Who We Are

The Writing Center exists to support writers across the campus whether they be students, faculty, or staff. We come alongside writers to show them ways to improve their own writing by employing a better writing process. We believe that it is good stewardship of our intellect and resources to help writers grow by learning the skill and concepts of strong writing in their genre or discipline.

Any Student: Regardless of your level of confidence, our coaches can teach you how to identify areas for improvement in your work and plan out your next steps.

Any Project: You can bring your project to read with a coach whether it’s a major research paper, a cover letter, or a creative story.

Any Stage: If you have received an assignment prompt or are drafting or revising a document, you can come to read your project out loud, ask questions, and discuss strategies to improve your writing process.

To learn more about scheduling an appointment, visit our online scheduler.

Scroll down to meet our team!


The Writing Center Team


Deborah Escalante, M.A. M.F.A.

Deborah Aguilar Escalante graduated from Chapman University with a Master of Arts degree in English and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. Her previous professional experience includes teaching college-level literature and composition classes in a bilingual format, as well as working as a professional Spanish/English translator for the federal government. During the day, she directs the APU Writing Center, but at night, she enjoys contributing to the (n)ever-lucrative poetry industry, having been published in Blueprint Review, Elephant Tree, Medulla Review, Danse Macabre, and Párrafos Magazine (UCLA’s bilingual literary journal). Her writing is influenced by the creative minds of Shel Silverstein, Guillermo del Toro, Oscar Wilde, Stanley Kubrick, Dorothy Parker, and Tim Burton, so her writing style could best be described as the love child of Dr. Seuss and Freddy Krueger. During her free time, Deborah can be found conducting culinary experiments on innocent produce, stargazing, creating memories with her husband and children, finding foster plants for orphaned spiders, and applying literary theory to The Real Housewives of New York series.

Specialties and Interests: Fiction writing, creative nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, spirituality, literary analysis, horror film analysis, and Yucatec Mayan history and literature


Lauren Solis, B.S.
Writing Center Coordinator

Lauren graduated from APU with her B.S. in Biology. During her time as a student, she worked as a writing coach, a job that allowed her to blend her writing abilities with her love of helping others. Now she is continuing her education in the Masters of Public Health program. In her free time, she enjoys taking spontaneous road trips and shopping for great deals. She enjoys historical fiction because it is a unique blend of research and imagination. Her favorite parts of the writing process are pre-writing and proofreading.


Front Desk Assistants




Staff Coaches


Allie F., M.F.A.

Allie Frazier’s passion for helping others in the writing process started with her first coaching experience in the 3rd grade as a tutor to 2nd graders in her elementary school. Since then, she has earned her B.A. in Writing from Point Loma Nazarene University and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing Fiction from Chapman University. Now she uses her experiences of being a paper editor, writing consultant, and professor to guide APU students through the writing process and develop their writers’ voices.

Specialties & Interests: creative writing, fiction, research, literature, business writing, music


Mandy H., M.A.

From the moment she began writing stories at seven years old, Mandy has held a passion for all writing genres. Pursuing that passion, she earned a Bachelor of Science in English Education from the University of Georgia and a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University. Mandy writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and screenplays in her spare time, believing that writing allows us to explore ideas and experiences without limitations. Mandy also enjoys singing, reading, traveling, attending plays, and enjoying God’s creations on a mountain or at the beach.

Specialties & Interests: Narrative Essays, Application Essays, Cover Letters, Nursing, Biology, Fiction Writing, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Literature, Technical Writing, Business Writing, Grant and Proposal Writing


Dan R., M.A.R.

Dan received his B.A. and M.A.R. in Religion. These helped him develop a deep respect for the power of communication through the written word. His academic writings have included studies of the Magical Realism literary genre, films using multiple media, and post-existentialism. He loves to assist students in finding better ways to express their thoughts in a clear and effective style. His key strengths include attention to word choice, structure, and readability. He is comfortable helping students learn the APA Publication Manual’s formatting requirement.

Specialties & Interests: Theology, Christian history, philosophy, neuropsychology, fantasy and science fiction, music, and poetry 

Aja V., Ed.D.

Emily G., M.P.S.

Emily G. holds a master's degree in Journalism from Georgetown University and a bachelor's degree in Modern Literature from UC Santa Cruz. Emily is keenly interested in how writing can contribute to difference making.

Specialties & Interests: argumentation, composition, expressivism, journalism and narrative nonfiction, diasporic literatures, civics, social entrepreneurship, startups, collaborative storytelling, the politics of change, social-emotional learning, contemporary dance, vegan nachos


Ella P., M.A.

Discovering her love for English and desire to teach during her high school years, Ella Preston graduated from Huntingdon College with her B.A. in English and vocal minor in 2011. She completed her M.A. in Secondary English Education at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, where she was a writing consultant. After her teaching internship, she taught four years at Marbury High School. After teaching various classes including English 9 & 10, Pre-AP 10, AP 12, Creative Writing, and more, she feels blessed to return to a college setting. Her husband’s Navy career brought them to San Diego, where she enjoys supporting and encouraging students in their writing process! Ella leads worship at Legacy, playing keyboard and singing. She loves spending time with her husband, Cody, and their fur-baby beagle, Frodo.

Specialties & Interests:


Jesús S., Ph.d.

Jesús Salazar holds a B.A. (Psychology) from Pitzer College, M.A. from UC Santa Cruz (Social and Development Psychology), and Ph.D. from USC (Educational Research). He taught five years at the USC School of Education, where he read hundreds of term papers. He worked 25 years at the L.A. Unified School District as a report writer, statistician, and database manager. He retired but chose to work at APU’s Writing Center due to his writing background. His two passions are spending time with his family and reading about history, economics, languages, and eschatology.

Specialties & Interests: Journalism, screenwriting, journal articles (currently about life from a Christian perspective), and book writing

Tori D., Ph.D.
* Conducting Research until Spring 2020

Graduate Student Coaches


Laura F., B.A.

Laura graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in political science and is now a graduate student in APU’s English program. However, both as a student at Pasadena City College and after her transfer, she worked as a tutor in the English Division’s Writing Center. She looks forward to working with and helping APU students with any part of the writing process they need help with.

Donny M., B.A.

Meet APU Graduate Writing Coach Donny M. Donny earned his B.A. in English literature with a minor in philosophy from Azusa Pacific University. He is currently enrolled in Azusa Pacific's M.A. of English program. Upon completion of the M.A., he plans to enroll in a Ph.D. program to study Early Modern drama.

Anna W.

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Ashli L., B.A.

Ashli is a graduate student in the M.A. in English program. She has a passion for working in the overlapping spaces of language, culture, and writing. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition and continue working with students in a writing center. Her hobbies include discussing literature, television, and film, listening to music, and weight lifting.

Eva S., B.A.

Eva is completing her Masters in Business Management and is in her second year at APU. Her focus is marketing, and she was international teacher for seven years before joining Azusa Pacific University. She is interested in environmental sustainability.

Eva believes life is an endless journey of learning.


Undergraduate Student Coaches


Alisa: Writing Coach

Alisa Prewett is in her senior year as an undergraduate student at APU. She is currently a biochemistry major with an Honors humanities minor and a biblical studies minor. She enjoys doing research and is considering the idea of graduate school, but before realizing her love for science, she had planned on going to college to become a book editor. She also loves reading, listening to music, and spending time with people!


CorA: Writing Coach

Cora is an English major with a minor in Journalism who is aspiring to be an editor for a book publishing company. She loves the neat satisfaction of a final polish that brings rough draft writing to life. Last year, she discovered a newfound love for the expressiveness of poetry and has been using it as a creative outlet since. She loves to read, preferably while eating farmer’s market produce or strolling through an art museum.

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Hannah: Writing Coach

Hannah is currently double majoring in nursing and honors humanities. She wants to go into ICU, PICU, or NICU nursing but will see where the world takes her! She tends to debate everything possible in the world, so she is always thinking and pushing herself to understand things. She is a fraternal twin, loves to hammock and hike, and used to be a year-round swimmer. She has returned to APU after a wonderful and life-changing study abroad adventure in South Africa. She loves writing in any aspect, whether it be scientific, fictional, academic, or just plain ideas.


Jaye: Speaking and Writing Coach

Jaye is a double major working towards a BFA in Screenwriting with an Honors Humanities degree (aka an aspiring LA barista who knows a lot about philosophy.) Her true passion lies in creativity and the arts, and she loves the transcending power of language and writing in any form. Jaye is endlessly inspired by seeing creativity bloom in those around her and can always find stories, montages, and “cut to’s” in each beautiful moment of everyday life.

Kassandra: Writing Coach

Kassandra (KC) is a sophomore undergraduate Psychology and Honors Humanities major. In the future, she hopes to become a therapist. Don’t worry, she won’t try to psychoanalyze you! She enjoys a good cup of tea, photography, and poetry.


Marina: Writing Coach

Marina is a senior pursuing a double major in Screen Studies and Honors Humanities. After graduation, she plans to work as a film critic while pursuing her Master's Degree in Publishing. She has been published in Pasadena Magazine and LA Weekly and enjoys writing about movie adaptations of books. When she's not writing or reading she loves drinking tea, watching the rain, and petting dogs.

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Sam: Writing Coach

Sam is a senior studying English writing. She loves Broadway theater, big cities, Old Navy t-shirts, and noodles. Her favorite form of social media is Yelp. Over the summer, Sam edited and wrote copy for a children's educational company called Little Passports.

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Sophia: Writing Coach

Sophia is double majoring in Theology and Honors Humanities with a minor in Worship Leadership. After college, she hopes to go into full time ministry as a worship pastor, worship leader, or young adults pastor. She was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Los Angeles where she learned to appreciate all kinds of people and their cultures. She loves adventuring, especially if it involves the beach or coffee shops—or coffee shops at the beach! She found a deep love of writing in the sixth grade while working on an original short story and has never stopped writing since. She aided various people, primarily athletes, on their theology papers in her freshman year and felt inspired to help others in the same way now at the Writing Center.


Britta: Writing Coach

Britta is a Senior Biology and Honors Humanities double major. She is originally from Seattle and was able to study abroad in Ecuador last semester! It is not surprising that she loves traveling and the Seahawks. Britta enjoys writing because it is one of the most effective ways to communicate ideas and arguments, but she particularly likes the brainstorming and revision steps in the writing process the most.


Giordan: Writing coach

Giordan is a Psychology major at APU, and enjoys writing, especially research papers. As a former Psychology department TA, he is well versed in developing APA style papers. In his spare time he enjoys practicing guitar, trying new foods and playing soccer. Also may or may not have a coffee addiction.


Janae: Writing Coach

Janae is a junior pursuing an International Relations and Spanish double major, with a minor in Honors Humanities. Eventually, her goal is to work in the Foreign Service. In her free time, she enjoys being outside and learning new languages.

Jensen: Writing Coach

Jensen is a Literature student from Santa Cruz, CA who has trouble distinguishing between fun reading and school reading. He is an extrovert who has learned the value of solitude, and will happily think for hours, and then play outrageous games with friends for hours. He enjoys cooking with his roommates, drinking tea all day, and being outdoors.

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Kelley: Writing Coach

Kelley Scoleri is an English Literature and Writing major with a Biblical Studies minor. As a former Alpha Leader and current D-Group leader, she is passionate about connecting with and serving the APU community. In addition to writing about literature, she also finds joy in creative writing, and her first piece, “Blackberry Picking in Cold July” was published in 2018. Outside of the Writing Center, you can find her watching indie movies, exploring LA with her friends, or spending time with her dogs.


Ryan: Speaking and Writing Coach

Ryan is currently double majoring in Public Relations and Honors Humanities. Ryan likes to keep himself busy on campus with the Cross Country and Track and Field teams here at Azusa Pacific, as well as being apart of Free the Captives, an on-campus club fighting human trafficking. When not consumed with these things, Ryan loves reading, meeting new people, exploring any place in nature, music of all kinds, and spending a lot of time with Jesus.


Sarah: Writing Coach

Sarah Wilson is a BFA Acting for the Stage and Screen program as well as pursuing a minor in Screenwriting. Sarah has always enjoyed writing, whether fiction or non fiction, since she was a small child. Creating stories and characters is her specialty, but she will also love to assist you in anything you need non fiction wise.


Victoria: Speaking Coach

Victoria is currently double majoring in honors humanities and liberal studies with a math concentration. She is going to be an elementary school teacher next year with Teach for America in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area. She has a passion for English Language Learners and educational equity over educational equality. Right now she is taking graduate classes to get her TEFL certification to improve her teaching method for ELLs. Other interesting facts are that Victoria loves traveling, poetry, manga, people, and loving others. She hopes to encourage and uplift every person who comes to the Speaking Center.