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Who We Are

Tutoring sessions involve a wide variety of tasks, but at the heart of every session is conversation—a conversation about your ideas and the best ways to make your ideas clear. Students can work with a tutor on any aspect of their writing. Writers and tutors often work together on the following:

  • Brainstorming
  • Editing strategies
  • Organization
  • Grammar
  • Thesis statements
  • MLA or APA citations
  • Argument and Evidence
Mairin Barney
E. Mairin Barney, Associate Director
(312) 341-6779

The Tutors

Brendan D


My name is Brendan, and I am a graduate student in Creative Writing at Roosevelt University. I am originally from Baltimore, and have been a tutor in various Writing Centers since 2009. I love to tutor because of the progress that students make in just one session. Even if we can’t get to everything in a paper, there is usually at least one “Ah-Ha” moment during a tutoring session that can help a student writer gain confidence and knowledge about their own writing. I have tutored students across many majors and disciplines, and I love to see papers on subjects that I am not familiar with! Apart from tutoring, I love to travel and explore the city I now call home.
Hilary E


My name is Hillary Esqueda, and I am a first-year graduate student voice major (soprano) in CCPA. I am originally from Oak Park, IL, but spent the last eight years living in New York City. I am back in Chicago, and very excited to work at the Writing Center! I am interested in writing and the creative process of composing pieces, so I am ready to work with students to explore their own personal voices in their writing. As a performer, when I am given an aria to sing, I work to balance the technical (notes and rhythms) with the poetic (the words) with my interpretation (the artistry). I hope to use some of those skills to assist students in creating pieces that not only clearly articulate a meaning, but which also reflect the student’s personality and experience. While I have a passion for delving into personal essays (David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell are my two favorite writers, without question!), I am happy and prepared to help you with any piece you may have.
Rebecca J


Hi! My name is Rebecca Johnson and I am a first year graduate student. I moved to Chicago from a small town in Ohio. I love traveling, baking, and drinking coffee. I am studying biotechnology, but have always loved writing and being creative. I am very familiar with lab reports and math/science writing, so feel free to ask me anything!

Talea H


Hi! My name’s Talea Hughes. I may or may not also be Batman. I can’t say either way. All I know is no one’s ever seen me and Batman in a room together. Make of that information what you will. In addition to this, I am a Secondary Education Major, a morning person, a huge Star Trek fan, and a little bit of a creep. I’m excited to work with all of you, and hopefully get to know you as well. My humor could best be described as “wacky” mixed with “ridiculous” –think Dr. Evil from Austin Powers. If that appeals to you, than I’m the tutor to get! I really enjoy working at the Writing Center since it affords me a chance to work with people who are “exploring” in their writing. Engaging creative pieces and helping you flesh out your writing is, in my opinion, one of the best services I can offer as your peer.
P.S. I use a lot of quotations. I’m not “sarcastic,” but I might be Batman.