Our Staff

We are the UCR Graduate Writing Center, and we are here to help you meet your writing goals.

  • Lauren Hammond
    Lauren Hammond

    Lauren Hammond is the GWC's Lead Consultant. She is currently a PhD student in English, focusing on the materiality of gender, sexuality, and identity in the punk subculture. Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and Writing at California State University, San Marcos and her Master in Arts degree in English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University (SDSU). In the past, she has worked as a rhetoric and writing instructor for SDSU. In her continued studies as a graduate student, Lauren enjoys working as a university teaching associate, research assistant, copy editor, writing consultant, and standardized test preparation instructor.

  • Nicole Furtado
    Nicole Furtado

    Nicole Ku’uleinapuananiolikoawapuhimelemeleolani Furtado is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the English Department at UCR. Nicole received her B.A. in English from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and her M.A. in English at UC Riverside. She is of Kānaka Maoli heritage and is from Nānākuli, Hawaiʻi. Her research interests are in Speculative Fiction, Indigenous Studies, Digital Art, Disability  Studies, Science & Technology Studies, and Decolonial Futurities. In addition to teaching English in academia, Nicole has recently taught specialized literature courses in the art community of Los Angeles, CA. Nicole’s prior writing center experience was in the University of Hawaii school system for three years. In her free time, Nicole enjoys visiting art exhibitions, going hiking, and spending sunny days at the beach. 

  • Gary Qin
    Gary Qin Profile Pic

    Gary Qin is a third-year Ph.D. student in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology. He received his B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology and B.A. in English from the University of Washington. He was previously a writing consultant and lead tutor at the Odegaard Writing and Research Center at the University of Washington. His current research focuses on freshwater ecology and ecological sustainability and governance in social-ecological systems. In his free time, Gary enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants and cafes, working out, and attending live music concerts. 

  • Leah Washburn

    Leah Washburn is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the English Department at UCR. She received her BA in English-Creative Writing from Rhodes College and her MFA in fiction from the University of Central Florida. Her research interests include postmodernism, contemporary fiction, speculative fiction, game studies, media studies, and narrative studies. During graduate studies, she has taught composition and creative writing classes, and during undergraduate work, she worked as a Rhodes College Writing Fellow for 3 years. Leah is a capital-N nerd. She spends free hours reading, writing, and collecting more dice for her games.

  • Christopher Valencia
    Photo of Chris smiling in front of a body of water

    Christopher Valencia is a second year Ph.D. student in the Religious Studies Department at UC Riverside. He received his B.A. in English from UC Irvine. His research interests focus on 20th century and contemporary Christianity, Latin American Christianity, and religion in urban communities. Currently, he works as a TA in the Religious Studies Department and helps with courses on religion and history. In his free time, Christopher likes exploring the outdoors, spending time with family and friends, playing music, and trying new types of coffee.

  • Kristen Herbert
    Black-and-white photo of Kristen standing in front of a tree

    Kristen Herbert is an MFA candidate in Fiction at UCR’s Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts program. She earned her Bachelor’s in English Literature from Roosevelt University Chicago near the area where she grew up. Kristen spent five years in Hungary, where she studied in the KKM-Balassi Scholarship program for Hungarian Literary Translation. She translates contemporary Hungarian poetry and fiction to English, and has taught creative writing courses, as well as advanced English and translation at the Szent István University in Budapest.

The UCR Graduate Writing Center is certified Under the College Reading & Learning Association’s International Tutor Training Program