Meet our Writing Center Staff!
Amber Nicholene Benally, Sociology Major
Amber came to Fort Lewis College with the intention of growing both personally and academically. She had transferred from her tribal college on the Navajo Nation with an Associate's Degree in Social Sciences. Upon arriving to FLC, she had spent one semester as an Undeclared Major. Soon enough though, she discovered a passion for social justice and change.
As a Sociology Major, Amber has opened up new gateway's in her academic pursuits such as interning and conducting independent research in Los Angeles, California to understand urban and rural Economic Development. To then, speaking on behalf of the FLC Sociology Department at the Annual Colorado Sociology Symposium.
Currently, Amber is working on completing the Environmental Policy minor to prepare herself for grad school. She is constantly pondering ideas of sustainable development, agriculture, and architecture. In addition, you can always find her out and about with a camera around her neck or a sketchpad on hand.
Amber believes that strong writing and speaking skills are a key component to a successful academic journey. Therefore, as a peer tutor, she is excited to help you find your voice whether that be for your readers or an audience.
Kyle Curtin - Excercise Science Physiology Major
Kyle is a senior majoring in Exercise Science Physiology originally from Ohio. He is non-traditional transfer student who was an Army helicopter mechanic before coming to FLC to finish his degree. Before starting at Fort Lewis in the fall of 2015, Kyle hiked the Appalachian Trail. He is also an avid trail runner who enjoys competing in ultramarathons; sometimes over 100 miles long! He has a faithful rescued terrier with whom he likes to share time and couch space when not out exploring the great wilderness that surrounds our home. He has a wide array of interests, so come say hi!
Max Neuman - Elementary Education Major
Max is an Elementary Education major with a minor in Spanish. Through classes, volunteering, and practicum hours, he has spent lots of time tutoring others in the subject of writing. Through this experience along with a background in Spanish, he has also been involved in numerous projects to help tutor ELL students in literacy. He really enjoys the process of creating a meaningful, persuasive paper, and sees a lot of value in a strong piece of writing. His biggest strengths are assisting with the structure, flow, grammar, and persuasiveness of essays; he can help refine papers in both English and Spanish.
In his free time, he loves to bike, ski, hike, and camp, or perhaps do a combination of the above! He also really enjoys playing guitar and reading. Come on by and he would love to help you reach your goals as a writer!
Kristen Parker - English Literature Major
I grew up in the valleys and near the mountains of Montana, but fell in love with Colorado. Traveling with my best friend, eating donuts, running with my dog-human, and gardening bring great happiness into my life. I am a senior and English Literature major excited about this new chapter.
Nathan Seaford - History Major
Nathan is a junior at Fort Lewis working on a degree in history with an English-writing minor. He also gets stoked about political science, economics, and literature.
When Nathan isn’t in a classroom or a book, he’s probably out on the roads and trails cycling or running. He also loves to ski and spend time in the mountains.
Regardless of the topic, he is excited to help fellow students improve the organization, flow, sentence structure, and grammar of their papers. Come in to brainstorm with him too!
Emma Smith - English Major
I am an English major in my senior year at the Fort. As a small liberal arts school, Fort Lewis seemed to be the perfect place to pursue my passion in creative writing. After graduation, I hope to attend Second City College to refine my abilities in comedic sketch/screenwriting. I enjoy anything related to comedy, reading, writing, and film. However, when I'm not in school, I can most likely be found on a streamside fly-fishing or in the mountains adventuring.
As a tutor, my strengths are centered on organization, flow, and precision. I'm a nerd of all things English; therefore the areas I can offer the most help in are composition and most reading/writing English classes. I am always excited to read other people's work and help them reach their writing goals.
Kalia Thomas – Environmental Studies Major
Kalia is a sophomore who fell in love with Durango and its small liberal arts college after moving from the Boulder area last year. She recently changed her major from anthropology to environmental studies after taking a summer intensive course in lake and stream ecology. She plans on continuing her education to graduate school with a focus in water, specifically limnology or hydrology. Aside from her passions for the environment and water conservation, she loves reading, writing, geology and history.
When Kalia isn’t in school or studying water samples, she can be found running, hiking, snowboarding or playing with dogs whenever possible. She loves the outdoors and exploring new places she has never experienced before.
When it comes to writing, Kalia can be most helpful with understanding what the professor is asking for and making sure that the students’ assignment correlates with what the professor wants. She understands the importance of citing sources and is always making sure every sentence is grammatically correct.
Michelle Bonanno, Director
Michelle graduated from Fort Lewis College with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Communications in 2001. She then attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she earned a Master of Arts in Communication in 2004. Beginning with her graduate studies, Michelle became, and continues to be, particularly interested in the rhetorical power of mass media. She wrote her Master's thesis on the role of local newspapers in healing the Littleton, Colorado community after the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. Michelle began teaching in the Writing Program here at Fort Lewis in 2005. As a student at FLC, Michelle met her future husband, Anthony, and they are now raising their two children, AJ and Mia.
Lindsay Noisom, Administrative Assistant
Lindsay graduated from Fort Lewis in 1982 with a Bachelor's degree in English. She has lived in Durango since 1977, and has raised two daughters to whom she read aloud every night until they started high school. Her oldest daughter, Trista, is a Fort Lewis alumna who graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, and her youngest daughter, Caitlin, is a published author. Lindsay has over 15 years of experience in the book industry, and has served on the editorial board of the Durango Herald Small Press.