The center is staffed by trained undergraduates (see their biographies below) with writing instructor support. Engage in the following kinds of writing discussions and activities:
Bring the following with you:
Any questions about this pilot initiative? Please contact Melissa Nicolas (Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Director, Merritt Writing Program).
Name: Nick Bickett
Nick is a 4th year chemistry major and a transfer student. He was born in Bakersfield, California and moved to a small island in the Federated States of Micronesia named Kosrae when he was 4. At 10 years old he moved back to California in order to acquire a higher education than what was available on Kosrae. Nick spent most of his adult career teaching as a music instructor and then as an organic chemistry lab assistant where he helped students develop lab reports that clearly and critically analyzed the work. He strongly believes that writing is an important and fun part of communication and that everyone can write beautifully, it is only a matter of finding a voice. Nick is eager to help students develop their own writing styles that make writing an enjoyable experience and a powerful tool in expressing one’s self.
Name: Angel Freeze
Major: Political Science
Angel is a third year Political Science major with a minor in Philosophy. She was born in New Iberia, Louisiana and moved to Springville, CA when she was eight years old. She is excited to engage with students and help them to create a set of writing skills that they can carry with them anywhere. She believes that writing is an essential tool for advancing in the professional world and hopes to help her peers develop those skills to their fullest extent. “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” —Louis L'Amour
Name: Juliana Hernandez
Major: Management & Economics
Juliana Hernandez is a third year Management and Business economics major at the University of California, Merced. She is originally from a city in close proximity of Santa Barbara called Goleta. Her work with professional writing began when she was eighteen years old in a dual enrollment class that was provided in her high school. At the time she did not have a professional background in writing but, she tried to aid others as much as she could through informal tutoring sessions. This was mainly a resource aimed for family and friends. As she went through the sessions her skills grew and she knew it was time to take the next step. During her sophomore year at the university she became part of the Undergraduate Research Journal team and embarked on a journey to publish the findings of other writers. This further strengthened her knowledge. As a tutor she is well on her way to not only creating successful pieces herself but, also expanding her knowledge of writing to other individuals.
Name: Matthew Jurilla
Major: Business Management
Matthew is a fourth year management and business economics major with a writing minor. He aspires to facilitate the writing community by helping students further develop themselves as writers. As a writing minor, he has substantial knowledge and experience that extends from expository/professional writing to creative writing. Therefore, he is excited to share the literary devices and techniques obtained through personal experience. He believes that writing is a universal form of communication that enables people to express themselves through newfound personal insights and regular interactions. As both an instructional assistant and a writer, Matthew hopes to share the experience of developing oneself by delving into a multitude of unique works written by other students. "As writers, the possibilities of self-expression and communication are immeasurable—that is, writing as a craft and our comprehensive ability to regularly gain new knowledge are boundless."
Major: English Literature
Minor: Creative Writing
Elle is a 4th year transfer student from Mendocino JC, where Elle received a AA in Communications. Elle is very committed to exploring the intersection between reading, writing, and presenting thoughts in an academic setting. Elle enjoys helping students to bridge the gap between verbal and written communication, essentially helping students to express themselves on paper. Elle is also a published author and has experience in the corporate world. Elle believes that all writing, whether it be creative, academic, or professional, should strive to best represent the originality and authenticity of the author. Elle looks forward to collaborating with students to help them best express themselves through the writing process.
Name: Genesis Linares
Genesis is a fifth-year biology major, with an emphasis in human biology and a minor in writing. Her trajectory at the university has inspired her to pursue a career in the education field. She finds herself intrigued by the writing process and hopes to empower students to embrace their own writing process when working with varying prompts. Having taken a variety of writing courses she understands just how daunting it can feel to try to put one’s ideas into words, which is why she strives to make that task less stressful for students. Genesis believes that "all students can be successful writers, all they need is to be given the right tools to work with and to be taught how to use them."
Name: Maricela Martinez
Now a 4th year, majoring in English, Maricela Martinez, or Marcy, is looking forward to working with students who need assistance in their writing ventures. Her goal is to become a teacher after she graduates and feels that becoming an Instructional Assistant, at the UC Campus, will be of great benefit to both her and the students she intends to guide. She is well versed in writing creative pieces too, as she is a poet and Spoken Word Artist who is also working on a R&B/HipHop Album. She is looking forward to meeting all the students she will be working with.
Name: Chloe Ray
Minor: Natural Sciences Education (NSE)
Chloe is a third year student who enjoys delving into the possibilities that writing inherits. Much of her scholastic work focuses on a variety of literary pieces and thus likes to incorporate vast amounts of creative ideas into writing. She also enjoys engaging in conversation with others to help them pull out their own perspectives that will enhance their writing projects. Chloe has had experience working with Varsity Tutors, a one on one tutoring service, and looks forward to working alongside others within the Merritt Writing Program. She believes that “we never cease our roles as students and those who seek knowledge, and thus should incorporate learning with each other and with the world however we can.”
Minor: Public Health
Elizabeth is a second year psychology major and public health minor from Los Angeles, California. She is passionate about collaborating with peers to develop creative writing pieces. Elizabeth aspires to help peers recognize that writing is a platform that should highlight who you are and express your unique perspectives. She has had experience as a USTU Peer Instructor, and is ready to help others achieve their academic goals by providing peers with writing tools that they can utilize to succeed. Elizabeth believes that, “What you are looking for is not out there… it is in you!”
Victoria Sierra is a fourth year psychology major with a minor in writing. She is excited to work with students not only to develop as writers but also as scholars. Victoria aspires to inspire students to express their ideas through writing and take full ownership of their work. She is dedicated to inspiring her fellow students to embrace writing even though many may be intimidated by it. Victoria believes that all forms of writing are art forms that take time, creativity, and effort. Having taken a variety of writing courses, Victoria understands and has experience with interdisciplinary pieces. Her experience while at UC Merced has led her to pursue a career in education.