West Chester University
Dr. Karen Fitts
Associate Professor of English
214 Lawrence Center
Writing Center Administrators
Dr. Karen Fitts, Writing Center Director and Associate Professor of English
Dr. Karen Fitts, a Southerner from Louisiana who came to the Northeast over 20 years ago, still sounds a little Southern when she speaks. She very much enjoys the winters in southeast Pennsylvania and greatly appreciates the people of this region and admires their way of life. A 200-year-old house in the borough of West Chester is the place she calls home; she likes to garden and take long, meandering walks; and one of her favorite pastimes is spending a day in any kind of weather on the NJ shore. She earned the PhD in English at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Ft. Worth, TX. Her scholarship includes Left Margins: Cultural Studies and Composition Pedagogy, co-edited with Alan W. France; chapters in edited collections; and articles in journals including College English, Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, JAC, Journal of General Education, Journal of Teaching Writing, and WPA: Journal of the Council of Writing Program Administrators. She has undergraduate- and graduate-level teaching experience in writing center studies, cultural rhetorics and rhetorical theories, and research- and first-year writing. In addition to directing the university writing center, she has directed the English MA program, co-directed the first-year writing program, and coordinated the Academic Development Program (ADP) for English.
Danielle Archambault, Assistant Director of Operations
Danielle Archambault is the Assistant Director of Operations for the Writing Center. She is currently working towards her M.A. in English with a concentration in Literature. Outside of school, Danielle enjoys reading, hiking with her dog, Penny, and spending time with family and friends.
Amanda Scheibner, Assistant Director of Campus Outreach
I am a graduate student in the Writing, Teaching, and Criticism track of the English department. My research interests include writing center pedagogy, community in the businessplace, and women in popular culture. When I’m not in the writing center or class, I enjoy traveling, cheering on my New York sports teams, and consuming HBO television programming. I’m also training for a few 5ks, so if you see me limping around, that’s why. Mostly I’m excited to be a part of the writing center community and helping others gain confidence in their own writing.
Hi! My name’s CJ McGowan. I’m a freshman here at West Chester, and I grew up right in town. I am an English Education major, and I hope to one day teach at the high school or college level. I am very passionate about poetry and I love discovering new things. I enjoy watching movies as well, especially really bad action movies. If you’re reading this then I hope to meet you soon!
Hello, I’m Sean, last name Yellock. A little about myself: I’m 19 years old, April birthday. I like to describe myself as your typical video geek. I enjoy all things video game related, I dabble in computers and computer technology, a fixation I gained in my earlier teens. In fact, when I was 12, I got in trouble for taking apart our family computer. Yeah, I was that kid. I grew up in a town called Chester, about 25 minutes away from here and while I’m currently undecided with my major, I want to hopefully go into physics.
Lance K. Bennett is pursuing his M.A. in Communication Studies at West Chester University. In May 2014, Lance graduated from Eastern University in St. David’s, with a B.A. in Communication Studies. He received his A.A. in Communication from Delaware County Community College in May 2012. Lance's academic research has been presented at the Eastern Communication Association. He enjoys teaching and writing. His career goal is to be a university professor of communication.
Brea is a first year Graduate student pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. This is her first year working in the Writing Center. She is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from West Chester University as well. Brea hopes to become a licensed counselor and tend to families as a mobile therapist. She loves spending her free time taking road trips and going to Zumba and is excited to continue being a Golden Ram!
My name is José Mesén and I am a Junior pursuing a BSED in English Education. I am also a Resident Assistant for Killinger Hall. During the summer I worked as a camp counselor for the Kennett Area YMCA. Outside of the Writing Center you can find me at the gym, playing guitar, or wandering the great outdoors. I have a pet Olive Tree named Jefferson (who I love very much), he is 5 years old and he likes to party. My favorite animal is the Sea Turtle and my favorite color is blue. With all that being said, I will be looking forward to working with everyone this year.
Ben earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and is enrolled in West Chester’s graduate English program. He has a heart for teaching and might even do it. Ben is keen on shell games and prefers subtitles to dubbing, but he admits more things should just taste like chicken.
Kristen Martin is currently a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program of study. After achieving a B.A. in Religious Studies and English, and minoring in Theatre and Dance, she has decided to combine all of these interests in a creative and intuitively responsive way. Furthermore she intends to not only assist in sharing academic principles regarding writing techniques, but also inspire ingenuity through real life experiences and through the art and skill of writing.
“My name is Gabby Damiano, and I’m very excited to be returning to the Writing Center! I am in my second year of my master’s program with the English department. I’m from Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania where I completed my undergraduate work at Susquehanna University. When I’m not in class or at the Writing Center, I enjoy running, yoga, reading, or playing with my dog, Leo!”
My name is Brian Johnson. I received my B.A. in English Writing from WCU in 2008 and am now in my final year of my post-bac teaching certification. Language and writing have always been my main areas of interest, and I am excited to bring those to the Writing Center. I love traveling and was fortunate enough to study abroad in Paris during my time as an undergrad. “Eclectic” would be the best way to describe my interests: hunting, fishing, camping, reading, writing, sports (as a fan), sports (as a participant), sport (as fitness), music, film, art, history, photography, and it goes on and on. As a final note, I like DC more than Marvel (but I really like the X-Men) and vanilla more than chocolate.
Peter is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in geology, as well as a second bachelor’s degree in general biology. He received a BA in anthropology from Kutztown University in 2012 and began his time at West Chester in the summer of 2013. Originally from Philadelphia, his work experience ranges from the military to construction to driving a horse-and-carriage in Philadelphia’s “Olde City” locality.
He’s a licensed skydiver and scuba-diver and plans to pursue a doctorate in physical anthropology after completing his current degrees. He enjoys writing poetry, playing chess, and revising his currently unpublished science fiction novel, which depicts the backdrop of an exciting futuristic dystopia. Peter has had an affinity for writing since a young age and is eager to share that passion with his fellow students.
Shannon is a graduate student in the TESOL program and coordinates Conversation Partners for the Writing Center. After earning her B.A. in communications from Temple University, she worked in law and insurance. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling abroad, playing golf and attending as many Union and Phillies games as possible.
Hi! My name is Joann. I am a senior at West Chester University studying secondary education in English literature. I also have a minor in linguistics. Before coming to West Chester I attended Delaware Valley High School. An interesting fact about me is that I once hula hooped for 2.5 hours.
Alex is a graduate student pursuing a M.A. in Geography and Planning. He earned a BA in International Studies from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA where he was also on the Swimming and Diving team. Alex has worked for and volunteered with natural resources conservation organizations in Costa Rica and northern Arizona as well as Delaware State Parks. His interests include yoga, swimming, history, and pursuing any opportunity to travel abroad. He lives in Chadds Ford, PA.
Samuel Hershey graduated from Penn State University in 2012 with a degree in English and a minor in creative writing. He is currently working towards his master’s degree of English in West Chester’s new creative writing focused program. Sam has had his creative pieces published in a number of small journals and magazines including; From the Fallout Shelter, Green Blotter, North Central Review, and Jukepopserials.com. His favorite hobbies include board games, soccer, and reading science fiction.
Ellen Santa Maria
Hi there! This is my second year as a writing consultant, and I am so pumped to be back. I love working here, and I adore this team of people. When I’m not busy being a Communication MA student, or talking about Breaking Bad, I’m probably sitting on the couches, pampering our fish, Edgar! Thanks for taking the time to read this bio, but I’d much rather you say hello (and so would Edgar!) See you soon!
Edgar Allen Blow Writing Center Betta Fish
Greetings, human. As you may have gathered, I am the “Writing Center Fish.” Humans cannot pronounce my real name, but the folks here have named me “Edgar Allen Blow,” after some other human. I think he was a writer, and a mopey one at that. They chuckle at the pun, despite the fact that I am a beta fish, not a blow-fish (though I am a proficient bubble blower, if I do say so myself). If you ever want to say hi, I’m over there in the tank. I love attention—if you talk to me I might do a little swimmy dance-jig type thing. (I tend to perform more vigorously for Ellen, as she is under the presumption that she is my favorite. I haven’t the heart to disappoint her). Anyway, please come and say hello!
Writing Center Staff 2013-2014