Program Director | Assistant Director | Program Coordinator | Consultants | Greeters

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!

Program Director

Dr. Melinda Knight
Professor and Director of the Center for Writing Excellence

PhD, New York University
MA, New York University
BA, Cornell University

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.


Assistant Director

Alicia Yi Remolde
CWE Assistant Director

MA - Montclair State University, English/Writing Studies concentration
BA - Montclair State University

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. Alicia enjoys traveling, Korean food, good books on rainy days, and spending time near the ocean.


Program Coordinator

Laura Lubrano headshotLaura Lubrano
Program Coordinator

MA - Montclair State University, English/Writing Studies concentration
BA - Rutgers University

Subjects/Areas of Expertise: Secondary English Education, Creative Writing and First-Year College Writing. More recently, Laura has been interested in examining the transition students make from high school to college writing and how teachers can help facilitate this process.

Extracurricular: Traveling to new places, baking, reading, learning how to garden, shopping and, of course, writing.

Laura began her English studies at Rutgers University where she graduated with a double major in English and History. While the focus of her study as an undergraduate was Renaissance literature and history, this interest shifted after working as a Graduate Assistant at Montclair State University. After tutoring her first students in 2002, Laura knew that teaching and working with student writers was her passion. Since her time as a graduate student at Montclair State, Laura has taught in several high schools and colleges. She enjoys consulting at the CWE because she has the opportunity to discuss literature and help students develop as writers without grading papers!



Alan Smith
Senior Consultant

MA - Montclair State University, English/Writing Studies concentration

Subjects/Areas of Expertise: composition writing, creative writing, song writing, 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.”


Alexis Antico

Major: MA - English, American Literature Concentration
BA - Montclair State University, English; Journalism minor

Subjects/Areas of Expertise: American Gothic, Women’s Studies, and women writers

Extracurricular: Playing with her pittie Lulu, binge-watching TV shows, and gaming

Alexis received her BA in English with a minor in Journalism in 2014. She is currently working towards a MA in English, with a concentration in American Literature. As an undergraduate Alexis was published in MSU's literary magazine, The Normal Review, for poetry and creative nonfiction. In her spare time, Alexis writes for an online gaming magazine and runs a semi-active personal blog. She is excited to work with writers on improving their skills and confidence.


Alice Freddi Beresin headshotAlice Freddi Beresin
Senior Consultant

MFA - Tyler School of Art
BA - Sarah Lawrence College
Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing - Montclair State University

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 leaning 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.


Alison Hinman (Ali)

Major: MA - Communications Sciences and Disorders
BS - Towson University, Speech Language Pathology & Audiology

Subjects/Areas of Expertise: APA style, personal narrative, blogging

Extracurricular: Making Spotify playlists for every occasion, watching and performing comedy, crossword puzzles, religiously following pop culture

Ali graduated from Towson University's Honors College in 2017 with her B.S. in Speech Language Pathology. When she wasn’t in the library or at the mall, you could find her writing and performing standup comedy. She spent some time acting as Towson's own Carrie Bradshaw, writing a column in the school newspaper, The Towerlight. Currently, she is a freelance writer for a satirical website and is working for her Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She hopes to inspire students to love writing as much as she does, or at the least, tolerate it.


Alison Nolan

MA - Montclair State University, English, Writing-Studies Concentration
BA - Montclair State University, English; Minor in Business
Certifications: Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing, Montclair State University
Certificate of Eligibility: Teacher of English, State of New Jersey

Subjects/Areas of Expertise: Business writing; creative non-fiction writing; writing through technology; writing through literature; grammar, proofreading and editing; MLA, APA, and Chicago styles; first-year and developmental writing; transitioning from high school to college; career writing and academic advising; reading, writing, and learning strategies across the curriculum

Extracurricular: Karaoke, yoga, cooking

Alison received her M.A. in English with a concentration in writing studies and her B.A. in English with a minor in Business from Montclair State. During her graduate career, Alison was a graduate assistant for the CWE and upon receipt of her M.A., she continued as a consultant. She returns after completing an appointment at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Alison has previously taught first-year writing at Montclair State, developmental reading and writing at Union County College, and English/Language Arts at the high-school level. In addition to the CWE, Alison also works in corporate education and training. She is excited to continue working with writers at her alma mater!


Ann McKinstry Micou

D. Litt - Drew University
MPS - The New School
BA - Mills College

Subjects/Areas of Expertise: American Literature

Ann’s work experience includes high-school English teacher; teacher of American lit at Pars College in Tehran, Iran; director of communications for two international nonprofit organizations in New York; and director of the South African Information Exchange at the Institute of International Education, also in New York. She has published three literary guides to fiction set in Vermont and two scholarly articles for Scribner’s American Writers series. Her dissertation topic is the relationship between place and destiny in the New Jersey-based fiction of Philip Roth, Richard Ford, and Junot Díaz.


Camilla Finch

BA - English at Barnard College

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 district.


Christie Calandrillo

Major: MA - Clinical Psychology/School Psychology Certification

Subjects/Areas of Expertise: Writing in Psychology, APA format/citations

Extracurricular: Spending time with family and friends, playing soccer, hiking, traveling, going to concerts, running 5ks for charity and eating delicious foods

Christie received her BA in Psychology from Felician College, where she played on the women's soccer team and served as a student ambassador.  During her graduate work, she is interested in researching the effects of anxiety on academic performance, as well as the intervention practices related to anxiety.  As an aspiring school psychologist, Christie has a passion for helping others succeed academically and looks forward to carrying this over into her work at the CWE.  Christie also enjoys the simple things in life--like making people smile and laugh whenever she can!


Deanna Mattia

Major: MA - English
BA - Montclair State University, English; Creative Writing minor

Subject/Areas of Expertise: Creative Writing, Secondary English Education, and American Literature

Extracurricular: Listening to country music in the car, long nights binge-watching all things Bon Jovi related on the I-pad, Saturday mornings drinking coffee and watching Food Network, cooking and baking (chocolate is the solution to everything), traveling and taking nature photos, and writing short stories on rainy days.

Deanna followed her dream of attending Montclair State University where she graduated with a BA in English and a minor in Creative Writing. She also spent time in the Education program, but is currently exploring the vast career opportunities English has to offer. Deanna is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) and published a short story in their literary magazine. She dreams of one day publishing a novel, and exploring the beauty of Ireland. Deanna is excited to continue being a part of the Red Hawk community as she pursues an M.A in English. She is passionate about a career in writing and helping writers improve in the CWE.


Emily Lagg

MA – Montclair State University, English/American Literature concentration

Subjects/Areas of Expertise: American literature, cinema studies

Extracurricular: Emily enjoys old movies, loud music, traveling, and reading.

Emily is an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, where she teaches in the First Year Writing Program. She has taught both traditional and hybrid studio courses. With the CWE, she also facilitates community writing groups with senior citizens and teenagers, and presented on her findings recently at the Conference on Community Writing at University of Colorado, Boulder. She received her MA in English from Montclair State, and her undergraduate degree in Literature from American University.


E‌rica Park

MA - Montclair State University, Speech-Language Pathology
BA - William Paterson University, English; minors in Communication Disorders and Biology

Subject/Areas of Expertise: Creative Writing, Clinical and Science Writing

As an undergraduate freshman, Erica had no idea what she wanted to do. After three indecisive years of taking random classes in several different fields, she settled on majoring in English Language and Composition and double-minored in Biology and Communication Disorders. She is also a graduate of WPU’s Honors College, for which she completed her Literary and Performing Arts Honors Track thesis comprised of six short fiction and nonfiction stories. Currently, Erica is pursuing a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology due to her interests in language acquisition and treatment of bilingual aphasia in adults. Her lifelong dream (apart from success in her career) is to backpack around the world and sample a global variety of delicious local cuisines.


Faith Newins

Major: MA - Montclair State University, Speech-Language Pathology
BA - The College of New Jersey, History; minor in Communication Disorders

Subjects/Areas of Expertise: Chicago style, history writing

Extracurricular: crocheting, reading, watching documentaries, thrift shopping, and anything Gilmore Girls related

Faith received her BA in History from The College of New Jersey in spring 2017. Faith enjoys reading and learning about social, cultural, and gender history. In her undergraduate career, Faith was heavily involved with TCNJ’s chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association where she served as treasurer. Currently, Faith is working towards her MA in Speech-Language Pathology. She hopes her training as a speech and language clinician will spill over into her work at the CWE.   


Kim Silva-Martinez

Major: MA - English
BA - Montclair State University, English

Subjects/Areas of expertise: American literature, Latin-American literature, British poetry, revision, editing, journalism

Extracurricular: Spending time with my family and dogs; reading Latin-American fiction and poetry, world history and other non-fiction; exploring in the NYPL; salsa dancing; and finding the few quiet places left in the world.

Kim graduated summa cum laude from Montclair State University with a BA in English and a minor in Latin American Studies. She also earned an honors distinction in English with a research thesis on Harlem Renaissance author Nella Larsen, which she presented at Montclair State's Student Research Symposium held this past May. Kim is pursuing a Master's degree in English with a concentration in Writing Studies/American Literature. Kim has written for the CHSS website and was a contributing writer for The Montclarion. She has also earned two AA degrees, one in English and one in Journalism, and is the author of the book Endless Possibilities: Middlesex County College, 1964-2014 which won two significant awards in the marketing/public relations field. She writes for the MCC alumni magazine Middlesex Now and will have articles published in upcoming editions; and she served as the editor-in-chief of the MCC school newspaper Quo Vadis. As a member of the MCC Alumni Board of Trustees, she volunteers for events that promote the college and in 2015 was recognized as the "MCC Recent Alumna of the Year." Kim looks forward to working with writers at the CWE so they can be successful and confident.


Kristine Witko headshotKristine Witko
Senior Consultant

MAT – Montclair State University, Teaching English as a Second Language

Subjects/Areas of Expertise: Second language writing, impromptu essays, creative writing        

Extracurricular: Traveling whenever possible, reading, writing, volunteering, going to language exchanges

After receiving her Bachelor's degree in English at La Salle University, Kristine went on to Montclair State University, where she received her MAT in Teaching English as a Second Language. Kristine traveled for much of the year after graduation, spending time in Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. She fell in love with Brazil and for three years split her time between Rio de Janeiro and New Jersey. While she lived in Rio de Janeiro, she began learning Portuguese and managed a nonprofit that provided educational services to children in a favela (slum). She is currently settled in the United States again (for now). In addition to being a writing consultant at the CWE, Kristine also works as the Literacy Coach for the Center of Pedagogy.


Nancy Mendez-Booth

MFA - Fiction, Rutgers University
MA - English Critical Theory, Rutgers University
BA - English, Amherst College

Nancy enjoys helping writers grow in confidence, independence, and clarity. She is a fiction writer, and teaches writing and Latina/o literature and culture at colleges and universities in New York and New Jersey. Nancy’s work has appeared in print and online, including Latina, Poets & Writers, Salon, The Jet Fuel Review, KGB Bar Literary Magazine, Philadelphia Stories, and Wordrunner eBooks. Nancy has read and performed at various Northeast venues including Cornelia Street Cafe, The Moth, and The Midtown International Theatre Festival. She posts regularly on her blog.
Nancy enjoys athletic pursuits, the NYT Sunday crossword, hot coffee, all varieties of rice, peanut M&Ms, Roz Chast, and Morrissey.


Norman DeFilippo headshotNorman DeFilippo
Senior Consultant

MA - Montclair State University, English with British Literature concentration
BA - Boston College

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 Bull Dog 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 B.A. 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 M.A. thesis on three, twentieth-century, Irish novels and their depictions of the home, Irishness, and their characters’s 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. 




Alexis Antico

Alexis received her BA in English with a minor in Journalism in 2014. As an undergraduate Alexis was published in MSU's literary magazine, The Normal Review, for poetry and creative nonfiction. In her spare time, Alexis writes for an online gaming magazine and runs a semi-active personal blog.


Kabria Wimbush

Kabria is a senior English major at MSU. She is in the process of declaring a Creative Writing minor as well. She is a proud member of the Greek organization Theta Delta Sigma on campus and can often be found with her fellow siblings. In her free time, Kabria likes to write, watch Netflix, and dance with the Montclair State Dance Company. Reading is one of Kabria’s favorite pastimes and William Shakespeare has a special place in her heart.


Rayane Yamout

Rayane is an undeclared first-year student at MSU, hoping to major in either Business or Communication. In her free time Rayane enjoys watching Netflix, going to the gym, bakin,g and spending the days in NYC with friends. Family and friends are very important in her life and she tries to spend as much time as possible with them. Rayane gets inspired and motivated by the people around her, and is hoping to join many clubs and organizations to meet new people and give back to community and the university.


‌‌Yasmin Tapia

Yasmin is a first-year student at Montclair State and is currently a S.T.E.M major. She is excited to begin classes in her major. Yasmin hopes to pursue the
heatlhcare business and become a physician assistant. She loves to play softball and her position is outfielder. In her spare time you’ll either catch her hanging out with her friends or working out at the gym.


‌‌Zeiry S. Flores

Zeiry received her AA in Psychology and is an EOF transferred junior student at Montclair State University. This is where she will continue studying for her BS in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. Zeiry plans to work in a juvenile detention center as a psychologist to help make a difference with America’s youth and advocate for minority youth rights. She believes strongly in devoting resources and attention to children as they are the future of America. She loves lending a helping hand wherever she can. In her spare time Zeiry can be found with her family, supporting her nephew at his soccer games, and having Sunday night family dinners as often as possible.