The staff of the Center for Writing Excellence are dedicated to making your visit to the CWE a positive experience.
We welcome you and look forward to working with you!
Research/Interests: Rhetorical Theory and Practice, Writing Centers, Writing in the Disciplines, Computers and Composition, American Cultural Studies.
A scholar and practitioner, Professor Knight brings expertise in rhetorical theory and practice, business and professional communication, writing across the curriculum and American cultural studies. She conducts undergraduate and graduate courses at Montclair State University and supervises student teachers. Additionally, she advises educational and governmental organizations on corporate communications topics and develops professional communication programs for a broad spectrum of clients in business, not-for-profit and governmental organizations. Professor Knight has been awarded grants from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Wallerstein Foundation, among others. She has also been the Editor of Business and Professional Communication Quarterly since 2010.
Areas of Interest: Community writing projects, Women’s Studies, Asian women’s literature, classic monster movies.
Before joining the CWE, Alicia enjoyed working for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Montclair State. She likes meeting students, faculty and staff from across campus and learning about their interests. Alicia thinks stories and storytelling are a fascinating and powerful part of our lives, both in their hearing and telling. She encourages writers at all levels to make use of the CWE, for all kinds of writing.
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: composition writing, creative writing, songwriting, creative arts
Extracurricular: Music, natural building, visual arts, carpentry, organic farming, cooking
Alan is in The Porchistas, a very busy, Montclair-based, independent rock band. He spends several months of each year at Rancho Mastatal in a remote, old growth rain forest, teaching people how to build earthen structures and live sustainably. Alan enjoys being able to help students make their papers better while simultaneously improving their overall writing ability, which is why he works in The Center for Writing Excellence. He says, “The challenge of guiding writers to a better place, a more confident and empowered place in their writing is as rewarding today as it was when I first started. I thoroughly enjoy my job.”
Alice Freddi Beresin
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: American and French Literature, Art and Art History, and Learning Disabilities
Extracurricular: Drawing, travel, reading, gardening and going to the theater
This is Alice’s fourth year working at the CWE. Alice also tutors middle school, high school and college students in composition, research and study skills. She has worked with students on the reading and writing sections of the SAT and has helped high school seniors on college essays and applications. A number of Alice’s private clients have learning differences. Alice currently freelances as an illustrator for private clients and has illustrated books for Prentice Hall, Inc., Jossey-Bass, and John Wiley & Sons. Additionally, Alice is on the board of directors of the off-Broadway theater company, VOICETheatre, where one of her duties is editing grants and promotional material.
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: International studies, politics, poetry, 20th Century literature, contemporary American novels, linguistics, magazine and newspaper writing, creative writing
Extracurriculars: true crime podcasts, writing for Her Campus, language arts tutoring, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat, weekly baking sessions, making the world’s best cup of coffee
Ana graduated magna cum laude from Montclair State University in 2021 with a BA in English and a minor in linguistics. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at MSU. When she’s not in class, you’ll find Ana typing away on her laptop while drinking niche coffees and lattes. As a contributing writer for Her Campus, Ana draws inspiration from everyday life to create informative and entertaining content. She is a firm believer in the power of the written word to connect individuals and communities. Ana hopes to share this love of literature with the CWE community as a graduate assistant.
Camilla M Finch
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: News writing for television, newspapers and magazines. Expertise in economic and business journalism.
Camilla has worked professionally as a journalist in both the television and print fields for 25 years. She rose through the ranks to become a producer at ABC Network News working on the programs, “20/20”, “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings” and “Business World”. She specializes in writing about business and economic issues for both television and print. She is also a founding member of the Lydia Johnson Dance Company as well as a founding member of Youthnet, the after-school program that serves the South Orange and Maplewood school districts.
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: Psychology, Music, Education, Counseling, Clinical Mental Health
Counseling, Creative Writing, Poetry, and APA Style
Extracurriculars: Loves spending time with family & friends, listening to music, singing, writing song lyrics, playing guitar, watching Netflix, baking goodies, going on nature walks, and meditating!
Jenny graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University in 2019 with a BA in Psychology and double minors in Music and Education. She is currently pursuing her MA in clinical mental health counseling to become a psychotherapist. Jenny comes to the CWE with two years of preschool teaching experience and one year of English tutoring experience that she gained as an undergrad. She has worked with a diverse range of students, including those with
developmental delays, disabilities, and different cultural backgrounds.
Jenny believes that the best teaching approach is a student-centered one, so she tirelessly works and strives to adapt to her students’ needs. She passionately believes in creating an environment centered around empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness for both her clients and students, hoping to help them achieve excellence in their writing and lives. Jenny feels truly fulfilled when she can help people smile, succeed, and enjoy life!
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: Business writing, poetry, Creative writing, storytelling, MLA, International Business, Management, Marketing
Extracurricular: Socializing, massive film geek, singer, dancer, photographer, poet, aspiring DJ, and a person who loves to live life to the fullest!
Justin graduated from Montclair State University in 2019 with a BS in Business Administration and an International Business concentration. He is currently pursuing his MBA with a dual concentration in Management and Marketing. Justin works as a retail supervisor at the Home Depot and participates in numerous events both on and off campus. When not working at the Home Depot, Justin spends time practicing his vocals, dance moves, DJ mixing skills, or watching a movie. As long as he is living a life filled with adventure, that is enough for him. Justin enjoys working with students from across different cultures and backgrounds and strives to change the world with one individual at a time.
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: Second language writing, Praxis test prep, writing for the teacher education program, reading comprehension, impromptu essays
Extracurricular: Taking Portuguese classes, attempting to learn how to dance salsa and bachata, reading about history and education, traveling, writing
After receiving her MAT in Teaching English as a Second Language, Kristine spent several years splitting her time between New Jersey and Rio de Janeiro. While she lived in Brazil, she managed a nonprofit that provided educational services to children in a favela, or slum. She currently serves as its Director of Education and still returns often. She has currently settled in the United States again (for now) where she works as an elementary ESL teacher. She has nine years of experience working with the Center for Writing Excellence and one year of experience as a literacy coach for the Center of Pedagogy. Kristine loves working in the center and has greatly enjoyed watching students strengthen their writing skills over time.
Subjects/Area of Expertise: Psychology writing, literature reviews, creative writing, APA formatting, Deaf Studies, Psychology, Speech Pathology
Extracurricular: Playing softball, socializing with friends, traveling, exercising, spending time with her cat, and cooking/baking.
Marlee graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2020 with a BA in Psychology and minors in Speech Pathology and Deaf Studies. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Marlee believes that writing is a necessary skill that everyone should acquire because it will always be used in some shape or form in the future. She loves working with others, helping those with differing abilities, and making a difference in people’s lives.
Norman C DeFilippo
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: Poetry, Samuel Beckett
Extracurricular: Listening to all sorts of music while sitting in traffic; sitting in traffic; complaining about sitting in traffic; reminiscing about having time to play guitar and bass; walking Molly, his American bulldog terrier, while avoiding bears; watching the night sky sink into the soil from behind a desk; breaking things and fixing things that break.
Norman began his undergraduate studies at William Paterson University, where he was Editor-In-Chief of the college newspaper and the literary magazine. After two years at William Paterson, Norman transferred to Boston College where he spent most of his time reading poetry and waiting for the T to take him someplace warm. In 2001 he graduated with a BA in English literature.
During the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters Norman was a graduate assistant at Montclair State University. He aided four professors with three projects. He spent half of his time conducting research at the New York Public Library and the other half of his time performing online research. In the spring of 2012, Norman completed his MA thesis on three twentieth-century Irish novels and their depictions of the home, Irishness and their characters’ descents into various underworlds.
In addition to his work at the writing center, Norman is also an Adjunct Professor at Essex County Community College where he teaches a variety of writing and literature courses. Norman enjoys working in the writing center and loves working with students on their writing.
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: First-year college writing, American literature, creative writing, journalism, and writing in the humanities
Extracurricular: Reading, hiking, learning new things and going on adventures in New York City
Val received her MFA in Creative and Professional Writing in 2018 from William Paterson University, where she currently teaches first-year college writing. She believes writing is an extremely valuable skill no matter one’s life path or career goals, and she enjoys watching writers develop their ideas and become more confident in their writing. In addition to teaching and consulting, she loves working on creative writing projects, especially writing for young adults. In her past experience as a freelance journalist, she wrote features about current events, environmental sustainability, and a wide variety of other topics. She loves working with all kinds of writers on every type of writing!
FYW STUDIO FELLOWS
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: First-year college writing, MLA style, Rhetorical analysis, Theatre and Dance
Extracurricular: Dancing, singing, yoga, reading, watching Netflix and Disney+, playing with her cats Tilly and Daphne
Emilia is a third year student at Montclair State University receiving her BA and MA in Theatre Studies. After graduation, Emilia plans to pursue a career in directing and dramaturgy with additional hopes to teach theatre at the collegiate level. She started working at the First Year Writing Studio at the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester and has had immense pleasure watching students blossom into well-rounded writers. Alongside working with first-year writing students, Emilia is also a peer mentor to first-year students in her role on campus as a University Fellow.
Head Greeter and Consultant
Subjects/Areas of Expertise: APA style, literature, analytical writing, journalism, creative writing
Extracurricular: Reading, Netflix, working on impulsive creative projects, playing with her dog, playing video games and writing stories.
Alexis graduated from Montclair State University in 2014. She runs a book club with her friends, plays DND, and generally enjoys creating welcoming spaces. She is an avid reader and enjoys writing short stories and creative nonfiction. When not writing, she’s probably thinking about her allergy-ridden pitbull Lulu.
Namrata Nitin Amin
Prior to the CWE, Namrata worked at a non-profit organization that aided survivors of human trafficking where she advocated for victim visa rights. Her time there was spent working with those who spoke little or no English to ensure that their experiences were communicated efficiently and privately to other organizations who could help further. As a multilingual writer herself, Namrata freelances as a translator and is excited about working at the CWE and the resources it provides writers, especially to those whose first language is not English. Outside of professional interests, she is passionate about her Malaysian roots, travel, South Asian Fiction, her attempts at writing a collection of short stories and the New York Yankees.