Below are bios on our key Center staff. The bios of our consultants can be found by following these buttons:  

Stephen Disrud


I am proud to work with the experienced and dedicated staff at the Center for Writers, where I hope to contribute to a mission of helping students and faculty meet the highest possible standards for writing, research, and teaching. To the Center, I bring a practical background in applied linguistics that comes from more than fifteen years of teaching multilingual undergraduate and graduate students at NDSU. My teaching portfolio includes graduate courses like Strategies for Research Writing, Language & Classroom Skills for International GTAs, Strategies for Literature Reviews, and Academic Writing in the Engineering Disciplines, as well as undergraduate courses like First-Year Composition, and ESL-skills courses (particularly writing, grammar, and reading). My doctoral work is in Writing Studies with research focusing on Writing Program Administration and the rhetoric of program archives.

I have a deep love of language that is a joy for me to share and a sincere desire to help others achieve their goals. Writing can be difficult and is a skill that develops over a lifetime. It’s a privilege to participate in this journey with the NDSU community. Come visit and let’s get some work done together!

Mary Pull

Associate Director

I am a bona-fide product of North Dakota: I was born and raised in Bismarck, and I earned my B.A. in English Education and M.A. in English at NDSU.

After teaching secondary language arts for a short time, I became a graduate instructor in the NDSU English department and, eventually, a lecturer and assistant to the director of the Center for Writers.  Currently, I serve in three capacities: Director of the Center for Writers, Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, and Academic Advisor for English Education. 

Over the years, I have taught a variety of courses at NDSU:  College Composition I and II, Methods of Teaching English I and II, American Literature I and II, Peer Tutoring and Writing in the Disciplines, Writing in the Health Professions, Writing in the Technical Professions, Grammatical StructuresWriting in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and World Literature.   My academic interests include the history of writing instruction, writing across the curriculum (WAC), writing in the disciplines (WID), writing center theory and practice, and early American and British literature. 

My free time is spent with my husband, four grown children, their spouses, and twenty-three grandchildren.  In addition to traveling to warm climates, I enjoy volunteering and teaching at my church.  

Kristina Caton

Senior Writing Consultant

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.


Jeffrey Lackmann

Hi, my name is Jeffrey!  I grew up on a farm in Moorhead and graduated from Luther College in Iowa in 2018 with a B.A in English.  After a few years in the working world, I'm back at school as a Master's Student in the Biological Sciences.  I study community ecology in Costa Rica where undisturbed rainforest meets coffee plantations.  The questions I ask go something like this: do the coffee plants near the forest have higher rates of disease than plants in the middle of a coffee field?  Do the insects or fungi that live in coffee fields move into the the natural forests? If so, how far?  And how does this impact the community of organisms living in conserved forests?  That's me as a researcher. Now, as a consultant, I think it's best to describe what I do with a story.

A traveler journeys across the world to meet an old sage meditating at the top of a tall and snowy mountain.  The traveler asks, "Please, Master, I have travelled all this way.  Show me enlightenment!"

So the sage nods and reaches into the pocket of their robe and hands the traveler a mirror.

I'm not sharing this story to give you the impression that I am a sage.  I certainly am not?  I have as much to learn from you and you do from me.  I'm sharing this story because my approach as a consultant is to hold a mirror up and work with you to see and cultivate skills that I am certain that you already possess to communicate clearly.  Writing is a challenging, personal, and sometimes isolating process.  It can also be immensely rewarding.  That's why I'm here.  So, how can I help?

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