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Staff and Tutors

Helen Raica-Klotz

Writing Center Director

I am pleased to be the Writing Center Director at SVSU, working with such talented and dedicated tutors! I’ve taught freshman composition and general education literature classes at SVSU for over 15 years; during that time, I served for seven years as the Writing Center Coordinator and for two years as the First Year Writing Coordinator. My writing center research focuses on embedded tutoring, international student tutoring, and community writing centers. Chris Giroux, the Assistant Director, and I are proud to be the Co-Directors of the Saginaw and Bay Area Community Writing Centers, the first on-site community writing centers in the state of Michigan. I also serve as the Director for the Saginaw Bay Writing Project, a National Writing Project site designed to create programs to support area K-12 writing teachers.

My favorite part of the day is anytime I walk out of my office into our writing center filled with students talking, debating, and thinking aloud about their writing—as Beth Boquet says, “It is a cacophony of sound” that I never tire of hearing.

Chris Giroux

Writing Center Assistant Director

I’ve worked at SVSU for almost 20 years and most of my time is spent teaching English 111, English 212, and general education literature courses. I take much joy in trying to demystify the writing process for students and teach them the conventions of academia; I love to witness that “ah-ha” moment when things click for students and they challenge themselves to move to the next level. This is something that I regularly get to see at the Writing Center. My goal—in the Center and in the classroom—is to help students be conscious about and deliberate in the decisions they make as they engage in the joys (and pains) of writing.

Outside the traditional classroom, I have involved myself in various activities and programs that celebrate and promote good writing at SVSU: I’ve served as the faculty advisor to Cardinal Sins; I’ve been co-editor of Literacy Link; I’ve been involved with the Honors Program and the First Year Writing Committee; and I helped establish the internship program in English. I now serve as the co-editor of Writing@SVSU and the community literary arts journal Still Life (both of which you can find on the Writing Center website). I also try write poems when I have the time.

Emma Kirsch

CWC Coordinator


I am a fourth-year Early Childhood Education major from Clinton Township. In addition to working at The Writing Center, I am the Vice President of Enhance for Forever Red, a Roberts Fellow, an Orientation Leader, and a member of Foundation Scholars program. I think SVSU is such a special place, and I am forever thankful for the many opportunities and relationships it has given me, including a study abroad trip to Argentina in summer of 2018. In May 2017, I became the Coordinator of the Saginaw and Bay Community Writing Centers. Through writing workshops and tutorial sessions, I have the opportunity to collaborate with members of the community and have interesting conversations about writing. I enjoy helping others, and this role allows me to do this in a meaningful way.

I enjoy working at The Writing Center. Helping others gain knowledge and an understanding of the writing process is a task I truly enjoy. Writing is a wonderful way to express yourself clearly. When speaking, once the thought has left your mouth, you cannot take it back or modify it. Writing allows you to refine, clarify, and deepen your own understanding of your ideas.

Tess Carolan

This is my 4th year at SVSU. I started the occupational therapy master's program in the spring and so far, I love it! Once I graduate, I hope to work in a pediatric or geriatric setting (I love babies and old people). On campus, I am also involved in a sorority (Alpha Sigma Alpha), Foundation Scholars, intramural volleyball, and up until this year, I played club lacrosse. In my free time, I like to be outdoors. I love hiking, exploring, and spending time in Traverse City. My family has a home there, and it is hands-down my favorite place to be. I love sitting by the water, kayaking, walking around downtown, fishing, and so much more. One day, I hope to make TC my permanent home.

I am excited to begin working at the Writing Center. A few things I am really looking forward to working here are strengthening my own writing skills, gaining more critical thinking skills, and helping other students develop their writing skills.

Joshua Cianek


I am from Linwood, Michigan, and started at SVSU in Fall 2016. I am dual majoring in history and political science with the intention to attend law school upon completing my undergraduate degree in May 2020. I am heavily involved on campus in clubs and organizations such as Moot Court, Model United Nations, Law Club, History Club, and the SVSU Center for Community Engagement. Outside of school, I enjoy shooting photography, running (albeit a slow pace) and reading political theory and works of fiction such as Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality and Voltaire’s Candide.

I have worked at the SVSU Writing Center since the Winter of 2018. My favorite part about this work is being able to have conversations about writing as a process with students and to exchange ideas on a variety of topics that I do not typically see within my discipline. Furthermore, working at the SVSU Writing Center has given me the opportunity to work with students and encourage political activism at SVSU through political letter writing workshops and the "Write Your Future Governor Postcard" campaign.

Natalie Delemeester

I am a proud Saint Charles native in my second year here at Saginaw Valley. I am pursuing a Biology major and Chemistry minor and have aspirations of working as a family doctor. On the off-chance I do not have a Rugby game, I like to go home on weekends to visit my three rescue chickens, go on bike rides, and read some books. My go-to author is Australian moral philosopher Peter Singer because he is not afraid to explore and endorse unpopular opinions.

Although I can be a bit of a homebody, I also had the chance to travel abroad this summer. I visited my exchange sister in Bulgaria before spending a week in Romania and London. This three-week long trip opened my eyes to the vastly different reality of growing up in another country and ignited a thirst in me to travel to other countries. What most excites me about working at the Writing Center is the opportunity to build students' confidence in their abilities. I am always inspired and motivated by the unique ideas and positions students bring to a topic. My goal is to help them present these ideas in the best way they can because I know every individual's ideas have great intrinsic value.

Sam Geffert

I am pursuing a dual major in Secondary Education and English Literature with minors in Japanese and ESL. I am passionate about language, communication, and traveling—all of which I have been able to foster through my work at the Writing Center.

Not only do I tutor and lead writing workshops on campus, but I have also had the opportunity to work with learners at our Bay and Saginaw Community Writing Centers, facilitate writing workshops at the Saginaw Correctional Facility, and even tutor abroad at our sister university in Tokushima, Japan. I have been able to share these experiences with others at national and international conferences. As an Education major, I value the experiences and perspectives of learners from all backgrounds and perspectives; I view each session as an opportunity to facilitate and participate in the learning process.

Mariana Inaba

I am a third year Nursing student here at SVSU. I lived in Brighton, Michigan, but also in Indiana and Kentucky. Despite my upbringing in the U.S., my first language was Spanish, followed by English, Japanese, and some French that I learned in school. I hope to use my experiences and appreciation for multiple cultures as a nurse to help those in need. When I am not busy with schoolwork, I love to travel with loved ones. I thoroughly enjoying visiting new places and experiencing new food! My favorite book is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Some of my other favorite books include The Diary of Anne Frank, Black Beauty, and A Little Princess. I also enjoy the Sherlock Holmes collection, and works by Agatha Christie.

It is such a privilege to be able to work at the Writing Center as a tutor. I get great satisfaction in learning. To consider myself as an aid in supplementing a student's writing process is such an honor. I look forward to seeing that clicking, "ah-ha moment" during my time as a tutor.

Lizzy Kennedy

I am a sophomore here at SVSU and I hail from a tiny town in southern Michigan called Maybee, which claims to be “The Best Little Town in Michigan.” I am currently a Professional and Technical Writing major with a minor in English. Although I am undecided about where I want my future career to eventually lead, someday I would love to work for a nonprofit organization focused on a social justice issue I feel strongly about. As a self-proclaimed coffee snob and former barista, most days you can find me with a coffee cup in my hand, reading, watching TV, or journaling. I was part of the generation that grew up reading the Harry Potter series, so I will always credit those books with causing me to fall in love with reading. To this day, I consider Jane Eyre to be one of my absolute favorites.

I am looking forward to joining the SVSU Writing Center because I think it will be a great place to develop my writing skills and help me learn more about my fellow students. I am excited for the professional development I am sure to gain from this position, but I also look forward to being able to communicate with peers from so many different backgrounds. I love to challenge myself and the Writing Center is the perfect place to do so.

Kaleigh Kuhns

I grew up in Port Huron, home of the coolest local cafe in the world, The Raven. It was named after Edgar Allan Poe's poem, and the walls are lined with bookshelves. When I was twelve years old, my family moved to Saginaw. I moved on campus last year when I became an RA in Pine Grove, providing programming for international students. I love learning about other cultures and languages, so this has been an amazing experience. I have had the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica and Ghana, and I'm planning my final semester in Salamanca, Spain for Fall of 2019.

One of my favorite authors is Kurt Vonnegut. I own seven of his fourteen novels, and I want to have a full collection someday. I also love J.D. Salinger, Jack Kerouac, and any of those other brooding post-World War II existentialists. I have known since I was five years old that I want to be a writer when I grow up, as soon as I find something compelling to say. I am looking forward to working at the Writing Center because I want to develop as a writer and help other students not only succeed, but learn to love writing too.

Elissa Lovell

I am in my fourth year at SVSU, with a double major in English and Spanish Education with a minor in History Education. I chose this career because I love learning about other cultures and sharing that knowledge with others. One way I love to learn is through travel, and so far, I have traveled to Madrid, Spain and this summer I plan to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I have always been very passionate about writing as a form of communication and expression, so working at the Writing Center only seems natural. While here, I look forward to helping others develop their skills as writers. I also look forward to all that I will learn from the people I work with; as previous experiences have shown me just how much you can learn from other students. When I complete my degree, I hope to share my knowledge and skills that I have learned with my students in my future classroom.

Hannah Mose

I am a sophomore at SVSU with a major in Professional and Technical Writing. I am undecided in my minor, but since I want to go into book editing, I am thinking I may minor in Creative Writing or Literature. I graduated from high school in 2015, but took a couple of gap years afterwards, not starting college until the fall of 2017. I am the youngest of four children with three older brothers, and we are all only about a year apart in age from each other, so I am very close with them. Some of my favorite hobbies include reading, writing short stories, watching movies (generally animated things), going for drives, and singing along to any songs I know.

I enjoy working at the Writing Center because writing is an incredibly important thing to me, so I love working in an environment where I am surrounded by writing. I want to go into editing, so this type of work is somewhat similar to what I would love to do as a career for the rest of my life. Writing is such a versatile skill, and I am excited to help students sharpen that skill through my work here.

Spencer Myers

I am from the Saginaw area, and I have lived here for my whole life. Currently, I am a senior at Saginaw Valley State University. My major is English Education, and my minor is in History Education. In the near future, I hope to head a middle school English classroom and show students the joys of writing and literature. In my free time, I enjoy wandering around used books stores and expanding my personal library. Typically, I prefer to read novels. My favorite novel is John Bunyan's allegorical novel, Pilgrim's Progress. My family would read it to me when I was younger, and it would frighten me. In addition to reading novels, I also enjoy shorter texts, like Franz Kafka's novella, The Metamorphosis. Although it is brief, the text is thought-provoking, absurd, and enjoyable.

I am looking forward to joining SVSU's Writing Center staff and hope that I can assist as many students as possible. There are so many different types of students attending classes at SVSU; these individuals all carry unique perspectives, and I look forward to hearing what they have to say as well.

Caroline Sawatzki

I am pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering with a dual minor in Mathematics and Japanese. I transferred to SVSU in Fall of 2015 after receiving my Associate’s in Science from Delta. With Delta, I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica, where I practiced my Spanish and took a course on Latin American literature. After transferring to SVSU and beginning my work at the Writing Center, I was the first tutor selected to travel to Shikoku University in Tokushima, Japan. While I was there, I used my tutoring skills to establish a Writing Center within Shikoku University to support students in the English Language Program. I also had the opportunity to work with local elementary, middle, and high school students through workshops and “English Camps” designed to improve their English proficiency. I was most grateful for the lifelong friendships I established during my tenure at Shikoku. As a member of the 19th class of Roberts’ Fellows, I was able to visit China and Taiwan and return to Tokushima. In a way, Tokushima will always be home to me, and I never would have found my way there without the Writing Center.

Though there is a prevailing stereotype that “engineers can’t write”, language, writing, and communication are still very important to me. I hope to combat this stereotype through my work at the Writing Center. My favorite part about tutoring is sharing my love of writing with other students and connecting with them on a personal level. I know what a fearful experience writing can be and I hope to help alleviate that fear and inspire a love for writing in my peers. Writing is an essential skill in any field, and I hope to foster deeper appreciation and understanding of the craft in others.

Kara Steinman

I am a junior here at SVSU in the OT program. I have perfected the art of binge watching shows on Netflix in whatever downtime I might have. Some of my all-time favorite shows are "Lost", "Nurse Jackie", "The Office", and, most recently, "Shameless" -- all of which I have finished in record time. Although my involvement since high school has dwindled significantly, I do enjoy drawing and playing soccer as well. One of the most fun things I have found to do here on campus is playing on some of the different intramural sports teams. My favorite color has always been blue, and my favorite ice cream will be Moose Tracks for as long as I live.

Going into a career that is as broad as OT in its client base and services, I am thankful for the opportunity to be starting at the Writing Center where I will be able to gain those one-on-one interaction skills needed for my future profession. I am most excited to be able to work with students struggling in their writing as well as learn to overcome my own writing insecurities.

Imari Tetu

I came to SVSU in the fall 2017 semester with my associate degree from Kirtland Community College. My major is Professional and Technical Writing, and my hometown is West Branch, Michigan. I do not have one favorite color, but I tend to prefer earth tones over brighter shades. I like moose tracks ice cream in the winter, mint chip in the summer, and French vanilla with apple pie. Books were a very important part of my early childhood, and I loved authors Jim Kjelgaard and Jean Craighead George. My favorite authors today are Charles Dickens and James Fenimore Cooper, and my favorite book is the Count of Monte Cristo. On a rainy day, I will probably be enjoying a good book or playing Risk, Stratego, or Battleship. In addition to reading and being outdoors, I have a longstanding passion for dressage. I find that many people are unfamiliar with the sport; I’ll apply the usual ‘ballet with horses’ metaphor. My dream home is in Tennessee, either Franklin or Maryville.

Contact Us
(989) 964-6061(989) 964-6061

Helen Raica-Klotz, Director

(989) 964-6062

Chris Giroux, Assistant Director

(989) 964-7228


Zahnow 250 (second floor library)


Winter 2019
Monday - Thursday: 11 am - 7 pm

Online Writing Center
Monday: 2 - 3 pm
Tuesday: 2 - 3 pm
Wednesday: 5 - 6 pm
Thursday: 5 - 6 pm