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.


Peer Tutors

Roland Berg ’22

Majors: Biology, English

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Bobby Campbell ’22

Major: English

Noam Jacobs ’22

Major: Music

Lila Khammash ’23

Major: International Affairs

Minor: Entrepreneurship






Liam Kruchten ’24

Major: Philosophy

Katie McGirt ’23

Major: English

Michael Mulrennan ’22

Major: English and Hispanic Studies

Ashley O’Leary ’22

Major: English

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

Major: History

Edie Tavel ’23

Major: Sociology/Anthropology

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

Major: Sociology/Anthropology

A few favorite authors: Gloria AnzaldĂșa, 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