John Holzwarth, Director
BA, Political Science and English, Colgate University, 1993
PhD, Politics, Princeton University, 2004
Advice about writing:
Treat every assignment as if it were something you chose to do on your own. If you don’t find it interesting at first, figure out why someone would. This isn’t about doing homework – it’s about cultivating your own unique intellectual experience. All the best work starts with that attitude, and even when the work goes badly, no one with that attitude ever came away empty-handed.
Roland Berg ’22
Majors: Biology, English
Bobby Campbell ’22
Noam Jacobs ’22
Lila Khammash ’23
Major: International Affairs
Liam Kruchten ’24
Katie McGirt ’23
Michael Mulrennan ’22
Major: English and Hispanic Studies
Ashley O’Leary ’22
Favorite Authors: Toni Morrison, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, Alice Walker, Min Jin Lee, Rachel Ingalls, Jane Austen, Carmen Maria Machado
Best advice about writing: There is no way your first draft is going to be perfect, and accepting this is a beautiful thing. Any convoluted string of words is infinitely less daunting than a blank page with a blinking cursor at the top. Give yourself enough time to write a messy, scrambled first draft that simply puts your ideas on paper. When you come back to it, there will be something to work with. Give yourself time — to complete writing assignments, and to improve as a writer.
Anthi Sklaventis ’24
Edie Tavel ’23
A few favorite authors: Elena Ferrante, Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Khaled Hosseini, Arundhati Roy, Naguib Mahfouz
Best advice about writing: If you’re having trouble figuring out what it is you want to say in an essay, get out a pencil and paper and begin to write by hand. Journaling at the beginning of the writing process not only takes off some of the pressure because you’re not working on a polished product, but also allows the various ideas circulating in your mind to take written form. I often find myself writing around a topic for a while until I finally arrive at my argument; Doing this by hand before delving into the essay itself allows me to sift through any excess thoughts/ideas that are useful to the thinking process, but may not be very useful to the essay itself.
Rose Thompson ’23
A few favorite authors: Gloria Anzaldúa, Haruki Murakami, bell hooks, Joey Comeau, Lemony Snicket, and Han Kang
Writing Advice: If you’re having trouble getting started, remember you don’t have to write your paper in order. It’s easy to get stuck trying to write the perfect introduction, so try writing your body paragraphs first and going back to your intro when you’re done. It often makes your introduction connect better to the paper and means you don’t have to wait around so long for inspiration to strike if you’re on a deadline.
Paige Underwood ’22
Majors: Computer Science/Math, Political Science
Favorite authors: Harper Lee, Margaret Atwood, Alice Walker, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Best advice about writing:
Be patient with yourself! Writing takes time, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Instead of focusing on writing the “perfect” essay or paper the first time, don’t be afraid to develop your ideas in small steps. If you find a process that works for you, your writing skills will naturally improve over time.
Gila Winefeld ’23
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Asmaa Zaidan ’24
Majors: History, International Affairs
Minor: Political Science