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Writing Center Staff

The Writing Center staff consists of professional tutors with extensive writing backgrounds, and is dedicated to providing excellent tutorial services to Blinn students. In addition to tutoring students, writing consultants assist instructors in the Parallel Studies labs, give presentations to classes, lead orientation sessions, present student workshops, and develop handouts, worksheets, and writing materials for students. Writing consultants have undergone numerous hours of training and exceed all requirements established by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), a nationally recognized association which certifies the Writing Center.

The director of the Writing Center on the Bryan campus is Dr. Richard Williamson. Dr. Williamson can be contacted at richard.williamson@blinn.edu or (979) 209-7591.

Meet our tutors:

Natalie Haney: Natalie has a bachelor's degree in political science and communication studies. She recently earned a Master of Arts degree in Professional Writing. Natalie also completed a graduate course in nonprofit management through the Bush School - Texas A&M University. In addition, she has an International Coach Federation ACTP certificate in life coaching. Through coaching strategies, storytelling, and knowledge building, Natalie has been a mental health advocate for many years. She likes doing research on reading theory and community-based psychiatric care. She's pursuing a Ph.D. to find out how community organizations can use book clubs to produce better wellness outcomes in the next generation. Natalie is also a mom, an Aggie veteran's wife, a children's church teacher, and a Story Time volunteer at St. Joseph Health. Natalie joined the Writing Center in the summer of 2022.

Jarred Howard: Jarred graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in Spanish from Texas A&M University in 2020, and a Master of Science in Education for Health Care Professionals in 2021. He has worked as a college science tutor (specializing in introductory biology and chemistry), a peer mentor for biology majors, and an instructional assistant for human nutrition. Jarred aspires to become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, specializing in family medicine. After practicing for about a decade, he would like to teach medicine at the medical school and clinical levels, thereby giving back to the community by educating the next generation of physicians. Jarred joined the Writing Center in 2022.

Sonja Jentoft: Sonja has a B.B.A. degree in International Business, a B.A. degree in German, and an M.Ed. degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on ESL. She taught English for two years and has worked with students in Bryan-College Station schools for the last six years. She likes working with students in the Writing Center because she loves it when things "click" for the students. Sonja joined the Writing Center staff in 2019.

Drashawn Johnson: Drashawn graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University in 2016. Regretting not enrolling in a double major of Psychology and English, she began a post-baccalaureate degree in Creative Writing at the University of Houston in 2017. Drashawn has worked as a preschool teacher, church secretary, and an 8th grade English instructional assistant, demonstrating the importance of servant leadership. In her spare time, she loves to work on fanfictions for her favorite television shows and movies, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender and Harry Potter. She also enjoys developing ideas for short stories and historical fiction novels. After taking an academic and career hiatus due to serious health issues, Drashawn joined the Blinn Writing Center in 2020.

Saelis Mercado: Saelis graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 2018. She originally transferred from Central Texas College and never forgot the positive impression that community college left on her. Some of her favorite jobs before the Writing Center included peer tutoring and working as an intern with the World Shakespeare Bibliography. Outside of her work, Saelis was one of Texas A&M's chosen poets for the annual Black Box Writer's Residency in 2017. She has had poetry published in college journals and hopes to write and illustrate her own chapbook someday. She also enjoys arts and crafts, gardening, and video games. She appreciates having the unique opportunity to help students unravel problems that seem overwhelming while also empowering students to make the most of their education. Saelis started working in the Writing Center in the summer of 2022.

Nicole Perkins: Nicole is an English Language Arts teacher at Stephen F. Austin Middle School. She taught a Reading course at Blinn for 12 years before returning to public school. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor's degree in English (creative writing) and a minor in Film. She earned her Master of Education degree from Texas A&M. Nicole loves facilitating student learning and engaging students both in the classroom and in the Writing Center. Nicole joined the staff in 2007.

Valerie Purcell: Valerie graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in History. She has experience as a tutor and teacher, and has served as the Education Assistant at the Star of the Republic Museum. She has a passion for learning and research, and she enjoys teaching art classes in the area. Valerie joined the Writing Center in 2017.

Christopher Renberg: Christopher is a native of Navasota. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Baylor University and earned his Master of Arts degree in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi, completing his graduate thesis on Elvis Presley. Christopher has taught for over 20 years at different middle schools and junior highs. He enjoys his time working in the Writing Center because each student session is unique. Christopher joined the Writing Center in 2018.

Sharon Roe: Sharon earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at Austin College. She served as a Developmental English and GED instructor at Grayson County College from 1996 to 2003 and taught English in Japan. Sharon launched her own writing and editing company in 2013, where she helps companies and private individuals express their vision in words. She also serves as the Managing Editor for Maroon Weekly. Sharon began working in the Writing Center in 2010.

Bonnie Schroeder: Bonnie graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Teaching and a minor in History. She has 32 years of experience teaching in Texas public schools. Bonnie loves working with reading and writing students and watching them obtain knowledge, apply newly acquired skills, and achieve success. Bonnie has been tutoring in the Writing Center since 2004.

Janalisa Soltis: Janalisa graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration degree in marketing from Texas A&M University and joined the Writing Center staff in 2011. She is a former published freelance co-editor, writer, and photographer for Flair! magazine and writer and photographer for the Navasota Star. She is a freelance copy editor and proofreader for My Writers' Connection, an online publishing company, and enjoys sharing her inspiration blog on WordPress.com. As a tutor, Janalisa relishes being part of those "ah ha" moments with students as they discover and develop their talents as writers.

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