats, The Myths That Made America by Heike Paul
Advice to college writers: Its never too early to start that draft. Go out on a limb every chance you get throughout your writing process. Your best and most unique work will most often come from thinking outside the box.
Sarah Marek

Class: 2019
Major(s): Psychology
Minor(s): Human Development and Family Sciences, Coaching Science
Hobbies/interest/clubs: UD Synchronized Skating, Yoga, APO Service Fraternity
Favorite books and authors: Khaled Hosseini, Malcolm Gladwell
Advice to college writers: Have confidence in your abilities!
Lauren Marvin

Class: 2020
Major(s): International Business Studies, French Studies
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, World Scholars Program, Mock Trial, traveling, Netflix
Favorite books and authors: John Grisham, James Patterson, Harry Potter, Me Before You, The Count of Monte Cristo
Advice to college writers: The quality of your first draft isn’t what matters, but rather what you choose to do with it after. Comments aren’t there to make you feel bad about yourself; they’re there to help you explore new ideas and ultimately become a better writer, so don’t shy away from them!
Katie McConeghy

Class: 2019
Major(s): Management Information Systems, English
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Pi Beta Phi Sorority, Delaware Diplomats, American Host Partner Program, reading, travel, yoga, learning languages
Favorite books and authors: The classics (The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee), anything that makes me think (Thich Nhat Hahn, Ishmael by Daniel Quinn), also my daily horoscope (Libra!), and of course Harry Potter
Advice to college writers: Never forget to write for yourself, too. We get so caught up in writing for classes and deadlines that I think we often undervalue the importance of writing something simply for the joy of writing it. Whether it’s a little poem, a short story, or even just your thoughts at the end of the day, I think the academic part will always come easier when you learn how to write for fun.
Bianca Mers

Class: 2020
Major(s): International Relations, Public Policy
Minor(s): Spanish, Leadership
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Strong #likeagirl Club, APO service fraternity, running (honestly, more like fast walking), napping, (accidentally killing) plants, Hulu
Favorite books and authors: One More Thing by BJ Novak, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, recently on a Jane Austen kick
Advice to college writers: Trust yourself! Doing what works for you not only makes the writing process more enjoyable but usually makes a product that’s also more enjoyable to read.
Rachel Milberg

Class: 2020
Major(s): English, Psychology
Minor(s): Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Reading, creative writing, E-52 Student Theatre, The Review, Research assistant for the Infant Caregiver Project
Favorite books and authors: Hemingway, Shakespeare, John Green and anything Kurt Vonnegut, specifically Mother Night, Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five. I also am a sucker for The Great Gatsby. I love that green light.
Advice to college writers: My advice for college writers is not to abide by confining writing rules all the time. Your writing should be your own voice, unique and distinct. Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment with your words, because your words are powerful! Take some writing risks!
Steve Mirsen

Class: 2020
Major(s): Public Policy, History
Minor(s): Political Science
Hobbies/interest/clubs: I enjoy reading, watching (sometimes too much) Netflix, and talking about what I read and watch with my friends. I love swimming, and spend as much time at the pool and beach as I can in the summer. I also like debating and avidly follow news and politics
Favorite books and authors: My favorite book series are the Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and the Maze Runner, and have been since elementary and middle school. More recently, I’ve found a new favorite author in the (well named) Stephen King, and especially enjoyed “The Stand,” “It,” “The Shining,” and “11/22/63.” I was also particularly interested in “Lies Incorporated, the World of Post-Truth Politics,” by Ari Rabin-Havt and Media Matters for America.
Advice to college writers: I’d recommend new college writers test their limits and try to branch out in style and subject. It’s extremely easy to doubt your abilities, and for me, writing about something has always illustrated that I have a lot more to say about something than I initially would’ve thought. The more ways you approach something, the more sides of an issue you see, which helps give you a better understanding of what you’re learning about or trying to communicate to readers. Risks taken with confidence usually pay off, and the feeling of having done well after testing yourself is well-rewarding.
Sage Mosteller

Class: 2020
Major(s): Chemical Engineering
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, sketching, Russian language
Favorite books and authors: Собака (Рассказ Незнакомки), The Bibliophile’s Dictionary, Lord of the Flies
Advice to college writers: A good writer and a bad writer are often the same person at different points in the drafting process.
Caleb Owens

Class: 2020
Major(s): History, English, Philosophy
Minor(s): Cognitive Science
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Editor in Chief at The Review, Christiana Towers Resident Assistant, into jazz and playing Led Zeppelin covers, fan of the environment, intermittent Luddite and vegan.
Favorite books and authors: Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Kolbert, Philip K. Dick, Jane Austen, Dostoevsky, Camus, David Foster Wallace, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Peter Singer, Zora Neale Hurston, The Catcher in the Rye, The Wanderer, The Bible, The Bhagavad Gita.
Advice to college writers: Write first, think later. It’s the unnatural order.
Jaina Patel

Class: 2019
Major(s): Economics, Political Science
Minor(s): History, Business Administration
Hobbies/interest/clubs: I am a Munson Fellow for the Honors Program and am also involved with HENS (Honors Engaging in Neighborhood Service) and Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed service fraternity).
Favorite books and authors: The Awakening by Kate Chopin, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Advice to college writers: Take every writing assignment as an opportunity to improve your writing abilities. Different assignments will challenge you in different ways. Embrace the opportunity to enhance your skill set, and bring forth your best effort for every assignment!
Grace Pedersen

Class: 2019
Major(s): Environmental Studies, Public Policy
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Student Government Association, Delaware Environmental Institute, running, and knitting.
Favorite books and authors: I can’t pick a favorite but recently I have been reading Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt, which has been interesting.
Advice to college writers: When you are given a writing prompt, try to find a way that your interests can apply to it. Learn something from the assignment that you could talk about in the future.
Pauline Raisis

Class: 2019
Major(s): Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Minor(s): Spanish, Energy and Environmental Policy
Hobbies/interest/clubs: On campus I am an Outing Club officer and a member of Climbing Club and Blue Hen Birding. Some of my interests include running, rock climbing, backpacking, painting, reading, and traveling
Favorite books and authors: The Alchemist, Brave New World, Slaughterhouse Five, the Divergent Series, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Aldous Huxley
Advice to college writers: Don’t get bogged down by trying to make your papers perfect on the first draft. Trust that drafting is a part of the writing process and that your writing is always a work in progress. Don’t worry about the details and finishing touches until later because it is important to get your ideas down and let them flow. Embracing this part of the process will make writing more fun!
Sarah Reynolds

Class: 2020
Major(s): History, French
Hobbies/interest/clubs: I am a brother of UD’s chapter of Phi Sigma Pi and a Resident Assistant. I love reading, running, hiking, being outside, traveling, and spending time with friends.
Favorite books and authors: I love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and the Harry Potter books. I enjoy reading books that I have enjoyed in the past that have been translated to French.
Advice to college writers: Writing in college will be different than what you have done before, and it will take time to adjust. Remember that drafting is an important part of the process for a reason.
Liv Rogal

Class: 2019
Major(s): Public Policy, Women and Gender Studies
Minor(s): Psychology, Domestic Violence Prevention and Services
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Concert-going, podcasts, stand-up comedy (watching, not performing), politics, reading the New Yorker, Sexual Offense Support, Community Engagement Ambassadors, ADPi Sorority, Biden Institute, UDaB
Favorite books and authors: The Color Purple, Bell Jar, Harry Potter, David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, Chimananda Ngozi Adichie
Advice to college writers: There’s always going to be writers that are better than you and worse than you, but this is a time to be selfish. Focus on finding your voice, utilizing your strengths, transforming your weaknesses, and asking questions. Also, take this opportunity to write about new topics and writing styles, you never know what novel interests you may find.
Lauren Ryan

Class: 2020
Major(s): Nursing
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Student Nursing Organization, Hillel, Alpha Delta Pi sorority, cooking, watching Netflix, staying active
Favorite books and authors: The Great Gatsby, John Green, Nicholas Sparks, James Patterson
Advice to college writers: Don’t be afraid to take a chance with your writing It’s totally okay to try something new. And you never know, it may be some of your best work!
Marius Sander

Class: 2019
Major(s): Philosophy, Cognitive Science, German
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Lazarus Rising, Chamber Music, Playing Violin, Watching Movies
Favorite books and authors: JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Nate Silver, Peter Singer, Stephen King
Advice to college writers: You will never write the perfect paper. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.
Jen Storm

Class: 2019
Major(s): Exercise Science
Minor(s): Biology, Psychology
Hobbies/interest/clubs: I am a part of the Knitting and Crochet Club and Active Minds, and I am a CHEM103 workshop leader. I also love reading, swimming, watching TV, and sleeping.
Favorite books and authors: A Song of Ice and Fire series, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter (duh), The Bell Jar/Sylvia Plath, etc.
Advice to college writers: Pick topics that interest you. No one wants to write a long essay on something they do not care about! Also, make sure to focus on what you want to say in your paper. Grammar can always come later but if you have no idea what you are arguing, the paper won’t be nearly as effective. Personally, I love outlines, but find the best way for YOU to organize your thoughts and go from there!
Rashiqah Syed

Class: 2019
Major(s): Medical Diagnostics
Minor(s): History, Biology
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Cooking, lifting, graphic design, Latins Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority Incorporated Secretary, V Day Secretary, Phi Delta Epsilon Premedical Fraternity
Favorite books and authors: Leo Tolstoy, John Steinbeck, Anna Karenina, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Interpreter of Maladies
Advice to college writers: Writing is process of discovery. Let yourself learn and be amazed from the material you write about; it’s a chore only if you make it so.
Emma Thieke

Class: 2020
Major(s): Three Languages (French, Spanish, Arabic)
Minor(s): Italian
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Swimming, Reading, Writing, Italian Club, Orthodox Christian Fellowship
Favorite books and authors: JK Rowling (of course), Jane Austen, Rick Riordan, Brandon Sanderson
Advice to college writers: Don’t be afraid to use your resources! Writing in college can be daunting but you’re definitely not alone. Your peers, your writing fellows, and your professors are wonderful resources to talk to and will always be willing to help, so reach out to them!
Leighton Trimarco

Class: 2020
Major(s): Public Policy
Minor(s): Legal Studies, Political Communication
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Mock Trial, HenLaw Society, Delaware Diplomats, Philly sports, podcasts, hiking, theater, concerts, Game of Thrones
Favorite books and authors: George R.R. Martin, Left to Tell, The Help, Night, A Brave New World, The Hunger Games series, Giovanni’s Room
Advice to college writers: If you are able, have multiple dependable people read over your work and give you feedback before submission. Ensure they are reading the final product, because opening up your best work for constructive criticism often makes for better writing.
John Vaile

Class: 2020
Major(s): Biochemistry, Spanish Studies
Minor(s): Biochemical Engineering, Philosophy
Hobbies/interest/clubs: Traveling, doodling and sculpting, exploring local coffee shops, and watching sports; American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hablar Sin Parar, Making Doctors, MEDLIFE, University Allocation Board, University of Delaware Emergency Care Un
Favorite books and authors: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee, Galileo’s Middle Finger by Alice Dreger
Advice to college writers: 1) Keep an open mind; 2) Don’t be complacent.