Find Your Program


trojan watermark.jpg


trojan watermark.jpg

Graduate Writing Hub: Coaches

Our Coaches

Who We Are

Writing coaches at the GWH all have at least a master’s degree and some of us have doctoral degrees. We come from a variety of academic backgrounds, but all of us have experience as successful academic writers and teach academic writing at the graduate level. Our goal is to meet you where you are in your academic journey and help you make your next steps. We demystify the expectations of academic discourse, help you shape and deploy your disciplinary knowledge through writing, and show you how to develop sustainable writing practices. All of this allows for your long-term participation as a scholar or professional in your field. 

Who We Are Not

While we are here to help you with your writing projects, we are not your faculty mentors, dissertation chair, or members of your doctoral project team. The kind of feedback you may get from us will differ from that which your faculty give you—we read as informed readers, concerned with rhetoric and logic, ethical source engagement, genre conventions, and writing style, but your committee members will read your work as experts in that field and so will be attentive to knowledge gaps and disciplinary convention in addition to how well you’ve constructed your arguments. We are here to help you sift through their feedback, decide how best to respond to it, and strategize how to communicate your intentions to your committee members and chairs or other intended readers. One of our goals is to help you cultivate good communication skills around your writing as part of becoming a better writer.

Coach Bios

Tori Dalzell, PhD

Dr. Tori Dalzell is the current director of the Graduate Writing Hub where she oversees the daily operations of the center, meets one-on-one with doctoral student writers, and supports faculty as they teach students how to write in their disciplines. She has worked in writing centers since 2012 and coached students in both research and professional doctoral programs since 2014. Many of her students have been English language learners and non-traditional students or involved in the sciences. She holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Riverside, and a BA in music and English from Hollins University.

Tori’s own research focuses on music practices in the Himalayas. She conducted her dissertation research in Nepal on a Fulbright IIE grant (2012–2013); she also received a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society (2019) to continue research in that region. Her original work can be found in the journals Asian Music, Anthropology and Humanism, and Himalaya. Tori moved to South Carolina from California. There, she was involved in UC Riverside’s Mayupatapi ensemble, which performs folk and popular music from the Andean region of South America, and APU’s Masterworks Chorale, where she sang as an alto. Tori is an avid tea drinker, but her professional work has taught her to appreciate coffee.

Aja Vasquez, EdD

Dr. Aja Vasquez is a graduate writing coach. She has been a writing instructor for twenty years, served on multiple doctoral committees, and worked as a qualitative research coach. She has been a graduate writing coach for several years. She has an MA in English from California Baptist University, MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California Riverside, and an EdD in Educational Leadership from California State University San Bernardino. Her research focuses on best practices for teaching writing–currently, labor-based writing courses. She has also published memoirs and horror stories. Aja enjoys crocheting, cross-stitching, and quilting in her spare time. She also enjoys hiking.