Literacy & Learning Resources Writing Fellows

The Fall 2014 Writing Fellows

The AEC is very pleased to introduce you to the Fall 2013 Writing Fellows. The Fellows, who were competitively selected for their considerable strengths as writers and communicators, will be trained and work as tutors in our office of Literacy and Learning Resources this semester. Below, please find a brief introduction to the 2013 writing fellows. If you have a passion and an aptitude for writing and are interested in becoming a Writing Fellow in the Fall of 2014, more information can be found on the left panel. For any questions, please contact Paul Simpson.

Amanda BellAmanda Bell


Hi. My name is Amanda, I transferred to Dominican in Fall ’13, and am currently a senior. After I graduate, I’m planning to take the MCAT and apply for medical school in 2016. Previous experiences include: professional dancer and instructor, hostess/waitress, and after-school care coach.  I’m very proud to be Ecuadorian and Spanish, and was raised with those cultural values by my grandparents. Such an upbringing gave me the inner strength to survive and escape an abusive relationship. I have two beautiful young children, and I want to set an example to them and to everyone I know: that once you tap your inner strengths and love, beauty and success will follow. Now, I am a tenacious student, SLAM member, hospital ER volunteer, and of course—a writing fellow. Looking ahead as a neurosurgeon or OB/GYN, I plan to advocate for single parents and domestic abuse survivors, and tattooed/pierced professionals. Everyone deserves an opportunity to shine!


  • No matter how busy my life is, I always make time to see The Walking Dead.
  • I love to read case studies on anything regarding abnormal psychology.
  • Working out
  • Dancing
  • Over summer break, I enjoy taking my kids to the pool and the zoo!

What being a Writing Fellow means to me

First and foremost, I strongly believe in service-leadership; that is, to approach any authoritative position with others’ benefit at heart. Being a mother has also taught me that one can learn so much from guiding others. I want this to be an enriching experience for everyone I can reach out to—whether you’re studying nursing, or you desire to be a major magazine editor. Academic and creative writing can prove to be quite personal, and my goal is to build trusting relationships and compelling writers. This position means that I can plant the seeds of service-leadership in others, by simply showing how it works.

Intellectual interests/passion

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Stetson (Gilman), and almost anything by Ernest Hemmingway. My two favorite Hemmingway pieces are a short story called “Cat in the Rain,” and a medium-sized novel called The Sun Also Rises. One line from “Cat in the Rain” can pretty much exemplify why I became instantaneously attached to these works: “I want to pull my hair back tight and smooth and make a big knot at the back that I can feel.” As I read the story, I found there was so much more to that statement than the obvious. In life as well, there is always something more to a person than what they allow to be seen. Everyone has a magnificent story—you just have to learn to read them the right way.

Lauren McNeelaLauren McNeela


My name is Lauren McNeela and I am a junior at Dominican University. I was born and raised in Chicago. I commute to school each day while living with my parents and younger brother. I am studying English at Dominican and earning my Elementary Education certification. Outside of school, I work as a nanny in River Forest and offer childcare at a church on Sundays. These two jobs helped me realize that I want to go into education because I love children. I also have a passion for English because I enjoy writing and have always taken an interest in literature.  I hope to use my reading and writing skills and my love of children to help my future students succeed in all their endeavors and develop a love for reading and writing.


  • Arts and Crafts
  • Reading/Writing
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Going on walks/being in nature
  • Traveling
  • Going to concerts


What being a writing fellow means to me

Being a Writing Fellow will give me the opportunity to help others and to develop my own skills. I can help my peers improve their grammar and the structure and organization of their writing. My goal as a Writing Fellow is to make the writing process a positive experience for my peers. While helping my peers, I will also be helping myself improve and develop as a writer. Being a Writing Fellow is a learning experience for me as well as a teaching experience. I hope the experience I gain from this program will help me be a more successful teacher in the future.

Intellectual interests/passions

As an English major, I love and appreciate many types of literature. While I do not have a favorite book in particular, my favorite novels to read are romance novels. I love stories that tug at the heartstrings and that move the reader to tears. When I have time to read for pleasure, I always opt for romance novels. They are captivating, emotional, and uniquely capture the meaning of love.


Brandan Holtzman Brandan Holtzman


I come from a small rural town situated just off the eastern coast of Lake  Michigan: South Haven, Michigan, and I am now entering my junior year at Dominican University. The past two years here have been the most transformative of my entire life. Beginning with my year of service with Jumpstart-Americorps my freshman year and culminating last Spring with Tricia Rose’s empowering Lund-Gill Chair class on African American Popular Culture, my experience with the Dominican community has been one deeply embedded in its mission statement of love and truth, always revealing social injustices that are otherwise tacitly accepted as functions of the society in which we live: in the case of Jumpstart, the residential and educational segregation of people of color into impoverished communities, and with respect to African American Popular Culture, the oppressive tendency of our white-dominated society to deceptively commodify African American culture for the sake of white profit and consumption. These revelations have encouraged me to question my own privileges and how they situate myself with respect to others in my society, and what I can do as a member of my community to pursue social change for the sake of everyone involved.


I absolutely love reading, particularly political philosophy and social theory, especially Marxist theory, feminist theory, and race theory. I am fascinated by the topic of race and how it has been historically created and perpetuated throughout our society, as well as the implications it has for us as individuals ideologically speaking. I also enjoy going on bike rides in rural Michigan, walking in the woods adjacent to my parents’ house, and above all else, learning.

What does this being a writing fellow mean to me

For me, being a Writing Fellow is an opportunity to share my love of writing with others so that they may better appreciate their own work, as well as the process that best leads them to the finished product. If nothing else, I hope I can at least encourage others to think critically about what they ultimately would like to say, and how best to put those words in writing.

Intellectual interests/passions

If I had to choose one intellectual passion, it would be social justice, and perhaps more specifically, social consciousness, which I would define as self-awareness, especially of one’s social identity and how it relates to that of others: gender, race, sexuality, sexual orientation, class, religion, age, etc. Deconstructing our social and cultural conditioning and the privileges or lack thereof given to us by society is liberating and empowering, and it allows us to create and maintain a space that is more inclusive and considerate of every individual.