Peer Tutor Bios

Sam Bannon

I have four years of experience as an English tutor. I was also a TA for a literature class in community college. I have experience with a variety of styles of writing, from research and application writing to persuasive and creative. I love the written word and write often. My personal projects include writing a fantasy novel and a children’s animated show.
Major: Psychology
Languages: English

Keely Blissmer

Hi all! My name is Keely, and I’m a third year Criminology, Law and Society major with minors in Film & Media Studies and Psychological Science. While you can catch me delivering the latest on sports at Anteater TV, I have always loved writing and am so excited to be a peer tutor this year! We all have the potential to be amazing writers and I cannot wait to support you on your writing journey!
Major: Criminology, Law, and Society
Languages: English

Adrianna Burton

Hi potential tutees! I am Adrianna Burton, a super senior majoring in English and Film. My favorite hobbies include bingeing Netflix, reading, writing, and enjoying Aldrich Park. My passion for writing stemmed mostly from my nerdy childhood spent playing video games and reading any book I could get my hands on. I love being able to realize my childhood dreams and use my writing skills to inspire and educate others. While writing is my passion, I understand how writing can be. Whether your assignment is a 10 page paper or a daunting creative writing project, I am so excited to help you get through–and hopefully enjoy–anything you need help with. I’m looking forward to meeting you!
Major: English / Film & Media Studies
Languages: English, Spanish (Some)

Joseph Colarian

Hi there! I’m Joseph Colarian, a junior studying political science and philosophy here at UCI. I’m passionate about public discourse and the power of ideas in a democratic society, so writing has always been at the center of my educational and political experience. I believe everyone has an important perspective to bring to the table, and improving your writing is the best way to make that perspective identifiable and constructive in achieving your goals. Outside of the writing center, I am a member of UCI’s Mock Trial team, ASUCI, and the Campuswide Honors Collegium. I love to read (mostly nonfiction), paint, and travel. I look forward to meeting you and serving as a resource for your writing needs.
Major: Political Science / Philosophy
Languages: English, Tagalog (Beginner), Spanish (Beginner)

Ananya Devarajan

Hi everyone! I’m a UCI Writing Center Peer Tutor and a second-year undergraduate majoring in Biological Sciences and English. I have extensive experience in developing argumentative and research essays—like the ones you see in the Writing 39 and HumCore series—as well as personal statements and creative fiction. When I’m not writing or reading, you can find me studying for a Chemistry exam or watching my favorite Bollywood movies.
Major: Biological Sciences
Languages: English and Tamil

Sophia Donaire

This is my second year tutoring for the Writing Center and I’m excited to support you with your writing! During my first year at UCI, I took Humanities Core but I have tutored students taking the Writing 39 series as well. I am also a student advisor for the Scholarship Opportunities Program where I assist students with scholarship essays, personal statements, and resumes. Additionally, I am a research assistant at the Working Memory and Plasticity Lab and am very familiar with scientific writing for research.
Major: Biology / Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Languages: English, Tagalog (Beginner), Spanish (Beginner)

Milat Getu

Hello! I have three years of tutoring experience, and I’m excited to work with my peers this coming year. As a tutor, I hope to lessen any anxieties you might have about writing, and help you develop transferable skills for your future writing endeavors. I have experience with humanities and social science writing, so please reach out no matter the need.
Major: Literary Journalism / Sociology
Languages: English and Amharic

Caitlyn Johnson

Hello! My name is Caitlyn and I’m a third year Film and Media Studies and English major (I’m also in the Campuswide Honors Collegium if you find that helpful). I’ve taken HumCore and have done a lot of writing for humanities classes, but I’ve also seen a huge variety of papers since becoming a tutor last year. Aside from my passion for writing, I love bingeing my favorite shows, crocheting, and listening to/making music. If you need help with any project or have any questions (for class or not) I got you =). Looking forward to meeting and working with you!
Major: Film & Media Studies / English
Languages: English

Jalen Jones

Hello everyone! My name is Jalen Jones, and I am a double major in Psychology and English. Aside from the writing that I tackle in my humanities classes, I also have over 5 quarters of experience writing for my research labs! I can help with research proposals, essay writing, or even emailing professors that you may be interested in working with!
Major: Psychology / English
Languages: English

Jacob Kodner

Nice to meet you all! My name is Jacob, and I am currently a second-year student double-majoring in Language Science and Anthropology! Passionate about languages, my greatest interest is none other than syntax, the study of sentences. With my background in linguistics, I possess the ability to view English through a systematic and holistic lens: one that allows me to look past the “randomness” of grammar in general. Besides my academic experience, I additionally spent a gap year volunteering in classrooms both in the United States and Taiwan, and this experience led me to develop a burning passion for teaching English writing and language! I am looking forward to working with everyone!
Major: Language Science / Anthropology
Languages: English and Mandarin

Simran Kukreja

Hi! My name is Simran Kukreja and I’m a 4th year Neurobiology and Psychology double major. My teaching experience is primarily informal, working in local elementary schools teaching public health and in the lab with youth with ADHD. Due to my love of research, my primary writing expertise is in research papers.
Major: Neurobiology / Psychology
Languages: English, Spanish, Hindi, & Sindhi

Tommy Li

Hi everyone! I’m super stoked to do my best to help you all with your writing endeavors this upcoming school year! I’m confident I can help with all your writing needs, but if you need help specifically with cover letters, resumes, job applications, scholarship essays, or research papers definitely hit me up!!! (I’m also comfortable conversing in Cantonese and in some basic Spanish for any special language needs!!). Thank you and I’m excited to e-meet you all in the virtual Writing Center!
Major: Psychology & Social Behavior / Criminology, Law & Society
Languages: English, Cantonese (Conversational), & Spanish (Basic)

Colin McAlister

Hello! My name is Colin McAlister, and I am a senior studying history. Outside of my studies, I read fiction, non-fiction, and everything in between. I have written in professional, academic, and purely personal contexts, so I seek to provide a broad range of expertise to potential tutees. Writing is an essential part of both personal and professional development, and perfecting your skills is an investment worth making.

Major: History
Languages: English

Matthew Nelson

What’s good everybody! My name is Matthew Nelson. I am a third year music major, and I play tenor saxophone and piano. As suggested by my major, I love music, but I also enjoy skateboarding, and philosophy. Since I was in middle school, I have been involved in some sort of mentoring program whether it be for a school band or for private lessons with young saxophone players. Since coming to UCI, I have discovered the many similarities between writing and music, and I look forward to sharing what I have learned to any and everyone who comes to the (virtual) writing center! That’s the word!
Major: Music / Jazz Studies
Languages: English

Mary Nguyen

I love focusing on organization and enhancing ideas as well as flow. I believe having a strong thesis that directly answers the prompt is the most important aspect when it comes to academic writing, and I am happy to assist and focus on these topics during the session!
Major: Pharmaceutical Science
Languages: Vietnamese

Jordyn O’Rourke

I have spent a lot of time studying film and literature, so those are my two favorite kinds of analysis! It is fascinating how everyone can watch or read the same piece, but we find different elements that we consider to be most important. As a creative writer, I’m also looking forward to seeing any short stories or poetry as a peer tutor!
Major: Film & Media Studies
Languages: English and Spanish (Intermediate)

Diane Ren

I have been working in the writing center as a peer tutor for one year. I have had some experiences working with international students, and, being an international student myself, I could better understand what kinds of assistance they may need to develop as writers. My strength in writing is mainly the overall structure and argumentation of academic essays, but I am also very interested in and trying to develop my skills in creative writing.
Major: Film & Media Studies
Languages: English and Mandarin

Jen Siino

I am a Writing Officer for the Video Game Development Club on campus (come say hi; we’re not just programmers, there’s something for everyone!) where I lead game writing workshops and contribute to quarter-long game projects. Over the summer, I was a Quest Design intern at Blizzard Entertainment, putting my storytelling (and coding) skills to use contributing to Diablo IV. My passions and strengths mainly lie in creative writing and storytelling!
Major: ICS / Computer Game Science
Languages: English

Lucy Yang

I am a chemistry major pursuing a minor in creative writing, where I hope to incorporate my passion for the arts and sciences into my work—in my lab reports and creative pieces alike. I have tutored writing, chemistry, and biology for since high school and also freelance as a consultant for resume and personal statement writing. Outside of academics, my hobbies include reading, playing piano, watching figure skating, and listening to Broadway cast recordings.

Major: Physical Sciences / Chemistry

Languages: English, Mandarin Chinese (Native Proficiency) and Spanish (Working Proficiency)