Full-Time Students-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University

Anna Albi

Anna Albi

B.A. in Creative Writing, Carnegie Mellon University

Email: aalbi@andrew.cmu.edu

Graduated with a B.A. in Creative Writing, with an additional major in Professional Writing from CMU in 2013. She is pursuing a track in Policy & Non-Profit Communication through the MAPW program and one day hopes to serve as a professional writer and a communication expert for a charity or non-profit.

Anna loved her time as a CMU undergraduate so much that she couldn't wait to stay for her Masters. She is excited to participate in the the Tartan community for one more year and will be competing on the women's varsity soccer team in fall 2013. She encourages everyone to attend their games.


Shaunna Ballard

B.A. in English, Washington & Jefferson College

Email: sballard@andrew.cmu.edu


Manny Blacksher

Manny Blacksher

B.A. in English, M.A. in English Literature, McGill University

Email: mblacksh@andrew.cmu.edu

Manny Blacksher is a writer, teacher, and editor. He grew up in Alabama but got his English B.A. and a Masters in English literature from McGill University. Then he taught four years of comp-rhet in Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama. Later he completed a Masters in 'History of Ideas' at Trinity College Dublin. While in Dublin, he did more graduate research on 17th-Century Hiberno-English prose criticism, worked reception, took dictation, stapled ethernet cables in Georgian office buildings, and got involved in writing poetry. He's published nearly sixty pieces in Irish, English, and North-American journals, among them Poetry Ireland Review, The Guardian's Online Poetry Workshop, Measure, and Digital Americana.


Chenxue Bo

Chenxue Bo

B.A. in English, Beihang University

Email: cdbo@andrew.cmu.edu

It seems to be impossible to not put one’s heart at work if he wants to be called an awesome MAPW student at Carnegie Mellon University.  While I give my heart to accomplish the coursework, my heart leads me to pursue a career of technical writing. When I do technical writing, the first word appearing in my mind is always “audience.” As a writer, I write for the audience, understand them, and satisfy them. However, audience is not the only one being satisfied: I am being satisfied too. Working on something I am good at and learning the new things I will be good at not only satisfy me but they thrill me. I guess that is one of many prerogatives of technical writers I refuse to waive.


Amanda Cardo

Amanda Cardo

B.A. in English Writing and Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh

Email: acardo@andrew.cmu.edu

Amanda Cardo is a Pennsylvania native who has been in Pittsburgh for six years. She attended Pitt as an undergrad, majoring in Fiction Writing and Philosophy, then worked at a publishing house for a year before applying to the MAPW program. During her first semester, she became interested in user experience design and information architecture. She will be interning with PointSource LLC, a mobile software developer in North Carolina, for the summer. Upon graduation, she plans on pursuing a career in user experience design for the mobile realm. She loves cycling, beer, and participates in any and every charity event that involves both.


Alexander Ciliberto

Alexander Ciliberto

B.A. in English Writing and Classics, University of Pittsburgh

Email: aciliber@andrew.cmu.edu

I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in English Writing and Classics, specializing in the Ancient Greek language respectively. I'm a native of the greater Philadelphia area, but have been in Pittsburgh for five years. While an undergraduate, I began to work at the Chipotle on Pitt's campus; a year after graduating, I'm still happily employed there as a Service Manager and Marketing Liaison. In my free time, I enjoy reading mostly fiction and writing screenplays, short stories, and poetry (if I'm in the right mood). Also, I'm a Philadelphia sports fan through and through, but, regardless of my hometown allegiances, I'm actually becoming a Pirates fan, which is not surprising given the team's success this year.

Emily Dydo

Emily Dydo

B.A. in English, Xavier University

Email: edydo@andrew.cmu.edu

Emily is a third-semester MAPW specializing in corporate and healthcare communications. She recently completed an internal communications and business writing internship with Bayer Business Services in Pittsburgh. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in corporate communications for a global company in the healthcare, IT, or consumer goods industries. As a tutor in the Global Communication Center at CMU, Emily also has an interest in plain language and teaching non-native English-speaking students the conventions of written English. Outside of the classroom you will find Emily kickboxing at the gym, practicing hot yoga, or venturing around the city to new restaurants.


Rachel Friedrick

Rachel Friedrick

B.A. in English and Women's and Gender Studies, Case Western Reserve University

Email: rfriedri@andrew.cmu.edu

Rachel is a third-semester MAPW student specializing in healthcare communications and medical writing.  She is interested in how writers can communicate medical information using language that is stylistically clear and engaging for health education materials, journalistic articles, and other technical documents.  After completing a communications internship for UPMC's Medical and Health Science Foundation during the summer, Rachel will spend the fall semester working as an academic medical writer with West Penn Allegheny Health System's Internal Medicine Residency program.  Post graduation, she looks forward to launching her career with an organization that is committed to patient-centered care, advocacy, education, and innovation.  In her spare time, Rachel enjoys reading armchair travel books, testing out new dessert recipes, and immersing herself in all things French.

Cristy Gelling

Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, B.S. in Genetics, University of New South Wales

Email: cgelling@cmu.edu

Cristy is a science communicator and a Ph.D. biologist. When she's not debating the properties of adverbial complements in rhetorical grammar class, she enjoys writing microfiction and curating the torrent of science blogs at ScienceSeeker.org.

John Geyer

John Geyer

M.S. & B.S. in Nuclear Engineering Science, University of Florida

Email: jwgeyer@andrew.cmu.edu

John earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in nuclear engineering science at the University of Florida. While at UF, he nurtured his love of writing as a tutor at the campus writing center, and most recently worked to develop and manage research grants for the UF College of Public Health & Health Professions. His primary focus at Carnegie Mellon is technical writing. Outside of the classroom, John can be found hiking, cooking, or reading and learning about technology.

John Godfrey

B. A. in English and Spanish, Emory & Henry College

Email: jwgodfre@andrew.cmu.edu

Writing, design, and helping people are my passions. Prior to CMU, I wrote full time for a start-up Internet marketing firm, volunteered in positions at a hospital, free health clinic, and food bank, and studied fiction and professional writing under Ron Rash and Kenneth Price respectively at Western Carolina University.

When not self-editing for concision or choosing the perfect font, I'm likely listening to metal, playing metal, or drinking tea. I'd like to specialize in software, web, and tech writing, but my conscience also tears toward anything nonprofit healthcare.


David Golebiewski

B.A. in Journalism and Multimedia Arts, Duquesne University

Email: dgolebie@andrew.cmu.edu

I am pursuing a career in public relations and corporate communications, combining my storytelling skills crafted as a sports and features writer with my experience as a media relations assistant at Carnegie Mellon. This past year, I freelanced for publications including The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pop City, The Pittsburgh Sports Report and PublicSource. A true "seamhead," I have covered the Pirates for the Pittsburgh Sports Report (beat writer in 2011) and the Tribune-Review (columnist/reporter in 2012). 

Aside from sports, my two great loves are classic rock (Beatles, Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd) and sci-fi (Stephen King and George R.R. Martin, especially). If the whole writing thing doesn’t work out, I plan on pursuing my childhood career plan: Become Batman.

Ashtyn Hemendinger

Ashtyn Hemendinger

B.A. Professional Writing, Carnegie Mellon University

Email: ahemendi@andrew.cmu.edu

I graduated in May 2012 from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.A. in Professional Writing with minors in Music Performance and Musical Theater. When choosing what to do after undergrad I decided to further my writing studies both in rhetoric and technical writing. I am currently interested in furthering my education by attending law school in Fall 2014. I recently completed an internship as a Law Clerk for criminal and civil litigator Robert Shapiro at Glaser Weil and Fink LLP.


Therese Joseph

Therese Joseph

B.A. in English Studies, La Roche College

Email: tjoseph@andrew.cmu.edu

Therese Joseph is a Pittsburgh native with a background in writing and design.  While with the MAPW program, she plans to explore possible career paths in public relations, information architecture, and technical writing. She's passionate about small details and clear, concise communication.  In her spare time, Therese enjoys experimenting with new recipes, hiking with friends, and playing with her dog.

Nicholas Langner

Nicholas Langner

Email: nlangner@andrew.cmu.edu

Having majored in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, I am interested in developing writing skills that will help me find a career in the entertainment industry. Ideally, I would like to work for either a triple-A video game company or a film production company (such as Lucasfilm). I am also interested in environmental issues, particularly the conservation of threatened species, and am considering drawing upon my second BA, Political Science, to explore career paths related to that field. In my spare time I enjoy reading fiction, writing fiction, playing video games, watching soccer (and traveling to matches with fellow hooligans), hiking, and playing various musical instruments.


Jeanette Lee

B.A. in English, Wellesley College

Email: jeanett2@andrew.cmu.edu

Additional Information:

MLitt in Investigative Journalism


Matthew Liner

B.A. in English, University of West Georgia

Email: mliner@andrew.cmu.edu

My current interests include writing for new/social media, magazine writing, and editing/publishing. I spend all my free time:
1) trying to decide which of the aforementioned topics should be my main focus
2) trying to get through The Brothers Karamazov, which I started just before my time at CMU and instead spending all of this allotted time on Tumblr and reading "Best Essays" collections
3) Going to assorted cultural events around the city
4) Thinking about television
All in all, I guess you could say my current interests outside of the program fall into the category of trying to avoid homework.

Lindsay Briar Madison

Lindsay Briar Madison

B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies, UC Berkeley

Email: lmadison@andrew.cmu.edu

Lindsay is interested in plain language and usability. She works part-time as a journalist in CMU's Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, and in the summer of 2013 she will be trying her hand at technical writing in an internship with Schilling Robotics FMC Technologies. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in corporate communication. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys kickboxing, cooking, and pompously scoffing at typos in public documents. 


Stacy McAuliffe

B.A. in English Writing and Art History, University of Pittsburgh

Email: smcaulif@andrew.cmu.edu


Joe Monte

Joe Monte

B.A. in English Rhetoric and Global Culture, Binghamton University

Email: jmonte@andrew.cmu.edu

Joseph Monte is a graduate of Binghamton University. Having majored in English, Rhetoric, and Global Culture and managed public relations and station operations at Binghamton's college radio, WHRW 90.5FM, he decided to pursue a graduate program for professional writing, which he considers the perfect path for the English major of the 21st century. 

He can now be heard on the air at CMU's radio, WRCT 88.3FM. He also works as a graduate teaching assistant for Dr. David Kaufer's Rhetorical Grammar Course. Joe's plans for after graduation are varied. His general fields of interest are PR and internal communications, but he would hope to specifically have a career in PR and management/organization consultation for restaurants, ideally in NYC. However, he is also keeping his eye out for any radio or media-related opportunities.



Eric Morris

B.A. in English, Frostburg State University

Email: eamorris@andrew.cmu.edu

In addition to being an MAPW, Eric is also enrolled in the investigative journalism program. He'll graduate in spring 2014 with both a Master of Arts in Professional Writing degree and a Master of Letters in Investigative Journalism degree. After graduation Eris hopes to get a job at a newspaper or magazine, with a long-term goal of working for a major metropolitan newspaper or prominent magazine.


Laura Pacilio

Laura Pacilio

B.S. in Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University

Email: lpacilio@andrew.cmu.edu

I have a B.S. in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and currently manage a research lab in CMU's Psychology Department. I am especially interested in nonprofit communication, business communication, and science writing. My hobbies include practicing yoga, reading, and eating sushi.

Robin Reidl

Robin Reidl

B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University

Email: rreidl@andrew.cmu.edu

Robin's MAPW focus areas are technical writing and global communications. Her pre-CMU life was a dust-filled journey from vacuuming polar bears at an Arctic museum to hunting down missing Horn III sheet music at a symphony orchestra. When she's not in the MAPW computer cluster, Robin can usually be found at the pool, exploring Pittsburgh, or doing a crossword puzzle in Schenley Park.

Bekah Richards

Bekah Richards

B.A. in English, Creative Writing, and International and Global Studies, Brandeis University

Email: rlrichar@andrew.cmu.edu

I am interested in healthcare communication and, more broadly, environmental health. My nonacademic interests include reading, cake decorating, digital art and travel.

David Rios

B.A. in English, University of California, Riverside

Email: drios@andrew.cmu.edu

After graduating with a degree in English from UC Riverside, David worked in varied industries as a copy editor, translator, and project manager. He plans to pursue writing and editing opportunities in the fields of technical communication and public policy. His interests include technology, design, politics, and travel.

Ben Shedlock

Ben Shedlock

B.A. in Political Science, Drew University

Email: bshedloc@andrew.cmu.edu

Ben is an MAPW interested in non-profit communications. Blending interests in writing and global affairs, he studies how organizations approach problems through writing and across culture. Ben tutors at CMU's Global Communications Center and participates in FORGE, CMU's student refugee assistance organization. Ben has interned in the advocacy department of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and worked as a refugee resettlement caseworker for Catholic Charities.


Jaclyn Sipe

Jaclyn Sipe

B.A. in English, Washington & Jefferson College

Email: jsipe@andrew.cmu.edu

Jaclyn graduated from Washington & Jefferson College in 2013 with a major in English, concentration in professional writing, and a minor in psychology. Her experiences tutoring English students and writing/editing for W & J Magazine fueled an interest for language and its professional use. As an MAPW student, she is interested in editing and publishing, yet also looks forward to exploring different areas of writing. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, shopping, kettlebell workouts, and identifying grammatical mistakes.

Kathryn Sterling-Kaasa

B.A. in Creative Writing, University of Arizona

Email: ksterlin@andrew.cmu.edu


Meryl Sustarsic

B.A. in Nonfiction Writing, University of Pittsburgh

Email: meryls@andrew.cmu.edu

Meryl Sustarsic is an MAPW MS student focusing on gaining experience in layout design and information architecture to broaden her content production skills. She is interested in all types of writing, from journalism to marketing to technical, in new media formats especially. Her current extra-curricular pursuits include the great outdoors and photography.