Our Staff

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

Head shot of Alexis smiling at the camera with her hair in her eyes

Alexis Smith is the Coordinator of the Graduate Writing Center. She has over six years of experience supporting graduate students in writing center contexts, first as a peer tutor and then as an administrator. After completing her BA in English and Anthropology at West Virginia University, Alexis went on to complete an MA in Applied Linguistics/TESOL at the University of Alabama. In addition to tutoring and teaching second language writing courses at UA, she also spent a year teaching English composition at Sias International University in Xinzheng, Henan, China. Most recently, Alexis worked with graduate students and multilingual writers at the Texas A&M University Writing Center. In her spare time, Alexis enjoys running, reading, and watching horror movies.

  • 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.

  • Nina Mandracchia
    Nina Mandracchia

    Nina Mandracchia is a PhD student in School Psychology. Her research focuses on the successful integration of technology into current school psychology and teacher practices through training. Prior to coming to UCR, Nina received her B.A. from Columbia University in Psychology and Business Management.  

  • 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. 

  • Crystal Hua

    Crystal Hua is a PhD Candidate in the Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program at UC Riverside (UCR). She completed her BA in English and BS in Biology at UCR. Her research focuses on the human health effects associated with electronic cigarette use. Crystal has been awarded numerous fellowships/grants and scholarships during her academic career. For her graduate studies, Crystal was the recipient of a competitive Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and Cornelius Hopper Diversity Fellowship. Prior to college, Crystal attended the California State Summer School for the Arts and studied memoir writing/poetry. She enjoys helping students in various disciplines improve their writing.

  • Gary Qin
    Gary Qin Profile Pic

    Gary Qin is a second-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. 

  • Quyen Pham

    Quyen Pham (she/they) is an MFA candidate in the UCR Creative Writing Program. Her fiction explores kinship and estrangement in diasporic communities. A two-time previous Fulbright recipient, her current research interests are Asian North American literature and science fiction poetics. She is a Canadian transplant to California and, in her free time, enjoys suburban sightseeing for Riverside's stray cats, peacocks, and donkeys.

  • 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.

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