Meet the Writing Coaches

Avni Shah

I’m a second-year student at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. Previously, I graduated from South Brunswick High School with overall honors and recognition from the Science, Math, Spanish and English departments. For the past six years, helping others succeed academically has been one of my top priorities. I’ve volunteered at a mentoring organization, worked at Mathnasium, and privately tutored various test-prep courses. Education is a critical aspect of present and future success. I find great humility and contentment in guiding others to realize that with just a little extra encouragement, they, too, can prosper academically.

Aside from school, I’m passionate about learning and teaching dance. My training in Kathak, the Indian classical dance form, has brought out my confidence and strength in countless forms. On any given day, you can find me in the dance studio or biking on any trail I can find on a beautiful day. Just as I am dedicated to education, dance, and experiencing nature, I hope to show other students that academic success is achievable with dedication and persistence.

Shannon Slough

Hi! My name is Shannon and I'm a second-year student at the Rutgers Business School. I am currently working toward a double major in Economics and Finance. Additionally, I am in the SAS Honors Program. I love to get involved on campus, whether playing club soccer or attending home football games. I love to stay active!

I have a lot of experience tutoring for my local high school's chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). I have also been on the opposite end as a tutee, so I understand and have benefited from both sides!  I am very excited to give back as a writing coach this year. As I have furthered my education, I have grown to develop a love for writing both inside and outside the realm of academia. I think it's amazing how everyone can have their own unique voice and personality shine through in their writing! As a peer coach, I believe in fostering a collaborative working environment. My ultimate goal is to help students grow as writers to the point where they feel comfortable and independent. I am greatly looking forward to meeting and helping all of my future students!

Rob Helsel

Hello everyone! My name is Robert Helsel, but most call me Rob. I am currently a junior at Rutgers studying Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and working toward a certificate in Environmental Geomatics. As an undergraduate, I have aided research in the department of Marine and Coastal Sciences and have nurtured my passion for marine ecology through SCUBA certifications, an internship in Little Cayman, and ongoing preparation of an independent thesis project on the subject. After graduation, I aim to pursue a Ph.D. in spatial marine ecology (with a particular interest in algal ecology and biology – weird, I know) and ultimately begin a career as a researcher and professor at the college level. Although I am a science major pursuing a career in science, I have experience tutoring and mentoring, and believe effective writing is crucial to my success and the success of others. This is why, as a writing coach, my goals and strengths are to help students understand the fundamentals and relevance of their writing. I am looking forward to working with you!

Julia Vida

Hi! I am a second-year student pursuing a major in the Rutgers Business School and a minor in Computer Science. Aside from my involvement in a few business clubs, I enjoy playing cello in the Rutgers Sinfonia and piano as well!

I look forward to sharing my knowledge and exchanging ideas on how to write clearly and concisely with my students this semester. I hope to help my peers gain confidence in themselves as communicators as we work together to convey some brilliant insights! 

Mary Margaret Mumich

Hi!  I'm Mary Margaret and I'm entering my senior year at the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University.  Previously, I graduated from the Honors College at Raritan Valley Community College and transferred to Rutgers last fall.  I'm double majoring in Women's in Gender Studies and Biological Sciences with a focus in plant sciences.  Combining my seemingly disparate interests, I'm currently working on an interdisciplinary thesis focusing on women in botany. 

I'm passionate about research and writing, and sincerely enjoy writing for all of my classes, as well as for more personal pursuits such as poetry.  This is my first year working as a Writing Coach for the Learning Centers, and I look forward to meeting students and helping them with their writing course work! 

Michael Rizzo

Hello! I am Michael Rizzo, a SAS Junior and Computer Science B.S. major. I hail from New York and graduated from Tappan Zee High School with high honors. After my freshman experience at Rutgers, I recognized I enjoy writing and teaching as much as I enjoy working within the STEM field. As a writing coach, I cannot wait to help everyone improve their writing skills. I am an eclectic guy interested in everything from music to fashion to quantum physics. Philosophy is a recent favorite as well. Added to that, I am a proud Eagle Scout and I love hiking. My motto is: go big or go home.