The UNO Writing Center is not just a place; it is people: writers talking with writers about writing. Established in 2005 through Programs of Excellence funding, the center evolved from vision to actuality through the efforts of Shelton Hendricks, former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Michael Skau, former chair of the Department of English; and Connie Eberhart, the center’s first director. Dorianne Richards directed the center from 2007 until her retirement in 2010. The current directors are Nora Bacon and Marsha Kruger.
Nora Bacon has been a member of the UNO faculty since 1997. She has taught courses in composition, community-based writing, the rhetoric of the sentence, composition theory, and composition research, and she directs the first-year writing program. Her research focuses on how writing varies from one academic discipline to another and on how writers use the skills developed in school when they write in professional and community settings. Nora’s most recent publication is a textbook, The Well-Crafted Sentence (Bedford/St. Martins, 2009).
Cori Borgheiinck is working towards a BS in Biology.
Samantha Chesters graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She is currently teaching Composition I and on her way to a master's in English. Her interests include American Literature, pop culture, and African American authors.
Bill DeGraw is an emeritus professor in the Department of Biology. His research explored physiological adaptations for migration in birds. During more than 40 years of teaching at UNO he taught courses in animal physiology, endocrinology, histology, as well as introductory courses for majors and non-majors. During the past 15 years, he taught a junior-level course in writing designed for majors in biology, biotechnology, and environmental studies. In addition, he has extensive experience as an academic advisor, especially for the pre-health professions. Retirement gives him a chance be more involved in his favorite activities: cycling, hiking, and refinishing old furniture.
Jenna DeWilde is is a freshman Criminal Justice major and in her spare time, works as a Staff Assistant for the Writing Center. She graduated last year from Hummingbird Heights Homeschool and enjoys reading in her spare time. Her favorite author is C. S. Lewis.
David takes pleasure in reading Renaissance Humanist treatises and essays, Shakespeare, the Metaphysical Poets, and Romanticism. Depending on his mood, he engages in Marxist, Deconstructive, or New Historicist analysis. He also has a thing for Jorge Luis Borges, Beat literature, golf, and punk rock. The first band he ever saw perform was the Circle Jerks in 1989.
Erica received her bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in creative nonfiction from UNO, and she is currently working toward a master’s degree in the same field of study. Erica was recently married to her husband, whom she met during her first week as an undergraduate on this campus. Erica loves working with students and has a strong interest in mentoring and teaching. Previously, she has been employed as a resident assistant in the dorms, a workplace mentor for high school youth, and a lifeguard/swimming lesson instructor. As a final note, she loves cats.
Marsha Kruger, a member of the English Department and Women’s Studies faculty, has taught Business Writing, Technical Writing, Composition I, Composition II, and Advanced Composition. As she meandered through her undergraduate years, she attended Midland College, Portland State University, and California State University where she finally received a BA in English. Her MA in English is from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Zach Jacobs earned his B.A. in English and History from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He volunteers as a Special Editor for Fine Lines, a non-profit literary journal based in Omaha. His writing is a passion and a way to find purpose and meaning in life.
Jeanne Kocher holds a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared magazines such as Jabberwocky and Amoskeag. Recently, she completed a two-year teaching stint at a Lutheran college in Tanzania, East Africa.
Christopher graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2004 with his B.A. in Journalism. Since then, he has worked as a professional journalist for four years, worked in the corporate world for three years, and has continuously taught in the school of hard knocks his entire life. He is now working toward his Master's degree in English, with a focus on American Literature. He dreams of someday starting a class by kicking off his shoes, hopping on the desk, and saying, "Let's rap, kids."
Patrick earned his B.A. in English and a minor in Native American Studies from UNO in 2007. He is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the English Department, working toward his M.A. as well as the TESOL certificate. Patrick has worked with NEBRASKAland magazine as a writer, photographer, and editor. His interests as a writer fall somewhere between travel essays and thinly veiled poems about girls. Although a generally affable person, Patrick invariably prefers the company of trees.
Alexandra McKeone graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Nonfiction Writing. After taking a travel writing course with Dr. Lisa Knopp during her fourth year as an undergraduate student, she decided that she needed to do a little traveling herself. During the summer of 2011, she took part in a six-week creative writing course at Kingston University in London, England. She also spent time during her year off traveling around Europe and the US. She is now back at UNO ready to embark on her next journey—pursuing a Master of Arts degree in English and an Advanced Writing Certificate in creative nonfiction. In addition to her studies, she will be teaching English Composition I and working in the Writing Center.
Kathy is an instructor in the English department, teaching both composition and ESL courses. This is her 3rd year working in the Writing Center and is currently our Graduate Consultant, working only with graduate students on their writing projects. Kathy’s undergraduate degrees are in Russian and Spanish; she holds M.A.s in Russian and English as well. Additionally, she has completed extensive coursework in the College of Education. Kathy conducts several workshops on citation style (APA, MLA and Chicago) each semester.
Caitlin Ray graduated with a BA in English and Theatre from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. After working two years as a freelance editor for fiction and children's books, she decided to pursue a Masters in English with a focus in 18th century British Literature. She has experience writing academic research papers specifically in the English, Theatre, and History disciplines. She also has done work in persuasive essays, conference-length papers, abstracts, and creative fiction including poetry and children's plays.
Greg Schoonmaker graduated from Creighton University with specialization in Creative Writing and is in his third year of the graduate studies at UNO in the English Department. His emphasis includes Rhetoric & Composition, while he pursues a Technical Communication Certificate. He is highly enthusiastic about serving as a Writing Center consultant for the 2012-13 school year.
Bobby Vasquez is an instructor in the English Department and a senior consultant. His academic interests include composition studies, literature (American, contemporary, postmodern, feminist), and women's studies. He is especially knowledgeable abut MLA style and personal statements.
James is a rock star. He graduated in 2007 from UNL with a BA in English/Creative Writing, while minoring in Classics. He's currently seeking his MA from UNO in English and a Graduate Certificate in TESOL. He's kind of a pop culture junkie, and probably knows way more than he should about music, film, video games, literature, etc etc etc. His creative pursuits involve writing fiction, poetry, and essays. He's a pretty avid reader and loves stuff from all across the board. Lately, some of his favorite authors have been Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salman Rushdie, and Haruki Murakami.
Suzanne earned her BA in Theatre from UNO. She spent a year at the United Way of the Midlands as an Americorps member and five years as a teaching artist, actor, and stage manager at the Omaha Theater Company for Young People at The Rose. She is currently working toward her Advanced Writing Certificate and her MA in English with a focus on Rhetoric and Composition. Knitting, horseback riding, and listening to NPR fill the remainder of her free time.