Writing Center

West Chester University

Dr. Karen Fitts
Associate Professor of English
214 Lawrence Center


Staff Profiles

Writing Center Administrators

Dr. Karen Fitts, Writing Center Director and Associate Professor of English

Karen Fitts earned the BA in English and the ME in journalism at Northwestern State University of Louisiana and the PhD in English at Texas Christian University. Her scholarship includes Left Margins: Cultural Studies and Composition Pedagogy, co-edited with Alan W. France; "The Pathology and Erotics of Breast Cancer," Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture; and publications in other journals such as College English, College Literature, JGE: Journal of General Education, and WPA: Journal of the Council of Writing Program Administrators. She has undergraduate- and graduate-level teaching expertise in writing center praxis, rhetorical and critical theory, rhetorics of science, first-year writing, and developmental writing. She is an academic advisor to English majors and has served as coordinator of the English MA program, co-director of the first-year writing program, and English department coordinator of the Academic Development Program (ADP).

Ryan Fernandez, Writing Center Assistant Director and Graduate Student in English

Ryan is a second-year graduate student of English with a concentration in creating writing. Hailing from Bethlehem, PA, Ryan has since made West Chester his residence after attending West Chester University as an undergraduate as well, receiving a B.A. in English (literatures track). Ryan hopes to someday earn his PhD and teach at a collegiate level.


Student Aids

Jose Mesen

I am in my second year at WCU, and I am currently pursuing a BSEd in English (writings track). I enjoy playing guitar, going to the gym, and hanging out with friends. Outside of school you will find me hiking the mountains of Dubois, WY. Without a doubt my favorite food is cheesecake; I could eat that all day.

Emily Kostek

I am a freshman here at West Chester University, pursuing a B.S. in Nutrition. At home in South Jersey, when I'm not watching Grey's Anatomy, I enjoy playing soccer, going to the beach, and hanging out with my friends. My favorite foods are pizza and mashed potatoes.


Writing Tutors

Danielle Archambault

Danielle earned a bachelor's degree from Immaculata University. She is currently attending West Chester University for a master's in English with a concentration in literature. Her favorite activity besides reading is hiking with her family and spending time with her nine month old puppy, Penny.

Kimberly Beam

Kim lived the adventurous life of a middle and high school English teacher on the coast of Massachusetts, north of Boston, and in Cecil County, MD, for 12 years. After surviving Hodgkin's Lymphoma and its chemotherapy regime, she decided to throw in the teaching towel and help other families through the trauma and crisis that is cancer. She is enrolled as a full-time graduate social work student but continues to deeply enjoy her time as a tutor helping writers express themselves.

Allison Casola

Allison graduated from Millersville University in May, 2013, with a BS degree in biology. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health degree (community health track) here at WCU. She hopes to one day earn her PhD and become a professor in the health science field.

Mitch Comfort

Mitch is originally from Lansdale, PA. He is currently in his senior year at WCU, where he is studying toward a B.A. degree in English (literatures track) with a minor in philosophy. Before coming to work at the writing center, Mitch tutored writing at Kennett High School in Kennett Square, PA, with WCU's Writing Zones program. After graduating, he plans to pursue his PhD.

Jacquelynne Conyers-Jordan

Jackie is currently a senior pursuing a bachelor's degree in English (writings track) with a concentration in communications. After college she hopes to meditate on life, travel the world, and potentially pursue a master's in communications.

Gabriella Damiano

Prior to arriving at West Chester, I recieved my B.A. in English from Susquehanna University. I am currently in my first year of the English master's program. When I'm not studying, I enjoying spending time with my dog, Leo, cooking and running.

Daniel DeAlba

Dan graduated from Drexel University in 2010. With his B.A. in English--and a mind set firmly against law school--he began an exciting adventure as a museum tour guide. Currently, he is working on his M.A. thesis (something about Henry V) and beginning a post-bac teacher certification. His favorite books include In Cold Blood, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and Hell's Angels. His leisure time, in recent months, has been dominated by Scorsese films, depressing documentaries, Philip K. Dick, and the enthusiastic petting of all the dogs he encounters.

Steve Keating

Steve holds a bachelor's degree in communication arts and humanities from Keystone College and is currently pursuing a master's degree in communication studies here at West Chester University. In the future, Steve hopes to become a professor. In the present, Steve is happy being a student, playing guitar, and writing as often as possible.

Ellen Santa Maria

Ellen is a first-year graduate student in the communication studies program here at West Chester University. She grew up in Media, PA, and completed her undergraduate degree at Juniata College, a pea-sized school in the middle of Pennsylvania. She loves field hockey, animals, movies, music, her family, and friends.

Shannon McGinley

Shannon has a B.A. in Communications from Temple University and is currently earning her M.A. in TESOL. She is an avid Phillies and Union fan and enjoys traveling abroad, dining out, and playing golf.

Amanda Scheibner

Amanda is a graduate student in the Writing, Teaching, and Criticism concentration of the English MA program at WCU. She also completed her undergraduate work at West Chester University in 2013 with a degree in English Education. Amanda most enjoys working one-on-one with student writers, and she hopes to continue this throughout her career. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys watching reality cooking competition shows, exploring local sights and sounds, and being a great mom to her two pups.

Joann Terwilliger

Joann is in her junior year at West Chester University. She is a secondary education major in English (literatures track) and has a minor in linguistics. She is from Shohola, PA, and went to Delaware Valley High School. This will be Joann's third year working in the University Writing Center.

Alex Thurstlic

Alex is a first-year graduate student in the WCU geography program. He earned the BA in International Studies from Susquehanna University and has worked for and volunteered with conservation organizations in Costa Rica and northern Arizona as well as Delaware state parks. His interests include teaching yoga, swimming, attending film festivals, and pursuing any opportunity to travel abroad. He is from Wilmington, DE.

Kassia Vedoveli da Silva

Kassia is 27 years old and a graduate student in West Chester University's Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program. She is originally from Brazil and moved to the United States in 2008. Since then, she has gone through the process of learning English as a second language and also that of studying for language exams such as TOEFL and ACTFL. Her journey through second language acquisition has not been easy, and she is still learning a lot about the language and culture of this country. She is starting this semester with the writing center, where her purpose is to learn and exchange knowledge about writing and the English language. Her favorite hobbies are baking, cooking, and spending time with children.


Writing Center Staff 2012-2013

Writing Center group photo 2013

(clockwise, from top left): Steve Keating, Kim Beam, Joann Terwilliger, Monica Montes, Jacquelynn Conyers-Jordan, Ryan Fernandez, Briana Griffin, Dr. Karen Fitts, Tim Ballingall, Brittany Hull, Kate Mulhollem