About the Writing Center

The Writing Center supports the teaching and learning of writing, public speaking, and reading. To learn more about us, please read our Mission, Values, and Goals, or meet our staff (below).

Writing Center Staff

Jessica F. Kem

Jessica F. Kem

Director of the Writing Center

Jessica is responsible for coordinating the programs and operations of the Writing Center. She also consults with students on writing and reading, teaches workshops on writing and research processes, and supports faculty writing pedagogy. She contributes to campus-wide efforts to cultivate writing communities, meaningful collaboration, and equity and anti-racism. Pronouns: she/her

Roy H. Andrews

Roy H. Andrews

Writing Associate

Roy does many one-on-one consultations in which he helps students develop their writing and attend to new ways of thinking professors are challenging them to learn. He is also highly experienced at supporting students who are trying to write more creatively. Pronouns: he/his

Wesley A. Blixt

Wesley A. Blixt

Writing Associate

Wesley Blixt spent many years as an investigative newspaper reporter at the Springfield Newspapers, and has written for a variety of news outlets including the Boston Globe. He earned an MFA in Fiction at UMass Amherst, where he worked as an editor and taught writing. He also taught at Bard College and is the author of a novel, SKATERS. His interests include mountaineering, surfing, wooden sailboats and roots music.

Kristen G. Brookes

Kristen G. Brookes

Senior Writing Associate

Kristen develops pedagogical materials and supports faculty in the teaching of writing. She works with students at all stages in the writing process, specializing in strategies for reading effectively and efficiently. Kristen particularly enjoys helping students reduce procrastination and writing anxiety. Having earned a PhD in Literature, Kristen currently exercises her creativity on the improv stage (now in Zoom). Pronouns: she/her.

Susan G. Daniels

Susan G. Daniels

Associate in Public Speaking

Susan Daniels serves as the Public Speaking Associate at Amherst College. In this role, she works with students, faculty and staff  to become more relaxed, focused and engaged speakers. Through in-class workshops, individual appointments, and trainings for speaking events, Susan helps build skills, encourages practice, and celebrates the power of public speaking at Amherst College.

Katharine O. McKeon

Katharine O. McKeon

Writing Associate

Emily T. Merriman

Emily T. Merriman

Writing Associate/Advisor for Multilingual Students

In individual sessions Emily seeks to proffer a warm, lively, mutual focus on current writing tasks in the context of language in its multiple human dimensions, including the social as well as the technical. A poet, a teacher, and an editor, she especially enjoys her work engaging with multilingualism and language variation on the Amherst College campus. Pronouns: she/her

Ethan C. Myers

Ethan C. Myers

Writing Associate

A teacher in college and high school classrooms for nearly twenty years, Ethan delights in working individually with writers in the Writing Center. He works with writers at any stage of their process, though he has a special fondness for brainstorming. Ethan hopes for writers to take ownership of their compositions so that they may use writing as a site for exploration, discovery and knowledge production. Pronouns: he/him

Lydia Peterson

Lydia Peterson

Writing Associate

Lydia is happy to provide collaborative one-on-one consultations with students, faculty and staff. She meets with writers at all levels and at any stage of writing from inception to completion. In addition to academic writing projects, she also consults with students on reading, applications, creative writing, and theses.  Pronouns: she/her

Airlie S. Rose

Airlie S. Rose

Writing Associate

Catherine M. Sanchez

Catherine M. Sanchez

Sr Writing Associate & Coordinator of Inclusion Initiatives

Cassie Sanchez has a Ph.D. in educational policy from UMass Amherst where her research focused on equity and access to higher education, particularly elite colleges. Cassie has extensive professional experience in the fields of education and academic publishing. She has taught writing and worked with both student and professional writers for more than 20 years.