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Meet Our Consultants



  • Phil Shaw, Writing Commons Coordinator

    Phil Shaw is Writing Commons Coordinator as well as a full-time lecturer in the University Writing Program. He first became interested in Writing Center work as a peer consultant at the University of Denver and then as a professional consultant here at RIT. His other research interests include metacognition and cognitive studies, student agency, and knowledge transfer between disciplines. He enjoys road trips, vinyl records, cats, effects pedals, and coffee.    


  • Claudia Alant

    Claudia is a first-year Mechanical Engineering major expecting to complete a Mathematics Minor and Bioengineering immersion. She will be working as a peer writing consultant and she is thrilled to learn more about how students across many disciplines use language to bring ideas to fruition. Claudia is a member of Hot Wheelz (a Formula Electric vehicle team comprised completely of females), fluent in Afrikaans, and insatiably curious.


  • Israel Anthony

    Israel Anthony is a third-year Game Design & Development student and is now working his third semester at the Writing Commons. His primary interests include a mixture of the rigid, technical world of computing and the looser, more creative realms of videography and writing. In his free time, he is either focusing on fitness, writing stories, playing video games or creating entertaining videos. His favorite part about working at the Writing Commons is that it allows him to maintain a connection to the world of writing despite being in a technology-focused major. Israel is also a member of Phi Kappa Psi and MOCHA, and is fluent in both English and Spanish.


  • Ian Effendi

    Ian Effendi is a third-year Game Design & Development major, working as a peer consultant in the Writing Commons. In his spare time, he competes in the poetry slams hosted by Mental Graffiti and runs the International House in his official role as the organization’s President. In his spare time, he studies the craft of graphic design, in hopes of becoming a better artist.


  • Annika Garbers

    Annika is a third-year Industrial and Systems Engineering major. This is her third semester working in the Writing Commons, where she enjoys working with students on a variety of interesting writing projects. She's involved in lots of organizations on campus, including Hot Wheelz, RIT FIRST Robotics, Innovator's Hour, the Society of Women Engineers and KGCOE's Women in Engineering, the Institute for Industrial and Systems Engineers, Irish Roar, and the Center for Women and Gender's Student Action Board. She also works part-time for SignifAI, a machine intelligence software startup.


  • Gregory Goh

    Gregory Goh is a fourth-year Computer Science major and is in his fifth semester working at the Writing Commons. Gregory likes to call himself a writer who writes in natural languages and programming languages. His interests include cardistry (flourishes and tricks with playing cards), as well as crafting and exploring narrative experiences in video games. He also dreams of making robots that converse like humans. Besides English, Gregory can speak Mandarin Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia.


  • Taylor Gould

    Taylor is a 4th year BS/ME Industrial and Systems engineering student here at RIT and is entering her 4th semester working in the Writing Commons.  She enjoys working at the WC because it gives her the opportunity to work with new people on new things in a variety of disciplines other than her own. The most fulfilling part of this job to her is when she feels she is able to help someone feel more confident about them self as a writer.  She is also a member Zeta Tau Alpha, Society of Women in Engineering, and enjoys hiking and yoga. 


  • Roshan Mathew

    Roshan is a second-year student pursuing a degree in Human-Centered Computing at GCCIS. He loves collaborating with writers from various disciplines and enjoys being a part of the process that translates people’s thoughts and ideas into words. Roshan is multi-lingual, has experience working with writers whose first language is not English and is also conversant in basic ASL. In his free time, he is involved in various clubs and activities such as the RIT Leadership Institute & Community Service Center, Global Leadership Readiness Program, DISA, RIT Badminton & Tennis clubs.


  • Betsy Hicks McDonald

    Betsy is an English/ASL linguist and semi-retired English professor. She enjoys discussing written work of all lengths, genres, and disciplines with undergraduate and graduate students. She is fluent in ASL and English and can speak French and some Russian.  


  • Benjamin Padovano

    Benjamin Padovano is a 3rd-year student in his 2nd year as a writing consultant.  Identifying as someone who loves philosophy and technology, Ben enjoys discussing combinations of said topics involving new innovations with science, learning/behavior, Cognitive Psychology, and education.  He enjoys being an ultra-consumer and analyzing new forms of narrative involving records, Virtual Reality, and indirect storytelling in gaming and motion pictures.  Being familiar with metacognitive practices, Ben aims to help students become more familiar with their personal writing practices to promote self-improvement and the advancement of their own voice in analytical writing. 


  • Anthony Troiano

    Anthony is a second-year Computing Security major. He enjoys the unpredictability of the Writing Commons and is eager to help anyone who comes in. Outside of working in the WC, he also takes part in RIT's Competitive Cybersecurity Club (RC3) as well as hack nights and interest groups pertaining to the field. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games and programming.


  • Sevinç Türkkan

    Sevinç Türkkan has been teaching academic writing for the past 10 years. She specializes in comparative world literary studies and she is a practicing translator from Turkish and German. Sevinç teaches modern Turkish literature and intellectual history at the University of Rochester. At RIT, she enjoys working with students at the Writing Commons, helping them become better writers. Don't forget to book her in advance! Check out her most recent translation The Stone Building and Other Places by the acclaimed woman writer and human rights activist, Asli Erdogan: