Meet Our Coaches
Akeem is a native of LaPlace, LA. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA. He has a passion for inspiring individuals through his writing and believes that "everyone has a story to tell." Akeem is currently studying to receive his Master’s Degree in Communications from Southeastern Louisiana University.
Crystal is a writer who moved to New Orleans in the late nineties and dedicates her time to raising two children with her partner, writing, dancing, and building community. Crystal recently earned her MFA in Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University and holds a BA in Mass Communications from Loyola University. By coaching writing, she envisions aligning her passion for writing and working closely with students.
Alex is a graduate of The University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop, where he studied fiction. His stories and essays have been published in Hobart, Expat Press, and others. Originally from the Midwest, his writing has also been included in a forthcoming anthology from the Wisconsin Historical Society. He’s passionate about the many mediums of storytelling from film and television to games and interactive fiction. When he’s not writing, Alex enjoys producing electronic music, a hobby he’s had for over a decade.
Bethany is a graduate of William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She has many years of experience as a music teacher and ESL teacher, teaching mostly private and small group classes. She works with students of many different ages and levels and loves to see them find and use their voices. In her free time, Bethany loves spending time outdoors, snacking, and reading or writing about whatever random topic catches her fancy.
Carlee is a proud first-generation college graduate who earned a BA in 20th-Century Poetry and Revolutionary Theory from NYU’s Gallatin School and completed graduate work in poetry and poetics at the University at Buffalo. In her ten years as an educator, she has authored and taught first-year college writing curricula, critical theory, pop-cultural analysis, and cultural historiography. She has also worked with New Orleanian high school students as a reading and college preparation teacher and mentor. Her teaching focus is bridging the gap between high school and college by working with her students to identify their strengths and passions as they grow into their identities and voices as writers and thinkers, both in- and outside the classroom.
Chris has taught college-level literature and writing in North Carolina, where she received her Ph.D., and locally at Tulane, SUNO, and Delgado. She also taught high school English for ten years in the New Orleans public schools. As a coach, she enjoys the opportunity to work extensively with students one-on-one as they journey to become self-aware and successful readers and writers.
Dave is a United States Coast Guard veteran, a husband, and a father of two. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of South Carolina (or the good USC, as he puts it) in 2012, and earned his Master’s degree in history from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2020. In his free time Dave’s interests include motorcycles, guitars, DIY home projects, and hanging out with his kids.
David is from Scott, LA. After earning an MA in English in 1983, he worked at the Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans where he was a producer and a performer at the Louisiana Folklife Pavilion. He has been performing as a member of BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet since 1977 and has received two Grammy Awards, recorded 28+ albums, and toured all of the US and at least 20 countries. Since the start of the pandemic, he and his wife have broadcast a weekly performance on Facebook. David has been an English instructor at Delgado Community College since 2017.
Donna has worked at the Writing Center for three years and is particularly expert in working with ELL students. She is a published writer, researcher, former high school English teacher, and college instructor with years of experience teaching and coaching writing. She enjoys seeing students' writing improve over time and the feeling students get when they experience academic success. She wants every student she coaches to win in life and at college.
Jakob grew up in London in the UK and moved to New Orleans in 2018. After spending several years as a casual construction worker, he enrolled in graduate school at the University of New Orleans where he studies creative writing. Jakob works as a first year writing instructor at UNO and is involved with the independent press Tilted House.
Jamal is an experienced high school English teacher who remains committed to helping all students champion their own unique story through the power of writing. He holds a B.A in English and Political Science from North Carolina Central University as well as an M.A in English from Tulane University. As a lifelong scholar, his interests broadly focus on innovative strategies that push for creative writing. During his spare time, he enjoys cycling and running.
Jax is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop MFA program with a focus in Fiction. They are originally from Illinois and have been living in New Orleans since 2019. Their short stories have been published or are forthcoming in Sonder Midwest, Metafore, and Okay Donkey, and in Brain Lag’s True Reflections Anthology. They have worked as Managing Editor for UNO’s student literary journal Ellipsis and hope to continue working in the editing/publishing industry. They have a passion for telling and sharing stories from marginalized voices, and when they aren’t writing, they can be found with one of their two cats in their lap.
Kamisha has been working at the Westbank Delgado Learning Resource Center for 10 years. She has a Bachelors of Arts in English from Dillard University and a Masters of Science in Counseling from Capella University. She is an educator in the public-school system and enjoys working with youth getting them prepared for the next level of their academic journey. Kamisha also loves working with the students at the LRC and witnessing their enthusiasm about becoming better writers and developing a liking for English Composition and Literature.
Katherine is a lifelong New Orleanian and has taught English, grammar, and writing at Delgado Community College and the University of New Orleans, where she received her B.A. and M.A. in English. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science to further support her commitment to higher education. As a writing coach, she particularly enjoys supporting and encouraging student writers in their writing, reading, researching, and overall educational goals.
Lauren is from Upstate New York by way of South Carolina and moved to New Orleans in 2021. She is a graduate of the MFA program in poetry from the University of South Carolina, and her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Equalizer, PANK, and others.
Lizzie is a writer and director born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and raised in New Orleans. Lizzie speaks fluent Spanish and has a B.A. in Photojournalism from Loyola University, New Orleans. She is an alumnus of the New Orleans Film Festival's Emerging Voices workshop, where she developed her series Token Empire with Co-creator Darren O'Brien. Her short film, Sonnet 95, re-imagined the Shakespeare sonnet as a 1940’s noir featuring an all-African American cast, made in collaboration with The New York Shakespeare Exchange. Lizzie is also the Creative Director of the Artisan Bryan Bakery blog, which won a 2019 Saveur Blog award.
Maddie is a recent graduate of LSU where she received her BA and MA in Anthropology with a focus on ethnography. Her research and writing has been presented at several academic conferences including the American Association of Anthropology. She is driven by a passion for making education accessible and providing students with the tools they need to successfully communicate their experiences and ideas.
Madeline is a thoughtful and passionate educator who recently moved to New Orleans with her new husband. Originally from Texas, she has a Bachelor’s degree in English, and a Master’s degree in Teaching from Trinity University. Over the last few years, she has taught English in Texas public schools, and worked with a diverse population of learners including English Language Learners and those with disabilities. She also has experience teaching and tutoring in grammar, writing, literature, and analysis at the high school and college level. She loves to help students evoke their unique voice and perspectives through writing; and she believes in the power of language for personal and social change. Her other passions include exercise, her two dogs, reading, and concerts.
Marissa graduated from the University of New Orleans’s Creative Writing Workshop in 2020, where she also taught first year writing for three years. As a writer, Marissa has a special interest in science fiction and fantasy and is working on completing her first novel. She’s currently pursuing a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Michelle is originally from Lafayette, LA and holds an MA in English from Tulane University. In addition to working as a coach at the Writing Center, she teaches English as a Second Language at Delgado. Michelle specializes in helping nonnative speakers improve their academic English skills and has taught in the U.S. and Spain. She enjoys helping students to become more proficient writers and to gain confidence in their writing voices.
Missy has worn many hats, some with feathers: news photographer and writer, non-profit director, radio personality, and academic administrator, spending some 13 years as manager of the Music Department at UNO. By night she is The Dominatrix of the Blues, playing jazz, blues, and R & B on WWOZ-FM. Her award-winning essays on nature, family, and music have been published in several literary journals, and she was a contributing author to “Voices Rising: The Katrina Narrative Project.”
Nigel is a freelance music writer focusing on hip-hop, culture, and sports. Before graduating with a BA in English with a Journalism concentration at the University of New Orleans, he worked as the Sports editor of the college newspaper, Driftwood, before becoming the Editor-in-chief. Post-grad, he's secured bylines with Okayplayer, Offbeat Magazine, and CentralSauce with articles and interviews centered around emerging trends and unique observations. When he's not writing, Nigel is probably scanning the internet for new music, inhaling a bag of sour gummy worms, or mocking reality tv shows.
Robert is a Louisiana certified English teacher with almost 5 years of experience in the Delgado Writing Center. He is also a writer and editor for Antigravity Magazine, a small New Orleans alternative-culture publication. As an educator, Robert believes that education is about guiding students toward their strengths and harnessing that in the context of their education to build their confidence.
With an MA in English Literature and Library Science, Susan returns to Delgado with nearly 40 years of teaching students and teachers across the state of Louisiana and the Greater New Orleans area. A National Board Certified Teacher who is also a certified librarian, she has previously taught English 101, 102 and developmental reading at Delgado. Known for her affection for her own French ancestry, she enjoys serving as an informal ambassador to New Orleans by promoting its culture and literature and serving as a docent to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. She supports various local museums and enjoys volunteering with the Ballet Association of New Orleans and the Ladies Leukemia League.
Taylor is originally from Birmingham, AL, and has lived in New Orleans since 2017. She recently graduated from the illustrious Xavier University of Louisiana with a B.A. in English. Taylor is currently pursuing a master’s degree in English with a concentration on African American literature at Texas Southern University. One of her favorite books is Sula by Toni Morrison. She loves to read, write poetry, and discuss all things literary with those around her.
Amanda is originally from Austin, TX and holds a BA in Honours English Literature from the University of British Columbia. She moved to New Orleans to teach secondary English in 2012 and is currently teaching performing arts at a small private school. As an educator, Amanda aims to support students as they pursue their own goals and develop their voices as writers. When she isn't teaching, she enjoys reading (and writing) poetry and fiction, singing with her choir, performing with the Mudlark Puppeteers, and going on long walks with her husky.
MyLise was born and raised on the Westbank of New Orleans. She attended Southern University at New Orleans, where she received a BA in English, with a Creative Writing concentration. She was a proud member of SUNO's drama club in which she wrote and co-directed a play. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in film and TV production at Savannah College of Art & Design.Look out for her future screenplays and sitcoms! MyLise is a middle school English teacher and is eager to help students find their creative voice and develop essential writing and reading skills. In her free time, MyLise enjoys traveling, live music, festivals, writing songs and short stories, cooking, and spending time with her kids and two dogs.
Andy is a New Yorker whose love affair with New Orleans began at first sight. After receiving his BA in English from Loyola, he trekked back up north to complete his Master's work in education at Hunter College. From there, he went on to work at the Cooke Center Academy in Manhattan for several years- a school dedicated to servicing neurodivergent students. As an avid lover of hip hop and a long-time producer, he detoured into the world of scoring and video game soundtracking for a good portion of the last decade. He also has a passion for all things blockchain, and is eager to discuss this with anyone who will listen. In his free time, he obsesses over horror movies, vintage sneakers and his beloved New York Mets. He sees coaching as an opportunity for people to learn from each other's experiences and is fully invested in building dynamic relationships with all of his students.
Originally from Selma, Alabama, Kal graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.A. in Theatre and later returned to U of A to earn a Masters in Education> She has combined her love of the arts and education ever since. Living all over the US and into Mexico, Kal was a bit of a rolling stone until she found New Orleans. Over ten years later, not only has she not left, but she is raising her family here. When asked why she says, “I have never experienced a place more culturally giving than New Orleans and I am determined to give back to her in any way I can.” When she is not writing she is thinking about writing. When she is not thinking about writing, she is pretending she has a green thumb and talking to her plants.
Karen is a New York City native who landed in New Orleans in 2011 by way of Santa Monica, though she had found herself walking the streets of this city many times before that landing. She earned a BA in history from New York University and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. She has worked extensively to promote events and individual artists in New Orleans culture and her writing has been published in a variety of formats ranging from site content to articles and artist bios (and more), including her original work in Talon Review and Scapegoat Review. She’s a writer, poet, musician, artist, and photographer, and her photos and artwork have been featured in a variety of shows, with a selection of her music photos published in Can’t Be Faded: Twenty Years in the Brass Band Game from the University of Mississippi Press.