About the EWC

Thanks for your interest in learning more about the EWC! Below you can find contact information and also learn a bit more about your advising team at UMUC.

Our Mission

The EWC Offers Students

  • Written and audio feedback on writing assignments (organization, introductions, transitions, conclusions, etc.)
  • Answers to writing-related questions
  • Self-study activities on research and writing
  • A plagiarism tutorial module
  • Resources on topics from argument development to English As a Second Language
  • An Online Guide to Writing and Research with related links and self-assessments

Learn more about what the EWC can do you for you in Student FAQ's or for your classroom in Faculty FAQ's.

Contact Us

EWC Contact Information

You are welcome to explore this Web site for writing advice and information, or to contact us using one of the methods below.

Meet the Advisors

The EWC's experienced writing advisors are advanced undergraduates, graduate students, professionals, and UMUC faculty. They are trained in an intensive program that includes mock and live student writing requests. They are available 24 hours a day for one-on-one, online writing advice.


Dan GallagherDan Gallagher, Director

Dan Gallagher joined the Effective Writing Center (EWC) in fall of 2010 after working as an administrator in the Temple University Writing Center for many years. His major interests lie in discovering how students learn to write, how instructors teach writing, and how writing centers play a role in both. He views the writing center, and its diverse array of services, as a resource for everyone at the university, and he hopes that you will, too.

When he's not doing writing center work, Dan writes fiction (long, short, and in-between), which he has also previously taught. He currently lives in the District of Columbia.

Anna DumonchelleAnna Dumonchelle, Lead Advisor

Anna Dumonchelle is a lead writing advisor with UMUC's Effective Writing Center. She has had the pleasure of working for the center for almost 10 years in various capacities, including writing advisor, writing fellow, and database coordinator. Anna truly enjoys working for the center because it combines her love of writing with her passion for teaching. She finds it extremely rewarding to work in such an innovative writing center and to help students become more confident writers. In her spare time, Anna is learning metalsmithing and jewelry making techniques and tends to her small hobby farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Michelle BowmanMichelle Bowman, Guest Lecture Coordinator

Michelle Bowman is the EWC's writing fellows coordinator and has been with the center since 2006. She has a BS in psychology and is working on a Master's of Distance Education and E-Learning with a specialization in Distance Education Teaching and Training at UMUC. Michelle has served as a teaching assistant for a UMUC undergraduate writing course and as an alumna ally mentor for the Student Success Center. With the writing center team, she helped develop an undergraduate writing course for UMUC and has assisted in the creation of instructional writing videos, including "How to Write an Introductory Paragraph," which has 184,234 hits on YouTube and inspires her to create more helpful writing videos for students worldwide.

When blessed with spare time, Michelle reads many great novels and attempts to write one of her own annually during National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo). She also enjoys watching her daughters in gymnastics and theatre performances and traveling with her husband.

Aimee MaxfieldAimee Maxfield, Lead Advisor/Training

Aimee Maxfield is the EWC's lead advisor for training, and also worked as an online writing advisor and guest lecturer from 2005 to 2010. She has a BA from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and MA degrees from the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon and UMCP.

In addition to her work at the EWC, Aimee has taught courses in academic writing, drama, and Shakespeare at the University of Maryland, College Park, and is currently working on a PhD in English at UMCP. Her dissertation explores depictions of community in contemporary American passion plays, and her research interests include early modern textual history and performance studies.

When she is not reading or writing, Aimee enjoys spending time with her husband and their toddler and newborn.

David TaylorDavid Taylor, Senior Advisor

David Taylor, a senior advisor with EWC, taught English and journalism at liberal arts colleges in Virginia and Pennsylvania before serving as an executive editor in the magazine division of Rodale Press for nine years. Today he teaches business and technical writing at UMUC as well as coordinating our guest lecture program of workshops.

Faculty Advisors

Amanda BarnettAmanda Barnett

Amanda Barnett is an advisor for the EWC and an English professor for UMUC, teaching EDCP 103, WRTG 101, and WRTG 291. She has taught writing online and on-ground for eight years and also has experience as a technical writer/editor and copyeditor.

Ms. Barnett holds a BA in English from Eastern Illinois University and an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry, from George Mason University. She also holds a graduate certificate in Professional Editing and Writing. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fiction and memoirs, spinning, Zumba, and studying Spanish. She looks forward to helping UMUC students achieve their academic goals as a writing advisor.

Gay ClaiborneGay Claiborne

Gay Claiborne is a faculty advisor for the EWC. She enjoys helping students improve their writing. She believes that students who write well early on in their college career are much more likely to complete their degree program and to succeed beyond college. An instructor of UMUC undergraduate language, literature, and grammar courses—working with writers of various ability levels—she often recommends that students submit their assignments to the EWC for advice on how to refine their writing.

A native Southwesterner, she attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces to earn a BS in secondary education and an MA in linguistics and literature. After living and teaching in colleges and universities in the Caribbean and Asia for several years, she completed a PhD program, studying composition and rhetoric at University of South Florida in Tampa. The title of her dissertation is "Japanese and American Rhetoric: A Contrastive Study." Dr. Claiborne returned to the U.S. in 2001 from Hawaii to reside in South Carolina, where she's happily settled and plans to remain.

Advisors and Writing Fellows

Miriam AllenMiriam Allen

Miriam Allen lives in Germany with her husband, son, and dogs. In her spare time, she loves to travel, read, and relax. She majored in English in 2010 and has been working for the Effective Writing Center since December 2011. During her time as a student at UMUC, she took a lot of interesting classes, including Advanced Grammar and Style with faculty member Gay Claiborne. This class made her understand how variable and expressional the English language can be if grammar is used correctly and consciously. As a tutor, she hopes to pass on her fascination for the English language to both traditional and ESL students, demonstrating that if a non-native speaker can refine and appreciate his or her second language, anyone can.

Mo BishopMo Bishop

Currently an advisor for the EWC and an online synchronous writing tutor, Mo is also the EWC’s weekend database coordinator. She won UMUC's prestigious President's Scholarship for two consecutive years, was on the Dean's list, and graduated cum laude. Bishop is now working on her master's degree. For the past twenty years, she has owned and operated a small dance studio in southern Florida. She enjoys spending time with her two full-grown, yet often needy, children and walking her faithful dog, Rusty. At 60, Mo is excited to have found a new career and is proof that one is never too old to pursue an education.

Natalie Casale-AltieriNatalie Casale-Altieri

Natalie has a bachelor's degree in English and journalism from SUNY Stony Brook and a master's degree in secondary education from Hofstra University. She has worked in the publishing industry for more than 10 years and is currently a copywriter at Medicus Life Brands in New York City. She has also worked at magazines such as Nickelodeon, Yachting, Men's Fitness, Popular Photography & Imaging, and Woman's Day. She lives in Queens, New York, with her son, John.

Laura DeffleyLaura Deffley

Laura Deffley received a BA in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied literature, psychology, and gender studies. She continued her study of literature at UMCP, where she earned an MA. Laura has worked at both of her alma maters as well as at New York University. Since 2008, she has been an online writing advisor for the EWC at UMUC. Laura provides written feedback to both undergraduate and graduate users of the EWC's database paper submission system, teaches writing workshops in online classrooms, and coaches students on how to improve their writing skills in one-on-one appointments. She finds her work rewarding because she knows that helping students learn how to communicate effectively will serve them in all areas of their lives.

No PhotoAlison Diefenderfer

Alison Diefenderfer holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology, a master's in social science, and is completing a master's in education. In addition to writing advising, she facilitates college level anthropology, sociology, global studies, and standardized test preparation courses.

Allison DorseyAllison Dorsey

Allison Dorsey graduated from the University of Rochester with a double bachelor's in English and anthropology. After graduation, she joined the Peace Corps and lived in Gambia for a few years, teaching English and health education. She currently resides in Thailand, where she works as a scuba diving instructor, a trained hyperbaric chamber tender, and a remote area medic. She has been working at the Effective Writing Center since 2007. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, and underwater photography.

no photoZoe Fisher

Zoe Fisher is the writing fellows assistant coordinator at the EWC and a professor at UMUC's Undergraduate School. She has also worked as a teaching assistant at The Graduate School. Her academic achievements at UMUC include an MS in Health Care Administration (December 2010), an MBA (December 2008), a BS in Business Administration (May 2006), a certificate in Management Foundations (August 2005), and an AA in General Studies (2004). 

She is a proud member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and the National Notary Association. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, and traveling. Zoe lives in California with her husband and daughters.

Kevin FolliardKevin Folliard

Kevin Folliard assists students through asynchronous feedback and in-class writing fellows workshops. He enjoys working with and learning from students, as well as helping the Effective Writing Center build a library of multimedia materials about organization, citations, grammar, and other writing related topics. Kevin has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to working with UMUC students, he pursues freelance copyediting and fiction writing. Kevin is an independent author of middle school and young adult science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories.

Shannon HayesShannon Hayes

Shannon Hayes has been working as a writing advisor for the Effective Writing Center since December 2012. Originally from Pittsburgh, Shannon has lived in Maryland since she graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in English language and literature and a minor in second language education. In addition to tutoring, she also works for the University of Maryland as an academic advisor and is earning her master's degree in higher education at the University of Maryland. She will graduate in May 2016 and hopes to continue working at a university in academic affairs.

no photoAnna Henderson

Anna Henderson has been a part of the EWC team since 2008, and she loves what she does. She finds writing to be a very personal and sometimes challenging experience and it is quite fulfilling for her to get to help students with all facets of the process. She feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with so many diverse students, professors—and her wonderful colleagues, of course—on just about every writing assignment imaginable.

When she is not empowering students to strengthen their writing skills, she can usually be found on any number of adventures with her family.

Suzanne HillSuzanne Hill

Suzanne Hill earned a master's degree from Towson University and has experience with the writing process, self-critiquing, and distance learning. She has taught composition, logic, and business writing at Towson University both face-to-face and online. Suzanne believes that before students can participate meaningfully in the field of writing, they need a solid foundation that includes wide reading, curiosity, varied vocabulary, understanding the pitfalls of punctuation, and a penchant for analysis and logic. Suzanne writes frequently about art history and the contemporary art world. For fun, she spends time with family, reads, makes art, creates jewelry, and travels, not necessarily in this order and certainly not as often as she would like.

Debra LiCausiDebra LiCausi

Debra LiCausi joined the team of writing advisors at UMUC in 2011. Debra's work history includes editorial and project coordination as well as copyediting, copywriting, and proofreading. Her background also includes some informal tutoring engagements. As one of the many diligent team members at the UMUC, Debra strives to ensure each student has the tools needed to accomplish tasks as well as to learn and grow in the academic setting.

Joan MitchellJoan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell has been a writing advisor since 2006 and previously taught English and composition. She has a bachelor's degree in communications and literature and a master's degree in English and literature. For more than 20 years, she has administered a food pantry with the Maryland Food Bank and worked as an advocate for persons with disabilities. Nothing, she feels, has the power for change that the written word has; its nuances fire the imagination and speak for us, she says. A prolific reader, she feels working with students through their papers helps keep her current and involved.

Mary Alice MooreMary Alice Moore

Mary Alice Moore is an adjunct assistant professor with UMUC's academic writing department in The Undergraduate School. She has also been a writing fellow with the Effective Writing Center for many years. In addition, Mary Alice has been an ESL adjunct instructor for Baltimore City Community College, teaching English to refugees, asylees, and immigrants. She holds a bachelor's degree in mass communications and a master's degree in professional writing from Towson University.

Mary Alice is currently earning her doctorate in composition and TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She grew up in Boston and resided in Baltimore for 23 years. She recently returned to the Boston area to become a caregiver to her elderly mother, who passed away from Alzheimer's. As a result of that experience, Mary Alice is an advocate with the Alzheimer's Association.

She is especially proud to serve the many military students of UMUC, since her mother was a United States Marine Corps Sergeant from 1950 to 1955. Mary Alice considers herself a city girl at heart and loves walking around Boston for relaxation. In her spare time, she bakes, makes homemade candy, works out, practices yoga and Tai Chi, writes, reads, and visits veterans at the VA hospital with homemade treats in hand.

no photoAshley Morales

Ashley Morales is a UMUC graduate and has worked as an Effective Writing Center writing advisor since 2011. She has a bachelor's degree in social science, a certificate in Spanish studies, and a certificate in border administration. Ashley is pursuing her master's degree in international relations with Troy University.

Alicia RasleyAlicia Rasley

Alicia Rasley is the author of The Power of Point of View and The Story Within Plotbook. Her novel The Year She Fell, an Amazon bestseller, was released by Bell Bridge Books in November 2010. Her latest novel is a mystery, also from Bell Bridge, titled Until Death.

In her writing career, she has been involved in most aspects of publishing, as a writer, an editor, and a publisher. She also teaches fiction-writing, college composition, and literature. She has also served as a writing advisor, writing tutor, and classroom writing fellow at university writing centers. Her writing and editing articles are archived at www.edittorrent.blogspot.com and www.rasley.com/archive.htm.

She loves to discuss the art and craft of writing fiction, drama, and poetry, and helping students with the mechanics and development of academic papers.

Chris ReedChris Reed

Chris Reed is currently majoring in psychology at the University of Michigan-Flint. Aside from being an Effective Writing Center advisor at UMUC, he also teaches a course—Comics & Cartooning for Beginners—for the Ann Arbor Department of Recreation & Education, YouthQuest (an after-school enrichment program), and the Ennis Center for Children, which serves at-risk youth throughout southeast Michigan.

Leigh Ann RuggieroLeigh Ann Ruggiero

Leigh Ann Ruggiero has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland and a BA in English and writing from Wheaton College in Illinois. Currently, she teaches both writing and literature as a professor at Great Falls College-Montana State University. She spends any time leftover working on her own writing projects and staring out her window at "Big Sky Country."

Theresa StevensTheresa Stevens

After earning degrees in creative writing and law, Theresa Stevens worked as a literary attorney and agent for a boutique firm where she represented a range of fiction and nonfiction authors, and later as chief executive editor for a highly acclaimed small romance press. Her articles on writing and editing have appeared in numerous publications. She has taught fiction, drama, and nonfiction writing in university and workshop settings, and has additional experience in HR and law.

Amy WeldeAmy Welde

Amy Welde currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and daughter. In her spare time, she likes to run, read, cook healthy vegan dishes, and volunteer at her children's school. She has a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, BS in Communication Disorders and Deaf Education from Utah State University, and MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Clemson University. Her professional work experience includes 10 years in human resources and consulting. A writing advisor since December 2011, Amy enjoys providing writing guidance and support to UMUC students.