- From the Director
- Sweetland Welcomes a New Associate Director: Simone Sessolo
- Highlights from the Anti-Racist Task Force
- Accessible Writing Center Project
- The Dissertation Writing Institute Celebrates its 20th Anniversary!
- Dr. Laura Clapper named Peer Writing Consultant Program Director
- Minor in Writing and PWC Graduates
- A Look Inside Writing 160
- New Digital Rhetoric Collaborative Fellows & Upcoming Books
- In Praise of Colleen LaPere
- Alum Updates
- Faculty & Staff News
- 2021-2022 Undergraduate Writing Prizes
Big thanks to our alums who contributed their updates for this year's newsletter. With the exception of Maiya Yu ('21 MWrite alum) all of the following are Peer Writing Consultant/Peer Tutor alums. Danielle Colburn is an alum of both the Minor in Writing and Peer Writing Consultant programs.
If you are a Sweetland alum (Minor in Writing, Peer Writing Consultant/Peer Tutor, or MWrite), you can send us your update via the form on our Alums Gallery. We look forward to hearing from you!
Sherry Grace Gabriel • English '08
Upon graduation, I completed my MPH from Columbia University and my DrPH from UCLA. Next, I worked for a boutique strategy consultancy focused on the life sciences in New York City for eight years before transitioning to my current role as the Director of Commercial Strategy and Insights at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. Sweetland helped hone my skills to write effectively and succinctly – a skillset that proved invaluable since leaving Ann Arbor.
Rachel Matz • English '09
I am currently a high school English teacher and newspaper advisor in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. While teaching, I earned a master's degree in education technology and am currently pursuing coursework in education leadership. In my classroom, I am passionate about pursuing student-centered instructional strategies, including many of the peer review strategies used at Sweetland. When not teaching, I spend my time with family and also enjoy reading, listening to podcasts and musical soundtracks, and exploring with my dog.
Elissa Sarno • Psychology '10
Since graduating, I earned my PhD in psychology from the University of Maryland and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern University, where I am currently a Research Assistant Professor. I am also a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in downtown Chicago.
Logan Corey • Creative Writing - Literature (Residential College) '13
Following graduation, I spent a year as Sweetland's OWL tutor for U-M Dentistry students and traveled to Florida to present a collaborative workshop at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing. During this time, I also continued my work as a private ESL tutor in the Ann Arbor area, supporting nearly fifty students over four years. I joined the U-M Residential College staff in 2012 as the Student Affairs Coordinator. I have since stepped into the role of Director of Residential College Admissions and Recruitment & MLC Administration, where I manage all recruitment and enrollment efforts for Residential College students. My home base is now Ypsilanti with my husband and our two cats.
Yevgeny Shrago • Economics, Philosophy '13
I'm working as an attorney in Washington D.C. focusing on the intersection of climate change and financial regulation. I lead a team at a nonprofit doing policy development and advocacy. I often work on developing my team members writing skills. I use the techniques I started building at SWC to help my team members grow as writers while cultivating their own voices.
Jennifer Xu • English '13
Went to medical school at the University of Michigan, then moved to Southern California for additional training. Will be staying on as faculty at University of California, Irvine as a general cardiologist. I had great memories working at Sweetland! Always thought I was going to pursue writing as a career but I’ve found many commonalities in healthcare so please reach out if considering a career in medicine!
Joseph Yancho • Neuroscience '14
After graduation, I attended dental school, also at the University of Michigan. After graduating in 2018, I entered active duty with the Navy, as I used the HPSP scholarship for grad school. Practicing dentistry in the Navy, I've lived in Chicago, San Diego, and Japan, and am soon going to be separating and going into private practice back in Michigan. Tutoring at Sweetland helped me become more of a team player and an effective communicator - skills that have served me well in my career so far. I'll always be thankful for what I learned in my time at Michigan - Go Blue!
Patty Hazle • Architecture '15
Since graduating from the University of Michigan, I’ve worked at architecture firms in Michigan and the Netherlands. I’m invested in grass-roots organization, material circularity, and design organized around the principles of commoning—values I’ve engaged through work constructing off-grid, natural buildings in the US and UK, and participating in activism with Extinction Rebellion. I’m currently a Master of Architecture candidate at Princeton University, where as an Assistant Instructor for a graduate studio, I apply concepts learned at the writing center on a daily basis. I help my peers express ideas, discern between higher and lower-order concerns, and develop working processes.
Isaac Ahuvia • Sociology '16
I am currently in my third year in the clinical psychology PhD program at Stony Brook University. One of my favorite parts of being a PhD student is getting to mentor others. I still get a lot of joy out of helping people write papers!
Marie Michels • English '16
I live in New York City, where I work as an associate editor at Penguin Random House. My Sweetland experience taught me so much about effectively working with writers, and I use those skills every day as I edit novels!
Jerrin Lee • Psychology '17
After graduating, I continued my clinical research journey, and I am now a Clinical Psychology PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut. I use the skills I learned at Sweetland on a daily basis -- whether it's to write up and publish research findings, complete clinical documentation notes and reports, help my students with their essays and assignments, or provide feedback to colleagues and mentees -- writing continues to be an integral part of my career and life.
Shiyuan Yin • Economics, Political Science '17
After college, I went to law school at the University of Pennsylvania and lived in DC and Silicon Valley. I now work in NYC helping startups and tech/life science companies in all stages of their life. I use my listening and communication skills developed at Sweetland when I speak to founders.
Danielle Colburn • English '18
I've been working in management consulting at Capgemini Invent since January 2021. I send a lot of emails, and most of my job right now is creating communications for my client. I rely every day on the writing skills I learned at Sweetland. And I keep my love for reading and writing alive with a book club with my best friends in Chicago!
Sareena Kamath • English, Spanish '18
I currently work as an editor at Zando, an independent book publisher based in New York City. Though I now edit and acquire book-length works of fiction, the broader skills I practiced at Sweetland— collaboration, empathy, communication— continue to impact my current approach.
Lars Johnson • English, EEB '19
I am currently a PhD student in Literatures in English at Cornell. In addition to research, I teach first-year writing seminars, which means that I put my writing pedagogy skills from Sweetland to use all the time!
Adela Baker • English '20
After living in Boston post-undergrad, I started as a 1L at Harvard Law School this fall, potentially pursuing education law. I think of my time at Sweetland often (and constantly peer pressure my sister, a freshman at UM, to drop by peer tutoring:) Just today, I wrote an eight-hour exam that I don't think I would have had the mental stamina nor writing skills to complete without having worked as a peer tutor. Even today I often edit friends' papers or applications, and many of them turn to me because they know how much I enjoyed and learned at Sweetland.
Zofia Ferki • Creative Writing - Literature, German '20
I graduated in May 2020 during the outbreak of the pandemic (my last official university event before everything shut down was our weekly Sweetland meeting, and I wouldn't have had it any other way). After that, I stayed inside for a year and a half in order to avoid corona. That was incredibly rough. During this time I applied for and was accepted as a freelance contributor to write jokes for The Onion and Reductress, a long-time dream of mine. I also collaborated with fellow UM alumni to launch our own comedy website, The Whole Wheat Post, which parodies the health and wellness industry. In 2021, I moved to Hamburg, Germany, for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. I also started doing stand-up comedy shows in English and in German. I intend to stay in Germany for as long as possible and pursue stand-up as a full-time career.
Ameera Kamalrudin • Psychology, Linguistics '20
I’m currently back home in Malaysia working with the U.S. Embassy here as the EducationUSA program coordinator, where I promote higher education in the U.S. via free advising and outreach programs for Malaysians. Sweetland sparked my interest in student advising and I apply my skills via personalized interactions with university applicants, especially pertaining their personal essays.
Rachel McKimmy • Program in the Environment '21
I'm living in Vermont, doing a year of service through ECO AmeriCorps at the Department of Environmental Conservation's Clean Water Initiative Program. In my free time, I'm volunteering with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants as an English tutor for refugees in Vermont. :)
Julianna Morano • English '21
I’m working my first full-time job as an education reporter at The Fresno Bee’s Education Lab. I’ve been living in Fresno since I started the job in March 2023. I was just talking to a colleague yesterday, who I found out also worked at a writing center at UC Merced during her undergrad. We both talked about how we learned more about writing at the Writing Center than possibly anywhere else! I also think tutoring taught me how to build trust in a short span of time — vital for a job that requires one-on-one interviews all the time. Missing Sweetland from 2,000 miles away!
Maiya Yu • Biochemistry, Mathematics '21
After graduating, I moved to the Bay Area where I am working on my PhD in Structural Biology at Stanford.
Natalie White • Biology, Health and Society '22
I am currently attending Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo! I have helped with Kalamazoo Literacy Coalition, working on improving English skills in ESL learners and will serve on the admissions committee in 2023. Go blue!