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Center for Writers


Graduate Consultants

Carissa Brownotter

Hello! My name is Carissa Brownotter. I am a Master of Public Health student specializing in American Indian Public Health.

I’m originally from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. I received my B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. After graduation, I taught high school mathematics and middle school math/science on the Navajo Nation in AZ/NM. It was through teaching that I discovered my passion for working with Native youth. While working within the educational system, I found myself being pulled towards finding solutions to public health issues affecting Native youth on the reservation. This interest led me to work at a public health non-profit organization and ultimately, to NDSU’s MPH program.  

Mirroring my educational journey, my relationship with writing has been full of twists and turns. I’ve grown to love the writing process, including all of its challenges and joys. Prior to attending a transformative writing workshop, writing used to intimidate me. However, being immersed in a two-week intensive teacher writing workshop led by the Bread Loaf School of English opened my eyes and consciousness to the beauty of writing. My fear turned into a love that intensified with each piece of poetry I composed. It was there I discovered and accepted my passion for writing. Since then, my writing interests have grown to include poetry, technical writing, professional writing, and creative writing.


Kristina Caton

I come to the Center for Writers with a background in teaching and an emphasis in teaching writing composition. My B.S. is in Early Childhood Education from New Mexico State University and my M.A. is in English from North Dakota State University. For several years I worked as a disciplinary consultant for the College of Human Development and Education. As a disciplinary consultant I worked with graduate students and faculty on a variety of initiatives from NSF-GRFP grant proposals to developing writing rubrics for disquisitions. Now, as a generalist writing consultant I work with graduate students and faculty across the university in one-on-one, workshop, and classroom settings to support both writing and writing instruction.

I think that one of the best aspects of being a writing consultant is trying to demystify the writing processes—perhaps through explaining a point of grammar or diagnosing a problem with “flow.” And, while writing, especially academic writing, is complex and can be frustrating and overwhelming, it is also incredibly important to us as students, faulty, and an institution.




Tammi Neville

Hi, I'm Tammi! I have a super unique, innovate position here at NDSU! I work as a Graduate Student Generalist Consultant for the Center for Writers, and I work as a Research Specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences. The combination of these two positions provides a creative approach to writing within the discipline and writing across the curriculum.  

I was raised in rural North Central North Dakota and obtained a B.S in Animal and Range Sciences from NDSU. During my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to work as a Summer Research Assistant in Animal Sciences and learned research was AWESOME!!! My next step was to enroll in graduate school where I was able to explore research further, and I quickly learned writing was very important! I completed my Masters of Science in Animal and Range Sciences and began my research career working for USDA as a Biological Research Technician and later at NDSU as a Research Specialist in Animal Sciences. During my time as a research specialist, my writing skills were further honed. I had the opportunity to author and co-author several papers in my spare time.  

While authoring papers, I learned how to exercise my writing brain. It is not until you use your brain to write that you can become good at writing. I look forward to working with you at any stage during your writing process so I can help you learn how to exercise the writing part of your brain! 

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, our dog, a small herd of cats, and our extended family; taking care of our small chicken flock; and continuing to enjoy all that North Dakota has to offer! 

Raymond "Scot" Sorrells

I’m a Master’s student in the Business Administration department, returning to NDSU after twenty-some years in the business community, the last dozen of which as a Project Manager for Nokia’s digital mapping subsidiary. My experience is in coordinating communication between international technologists, with most of the major stakeholders using English as a second language. I find working with other cultures equips me, especially with non-native students, to help move a writer’s text into a reader’s text with style and grace. My joy is helping to craft complex ideas into written communication, whether that is a disquisition, a job application, or a recipe.

My hobby is acting for the community theatre and the screen. My favorite role was playing Willy Wonka in “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.” Most recently, I was in a short film, “Ham,” that won Best Picture at the 2018 Los Angeles Film Festival.

I am fascinated by the parallels between the theatre and writing. Rehearsals are like drafts: in the theatre, you bring everything you have to the rehearsal stage and let the director help craft your performance in the notes. The same goes for writing: you bring everything you have to a draft, after which you revise according to peer review, edit after proofreading, learning more about your subject after every revision. The final submitted draft is like opening night where the performance is no longer yours, but now belongs to the audience.

You can find some of my writing online at, where I post essays, recipes, and the occasional mémoire.

Shweta Srivastava

I am a doctoral student in the Department of Communication, and this is my fifth year working as a writing consultant.  Before coming to the United States for my graduate education, I was a mass communication professional for eight years in India.  After working with a national daily, I switched to teaching mass communication and journalism, and I have chosen interpersonal communication as my field of research for the rest of my life.

Writing has always been an inseparable part of my life, and I believe that writing is similar to traveling.  Sometimes it is adventurous like a road trip (think about writing opinion pieces, reflection papers), sometimes it is ritualistic like visiting a holy place (you know it when a professor gives you a pretty standard assignment), and at other times it is like daily commute (those times when you report medians and standard deviations!). Just like traveling, writing is fun!

So, I invite you to share some of your journeys with me.  I will be right there with my binoculars.


Drew Taylor

My name is Drew Taylor! I'm a doctoral student in ECE, though the focus of my research spans from cardiovascular engineering to engineering education. I'm a native of the west coast, but I've lived and worked in the Midwest since I moved to Iowa for my undergrad. Although I've always loved the academic lifestyle, I moved to Kansas after graduation and designed control system HMIs for a couple years before coming here to NDSU for grad school. I've worked here at the Center for Writers as the disciplinary consultant for the College of Engineering for several years now and I can safely say it's the best job I've ever had--not only do I get to see the breadth of amazing research being done by our graduate students, but here at the Center I get to help those students get their work out into the world on a daily basis.

For me, that entire process--finding something new through research and sharing it--is the bread and butter of the information age. Unfortunately, while we often get a lot of training on research methods as graduate students, many of us are left to our own devices when it comes to writing. As a consultant, I love being able to bridge that gap, to help students drive innovation through their peculiar & diverse ideas.


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7927
Campus address: Library 6
Physical/delivery address: 1201 Albrecht Blvd., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2365 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Center for Writers

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 12:11:05 PM
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