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Writing Affiliates

The Writing Affiliates initiative aims to bring the culture of the Expository Writing Program into the First Year Residential Experience (FYRE) residence halls, providing support for a year in the life of a student writer. Through events designed to address the challenges of first-year writing courses, this program fosters a productive culture of academic writing in the residence halls.

Writing Affiliates collaborate with Student Affairs professionals as well as student staff to create a residential community that supports first year students' intellectual, social, cultural, and ethical development. As with all Living Learning programs, Writing Affiliates combine formal teaching, information learning, creative activities, and personal support to create an enhanced student experience.

Writing Affiliates host peer-review essay-drafting workshops in the halls, partner with R.I.S.E., EWP faculty, and writing tutors on workshops for international students, and offer a series of one-on-one writing conferences in the halls.

David Ellis at Founders Hall

Meet the Writing Affiliates!



Beth Kurkjian

Third North

Beth graduated from Skidmore College and NYU. Choreographed: Women of Trachis, Caucasian Chalk Circle, and A Small Hole; Barnard/Columbia students in The Winter’s Tale and What of the Night? Created and directed 18 to 21 at Skidmore. Solo work: Age Less and Sylvie or Marie.

Amira Pierce

Othmer & Clark

Amira received her MFA in Writing Fiction from Virginia Commonwealth University. She was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and is working on a novel about finding love in a broken world. Her favorite things to do are make feasts at home and run away to foreign lands.

Michael Tyrell


Michael, an alumnus of NYU and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is a senior lecturer at NYU. He is the author of the poetry collection The Wanted (The National Poetry Review, 2012) and with Julia Spicher Kasdorf, edited the anthology, Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn (NYU Press, 2007).

Normandy Sherwood


Normandy is a Playwright, a Costumer, and a member of the National Theater of the USA. She has an MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College, and attended NYU Gallatin as an undergraduate. She is thrilled to come back to the NYU community and work with students as a Writing Affiliate.

David Ellis


David is a writer of short fiction, essays, poems, plays, and satires. He enjoys blending science with other disciplines and learning from the products of their unique combinations. As the Faculty Affiliate of Founders Hall, he feels lucky to dialogue and learn from the building's residents.

Dave Cregar


Dave began his NYU career as a doctoral student in Steinhardt's English Education program. For the past ten years he has focused on teaching writing for International students. He has also taught and assisted in the development of the Writing Center and Writing Program at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Mark Braley


After earning his PhD in English from Princeton, Mark spent time in California and Korea as an aircraft maintenance officer, and spent twenty additional years teaching english at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Now in New York, he is pursuing his own writing interests in the personal essay.

Lorelei Ormund


As a graduate Rhodes Scholar, Lorelei focused on British literary modernism and contemporary post-colonial fiction, producing theses on Virginia Woolf and Michael Ondaatje. She loves travel and nature writing, and is currently at work on a book about the body and trauma, healing and community.


Want to improve your writing?

Find out more about the Expository Writing Program's (EWP) Writing Center, how to make an appointment, and resources for your writing courses.

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