McDaniel College Writing Center recruits peer tutors from across a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. What unites them is a deep love of writing and building a community of writers here at the college. All peer tutors participate in rigorous, ongoing training in accordance with the Association for the Coaching & Tutoring Profession standards. To work at the Writing Center, all peer tutors must complete the requirements for Associate Tutor certification by completing a 2-credit training course. Several tutors also choose to pursue either Advanced Tutor or Master Tutor certification by enrolling in an additional 2-credit course, completing an Independent Study, or participating in Writing Center research. Looking for the Writing Fellows? Click here.

Writing Center Director

Vanessa Flora-Nakoski graduated from UMBC with a BA in American Studies and the University of Iowa with a MA in American Studies. She also earned graduate certificates in TESOL from UMBC and Strategic Management from Harvard’s Extension School. As faculty in McDaniel College’s English department, she teaches a variety of composition and tutor-training courses. She currently serves as Vice President of the Maryland College Learning Center Association (MDCLCA) and actively participates in several other professional associations related to her work as Writing Center Director. As a Meyers-Briggs INTJ, she loves anything related to patterns — language, math, music, puzzles, etc. And when she needs to get out of her head, she loves working with her hands with crochet, quilting, painting, gardening, or renovating her 50 year old house in Sykesville, MD. You can reach Professor Flora-Nakoski at

Kayla Catlin Headshot


Kayla is a senior majoring in Cinema and English and minoring in Writing and Music. She loves creative writing in every form—short stories, novels, screenplays, poetry—filmmaking, reading, singing, and watching movies. She also enjoys theatre, art, and soccer. She participates in several student organizations, including Students for Life, InterVarsity, Terror TV, and more.  Learn more about Kayla here!

Associate Tutor Level

Soli Barrera Headshot


Soli is a senior at McDaniel College and is an English and Spanish major with a Religious Studies Minor. She is also a member of the Honors Program and the Global Fellows Program. She looks forward to possibly becoming an English as a Second Language teacher in the future. She loves talking about Harry Potter, her job at JeannieBird Baking Company, the television show “Friends,” and the Students for Life at McDaniel group of which she is the Vice President.

Associate Tutor Badge Master Tutor Badge


Deirdre Gallagher Headshot


Deirdre is a junior honors program student; she is currently undecided but leaning towards a major psychology and a minor in ASL. On campus, you can catch her working in the Admissions Office as an Ambassador and in the dance studio as president of the Belly Dance Club! Off campus, she may be playing piano, riding horses, or listening to music!

Associate Tutor Level


Mikayla Lee Headshot


Mikayla is a junior at McDaniel studying English and Secondary Education. Her favorite things to write are creative pieces and argumentative essays, but she loves to learn more about the other departments on campus by helping tutees in the writing center! Beyond working as a peer tutor, she is involved in Black Student Union and is also a member of the 2019 Advisory Board for the Peer Mentor program. In her free time, Mikayla likes to participate in intramural sports and write music. She also has a special appreciation for coffee, Oreos, and The Office.


Associate Tutor BadgeAdvanced Tutor BadgeMaster Tutor Badge

Marya Kuratova


Marya is a senior English major with a double minor in writing and journalism. As Editor-in-Chief of both the Free Press and Contrast, Marya has fully immersed herself in McDaniel’s writing community. In her free time, Marya enjoys reading and writing poetry, playing badminton, crocheting, and baking. You can often find her curled up with her cat, a mug of Earl Grey tea, and her favorite copy of T. S. Eliot’s poems.

Associate Tutor Level


Sam Brustad Headshot


Sam is a senior from Silver Spring, MD. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English while minoring in Communication at McDaniel. He has also been a member of the baseball team since freshman year. Sam has been inducted into two honor societies since arriving on campus (Alpha Lambda Delta and Sigma Tau Delta).

Associate Tutor Level

Raquel Sobczak Headshot


Raquel is an Honors student majoring in both History and Religious Studies. On campus she is quite the busy bee, working hard in her roles of the Historian of Phenomenal Women and the Vice President of the McDaniel Dance Company. In her free time, Raquel enjoys dancing, eating snacks, and petting dogs. Learn more about Raquel here!


Associate Tutor BadgeAdvanced Tutor BadgeMaster Tutor Badge

Molly Sherman Headshot


Molly is a sophomore Global Fellow majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies with a specialization in Policy & Management and minoring in Spanish. She is also a First Look Facilitator, a tutor for Economics, treasurer of the Jewish Student Union, and a contributor to the Free Press and other student organizations. Off campus, Molly continues her professional equestrian ventures with her horse, Charlie. When she is not at a desk or on a horse, you can find her listening to podcasts, doing yoga, writing poetry, or making some impressive dorm food. Learn more about Molly here!


Associate Tutor BadgeAdvanced Tutor BadgeMaster Tutor Badge

Hailey Hawkins Headshot


Hailey is a junior commuter student who is majoring in Psychology and is minoring in Biology and American Sign Language. While on campus, she serves as the PR/ marketing chairperson for the Hispanic Latinx Alliance and is a member of a few other clubs. Hailey is also a member of the executive council and proud sister of her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma. She is very passionate for nature and loves caring of her various pets and plants while she is at her farm. In her free time, Hailey likes to watch movies, cook, paint, and do makeup.


Associate Tutor BadgeAdvanced Tutor BadgeMaster Tutor Badge

Maddy Lee Headshot


Maddy is from South Carolina, completing a Political Science major and German minor. She is also studying Chinese and her speciality is Taiwanese politics. She is a part of multiple student organizations, including Phenomenal Woman, Allies, and Model UN. She enjoys creative writing, cooking, and travelling. She loves meeting new people–come visit her in the Writing Center!


Associate Tutor BadgeAdvanced Tutor BadgeMaster Tutor Badge

Reuben Hubbard Headshot


Reuben is a sophomore philosophy and cinema major all the way from Bigfork, Montana. This semester he’s looking forward to his involvement in the peer mentor program, Progressive Student Union, Terror TV, and Danger Sauce. Right now he’s most interested in the power of stories to share ideas and influence decisions. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies and YouTube, cooking, studying self-development, and playing video games. Learn more about Reuben here!


Associate Tutor BadgeAdvanced Tutor BadgeMaster Tutor Badge

Becca Halaney Headshot


Becca is a sophomore Honors student studying English and ASL. She is from Austin, TX, and is excited to use this experience in working as a peer mentor to help first-year students adjust to college and being away from home. Additionally, she is serving as a member of the Honor and Conduct Board, and enjoys reading and writing in her free time. Learn more about Becca here!

Associate Tutor Badge Advanced Tutor Badge Master Tutor Badge