People

Dr. Kristina Quynn

Dr. Kristina Quynn

Director

1005 Campus Delivery

221 Student Services

quynn@colostate.edu

970.491.3395

Dr. Kristina Quynn is the founding director of CSU Writes and is a faculty member of the CSU Graduate School. She founded CSU Writes when she sought academic writing support to help her maintain a research and writing agenda amidst heavy teaching obligations. Through cross-campus conversations, she spoke with other faculty and graduate students who had similar desires for realistic and supportive academic writing conversations on campus.

Dr. Quynn’s research in literary studies focuses on avant-garde, transnational women’s fiction. Her work can be found in such publications as Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, Dismemberment of Drama, Women in Irish History and Culture, MLA Teaching Approaches Series, and the Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender. Recently, she co-edited a collection on innovative criticism, Reading and Writing Experimental Texts: Critical Innovations (Palgrave 2017). Her current book project is a playful and engaging academic writing guide titled Write. Enough.: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Academic Writing.

She has been known to carpool with chemists–who turn the drudgery of a commute into great fun (an example of “good chemistry”). She is ever grateful to  work with dedicated researchers across all CSU’s colleges, departments and programs who generously share their writing and professional experiences. Writing is best together.

Facilitators & Graduate Student Interns 2021-22

Kimi Conro

Graduate Student Intern: Groups/ Teams

Journalism & Media Communications

Kimi Conro is a doctoral candidate of Public Communication and Technology in CSU’s department of Journalism and Media Communication. Her research interests center on the influence of disinformation on public opinion within the contexts of political and science communication. Her goal is to help create meaningful advances in public knowledge as well as public policy to combat the crippling effects of disinformation in today’s media-rich world. 

Having spent the past three years teaching media writing and media studies courses as an adjunct professor, Kimi is passionate about connecting with and motivating students to become better, more confident writers and citizens (as media consumers). She is thrilled to be a part of the CSU Writes team in its efforts to provide programming that helps her CSU colleagues to strengthen their academic writing abilities. 

Outside work, Kimi loves to: adventure in the great outdoors with her husband and two young boys, Liam and Jude; travel abroad and photograph diverse locations and cultures; spread joy through music performance; and learn at least a little bit about pretty much everything. 

Khadija Holder

Graduate Student Intern: Communications

Business Administration: Corporate Sustainability & Carbon Gas Management

Khadija is an Impact MBA student and a ‘Trinbagonian’-born business professional with experience in: green business coaching, evaluation and certification; market and academic research; data analysis; and policy advisory. She is fluent in English and Spanish, and holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting and a graduate degree in International Trade Policy from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.

She has provided consulting services and tailored, evidence-based recommendations to companies across varying industries. In addition, she has worked with underprivileged women and children in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia and Jamaica, and advocated for their rights as a Commonwealth Correspondent and in global conferences such as the SIDS 2014 Conference in Apia Samoa. Among other activities like hiking, dancing and song-writing, Khadija enjoys immersing herself in different cultures/ experiences and embraces opportunities to learn from others.
 
Khadija was inspired to join the CSU Writes Team because of her: love for research; admiration of the program’s mission/ achievements; and desire to become an active member of the Ramily.

Nellie Kassebaum

Graduate Student Intern: Communications

Public Health

Nellie Kassebaum is a second-year MPH student in the Colorado School of Public Health. She is from rural Kansas, where she was born and raised on a cow/calf ranch and attended the University of Kansas (Honors B.A. English, ’19). She now focuses in health communications, with particular interest in clinical communications, social determinants of health, and bioethics. When not reading, writing, or otherwise working, she can be found indulging in one of her favorite pastimes: drinking coffee, cooking a nice meal, or spending time outdoors with her partner.

Nellie was drawn to CSU Writes by her strong love of writing and community. The accountability and support that can be found with CSU Writes is hard to find elsewhere (particularly in a pandemic), and is crucial to accomplishing academic goals. When we write together, we’re better for it. 

Heidi Klem

Graduate Student Intern: WARP

Chemistry

Intern 2020-21, 2021-22

Heidi Klem is in her third year of the Chemistry Ph.D program. She is a computational chemist joint with the Paton group at CSU and the McCullagh group at Oklahoma State. Her research projects involve modeling allosteric enzymes using classical and quantum mechanics to predict and manipulate the way their function is regulated. She grew up in Omaha, NE and graduated from Creighton University with her B.S.Chem.

Heidi values scientific communication and teaching. She became involved with CSU Writes through an online retreat and a virtual writing group. She is excited to assist professors with writing accountability and progression as the WARP intern. Heidi is involved with the Fort Collins community by teaching high schoolers about protein modeling, preparing them for Science Olympiad competitions. In her free time, Heidi enjoys playing the cello and playing with her pet bunny, Rorschach.

Rudy Leal McCormack

Graduate Student Intern: Special Projects

Political Science

Rudy received his B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy, as well as his M.A. in Political Science from Florida International University. Rudy is a first generation Cuban-American, who emigrated to the U.S. at seven years old, born in Cuba and raised in Miami, FL. Rudy’s research interests fall at the crossroads of environmental/ecological theory and critical theory.

Rudy’s passions are inspiring and advocating student’s to question the world around them, as well as developing imagination that goes beyond what is possible. Rudy enjoys teaching and research on normative frameworks that develop transformative awareness for the purpose of human maturity.

Rudy joined CSU Writes to help develop best practices of writing as another dimension toward developing one’s character.

Lauren Mangus

Graduate Student Intern: Database

English

Lauren Mangus is a southern California native who traveled before settling in Colorado for higher education. Drawing inspiration from across the globe, she found an interest in the interactions between diversity and theological differences within society. Her undergraduate experience focused on broad elements within economics, but she is currently studying in the Teaching English as Second/Foreign Language graduate program. Her research focuses on the intersection between technology in teaching English as a second language classrooms and second language acquisition with learning disabilities.

Lauren is thrilled to be a part of the CSU Writes team because the program encourages a space for those with diverse backgrounds and different writing levels to develop their writing “voice”. She sincerely believes that safe spaces for writing can lead all willing for the challenge to find their best academic writing self.

Tawni Riepe

Graduate Student Intern: Inst. Survey

Fish, Wildlife, & Conservation Biology

Intern 2020-21, 2021-22

Creeks, ponds, swamps and reservoirs were the playgrounds of my childhood and led me to my passion in fisheries science and disease ecology. My disseration research is focused on fish disease ecology in trout within Colorado. Especially among conservation species such as the Colorado Native Greenback Cutthroat Trout. I am most interested in management of a bacteria causing bacterial kidney disease in trout and determing how it is transmitted, how to test for the bacteria in a laboratory, and if the bacteria affects the growth or reproduction of fish in the wild.
 
Outside of my graduate education, I still find myself immersed with fish! I enjoy being out on my boat and fishing the most, but I also find time to play piano, violin, go skiing, rock climing, running and spending afternoons with my dog.

Laura van der Pol

Graduate Student Intern: Proctor Prefect

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Laura van der Pol is a PhD candidate in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. Her research focuses on understanding how integrating legumes into annual and perennial grain agroecosystems affects soil organic matter dynamics and sustainability.

Though raised in Houston, TX and having spent years on the high seas as an officer with the U.S. Coast Guard, Laura came to study soil ecology as it is the nexus of food, civilization, and our future. If not writing or crafting something delicious in the kitchen, Laura delights in long runs and bike rides – or really any time in the outdoors. Over the past couple years, she’s found the structure and accountability offered through a weekly writers’ group and CSU Writes workshops and sessions to be invaluable for improving her motivation and craft. Laura is delighted to support the Show up & Write sessions this year.

Sarah Van Etten

Graduate Student Intern: Research Projects

Education, Equity and Transformation

Sarah Van Etten is a PhD student in the CSU School of Education – Education, Equity and Transformation program.  Her research is focused on understanding how volunteers make meaning of their community engagement experiences through the reflexive writing process.  

After a 15+ year career in the non-profit sector, Sarah went back to school and received her Master’s in Public Administration with a nonprofit emphasis and decided to continue her studies through her doctoral program.  She recently coordinated the community-engaged learning course, Pets Forever, through the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS) and has taught courses, through the School of Social Work, in Advanced Community Practice, Human-Animal Bond and Animal Assisted Therapy. She was a 2020 participant in the Campus Compact Community Engaged Scholars Western Cohort and received the 2019 CSU Award for Exceptional Achievement in Service-Learning Community Partner on behalf of Pets Forever.

Fascinated by the informal, adult learning process, Sarah is excited to support the CSU Grad Writes research project, exploring the Mentor-Mentee relationship as exhibited in the co-production of academic writing.

Facilitators & Graduate Student Interns 2020-21

Courtney Hazelton-Harringon

Graduate Student Intern: Events

Chemistry

Courtney is a third-year PhD student in Chemistry. She grew up on the East Coast, but has travelled all over the country, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Texas State University before moving to Fort Collins for her doctoral studies. In pursuit of her degree at CSU, Courtney’s research applies spectroscopic methods to study the dynamics of and develop applications for fluorescent probes in biological and chemical systems. As an avid reader and writer with a professional interest in science communications, Courtney is excited to join the CSU Writes team and support other graduate students through CSU Writes. In her spare time, she also enjoys learning the basics of construction and playing billiards.

Donna L. Lopez

Graduate Student Intern: Grants

Public Policy & Administration

My name is Donna L. Lopez. I am a first-generation Chicanx/Native American student, whose family can trace their roots back to 1670.  We came from Mexico City, along with eleven other families to found what is now San Miguel, New Mexico. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but my family is from Colorado. (it is another story) My Bachelor’s is in finance, and I worked in the corporate finance world for most of my 1st career. Once I decided to return to for a 2nddegree it took some time to find my place, but I am firmly settled in Graduate School, in  the new Master of Public Policy and Administration program. The time it took was not for naught, it allowed me to take the feminist methodology classes, where I found my voice for writing.

My goal has always been to make a difference for others. As a First-Generation Chicanx student I am keenly aware of the many sacrifices’ others have made that allow me to have an education, to live the life I lead, and I am mindful that it is vastly different than the life of my family. The time has come for me to now pay it forward for those who have a desire for more than what others believe we should have. It is an honor to be part of a program that helps others put their words out into the world.

Ryan Lueck

Graduate Student Intern: Event Support

English: Literary Studies

Ryan Lueck is a first year Graduate Student in Literature who returns to CSU after earned his BA here. I’m interested in post-irony studies and aesthetics of New Sincerity in twentieth and twenty-first century literature and popular culture. My long term career goal is to go on to study for my Ph.D. and teach at a university.

I was drawn to the mission of CSU Writes  as an undergraduate at CSU. Having the opportunity to support CSU Writes and my fellow graduate students become the best writers they can be is something I am both excited about and proud to be a part of.

Kelsey Martin

Postdoctoral Fellow Team Research

Clinical Sciences

Dr. Kelsey Martin is a veterinarian returning to CSU to complete a clinical residency specializing in animal reproduction, whilst obtaining her Master’s in Biomedical Sciences. She is originally from Colorado where she grew up along the Eastern plains on 50,000 acres of land that is both a working cattle ranch and established nature preserve. This unique childhood fostered a love for the outdoors and it’s many inhabitants, which has driven her passion for a career centered around the One Health concept. Her main professional focus is on improvement of reproductive management in livestock to promote sustainable food systems and research in conservation techniques for non-domestic species. 
 
Kelsey was immediately drawn to the CSU Writes program as she recognizes the incredible value writing has on one’s professional career. She is looking forward to learning and working with individuals across the university. In her free time, Kelsey enjoy’s a typical Coloradoan’s pastimes, like: outdoor adventuring, taking her dog to breweries and watching live music. 

Kira Marshall-McKelvey

Graduate Student Intern: GROUPS

Communication & Media Studies

Kira Marshall-McKelvey is a PhD student in Communication Studies at CSU. She studies identity performance and microcelebrity on YouTube. She got her Master’s Degree in English at CSU, and has taught classes ranging from College Composition to Public Speaking.
 
Kira has a lifelong love of writing and is excited to support graduate student and faculty writing with CSU Writes. She believes that the best work comes from collaboration and support, and is glad to be part of a community that invites that kind of work.

Marissa Metz

Graduate Student Intern: show up & write.

Biomedical Sciences

Marissa Metz is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding the organization and function of the brain’s natural opioid system.

Marissa migrated from the small town of Sulphur, Oklahoma to explore the mountains in Colorado and to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She enjoys adventures of every kind, from the challenge of long-distance hikes to the wonder of seeing the world in a new way through literature. She has proctored show up & write. session for more than two years (back in the pre-pandemic days when show up & write. was held on campus and in-person) and is now helping CSU Writes fine tune the online version.

Hanish Sai Talasila

Graduate Student Intern: Video Support

Computer Information Systems

Hanish Sai Talasila is an aspiring software engineer in his final year of graduate studies. He grew up in culture rich southern India but has travelled all over the globe. Graduated bachelor’s in Electronics and Communication Engineering, though coming from a hardware background always wanted to be a software engineer and made a career jump to Computer Sciences. His studies mainly involve creating end to end applications and websites. He codes online challenges for fun.

In the time when not coding, he likes to travel and explore different cultures, landscapes and traditions of the beautiful America’s. He is excited to be a part of the CSU Writes community and looking forward to “writing better together.”

Balakrishna Vagvala

Graduate Student Intern: Database

Computer Information Systems

Balakrishna is a second-year Computer Information Systems Graduate student, who focuses on data analytics and visualization. He likes to make graphs for fun and loves working on climate research data. He comes from the south Indian metropolitan city, Hyderabad. His interest in data science began when he started reading journals about the impact of data on daily life and future. His long-term career goal is to be a scientist in climatology and nature conservation. 

His interest includes hiking, kayaking, swimming. He also enjoys writing, reading, and learning different aspects of literature. He loves the mission and work of CSU Writes. He  is excited and feels blessed to be a part of the team. 

Facilitators & Graduate Student Interns 2019-20

Dr. Izabela Ragan

Dr. Izabela Ragan

Facilitator

Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Izabela Ragan is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Richard Bowen’s lab in the Biomedical Sciences. Her post-doctoral research includes evaluating ectotherms and their role in the maintenance of various arboviruses with public health impacts such as Zika virus, Yellow Fever virus, Dengue virus, and Rift Valley fever virus. Her specific interests include animal modeling, diagnostic development and pathogenesis studies in high-containment facilities.

Izabela got involved with CSU Writes by attending workshops and writing retreats. She believes CSU Writes is an amazing service for faculty and students. She is excited to join support writing and feedback groups to help grow the CSU Writes community.

In her free time, Izabela is generally outside enjoying the Colorado Rocky Mountains by biking, hiking, and climbing.

Seré Williams

Graduate Student Intern

Cellular & Molecular Biology

Seré is a PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Biology program. She completed her MS with Dr. Reddy studying gene regulation changes in rice when it experiences drought stress. She has a varied background, working with global industry to increase pathogen resistance in barley for AB InBev to conducting botanical surveys to manage desert tortoise habitat for non-profits.

An enthusiastic observer of both the natural world outside and our internal processes inside, she is excited to join CSU Writes in exploring and supporting productivity for writers and researchers.

Swetha Varadarajan

Swetha Varadarajan

Graduate Student Intern

Computer Science

Swetha Varadarajan is a second-year Computer Science Ph.D. student, working on Parallel Genetic Algorithms. She hails from a south Indian city called Chennai. Her research interests began when she took a course on microprocessors during her undergrad. Since then, she has been fascinated with computer architecture, organization, and efficient utilization. Previously, she earned a MS in EE at CSU, and her thesis was on the optimization of RNA-RNA Interaction Computations.

Her interests include hiking, biking, tennis, and music. She appreciates CSU Writes’ goals and is grateful to CSU Writes and Grad580A2 course for helping her realize writing as a conscious activity. She is excited to be a part of CSU Writes community.

Michelle LaCrosse

Michelle LaCrosse

Graduate Student Intern

Creative Writing

Michelle LaCrosse is in her final year pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing; working on a collection of creative nonfiction essays for her thesis. Michelle enjoys writing personal narratives in immersion memoir, travel, and cultural criticism. She is an associate editor at the Center for Literary Publishing, which publishes the literary journal, Colorado Review, as well as several books of poetry each year. Michelle manages the monthly e-newsletter for the CLP. She especially loves book and cover design and hopes to continue working in publishing after graduation.

Michelle is also the CSU graduate student body representative on the Alternative Transportation Fee Advisory Board, which manages a budget of $250k annually.

Former Interns

2018 - 19

AJ Brown

AJ Brown

Graduate Student Intern

Soil and Crop Sciences

AJ Brown is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Soil and Crop Sciences, working on projects related to improving water quality, reducing the effects soil salinity on crops, and developing innovative new environmental monitoring technologies. He is originally from the small, agricultural community of Rocky Ford, Colorado where he grew up farming his own farm, as well as working at the CSU Arkansas Valley Research Center.

It was his childhood that drove him to pursue a career where he could take on the challenges of creating new agricultural and engineering knowledge, and simultaneously being able to communicate it in a way that farmers and ranchers could easily understand.

Jeremy Worrell

Jeremy Worrell

Graduate Student Intern

College of Business

Jeremy Worrell earned his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2015. During his time in school, he interned with an environmental compliance company in India. After school, he became a geologist for an engineering and consulting firm and was responsible for monitoring and mitigating coal fires and sink holes in Colorado and Wyoming. He also spent 4 months in the US Virgin Islands assisting remediation efforts post hurricane Maria.

With the goal to make the world a better place through sustainable and social enterprise, Jeremy joined the GSSE MBA program through the College of Business and is excited to be apart of the CSU Writes community.

Farah Vera

Farah Vera

Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology

Farah Vera is a Mexican Biologist. She was a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology with a focus on vector biology. Her work studies the reversal of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes. She started attending CSU Writes writing retreats and and workshops, which have helped her to start writing her dissertation with more confidence.  Currently, she is writing her dissertation. She is thrilled to join CSU Writes as an intern. She hopes to help others students, especially second language students, to realize that they, too, can write with more ease and excitement (instead of fear and stress). When she returns to Mexico, she would like to create a writing support similar to CSU Writes. She successfully defended her dissertation and graduated in 2019.

Leah Franke

Leah Franke

Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language

Leah Franke is a graduate student in the Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL) Master’s program. She received her undergraduate degree in Asian Languages and Literatures from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2015. While in school, she had the opportunity to study Korean language and history at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. She has since taught English as a Second Language to students of all ages in Alaska and Colorado. She enjoys writing and language, and is excited to join the CSU Writes team.

Lindsey Bush

Lindsey Bush

Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language​

Lindsey Bush is in her second year of the English department’s Master’s program in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language.  Originally from the state of New York, she earned her undergraduate degree in English and Anthropology from Wells College in Aurora, New York. Following graduation, she taught in a public-school system, working with K-12 students who were classified as English Language Leaners.  This led her to apply for a Master’s degree at CSU.

She is thrilled to join the CSU Writes group to assist in the development of focused English language writing groups and looks forward to working with fellow students to achieve their writing goals.

2017 - 18

Adele Lonas

Adele Lonas

Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language​

Adele Lonas completed a joint Master’s program in Teaching English as a Second/ Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL), and in Spanish Language and Literature.

Ashlie Johnson

Ashlie Johnson

Applied Social and Health Psychology

Ashlie Johnson is a doctoral student in the Applied Social and Health Psychology program at CSU. Her research and writing focuses on the interplay between psychological processes and nutrition/exercise behaviors.

Matt Peacock

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Matt Peacock completed a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on water resources planning and management.

2017 - 18

Lexi Gehring

Lexi Gehring

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Lexi (Alexandra) Gehringwas CSU Writes’s first intern. She completed her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology while doing amazing work with CSU Writes.