Meet the Director

  • Kelly J Cunningham, PhD

    Kelly Cunningham is the director of the UVA Engineering Graduate Writing Lab. She received her PhD in applied linguistics & technology and human-computer interaction (co-majors) from Iowa State University of Science & Technology. She also holds an MA in intercultural studies/TESOL and a BA in studio art & mathematics. She has worked with ESL students since 2007 and in graduate communication support since 2014. 

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Meet the Consultants

  • Natalie Thompson

    Natalie Thompson

    PhD Candidate, English | GWL Consultant

    Natalie is a PhD candidate in English literature, studying the ways 19c novels recursively negotiate domestic (and epic) spaces, places, & journeys. She helps writers develop clear, active, & insightful scientific articles, dissertation projects, & fellowship/job application materials.

    Workshops: Paragraph Structure, Readability & Flow, Sentences & Punctuation, Self-Editing, Verb Tense & Passives in Research Articles
    Familiar with NSF GRFP application process and essay requirements.

  • Brooke Dinsmore

    Brooke Dinsmore

    PhD Candidate, Sociology | GWL Consultant

    Brooke is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology department, researching inequalities in education with a focus on school cultures and digital technologies. She specializes in helping students develop strong arguments and clearly communicate supporting evidence.

    Workshops: Learning from Examples, Integrating Sources, Reading Strategies for Research Articles, Writing Research Proposals

  • Kelly Dunham

    Kelly Dunham

    PhD Candidate, Chemistry | GWL Consultant

    Kelly is a Chemistry PhD candidate in the Venton lab. Her research focuses on developing electroanalytical and genetic tools in Drosophila (fruit flies) to measure serotonin in brain tissue to better understand antidepressant mechanisms of action. She helps students outline “story” ideas and review writing principles for presentations, articles, and other important documents.

    Workshops: Writing Abstracts

Meet our Graduate Student Leaders

These volunteers have founded and lead new initiatives for graduate students.

  • Katelyn Stenger

    Katelyn Stenger

    PhD Student, CEE | EWPA Graduate Student Leader, WriteHere! Leader

    Katelyn Stenger is the founding graduate student leader of Engineers Writing for Public Audiences. She also leads WriteHere sessions to catalyze writing for engineering students. She is a PhD student in Civil & Enviornmental Engineering focused on the intersection of behavioral science and sustainable systems. LinkedIn

  • Adrienne Williams

    Adrienne Williams

    PhD student, BME | Speak Easy Coordinator, WriteHere! facilitator

    Adrienne Williams is the founder and coordinator of Speak Easy, an activity desgined for graduate and postdoctoral researchers to practice impromptu research communication to technical audiences. She is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering studying the biomechanics of lower limb muscles in Duchenne muscular dystrohpy.

Meet our GRFP Fellowship Writing Mentors

GRFP mentors volunteer to help students in preparation of their NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) applications. Mentors may meet one-on-one with students during the planning phases of their application. They may also develop resources, help organize events, participate in panels, or lead peer review groups (PRGs).

  • Bethany Gordon

    Bethany Gordon

    PhD candidate, CEE | GRFP Mentor

    Bethany Gordon is a PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering at the University of Virginia. As a fellow in the Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative (CBSI), she researches applications of designer psychology to improve social equity in the built environment. She is an 2019 NSF Graduate Research Fellow (GRFP), UVA SEAS Dean's Scholar, and a GAANN teaching fellow. She received her BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UVA in 2017.

  • Brooke McGirr

    Brooke McGirr

    PhD candidate, CHE | GRFP Mentor

    Brooke McGirr is a doctoral candidate in chemical engineering researching cell signaling in pancreatic cancer. She is interested in helping fellow engineering students to improve their scientific communication skills. As a recent recipient of the NSF-GRFP, she looks forward to helping students develop their applications as a GRFP mentor.

  • Grace C. Bingham

    Grace C. Bingham

    PhD student, BME | GRFP Mentor

    Grace Bingham is a Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Engineering Department researching microscopic methods for interrogating how mechanical forces in tissues aid disease progression in fibrosis. She advises students during their grant drafting and helps them to effectively communicate their ideas and highlight their achievements as a NSF GRFP mentor.

  • Josephine (Josie) Lamp

    Josephine (Josie) Lamp

    PhD student, CS | GRFP Mentor

    Josephine (Josie) Lamp is a third-year Computer Science PhD student, 2020 NSF GRFP and an Olive B. and Franklin C. Mac Krell Jefferson Fellow. Her research is at the intersection of Healthcare, Computer Science and Cybersecurity and she is developing privacy-preserving machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for clinical decision support systems. She is excited to help others craft their NSF application packages and highlight their amazing accomplishments! 

  • Juliet Simpson

    Juliet Simpson

    PhD candidate, MAE | GRFP Mentor

    Juliet Simpson is a PhD candidate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering researching energy storage for wind energy integration with a focus on compressed air energy storage. She applied for, and received, the NSF GRFP in her 2nd year at UVA in 2020. She enjoys communicating science to new audiences and is ready to help students tell their story in the GRFP application. 

Meet our WriteHere! Facilitators

WriteHere! facilitators volunteer to lead weekly show up and write sessions. They work with the director to manage, schedule, and advertise their sessions and keep time and records each week.

Our Alumni & Past Consultants

  • Maria C. Panepinto

    Maria C. Panepinto

    PhD Candidate, Chemistry | GWL Consultant

    GWL Consultant Fall 2019- Spring 2021

    Maria is a Chemistry Ph.D. candidate in the Hunt Laboratory researching how to characterize the amino acid sequence of proteins and their post-translational modifications by mass spectrometry. Maria helps students clearly communicate their ideas. 

    Workshops: Writing Abstracts, Word for Dissertation & Document Formatting, Tips for PowerPoint

  • Keira Mahoney

    Keira Mahoney

    GWL Consultant 2018-2020

    Keira is a doctoral candidate in bio-analytical chemistry researching immunotherapeutic targets for cancers and viruses. She worked with many students to clearly communicate their research to an audience through publications and presentations.

  • Christian Howard

    Christian Howard

    Writing Consultant AY 2017-2019

    PhD, English Literature | Spring 2019

    Christian Howard worked in the GWL from August 2017 through April 2019, during which time she organized several writing-related workshops and served as a one-on-one writing consultant. She is currently the Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at Bucknell University. Learn more


  • Julia Warner

    Julia Warner

    Writing Consultant AY 2018-2019

    MA, Linguistics | Spring 2019

    Julia Warner joined the Graduate Writing Lab during her time as an MA student. She graduated from UVA with a BA in Anthropology, a minor in French and is a Master's student in Linguistics. During her time at UVA, she worked as a teaching assistant in the Linguistics program and volunteered in ESL classes. She will begin teaching English as a foreign language in France in the Fall of 2019.

  • Aubrey Geyer

    Aubrey Geyer

    Writing Consultant AY 2017-2018

    MA, English | Spring 2018

    Aubrey joined the Graduate Writing Lab in Fall 2017 as a UVA master’s student in English with 3 years of experience as a writing tutor and language teacher. She is passionate about facilitating students’ communication of their own ideas and areas of expertise, and particularly enjoys working with scientists and engineers!

  • Amanda Hayek

    Amanda Hayek

    Writing Consultant Summer 2018

    Amanda joined the Graduate Writing Lab as a consultant while completing her Masters in Linguistics. In addition to consulting at the GWL, she helped set up a pilot of asynchronous faculty services. During her time at UVA, she has worked as a Teaching Assistant for several courses and helped students of various backgrounds and academic fields with English grammar. In addition to linguistics, she is particularly interested in computers & mathematics and enjoys working with students throughout the writing process.

  • Adrienne Williams

    Adrienne Williams

    PhD student, BME | Speak Easy Coordinator, WriteHere! facilitator

    Adrienne Williams is the founder and coordinator of Speak Easy, an activity desgined for graduate and postdoctoral researchers to practice impromptu research communication to technical audiences. She is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering studying the biomechanics of lower limb muscles in Duchenne muscular dystrohpy.

  • LeighAnn Larkin

    PhD Candidate, Engineering Physics | WriteHere! Leader & GRFP Mentor 2019

    LeighAnn Larkin is a doctoral candidate in the Engineering Physics Program studying Nanoscale Heat Transfer in thin film structures.

    Learn More
  • Kristopher Rawls

    Kristopher Rawls

    PhD, BME | WriteHere! Leader 2019

    Kris Rawls holds a PhD in biomedical engineering. His dissertation focused on researching novel biomarkers for drug induced kidney injury. In addition to WriteHere, Kris also participated in a peer review group with other students from BME and CHE.

  • Benjamin Bowes

    PhD candidate, ESE | GRFP PRG leader, GRFP Mentor 2018, 2019

    Ben Bowes was a GRFP mentor and 2017 NSF GRFP Honorable Mention. He's a PhD candidate in Engineering Systems and Environment with a focus on hydroinformatics and water resources engineering. 

    Research Gate
  • Katie Pelland, PhD

    Katie Pelland, PhD

    Assistant Director of Research Development & Training, OGPA & OVPR | GRFP Mentor 2018, 2019

    Katie Pelland is a recent PhD graduate in Mechanical Engineering and was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship during her graduate career. She enjoys communicating science to various audiences and helping others do the same, especially for their NSF GRFP applications! 

  • Bev Miller

    PhD Candidate, CHE | GRFP Mentor, GRFP PRG Leader 2019

    Bev Miller is a doctoral candidate in the Chemical Engineering department focusing on biomaterial (polymer) design to address human health challenges. She is a GRFP mentor and 2017,2018 NSF GRFP Honorable Mention.