Meet the helpful instructors at the New College Writing Centre!
Jennette Boehmer Jennette Boehmer (she/her) has a background in both management consulting and academic research and instruction. She engages with academic, professional, and business writers to facilitate their development as clear and compelling writers in various genres. She also provides editing support to academic writers in a range of disciplines. Jennette has been a member of the New College Writing Centre team since 2015 and currently coordinates the Writing Room, our drop-in student writing space. In addition to the English Language Learning (ELL) program, she has taught with numerous writing-intensive courses and the faculty-wide Writing-Integrated Teaching (WIT) initiative, where she focused on assignment design and TA training. Jennette holds an undergraduate degree in education and a graduate degree in Egyptology. Her research focus is the role of myth and ritual in ancient Egyptian funerary practices. When not teaching or researching, Jennette is an active member of her neighbourhood residents’ association, where she advocates for a green and liveable city connections.
Leah Burns has extensive experience in writing and academic support with students, faculty and researchers both in Canada and internationally. With a PhD in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Toronto, she has worked extensively supporting educational research and design projects within the health, arts & culture, and social service sectors, including the Arts & Equity Project with the Toronto Arts Foundation. Most recently, Leah received certification in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University and is working on several projects that integrate reflexive writing and story-based research within medical education and health care for older adults.
Ralph Callebert researches and teaches on labour, Africa, climate change, and global history. His book, On Durban’s Docks: Zulu workers, rural households, global labor (University of Rochester Press, 2017), is on dock labour, households, and the informal economy in 1950s Durban, South Africa.
Ralph’s recent work engages the intersections of labour, citizenship, and climate change. He has a Ph.D. in history from Queen’s and received an M.A. from the Department of Economic History and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.
Daveeda Goldberg prides herself on knowing how to use semicolons; she is also passionate about supporting student writing, from conception to punctuation. In addition to teaching here at the New College Writing Centre, Daveeda teaches in U of T’s ELL Program, volunteers as a tutor for under-served high school students, freelance-edits for clients in diverse fields like Finance, Physics and Philosophy, writes and rewrites her dissertation on self-constructivist ethics in Late Modern Europe, and enjoys using parallelism to compose long, overstuffed sentences. Daveeda also recently completed an Ontario College of Teachers-certified course in Special Education, and continues to search out ways to better support non-typical learners with their university-level writing.
Jordana Greenblatt has worked as a Writing Instructor at U of T since 2014, working with writing across a wide range of disciplines in the arts, social sciences, and sciences. They also teach in the English Department at York University and have taught Women and Gender Studies at U of T, McMaster, and Queens. Jordana is the editor of Querying Consent: Beyond Permission and Refusal (Rutgers UP) and has published articles in a variety of literature and interdisciplinary journals and scholarly collections. Currently an Executive Member of the Comparative Gender Studies Committee of the International Comparative Literature Association, they research sexuality in a range of creative media and contexts, including contemporary literature, comics, legal texts, and medical humanities. In addition to their academic work, Jordana is a professional aerial acrobat, performing on trapeze and corde lisse, and is a member of the international Circus Thinkers Platform based out of Cirkus Syd in Lund, Sweden, in which context they have edited and written chapters for two public intellectual collections on circus. In 2023, they received a Canada Council for the Arts Research and Creation Grant for their circus project, “Lifting Belly.”
Margaret Herrick has taught writing in a number of different contexts and institutions for over twenty years. She completed her PhD through the University of Toronto’s Department of English and Centre for South Asian Studies, and her dissertation concerns the roles played by widows and hijras (or third gender people) in 20th century Indian novels and plays. Her work has been published in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, University of Toronto Quarterly, Literature and Theology and Interventions.
Susan Hopkirk has spent over two decades teaching writing through university classes, workshops, and writing centres. She started working at the University of Toronto in 2010, joining the New College Writing Centre and the English Language Learning (ELL) Program. Susan also works as a Writing Instructor and Learning Strategist at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She is interested in academic, reflective, professional, and graduate writing, as well as the intersection of writing and learning strategies, and loves discussing – and practicing – these with students.
Susan completed her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta, and her dissertation focused on gendered language use and reading practices in medieval romance as feminist agency. Susan also has an Ontario Graduate Certificate in Learning Strategies.
Marci Prescott-Brown (she/her/elle) is Acting Director of the New College Writing Centre and Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in Writing Studies. She has practiced decolonialist and antiracist writing pedagogies since she began tutoring students from low income and minority backgrounds as a teenager. For over seventeen years, she has taught writing in various postsecondary and other academic contexts. She completed her dissertation using the principles of antiracist writing, receiving her PhD in English from the University of Toronto in 2019. She also completed a TESL Diploma in 2020 and earned the OCELT professional designation. Currently, she is the Vice President of the Canadian Writing Centres Association/Association Canadienne des Centres de Rédaction (CWCA/ACCR). Her pedagogical and research focus is on how varieties of speech, language, and technology can be used as part of decolonialist and antiracist writing instruction to empower writers. Marci facilitates the writing group for the Caribbean, African, Equity and Solidarity Studies (CAESS) programs. When relaxing, Marci enjoys baking pies, playing games, making crafts, and travelling with her family.
J. Coplen Rose
J. Coplen Rose (he/him) is an educator and scholar in Toronto, Canada. He teaches in a range of areas including postcolonial theory and literature, fantasy fiction, and introductory courses to engineering communication and design. Coplen earned his PhD in English and Film Studies. His primary area of research is post-apartheid South African literature and drama. His other research interests include science fiction, humour and political satire, and engineering communication. Coplen is currently the Executive Officer for the Canadian Association for Postcolonial Studies
Shalika Sivathasan (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at York University. She holds an MA in Contemporary Literature, Culture, and Theory from King’s College London, and a BA in History with minors in English and Political Science from the University of Toronto, St. George. While at York, Shalika has served as a TA in the Departments of English, Humanities, and Social Science, where she enjoys working alongside a diverse array of undergraduates, from first year and first-generation to fourth year and returning students with aspirations for graduate school, medicine, and law. In addition to working as a Writing Instructor and with the ELL Reading eWriting Program at New College since 2022, Shalika is a Professor in the School of English and Liberal Studies at Seneca College, where she teaches Writing Strategies and courses related to the intersections of literature and health.
Roz Spafford has taught writing at the New College Writing Centre since 2010; she also works with Social Work students through the Health Sciences Writing Centre. Previously, she taught writing and chaired the Writing Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she still occasionally teaches creative writing. She has published a book of poetry, Requiem (Writers & Books, Rochester), along with short stories, pieces of creative non-fiction, book reviews, and columns. For more information, see www.RozSpafford.com.
Ty Walkland (he/him) is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream at the New College Writing Centre. Ty has spent over a decade working with learners of all ages to confront power, privilege, and the possibilities of more just and equitable futures—both on and off the page. In a past life, he taught high school English, Social Sciences, and Special Education north of Toronto. Now a Ph.D. Candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), Ty’s research explores critical and care-centred approaches to school-based drug education, as well as collaborative, participatory, and arts-shaped inquiries among youth and educators more broadly. He also helps coordinate the Toronto Writing Project (www.torontowritingproject.com), a network of educators that supports teachers of writing in supporting their students. Someone even handed him a microphone to host the project’s Teaching Writers Speak podcast
Jude Welburn is a Fellow at the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies at Victoria College. He received his PhD in English literature from the University of Toronto and holds an MA in Social and Political Thought from York University. His dissertation explores the social and historical context for the emergence of utopian literature as a genre. Jude has taught courses on renaissance literature and science fiction at the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and Wilfrid Laurier University. His published work has appeared in journals such as English Literary Renaissance, Studies in Philology, and ELH. His current research examines the idea of the commons in the political literature of the English Revolution.
Georgia Wilder completed her PhD in English literature in 2000, followed by a TESOL certificate. She has taught courses in literature and writing at the University of Toronto, and worked in campus writing centres for many years. She was a recipient of the inaugural Margaret Procter Award for excellence in writing centre instruction She also has expertise in high-stakes language assessment and language learning. As a creative writer, her poetry and short stories have been published in several literary journals.