Writing Instructors at University College

All of us are experienced in teaching writing, and you can see that we're interested in a lot of academic areas.

Jerry Plotnick, Director (on sabbatical leave, 2017-18). Jerry has over twenty years of experience teaching writing at U of T. He has an undergraduate degree in mathematics and an M.Sc. in computer science. His graduate studies in English have focused on Shakespeare. He is also interested in political theory, film, and philosophy. Jerry's current research investigates the logical and epistemological underpinnings of evidence-based medicine.

Andrea Day is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. Her primary research and teaching interests are Victorian and children's literature, but she enjoys working with students from a broad range of disciplines. She also works at the Writing Centre at the School of Graduate Studies.

Lazarus James received a B.A. in philosophy and English literature from McGill University and an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Toronto. He has previously worked as a teaching assistant in philosophy at the University of Toronto and also has experience working in book publishing, most recently as an editorial assistant at University of Toronto Press. Lazarus currently also works as a writing instructor at the Innis College Writing Centre. 

Simon Lewsen (acting director) holds a B.A. and M.A. in English at McGill. He does long-form journalism for the Globe and Mail, the Walrus, and Sharp, and he writes regularly on architecture and design for Azure, Designlines, and the Globe

Judith Muster has an M.A. in English and cultural studies from McMaster University and has worked in the University of Toronto's Engineering Communication Program as both a writing tutor and course instructor. She is an experienced freelance writer, having contributed to publications including NOW and Toronto Life magazines.

Alex Motut is the acting coordinator of the Writing Instruction for TAs (WIT) program, where she helps instructors and TAs integrate discipline-specific writing into their courses. She is a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics at the University of Toronto and holds an M.A. in Linguistics (also from U of T) and a B.A. in English from McGill. She has worked with TAs, faculty, and undergraduate students on writing assignment design and assessment, and developed and led workshops on how to support and improve student writing.

Michael O'Connor has a Ph.D. in Philosophy, and has worked at the University of Toronto as a writing instructor and as an instructor in Philosophy and Business Writing. He has taught Philosophy at McMaster University, the University of Saskatchewan and the Open University in England. During the dotcom boom he had an excellent adventure when he became a applications tester with a software company in London. He returned to academia as a Learning Skills Adviser at London South Bank University, and in 2007 he joined the University of Toronto. Michael has a very broad range of intellectual interests and knowledge, including Philosophy, Literature, Religion, History, Politics and Theatre.

Vikki Visvis received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Toronto in 2004. This is Vikki's eleventh year at the UC Writing Centre. She is also currently a lecturer at U of T for the Department of English, where she teaches Canadian literature. In 2004-5, Vikki taught both Critical Writing about Narrative and Effective Writing at U of T, intensive academic writing courses for undergraduates. She also has experience as an ESL tutor, and has worked at other writing centres on campus. She has published on Canadian and American literature. In 2013, she was the recipient of ofthe Arts and Science Student Union's Ranjini (Rini) Ghosh Excellence in Teaching Award.

Becky Vogan works as a freelance editor for book publishers in Toronto and teaches editing courses at Ryerson University and U of T. Although her degrees are in English literature, she has helped writers in most subject areas. Becky is enjoying her thirteenth year as a writing instructor, and wishes that Western and Queen's had had writing centres when she was a student.

Andrea L. Williams (on sabbatical leave, 2017-18) is a University of Toronto graduate (she did both her BA and MA in English at the U of T) who earned her Ph.D. in Writing Studies from the Ohio State University in 2002 where she worked in the Writing Center. Andrea recently moved from Calgary where she was on the faculty of the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University and previously with the Faculty of Communication and Culture at the University of Calgary. Andrea returned to the University of Toronto in 2011 to coordinate WIT (Writing Instruction by/for TAs), a Writing Across the Curriculum initiative in the Faculty of Arts and Science. In her current role, she supports units, faculty and TAs seeking to improve the teaching of writing in disciplinary courses and also works directly with undergraduate students through the Arts and Science Students’ Union-Writing Plus and the University of Toronto Libraries “My First Assignment” workshop series. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Arts and Science Student Union's Urmila (Uma) Sarkar Service Award