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About Us

WCC Lecturers

Elena Kallestinova / Director / ek007@mit.edu

Elena Kallestinova is Director of the Writing and Communication Center at MIT. Since joining MIT in 2020, she has been teaching written, oral, and visual communication and overseeing all programs offered by the WCC. Dr. Kallestinova enjoys developing communication programs and resources, collaborating with colleague inside and outside MIT, teaching communication classes and working with her WCC team. She came to MIT after working for twelve years at Yale University, where she founded and expanded the Graduate Writing Center and served as Assistant Dean for Writing and Communication in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She has trained, taught, and mentored diverse student populations for more than twenty-five years. With a Ph.D. in Linguistics and an M.A. in TESOL and an M.A./B.A. in Computational Linguistics, Elena has significant experience working with international and multilingual students and scholars. She seeks to promote written and oral communication programming to the MIT academic community.

Elizabeth Fox / Lecturer / emfox@mit.edu

Elizabeth works in MIT’s Writing and Communication Center, in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication program, and as a freelance editor. She teaches Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies and has been a Writing Advisor for Introduction to Western Music, among others. She is on the Board of Directors of PsyArt, a foundation that supports the psychological study of the arts and holds annual international conferences; she has been President and Secretary of the D. H. Lawrence Society of North America. She publishes on feminism, psychoanalysis, Lawrence, and related topics. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature, Boston University; M.Ed., Boston University; B.A. in English with pre-med, Wellesley College. She enjoys working with clients on cover letters, CVs/resumes, and applications as well as dissertations, theses, and articles.

Bob Irwin / Lecturer / irw@mit.edu

Robert A. Irwin studied philosophy at Princeton University and Antioch College and earned a Ph.D. in sociology at Brandeis University. He has taught at Tufts, Brandeis, and Holy Cross and, for twenty years, at MIT’s Writing and Communication Center. His book Building a Peace System was praised for its scope and clarity. “If it stimulates thought and action, the possibilities for human survival will be enhanced” (Noam Chomsky).

Chris Featherman / Lecturer / cmf28@mit.edu

Chris Featherman is a full-time Lecturer in the Writing and Communication Center. An applied linguist, he earned his Ph.D. in Language and Rhetoric at the University of Washington in Seattle. Before joining MIT, he taught writing, research, and communication at Northeastern University. His teaching interests include genre, visual communication, and second language acquisition, and his research focuses on language, power, and ideology in the public sphere. In his book Discourses of Ideology and Identity: Social Media and the Iranian Election Protests (Routledge, 2015), he examines the circulation of political ideologies and global English in digital and legacy media.

Sophia Richardson / Lecturer /sophia.h.richardson@gmail.com

Sophia Richardson is a Lecturer in the Writing and Communication Center. She is committed to exploring the intersection of the humanities and new technologies, using new platforms to propel learning, teaching, and research. Dr. Richardson earned her PhD in English from Yale University in 2023. She received her master and MPhil at Yale University 2019, and she received her Bachelor degree in Comparative Literature, German and English from Oberlin College, Ohio.
Sophia Richardson worked for five years in the Graduate Writing Lab at Yale University where she helped graduate and professional students, as well as postdoctoral scholars one-on-one, taught workshops on written and oral skills across the disciplines and organized and facilitated writing retreat and peer-review groups. She also taught multiple sections of first-year Writing Intensive seminars in the writing program at Yale University. After graduation, Dr. Richardson worked as lecturer and taught first year writing seminars at Brandeis University.

Pamela Siska / Lecturer / pjsiska@mit.edu

Pamela Siska has been with MIT’s Writing and Communication Center since 1993, and she was a contributor to the MIT-authored The Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing. Since 2015 she has taught graduate writing classes for MIT’s Supply Chain Management program. Pamela holds an MA in English from Boston University (where she taught writing and literature courses before coming to MIT) and is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on Percy Shelley. She has published articles on medieval, Romantic, and Victorian literature as well a chapter on Mary Shelley in Material Women, 1750–1950: Consuming Desires and Collecting Practices.

Susan Spilecki / Lecturer / spilecki@mit.edu

Susan Spilecki teaches writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northeastern University. She has an MFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and an MA in Theological Studies. Her work has been published in Potomac Review, Ekphrasis, Princetown Arts Review, Quarterly West and Frontiers. As a prolific writer, she is fascinated by helping people, as the writer David Huddle says, “achieve a circumstance of ongoing work, the serenity to carry out the daily writing and revising of what… [works] are given one to write.”

Adrienne Tierney / Lecturer / atierney@mit.edu

Adrienne Tierney is a full-time Lecturer at the Writing and Communication Center. Before coming to MIT, she taught at Harvard for over a decade to undergraduates, graduates, and postgraduates on writing, psychology, cognitive science, emotion, and human development. She has also provided writing instruction and support for professionals in biotech and medicine. She has a background in cognitive neuroscience and development with an Ed.D. in human development and education and an Ed.M. in mind, brain, and education, a M.S. in neuroscience, and a B.A in neuroscience and science in society. She would be happy to meet with you at any phase of the writing process—whether you need feedback on something that is already a work-in-progress or a listening ear to brainstorm possible ideas.

WCC Fellows

Talia Zheng / WCC Fellow /taliaz@mit.edu

Talia works as a WCC Graduate Community Fellow sponsored by the Office of Graduate Education. She helps the WCC with various projects related to data visualization. Talia is a graduate student at the Department of Chemical Engineering in Doyle Research Group. She She graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2022 with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Her research is broadly situated in the field of pharmaceutical formulation, hydrogels, nanoemulsions. In the past, she’s worked at Procter & Gamble as an Intern.

Max Jahns / WCC Fellow / mjahns@mit.edu

Max (they/them) works as a WCC Graduate Community Fellow sponsored by the Office of Graduate Education. Max helps the WCC with various projects related to WCC’s visibility. Max is a graduate student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography and Applied Ocean Science studying the ecological and biogeochemical dynamics of marine microbial communities. Max studies mixotrophic organisms from a variety of interdisciplinary angles straddling multiple departments. In addition to being a WCC fellow, Max serves on the board of the peer-to-peer graduate application mentoring program JP-ASK, is an organizer for the WHOI Student Union, and likes to play ukulele in their free time.

Roxanne Bess Goldberg / WCC Fellow / roxanneg@mit.edu

Roxanne Goldberg works as a WCC Fellow in the Writing and Communication Center. In her job as a fellow, she helps organize the Writing Together program and facilitates WCC online Writing sessions. Roxanne is a PhD candidate in History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture in the Department of Architecture. Her research investigates how discourses about race and religion are negotiated through collections and displays of material culture in the United States from the nineteenth century through the present. Roxanne also works as an academic editor.

Abigail Jackson / WCC Fellow / abigaimj@mit.edu

Abigail Jackson is a WCC Fellow in the Writing and Communication Center. In her job as a fellow, she helps organize the Writing Together program and facilitates WCC online and in-person Writing sessions. She is a Ph.D. candidate at HST’s Medical Engineering and Medical Physics program at Harvard-MIT joint program. Her research examines …

Chelsea Anne Spencer / WCC Fellow / cspence@mit.edu

Chelsea Spencer works as a WCC Fellow in the Writing and Communication Center, where she organizes the Writing Together program and facilitates WCC online Writing sessions. Chelsea is a PhD candidate in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture program at MIT. Her research examines the production and mediation of architecture in the modern era, particularly as these relate to histories of capitalism and economic life in the United States. Her most recent writing has been published in Places and Grey Room. Chelsea received an MDes in History and Philosophy of Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she cofounded the biweekly zine Open Letters, and a BA in art and architectural history from Emory University.

Andrea Michelle Lehn/ WCC Fellow / lehn@mit.edu

Andrea is a WCC Writing Fellow helping organize and facilitate Writing the Together program at the Writing and Communication Center.. Andrea is a PhD candidate with research interests related to thermal-fluid science, energy and environment. Andrea holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Philosophy from The George Washington University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. She was a Geophysical Fluid Dynamics fellow at the Woods Hold Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Outside of the office you can find Andrea running a bridge loop, running to grab coffee, or running across the street to pet a dog.