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.

no photoAnna Dumonchelle, Lead Advisor

Anna Hill has been a guest lecturer and writing advisor with the EWC since 2006. She truly enjoys her job with the EWC because it combines her love of writing with her passion for teaching. She finds it extremely rewarding to help students become more confident writers! Anna is also working on her PhD in anthropology at Syracuse University. Her research focuses on archaeological excavations at the Harriet Tubman Home historical site. She has taught a variety of courses at Syracuse University, including Historical Archaeology, Critical Issues in the U.S., Biological Anthropology, and Peoples and Cultures of the World. In her free time, Anna volunteers for an animal rescue organization where she has helped dozens of pets find loving homes. She also enjoys spending time with her new husband and their three dogs.

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

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 Natalie Casale

Natalie has a BA in English and Journalism from SUNY Stony Brook and an MS in Secondary Education from Hofstra University. She has worked in the publishing industry for more than 10 years and is currently a freelance project manager working on educational textbooks and e-books. She has also worked at magazines such as Nickelodeon Magazine Group, Yachting, Men's Fitness, Popular Photography & Imaging, and Woman's Day Specials. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, dog (Hamlet) and kitten (Ophelia).

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 photoAllison Dorsey

Allison Dorsey received her Bachelors in English and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Rochester and her CELTA from the ICC in Honolulu, Hawaii. After graduation, she joined the Peace Corps and lived in The Gambia, West Africa for two years doing a combination of teaching at the local elementary school and working at the health clinic. Once her service was completed, she got an English teaching job in southern Thailand where she taught children from the ages of 4 to 16 over the course of a year. She has been working as a writing advisor for the EWC for more than three years while still living in Thailand. Even though she has traded her paper and pencils for scuba equipment (her current job is an underwater film maker and editor), she still enjoys having the opportunity to put her writing and teaching skills to work for the EWC.

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.

no photoKevin Folliard

Kevin Folliard has a Bachelor's Degree in English and Rhetoric from the University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana. He has published works of short fiction and poetry and worked with online literary publications such as Tatlin's Tower and Burst. He is a screen writer for Dark Maze Studios and has developed scripts for feature-length films Press Start and Press Start 2 Continue, as well as web series Robogirl and Press Start Adventures. He has also written and performed sketch comedy in the Chicagoland area and seeks publication for two completed young adult fantasy novels. After having worked in commercial banking for several years, he is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with students as a writing advisor and will happily exchange numbers for words. In his free time he enjoys acting, movies, video games, and visiting new places around the country.

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.

no photoNick Horn

Apart from being a single dad to two wonderful children, Nicholas Horn is currently a full-time student attending Mott Community College in Flint, MI. In addition to tutoring, he works two additional jobs, so he can empathize with those trying to balance school, family, and work. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a BS in Journalism eight years ago, though most of his work experience is in the training and managerial fields.

no photoJoan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell received both her undergraduate degree and graduate degrees from Salisbury University in Salisbury on the "Slower Shore" of Maryland. She graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA and a BA degree in Communications Arts; she specialized in interpersonal communications, but has many hours in literature and creative writing. Her graduate degree is in literature. She maintained a 3.9 GPA and taught two classes per semester of English and literature to freshman while working on her master's. Her graduate studies contained courses in rhetoric, grammar, and writing program issues. She joined the staff at the EWC in 2006. She has 20 years experience as an advocate for persons with disabilities, diversity and accessibility issues, and often donates her time to help others. She often feels there is another disability and that is old age. She also administers a food pantry helping distribute Maryland Food Bank products to 85 people, mostly older, disabled, or single mothers. Everyone, she feels, can do something to make a difference in others' lives. Working with students through their papers helps keep her current and involved. She feels nothing has the power of the written word as an advocate for change.

no photoMary Alice Moore

Mary Alice Moore is an adjunct faculty member of UMUC's academic writing department in The Undergraduate School. She also has been a writing advisor with the EWC for many years. In addition, Mary Alice is an ESL adjunct instructor for Baltimore City Community College. She teaches English to refugees, asylees and immigrants. She holds a BS in Mass Communications from Towson University and an MS in Professional Writing from Towson University. Mary Alice is currently working on her PhD in Composition and TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is happy to be done with her coursework and is now working on her dissertation. Her dissertation topic is Writing for Healing Purposes: Crossing Cultures and Spiritualities. She grew up in Boston and currently resides in Baltimore. With the exception of her short scholarly sojourn in rural Indiana, Pennsylvania, she considers herself a city girl at heart and loves walking around Washington, D.C., for relaxation. She also loves showing her ESL students around the nation's capitol. Her hobbies are baking, making homemade candy, working out, writing, and reading.

no photoAlicia 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.

no photoChris Reed

Chris Reed is an English major at the University of Michigan-Flint. In his spare time, he writes horror and dark-humor fiction, and has been published more than 60 times in the small press, in both print and electronic magazines. His short story, This Moment Will Haunt You Forever, appeared in the 2010 anthology, The Horror Zine: Twice the Terror, alongside such masters of the genre as Bentley Little, Joe R. Lansdale, Simon Clark and Graham Masterton. Aside from writing, Chris enjoys drawing, browsing thrift stores, eating pizza, and waiting for hockey fights to break out, sometimes simultaneously. He has worked at EWC for more than two years. He lives in Davison, Michigan, with his photographer wife (also an EWC advisor) and their two children. For more information on his fiction, visit his official Web site: www.ChrisReedFiction.com.

no photoLeigh Ann Ruggiero

Leigh Ann Ruggiero has an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP). She also earned her BA in English/Writing from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, where she placed in the school's Lowell-Grabill Creative Writing Contest both her junior and senior year. Her research interests include Flannery O'Connor and the intersection of writing with the practice of yoga. She is interested in the questions of who is telling a story and when a story "begins." Outside of the EWC, she has taught academic and creative writing as an adjunct faculty member at UMCP. She spends any time leftover working on her own writing projects, creative and academic, and staring out her window at Big Sky Country.

no photoTheresa Stevens

Theresa Stevens is the Publisher of STAR Guides, a nonfiction publishing company with the mission to help writers write better books. After earning degrees in creative writing and law, she worked as a literary attorney agent for a boutique firm where she represented a range of fiction and nonfiction authors, and then as chief executive editor for a highly acclaimed small romance press. Her articles on writing and editing have appeared in numerous publications for writers. She has taught fiction, drama, and nonfiction writing in university and workshop settings.

no photoOlivia Wurster

Olivia Wurster graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She worked as an ESL instructor at Seattle Community College before serving in the Peace Corps in The Gambia. Wurster joined UMUC in August 2007 as a writing advisor and has guest lectured onsite and online. Currently, Olivia is living a life of mystery overseas, happily telecommuting from various exciting destinations while following her husband in the foreign service.

no photoAmy 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.

no photo

Miriam Allen, Amy Azevedo, Alison Diefenderfer, Shannon Hayes, Suzanne Hill, Debra Li Causi, and Jason Szumanski