Staff

Contact Us!

  • Phone: 425.352.5253
  • Email: uwbwacc@uw.edu
  • Room: UW2-030

Our Staff


Assistant Director

Erik Echols

Erik Echols smilingAffiliate Faculty

School Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Secretary

Pacific Northwest Writing Center Association

Contact

  • Office: UW2-030A
  • Phone: 425-352-5254
  • Email: eechols@uw.edu 
  • Box 358567,
    18115 Campus Way NE,
    Bothell, WA 98011-8246

It’s a privilege to create a collaborative and energizing space where students hone their writing, creative process, communication skills in a peer-to-peer setting. I enjoy extending our reach outside the walls of the Center and employing creative methods to expand upon the rich and diverse set of services we provide. Read more about Erik.


Senior Lead ConsultantIMG-8556.jpg

Alex Blaskovich

BA Interactive Media Design

  • Minor in Creative Writing

It was a dark and stormy night. 

I was slaving away on my stupid ten-page philosophical essay, sobbing over my keyboard as a mournful piano melody played on repeat thirty-two times through my headphones. You may ask, why am I sobbing? Well, dear reader, let me tell you that this paper was due at 11:59 that night. The clock struck eleven, and then the panic set in--I was only three pages in... 

Whew, buddy, I’ll tell you right now that never happened. Maybe you knew, maybe you didn’t. Either way, it was a story. A story that I hope conjured up some response in your mind. Perhaps you were able to relate (we’ve all been there), or maybe you pitied me, or maybe you thought “oh man, she’s screwed.” 

If what I wrote made you feel anything, that’s the reason why I love writing. In a way, it’s like magic; it can conjure up emotions and take you to other worlds. It’s my favorite escape. However, you can’t escape school writing assignments, and that’s where I might be able to lend a helping hand. Whether you’re in the stage of brainstorming or fine-tuning or anywhere in-between, I would be more than glad to help you. As a peer consultant, I want to help you become a pretty gosh-darn confident writer. 

In my free time, you can find me playing some indie psychological horror game, laughing at a dumb pun, or daydreaming about some fantasy novel.


Lead Peer Consultants

Image of Grace WoodsGrace Woods

Major: Community Psychology

I live on the unceded, traditional lands and gathering grounds of the Snoqualmie tribe. I moved here from the Salish Sea eight years ago to continue my study in nature-based mentoring. To me nature-based mentoring is more than learning the plants and wildlife. It also means everything I learn and teach is rooted in the natural world—as well as how it converges with our modern, domesticated lives. In that nature, I’m completing a Community Psychology major, Human Rights Minor, and carrying on towards a LMHC with a focus in Ecopsychology. 

My writing and interests are informed by the landscapes and microhabitats I live in, and the endless curiosity the natural world sparks. What I love about writing is that it invites us to discern, expand, and integrate our opinions, inquiries, research, and connections of the world. We can learn so much about ourselves through both the freedom of a creative writing process, as well as the structure of a research paper. 

My style as a tutor is centered around being student-led. Whether English is someone’s first and only language or someone else’s fifth learned language, we all understand language a little differently. I love to ask lots of questions and explore the nuances of what someone is trying to express in writing. I look forward to learning alongside you and asking lots of questions together!


Madison Stubson

Major: Community PsychologyPicture of Maddie

In the past, I never particularly appreciated reading; I rarely read any of the assigned textbooks, and I did not perceive reading as a fun hobby. I know that a lot of you can relate to this because it felt, at times, that reading and writing were redundant or repetitive when I was assigned various tasks in school. However, I have to say that all of that changed when my high school English teacher created a Shakespeare class. I fell in love with William Shakespeare’s novels; they contained adventure, mystery, romance, and tragedy. One passage that sparked my interest in writing was a quote from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”  

Through different novels, in a way, I found a part of me that was waiting to be discovered. When reading, I unearthed the power of imagery through words and how an author can help the reader visualize the sublimity of a storyline. Writing is a gateway that allows you to express your thoughts in a concise and organized way, allowing those who read it to grasp either who you are as a person or what message you’re trying to convey about a specific topic. Writing is not an easy task. However, I believe that through my interest in writing, we can help each other expand in our skill sets because, after all, this is a collective effort that can be conquered as one.


Sakshi Bhise

Major: Media and CommunicationsPicture of Sakshi

Have you ever tried to guess the end of a book before you finished it? Or imagined an alternative ending that you could have written for a novel? Well, if you have then you and I share the same passions for writing. From the age of 13, I started flipping through the pages of crime novels and was surrounded by authors like Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. They were my heroes and I wondered how one can write the perfect murder story. The blood rush, the spine-chilling revelations, the unpredicted ending. All of this made me passionate about writing.  

Having said that, let me tell you a little about myself. I come from a family of engineers. Ironically, I struggled with mathematics. Finding my way through numbers stirred up my adoration for weaving words of my own. Writing became my safe haven; a space where I could cuddle up on my bed and believe that my words would create magic.  The simple practice of aligning one word after another gave me the confidence of transporting people to a world of my perspective. 

But again, assignments and personal statements are no fairytale. However, I can help you make writing an easier process. Whether you are struggling with writer’s block or having a hard time organizing your thoughts, I am just an appointment away. As a peer consultant, I believe we all have something to learn from one another. You teach me something, and I hope I can pass on my passion for writing on to you. Oh! Also, don’t be shocked if I overly quote Game of Thrones. That is another one of my passions. 


Peer Consultants

Bardia Ghazi

Major: Biology 

  • Minor in Neurosciencebardia-(1).jpeg

Non nobis solum nati sumus. Not alone for ourselves are we born. This quote from Cicero summarizes my passion in life perfectly. When my family immigrated to the US almost a decade ago from Iran, I was thrusted into a world I knew very little of. The language, culture, customs, and everything else in between were practically foreign to me. With my parents both having to work fulltime, I was essentially left alone to navigate these uncharted waters. Not being able to write or otherwise communicate effectively saw my school grades plummet. The lack of available resources was also discouraging. However, I decided to take matters into my own hands and began teaching myself English. As years went by, I saw significant improvement in all aspects of my comprehension of the language, most rapidly in my writing.

My speaking and listening skills followed soon thereafter and I started seeing positive results in all aspects of my life, school-related or otherwise. In the meantime, I discovered my passion for helping the people around me however I could. I’m currently on the premedical track, majoring in biology and minoring in neuroscience, with aspirations of one day becoming a neurologist. I plan on devoting my life to the service of others through medicine, but until then, I want to aid others to the best of my ability. That is why I’m a writing tutor because I know that, at the end of the day, not alone for ourselves are we born.  


Isaiah Taylor

Major: BiologyUnknown-1.jpeg

As a kid, my three favorite things were dinosaurs, comic books, and professional wrestling; three seemingly random and disconnected things. They do have something in common though: storytelling. Every piece of writing tells a story. Whether it’s fictional, a scripted wrestling match, a biography, or even a scientific paper; writing is about stories. Stories are what life is all about and how we communicate our ideas to each other. Even a collection of data is just a story told in a format with numbers. I am extremely interested in all of life’s stories and helping others understand them too, which led me to pursue a position at the WaCC.

I understand that writing isn’t everyone’s favorite activity or subject. There are plenty of things I struggle with and don’t enjoy, but the ability to convey your ideas in writing is a critical skill you can use every day. Seeking help with writing and sharing it with others can also be a very intimidating process, but it can end up being very rewarding and relieve a lot of stress. I have personally had bad experiences with various tutors and peers so I know exactly how daunting the experience can be. Because of this, I do everything possible to make peers feel as relaxed as possible when working together and am more interested in understanding what you’re trying to achieve rather than telling you all the specifics of what I would do if I was writing a paper. This is a collaborative, unique storytelling process, not an interrogation.

I enjoy the research process of writing and find myself researching things in my own time not related to school. I find learning new topics fun and am more than happy to help others with the process, trying to make it as stress-free as possible. Topics concerning the natural world such as biology and ecology are my favorite but I am open to helping with whatever I can, whether it be a creative writing piece, a resume, or just an email to send to a friend. Writing is a skill with many different specializations, however, a solid foundation in it will help you bridge the gaps between them with relative ease. I look forward to helping you tell your story if you’re willing to let me.


Katya Gomezkatya.png

Major: Bachelor of Science in Nursing

When I immigrated from Russia to the United States as a teen, I did not speak English. I was presented with the obstacles of navigating through the language and cultural barriers. Initially, I found more comfort in writing rather than speaking English because I am a visual learner. Seeing the letters on paper helped me comprehend the language. Over time, I developed a deeper appreciation for the written English language. Although occasionally I still find the process of writing challenging, today I am a much more confident writer and communicator.

As a nurse, I enjoy helping people, especially during their most vulnerable moments. As a student and a peer writing consultant, I enjoy helping others overcome their fears surrounding writing. Writing can be a scary, daunting, and uncomfortable task, but it does not have to be. As a WaCC tutor, I will provide the support and encouragement you need to become a more confident, efficient, and successful writer. Whether writing a research paper, a speech, or creating a PowerPoint presentation—I want to help you bring your ideas and thoughts to life. I also believe tutoring is a two-way street: as I guide you through your writing journey, I am looking forward to learning with you.


Kori CantwellKoriWaCCPicture.jpeg

Major: Elementary Education

The library clock’s tick is ringing in my ears. My fingers type briskly. A bead of sweat rolls down my forehead. I take a deep breath, typing the final sentence to my conclusion. The bell rings for class and I sprint to turn in my assignment in English. I had never procrastinated on an assignment so my anxiety was decreasing from an all-time high. That morning, I had thrown my ideas onto the page, organized evidence haphazardly, and edited until it made sense. As a creative writer, I never outlined or planned, so writing an essay such as this was time-consuming and restrictive.

For anyone, writing can be a journey into your imagination or a task you're dreading. For me, it has always been simultaneous. Writing is cathartic to me; an escape into another world or a way to express my emotions. Similarly, I’m passionate about teaching and being able to support students’ learning and development. To be a great teacher requires patience and kindness which will translate to my tutoring.

As a seasoned college writer, I am prepared to support you at any point in your writing process so that you feel confident. If you are feeling unmotivated or anxious, I am here to help you feel more comfortable and inspired. If you find that you're moments from crying over an assignment, or need another opinion, or are wondering if you should rewrite the entire thing, come to the WaCC and I can keep the tears and worries away!


Photo of Layla YLayla Youssef

Major: Global Studies

Writing has always been a way to convey what I often struggle to say aloud.

Growing up shy and grappling with social anxiety, expressing my own thoughts and opinions to others was a constant struggle. I always had a lot to say, yet much of it would remain hidden the moment an opportunity arose to speak out. I would often stay behind, keep quiet, and internally cope with the frustration of wanting to say something without finding the assurance to speak it. Yet, writing was a solace. Whether that be through crafting stories, a film review, an argumentative essay, or a diary entry, putting words to page brought a level of comfort that allowed me to outwardly express my thoughts and opinions. 

As a peer consultant, I plan to help students feel comfortable and assured in their writing abilities. Writing is a powerful tool, and whether it’s something that you love, hate, or feel somewhere in between, I would be happy to help you find your assurance and present your ideas effectively. From argument to analysis, research to storytelling, my goal is to help you find your voice and present your writing in the best way possible. 


Image of Luke ScottLuke Scott

Major: Law, Economics, and Public Policy & Community Psychology

As soon as I was literate, I was in love with reading, with writing, with the stories that were within me and with the stories that were born from all those who surrounded me. Writing is, at its core, an attempt made by one existence to share it’s experience with another. Whether it be persuasive or theatrical or informative or funny, the written word is a universally binding agent that connects you and I together- even if the two of us have never met, even when we are worlds apart.

My favorite reads are philosophical, and most of them are existential. Camus and Sartre stand out as having an especially bold influence on my life; from them I have gathered that the meaning of life in a universe inherently devoid of meaning is to create something that does matter, even if only to oneself; that is, to create meaning in the void. Beyond philosophy, I read a good amount of Stephen King, Orwell, and Hitchens.

On campus, I’m a double major studying law and psychology, I’m captain of the Speech and Debate Team, and I’m working with a small group of LGBTQ+ students to re-establish Pride Alliance here at UWB. As an openly queer and transgender student, much of my activism and natural orientation towards community building is heavily informed by my own lived experience. It is this same experience, among other influences, that have driven me towards a career as a public defender in the future.

For fun, I enjoy working on my 2004 Subaru Forester and bodybuilding, the latter of which I’ve been involved with for nearly 6 years. I also play a few instruments and write music, mostly guitar. One day, I’d love to write a book or two.

In the meantime, I intend to bring the full breadth of my many lived experiences as a queer and transgender student, as a self-taught musician, as a bodybuilder and a car guy and an avid collector of books that will not be read for another couple years- as all of these things and as all of their confluences- to the Writing and Communication Center, so that I may learn from and with all of you.


Image of Mina HainesMina Haines

Major: Business and Marketing

Writing started as a tedious task given to me by my teachers. I struggled with transitions and my conclusions, which discouraged me from pursuing more writing opportunities. I always enjoyed writing, but thought I wasn’t an efficient or effective writer. I always asked my teachers if there were extra credit opportunities that could help me improve my writing. I practiced writing essays over and over and I saw the progress I was making. Teachers would leave comments saying, “I see the improvement!” which encouraged me to write even more. After a while, I started to enjoy the process of writing after seeing how I improved over time.

Once I graduated high school, I began to pursue more writing opportunities. I also started writing my own songs, posting on blogs, writing a horror novel, and even starting my own script for a film. I am currently a Business Marketing major and hope to become an elite businesswoman who wears pantsuits to work and has my assistant bring me coffee in the morning. If that career path doesn’t pan out, my second option would be to become a journalist for a major news network and eventually host my own nightly TV show.

I take part in many different forms of expression. I am a musician, an actress and a fashion model, outside of school. All of these forms of art lead back to my ability to write effectively and efficiently. I am constantly surrounded by different forms of writing, whether it be script writing, fashion design documents, or sheets of music. These are all different styles of writing, but they lead back to my innate sense of creativity and ability to craft stories and articles that are coherent and meaningful. My outgoing personality, writing skills, and innate response to care for others led me to the wonderful world of the WaCC! Let me assist you in your journey through life… Or I can just help you with an essay...


Phoenix Vaughan-Ende

Current Program: MFA in Creative Writing & PoeticsPhoe-5.jpg

Undergraduate: BA in Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder

  • Minor in Creative Writing
  • Minor in Media Production

Writing was always difficult for me, especially in K-12. I never had the tools and resources to succeed at writing. I didn’t have a firm grasp on grammar, syntax, or structure, making it difficult to effectively communicate my ideas. It was always a slow and frustrating process, until an instructor in my last year of high school challenged me to say more. Through my instructors thereafter, I was empowered to share my stories and better convey them. 

I was given so much by the mentors who helped me find my voice, and I want to take that fire—now, my fire—and share it with those who need it, like I needed it. Art and writing have become more than a means of communication, more than a means of acceptance and expression; through these mediums I’ve found hope, joy, and purpose. 

In my personal practice, I strive to explore the boundaries of poetry, prose, and multi-media. My favorite part of the writing process is revision. All progress comes from revision! To me, there is nothing more satisfying than submitting a piece that you have been grinding over, where every word is purposeful and thought out.

In my free time, I love to read, watch cartoons, and play games. My favorite things to read are fiction—specifically sci-fi and queer romance—poetry, and graphic novels. I hope to be an emblem for queer and trans folx like myself by uplifting and supporting other’s writing practice, reading, and communication in meaningful ways.


Image of Raelynne WooRaelynne Woo

MFA Creative Writing and Poetics

Language arts and writing intimidated me back when I was in high school. Writing essays were difficult for me because reading the literature I was supposed to write about was already challenging enough and the teachers emphasized perfection. The grammar had to be perfect and there was a lot of pressure to write something that sounded “smart enough” for the teachers to give my paper a good grade. Writing assignments for school took the fun out of the writing process.

Writing was a field I never thought about pursuing until my freshman year at university. After taking some classes where I did more writing, I discovered that it was becoming my strength. When I began majoring in creative writing, I rediscovered my passion for writing, especially with writing poetry. The poetry I wrote about include themes on my experience being a reserved, introverted person and my identity being Asian American. My writing classes showed me that writing takes time, patience, and doesn’t always need to be perfect on its first draft.

What I like about being a writing consultant is helping and collaborating with students to make them feel more confident in their writing abilities. What I like about writing is that we get the opportunity to think about what we want to say and communicate that to others in an effective way. In my free time I like to read, write, dance, watch movies and play games with my family and friends.


Saajidah Abideen

Major: BiologyB9829FD9-2B59-4951-8B96-BB2F51BADCFC.jpg

Growing up in two different cultures, I found myself struggling with my individuality. I was an Asian American who had come to terms with her mental health, especially in a culture that didn’t believe in mental health. I struggled being a woman in academia, trying to learn how to assert myself without coming off “too strong”. Through the self-discovery of my own identity, writing became an immensely important tool when facing my disorientation of my thoughts and exploring the most vulnerable parts of myself. I always put a piece of myself in my writing as I believe it makes my paper feel more real and personal; it becomes an extension of myself. However, it can be a double edge sword. It takes not only practice to write your inner thoughts into comprehensive words but, courage to show others and have them dissected. It’s a skill I find myself still struggling to master even as a peer writing consultant. I want to help students process their own thoughts and help them feel more confident as writers. Though I have more insight on who I am as a person, just like writing, it is a process that takes patience and time. With each appointment I strive to aid students figure out how to communicate your thoughts into powerful words and make it a mutual exchange where I can also learn from you, my peers. I look forward to meeting and working with you on your writing journey!


Shriya Bhaskara

Major: Computer Science & Software Engineering
Minor: Music
Picture of Shriya

To me, writing is a way of expressing my thoughts and feelings on a certain subject. Everyone has their own opinions when it comes to different topics. This is why writing is one of my favorite topics. Sometimes there are times when I encounter writer’s block, while other times I can’t stop writing. My favorite stage in the writing process is the brainstorming part and brain dumping what I need to write in my paper. I mainly enjoy personal narratives and other forms of creative writing. I want to share my experiences through my papers and write about topics I am passionate about. That’s why when I was writing my college essays I found that I had a lot to write about because it is about my own experiences, so it ended up being hard to cut things out. However, I kept the parts that I felt made me unique and that answered the prompts in order to meet the length requirements. 

Although in some classes I might not have as much artistic freedom, I still have a chance to analyze evidence pieces and share my thoughts about certain points. As a dance teacher I have worked with dancers at different ages and levels so I hope to use that as a skill as a writing consultant. I hope to help students with expressing their thoughts through their papers and addressing any questions they have. I believe being a writing consultant will not only allow students to strengthen their writing and communications skills, but it will also give me a chance to learn how others write their papers and improve my skills relating to being a tutor.

In my free time I like to work on my music compositions, play piano, read books, bake, and hang out with my family and friends.


Sidra Yousaf

Major: Biology and Community Psychology

  • Minor in NeuroscienceSidra-Yousaf

I grew up as an immigrant child in conservative, central Washington. I am the first-born daughter to Pakistani immigrant parents. I started wearing the hijab when I was fifteen because I yearned for an identity, or at least something that would help point me in that direction. As I grew more confident, I found myself wanting to be a positive representation of who Muslim women really are in America. I want to be that representation that I looked for growing up.

Unfortunately, I was greeted with a lot of ignorant comments and questions from my peers for a long time after I started wearing the hijab. A personal, and surprisingly repeated, favorite question of mine was if I “shower while wearing it” (for the record, I don’t).

Writing became my therapy when dealing with ignorance, whether it was typing out a rant and saving it in my Twitter drafts or angrily writing in my journal. Because of my experiences with prejudice growing up, I have grown to be an empathetic individual who knows how to talk about and deal with sensitive issues in a respectful way, whether in real life or in writing. I have done this by making a point to educate myself about the issues that other minorities have to face in America.

We all have our own stories and although I can’t tell your story for you, as your tutor, I would enjoy helping you tell your story in the way that best represents you.