Writing Center

Our Staff

Meet our Writing Center Staff!

Katie RatkoKatie Ratko

Katie is a fourth-year student at the Fort, working toward a degree in Spanish with a double minor in music and rhetoric of inquiry. She has extensive experience with academic writing and has taken several years of language and composition classes in both English and Spanish. 

Katie’s strength is helping students with academic writing, including grammar & mechanics, structuring arguments, and improving the concision and flow of a paper. She can edit papers in both English and Spanish and her background in music allows her to help other music students their writing.

Katie has found a home in Durango because of the positive and creative spirit of the community. Her hobbies include hiking & playing outdoors, snowboarding, making music and boogieing down whenever possible. She looks forward to tutoring not only for the chance to help others with their writing, but also to gain new perspectives in her own writing and about the world in general.

Kylie SantosKylie Santos
I am an accounting major in my sophomore year here at Fort Lewis. After graduation, my dream is to go to law school, but I am unsure what kind of law I would like to get into. I enjoy reading about anything and enjoy writing about many things too. However, my favorite things to read and write about would have to be business, politics, and history.

My strength as a tutor is helping with the organization and overall flow of a paper, but I am also good with sentence structure and grammar. I would love the chance to read and offer feedback on any types of writing and help others reach their true potential as writers.

Lara Cladny Lara Cladny:
Lara is a Psychology major with minors in English Writing and Adventure Education. Lara is very passionate about writing, and has kept a notebook in her hand since she was twelve. To Lara, words are like Legos; and with imagination, persistence, and guidance, academic essays can become exquisite palaces for knowledge and inspiration. She believes that writing is an art that anyone can be good at, as long as the individual finds joy in the creative process. Lara wants to help you find new routes through which to explore writing, and to offer you useful tricks to develop your writing. Lara specializes in academic papers, as well as creative pieces –in the end, both styles of writing benefit one another. When Lara isn’t writing, she enjoys exploring what it means to be fully alive in a healthy human body through yoga, dancing, exploring the mountains and rivers, cooking, learning, and breathing deeply. “It is important to remember that we all have magic inside us.” –JK Rowling 

Emily WhiteEmily White:
Technically, I am a biochemistry major. However, after dabbling in some art, composition, and other random classes, I find myself wanting to switch majors on the daily basis. My ability to relate to the scientific and artistic mind allows me to understand many different writing styles. One of my favorite classes at The Fort is The Rhetoric of Inquiry, which not only expanded my mind philosophically, but immensely improved my technical writing skills. So, if you are looking for someone to help you with a lab write up, revise a paper, or to argue with about your perception of rhetoric, I'm your gal!

Sean Summers:

After graduating from a small high school in Colorado Springs, I left my small hometown of Woodland Park, and came to Durango. I joined the Fort Lewis College community in 2012, and have enjoyed it ever since. When I'm not busy attending classes and earning my degree in Communications, I love to pursue outdoor adventures. Climbing, camping, skiing, and backpacking remain my favorite activities, but I'm happy to take on new adventures. In my more docile free time, I have a passion for writing in a variety of capacities. If I'm not busy churning out a story for the Independent News Magazine, I enjoy writing creatively. I am always eager to improve both my writing, and the writing of others.

Michelle BonannoMichelle 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 NoisomLindsay Noisom: Administrative Assistant

Lindsay graduated 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.