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 Travis Adams and Marsha Kruger.
Travis Adams is the Director of the UNO Writing Center and head of the Writing Across the Curriculum initiative for the University.
Lindsay Byers is currently in the final semester of her undergraduate career. She will receive a B.A. in psychology with a minor in religious studies. She has a lot of experience working with journalistic writing and research articles but also enjoys working with creative writing. In her free time she likes going for adventures out in nature, and she also spends a significant amount of time studying healing arts and sacred knowledge.
Cori Borgheiinck is working towards a BS in Biology.
AJ (Anthony) is working towards his BS in Secondary Education—endorsement in Social Sciences—with a minor in History. He has been enthusiastic about history, geography, government, and the like since roughly the fifth grade when he was forced to memorize “Paul Revere’s Ride.” When AJ isn’t indulging in a text covering American history, he enjoys building LEGO sets—recreationally and professionally. AJ is a “speed builder” who has traveled from D.C. to San Francisco building LEGO creations for display and competitions. AJ also operates an online-LEGO store during his spare time.
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 sophomore Criminal Justice major and in her spare time, works as a Staff Assistant for the Writing Center. When she isn't studying, she enjoys reading just about anything but a textbook! She especially enjoys reading C. S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Sir Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, and Jane Austen!
Heather graduated this spring from UNO with a B.A. in English, and is now working on her M.A. in English with a focus on British Literature. Among her myriad favorite authors are Marcel Proust, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Thomas Hardy. She is interested in gothic literature and “imagined” places.
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.
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.
Meg Marquardt has a BS in physics from Creighton University and an MA in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University. For a few years, she freelanced for several magazines, specializing in physics, materials science, and earth/planetary science reporting. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant in the English Department where she is focusing on composition and rhetoric (with some creative nonfiction on the side). Her favorite authors are Neil Gaiman and Dashiell Hammett.
Neil Polzin received his BA in English from Southwest Minnesota State University. Before coming to UNO, he taught ESL in Mongolia and South Korea. At UNO, Neil studies literature and is working towards the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certificate. He is excited to continue teaching and sharpen his skills in the classroom. Being a native Minnesotan, his favorite band is Semisonic, his favorite movie is Fargo, and his favorite food is hot dish.
Kathy is an instructor in the English department, teaching both composition and ESL courses. This is her 4th year working in the Writing Center, and she is currently a Graduate Consultant, working primarily 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.
Callie Reitfors earned her BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Nonfiction from UNO, and she is now pursuing her MA while working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the English Department. When she's not fantasizing about her name someday appearing on a future bestseller list, she like to hang out with her dog, a spirited Lab-vizsla rescue in her rebellious teenager stage – this puppy is always entertaining, to say the least. If you’re ever in HPER, you’ll probably see her on a bike with a book, trying to scribble notes for class while simultaneously getting her sweat on.
Rita Shelley earned her B.A. and M.S. in Journalism from Kansas State University. Her research interests include Great Plains literature, the intersection between visual art and writing. If you're looking for someone to discuss Salman Rushdie or Laura Ingalls Wilder, seek her out. In her free time, Rita enjoys sewing, origami, and gardening.
Brenda Sieczkowski earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. After taking several years off from academic pursuits to work with chronically homeless individuals, she is currently studying for her PhD exams in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Utah. Her poems, reviews, hybrids, and nonfiction have appeared in a wide variety of journals, and her first full-length book of poetry will be out in November 2013 from Black Lawrence Press. If you see her reading something other than poetry, it is most likely a book on neuroscience or Victorian science.
Jessi received a B.A. in Studio Art with a minor in English as well as an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Creighton University. After teaching for three years, she decided to pursue an M.A. in English and graduate certificates in Advanced Writing and Technical Communication at UNO. Her interests include graphic memoir, web publishing, and creative writing in composition studies; all of which she might “accidentally” mention while teaching Composition I. In addition, she intends to continue her pursuit of balancing pie making/eating with the appropriate amount of time playing volleyball to compensate.
Frankie Ward is a TA in the English Department at UNO working toward his master's in English and on an Advanced Writer’s Certificate. Frankie has a background in both performance arts and health and human sciences. He received bachelor's degrees in performance and dramatic literature from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. He also holds a masters of science in physiology, biomechanics, and performance psychology from Trinity Laban in London. Frankie has affiliations with Dance UK, the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, Cornish College of the Arts, and Methodist College. He is also dedicated to working with Methodist College’s Upward Bound Program. So if you can’t find him in the classroom, bet your bottom dollar he’s off feeding his habit of being a TV junkie.
Suzanne earned an MA in English with a focus in Rhetoric and Composition, the Advanced Writing Certificate, and a 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. In the summer, she serves as Stage Manager for Nebraska Shakespeare's Shakespeare on the Green. During the school year, she knits, stage manages for the Omaha Community Playhouse, and listens to NPR.