photo of writing class

Faculty and Staff

Jump to listing for: Department Leadership, StaffFull-Time Faculty, Part-time Faculty

Office Hours

If you need immediate assistance between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday, email Suzanne Deshchidn or call 973-655-4249 and the department will assist you.

If you have questions about the major or minor or need to talk to the Chair, email Ron Brooks.

Questions about first year writing should be directed to Caroline Dadas or Jennifer Holly-Wells.

Department Leadership

Ron Brooks, chair and associate professor, received a PhD from the University of Oklahoma. He is the founding chair for the Department of Writing Studies. He has taught courses in composition, writing pedagogy, style and editing, and digital writing. He has published in journals such as College Composition and Communication, Enculturation, Pre/Text, and Technical Communication Quarterly.
Caroline Dadas, associate professor and Director of First Year Writing, received a PhD in rhetoric and composition from Miami University. Her research interests include digital rhetorics, public sphere theory, professional writing, queer rhetorics, and civic participation. She teaches courses on rhetorical theory, digital writing, research methods, technical writing, and queer studies. She is the author of articles published in venues such as College Composition and Communication, Computers and Writing, New Media and Society, Composition ForumLiteracy in Composition Studies, and Computers and Composition Online. She is co-editor of the CCCC Lavender Award winning 2019 collection, Re/Orienting Writing Studies: Queer Methods, Queer Projects.
Jennifer Holly-Wells, associate director of the First-Year Writing Program, received a PhD in Modern History and Literature from and completed her postdoc in composition at Drew University. Her research interests include: First-Year Writing administration, writing instruction, and 20th-century American literature. She teaches courses including College Writing I, College Writing II, and Workplace Writing.

Staff

Suzanne Deshchidn is the program assistant for the Department of Writing Studies.

Full-Time Faculty

Dayna Arcurio, instructional specialist, received an MA in English from Montclair State University. Her pedagogy focuses on digital and visual rhetorics; she experiments with the latest digital platforms and designing multimodal assignments. Her classes explore texts in all forms and how rhetorical argument is shaped by digital media and aesthetics. She teaches courses in First-Year Writing and the Professional and Public Writing minor.
Bridget Brown, instructional specialist, received a PhD in American Studies from New York University. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. She has previously taught at institutions including New York University and Muhlenberg College. She is the author of They Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves: The History and Politics of Alien Abduction published by NYU Press in 2007.
Claudia Cortese, Instructional Specialist, received an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her research interests include Fat Studies, Fat Poetics, the Lyric Essay, Prose Poetry, and Hybrid Writing. She teaches in the Department of Writing Studies, as well as in the Gender, Sexuality, Women’s Studies program and the Creative Writing program. She has taught Introduction to Poetry, Intermediate Poetry, Art of Poetry, College Writing I and II, and Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies. Cortese is the author of the following books: Wasp Queen (Black Lawrence Press, 2017), which won Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Award for Emerging Poetry; Blood Medals (Thrush Press, 20‌15); and The Red Essay and Other Histories (Horse Less Press, 2015). She has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in Bitch Magazine, Blackbird, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, and The Offing, among many others.‌ She is the Book Reviews editor for Muzzle Magazine. The daughter of Neapolitan immigrants, Cortese grew up in Northeast Ohio’s Rust Belt and lives in New Jersey.
Laura Field, instructional specialist, received a PhD in rhetoric and composition from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Her research interests include the challenges of employing a feminist pedagogy in the writing classroom. She teaches courses in the First Year Writing and Public and Professional Writing programs.
Christine Giancatarino, instructional specialist, received an MFA in Theater from Columbia University. She is a certified Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement teacher as well as a theater practitioner. Her research interests explore how embodied experience can serve as a platform for writing. She teaches courses in composition in the First-Year Writing Program.
Sarah Ghoshal, instructional specialist, received an MFA in Creative Writing from Long Island University. Her research interests include: Online and Hybrid Teaching and Learning, Composition and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, Poetry, and Literature. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks and several articles and individual poems, and presents regularly at conferences and workshops about the efficacy of online teaching. She is the Committee Chair for Hybrid and Online Teaching for the Department of Writing Studies, and strives to help others achieve their teaching goals.

Emily Isaacs

314 Schmitt Hall
973-655-5307
isaacse@montclair.edu

Emily Isaacs, professor, specializes in writing pedagogy, writing assessment, and writing programming in higher education. Professor Isaacs’ scholarship is focused on best practices for writing instruction and administration, the national state of writing instruction and support at U.S. four-year universities, and teaching and learning in public higher education. Her articles have appeared in Pedagogy, College English, Writing Program Administration, Writing Center Journal, Journal of Teaching Writing, and in several book collections. In addition, she is the author of three books, including most recently, Writing at the State U (Utah State UP). Emily Isaacs is also the Executive Director of the Office for Faculty Advancement
Tavya Jackson, instructional specialist, received an MA in English Literature from Montclair State University. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. In the past, she has taught writing courses at the University of Georgia and Union County Community College.
Henry Margenau, instructional specialist, received an MFA in fiction writing from The New School. He teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program and for the Public and Professional Writing major as well as creative writing courses for the English department. Henry has presented as a panelist on multimodal writing pedagogy, skills transfer, and collaborative composition at conferences such as the Northeast Modern Language Association Conference, The South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference, and the College English Association conference. He was the co-host of The Write Mode, a podcast about writing and multimodal composition. He also writes fiction and his work has been published in different venues such as Prick of the Spindle and Cleaver Magazine.  In the past, he has taught at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Drew University, and Lasell College.
Elizabeth Martin, instructional specialist, received an MFA from William Patterson University in Creative and Professional Writing. She teaches courses in composition and also serves as a Poetry Editor for Map Literary, a contemporary journal of writing and art. Her journalism has appeared in Parsippany LifeNeighbor News, and The Suburban Trends and she is the recipient of two New Jersey Press Association awards. Her poetry has been published by Arsenic Lobster, Eunoia ReviewMenacing Hedge, and Drunk Monkeys. Currently, she is at work on a series of essays that blend the personal with the political and historical contexts of motherhood.
Maria Montaperto, instructional specialist, received a PhD from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Her research interests include the intersections between race theory and composition and rhetoric, particularly on how invisible white privilege manifests and functions as a form of racism in higher education. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. She has regularly presented at CCCC, the Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) conference, and other local and national conferences. Her most recent research takes up issues related to disciplinary and institutional mis-implementation of organizational missions toward language equity within first year composition courses and in the professional development of teachers of writing.
Carrie Lee O’Dell, received her MFA. in Dramaturgy and Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Stony Brook University. She teaches courses in First Year Writing and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Her research and performance interests center on devised theatre. Dramaturgy credits include Imagining O (Richard Schechner and East Coast Artists/Peak Performances at Montclair State), The Dybbuk (Elizabeth Swados at NYU/ Tisch School for the Arts), Three Sisters (HiveMind Theater),  and Departure with No Dominion Theatre Co. In 2018, she served as dramaturg, co-director, and head of the writing team for No Dominion Theatre Co.’s production Yarns, the culmination of a residency at Jersey City Theatre Center. She also writes for The Reviews Hub.
Shelagh Patterson, instructional specialist, received a PhD in English: Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry from CUNY Hunter College. Her research interests include late 20th and early 21st century American Literature and the socially transformative possibilities of literary collaboration. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. She is the author of “Universalizing a Nation and the Adaptation of Trainspotting” published by Oxford University Press and the recent review of Straight Outta Compton in the journal A Gathering of the Tribes.
Tatum Petrich, instructional specialist, received a PhD in English and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Temple University. Her research interests include contemporary American literature, women’s studies, and composition and rhetoric. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Department
Jacqueline Regan, instructional specialist, received a PhD in literacy from the department of Educational Specialties at St. John’s University. She also holds an MA in Education from Fairfield University and an MA in English from Montclair State University. Her research interests include first-year writing students transitioning to college, academically underserved writing students, and multiliteracies. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program and Public and Professional Writing major. She previously worked in publishing and has taught high school in both New Jersey and Connecticut. Recent works were published in Awakenings Review and Making Literacy Connections: The Journal of the Greater Washington Reading Council.
Rick Reid, instructional specialist, received a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California. His research interests include the avant-garde, critical theory, composition and rhetoric, and curriculum studies. He teaches courses in first-year, collaborative, creative, and digital writing as well as in critical theory and literature. Most recently, a book of poems, To Be Hung from the Ceiling by Strings of Varying Length, was published by Black Goat and an article, “Frequency,” that analyzes the multimodal work of Vito Acconci, appeared in the interdisciplinary journal Crossings. Reid also works as a conceptual artist and writer.
Jessica Restaino, professor, received her PhD from Temple University. Her research interests include composition theory and pedagogy, writing teacher preparation, community and activist writing, feminist rhetorics and research methodologies, and medical rhetorics. She teaches courses across a range of department offerings. She is the author of First Semester: Graduate Studies, Teaching Writing, and the Challenge of Middle Ground and co-editor (with Laurie Cella) of Unsustainable: Re-Imagining Community Literacy, Public Writing, Service-Learning, and the University.
Jennifer Russo, instructional specialist, received her PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research interests include experimental poetry, political poetry, and women’s literature. She has published articles on the clairvoyant poet Hannah Weiner in the journal Wild Orchids and in the book Time In Time: Short Poems, Long Poems, and the Rhetoric of North American Avant-Gardism, 1963-2008 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013). She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program.
Shiladitya Sen, Instructional Specialist, received a PhD in Early Modern drama from Temple University. He had wide-ranging interests, but his classes are invariably concerned with performance, power, narratives, audience, and gender. He teaches College Writing I and II in the First-Year Writing Program, as well as Intro to Gender Studies and Women’s Studies (GSWS) and Intro to LGBTQ+ studies (GLQS). His most recent publication was a chapter on “Cleopatra as Metatheatrical Monarch” in Shakespeare’s Queens (Palgrave) and he has a forthcoming chapter on “Abuse, Coercion, and Power in Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild” (Routledge, India).
Sasha Troyan, instructional specialist, received an MA with a concentration in Creative Writing from New York University. She teaches courses in composition, creative writing, and as part of the First Year Writing program. She specializes in creative writing, fiction, and creative nonfiction. She is the author of two novels, Angels in the Morning, (The Permanent Press, 2003) and The Forgotten Island (Tin House Bloomsbury, 2006). Her short story, “Hidden Works,” appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Ploughshares, guest-edited by the poet Eleanor Wilner and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and chosen as one of the “Distinguished Short Stories” in the Best American Short Stories for 2010.
Christa Verem, instructional specialist, received an MA in English from Seton Hall University and an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. She has been published in the literary journals Many Mountains Moving and The Wide Shore.