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Warren Writing Program Staff

  • Dr. Jeff Gagnon

    Dr. Jeff Gagnon

    Program Director
    EBU3B 1122, 858-534-1700

    Dr. Jeff Gagnon holds a doctorate in literature from UC San Diego and a Master of Education from Harvard University. Most recently he was the assistant director of the Dimensions of Culture First-Year Writing Program at UCSD, where he taught interdisciplinary writing and research courses on topics such as justice, popular culture, and the histories of social movements in U.S. culture. In his teaching career he has taught nearly every grade from 7th to the college-level, and feels most at home in college classes focused on reading, writing and critical thinking. His research interests include first-year writing pedagogy, ethics in STEM education, public writing, civic-minded education and sports and social justice movements. Originally from Massachusetts, he is an avid follower of Boston sports teams, especially the Red Sox.

  • Dr. Haleema Welji

    Dr. Haleema Welji

    Associate Director
    EBU3B 1110

    Dr. Haleema Welji earned her doctorate in anthropology from UC San Diego, and holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative human development from the University of Chicago and a Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to returning to UCSD, she taught cultural and linguistic anthropology courses in the Duke Thompson Writing Program. She received the 2020 Award for Excellence in Teaching Writing from Trinity College of Arts & Science at Duke University. Her current research focuses on social justice activism amongst young Muslim-Americans, for which she was invited into the Social Science Research Council’s Religion and the Public Sphere Summer Institute. Dr. Welji also conducts research on writing pedagogy related to themes of social justice including teaching about Islamophobia.

  • Ishika Rathi

    Ishika Rathi

    Program Coordinator
    EBU3B 1108, 858-534-3068

    Ishika Rathi recently graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Cognitive Science - Neuroscience and a B.A. in Literature/Writing. Her firsthand experience as a Warren Writing undergraduate student instilled in her a deep appreciation for the program's impact on students. Outside of this role, she is a cross-genre writer and a researcher in Cognitive Neuroscience & Neurolinguistics labs. Her research currently focuses on neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Tourette's Syndrome, as well as the brain's mechanisms for creating and navigating language.

Warren Writing 100 Faculty

  • Keith McCleary

    Keith McCleary

    EBU3B 1112, 858-534-4351

    Keith McCleary holds an M.F.A. in Writing from UC San Diego, and a B.F.A. in Film & Television from New York University. He has taught at UCSD since 2011 in Warren College, Sixth College, and the International Triton Transition Program. Keith's research deals with pedagogy, writing, and multimedia, and he is an author and/or contributing editor for a variety of comic books, graphic novels, journals, and anthologies. 

  • Niall Twohig

    Niall Twohig

    EBU3B 1107, 858-534-4352

    Niall Twohig has an M.A. in English from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Literature from UC San Diego. He is a yoga instructor and published poet whose first book of poetry, Cosmic Dustbowl, is published through Charybdis Press. He writes and teaches to bring a lineage of systemic critique and ethical praxis to his students.

  • Mark Young

    Mark Young

    EBU3B 1112, 858-534-4351

    Mark Young earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Riverside, with emphases in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and media. As a writer and researcher, his interests include the roles of music, nostalgia, and the fantastic in the processes of artistic creation and public remembering. As a teacher, he has worked at all levels of California’s higher education system and shares a particular interest in how mentorship drives academic innovation and the success of first-generation college students.

Warren Writing 10A & 10B Faculty

  • Anthony Lince

    Anthony Lince

    EBU3B 1107

    Anthony Lince’s current work as an educator and scholar focuses on equitable assessment practices in higher education. In his writing courses, Anthony utilizes labor-based grading, a method of assessment that aims to create a positive, less-anxious, equitable, and antiracist learning environment. His writing has been published in journals such as California English and WPA Writing Program Administration. He also has a forthcoming chapter to be released in Effective Alternative Assessment Practices in Higher Education.

  • Julie Moon

    Julie Moon

    EBU3B 1114

    Julie Moon holds a Master of Fine Arts in nonfiction writing and literary translation from Columbia University, where she was a teaching fellow in the Department of English. Originally from Seoul, she is an award-winning writer and translator. Her research interests include modern Korean history and decolonial feminism, and she teaches for student empowerment and social change. She loves swimming and reading poetry.

  • Tricia Ornelas

    Tricia Ornelas

    EBU3B 1114

    Tricia Ornelas earned a master's degree in English literature from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from San Diego State University. With her thesis and master’s emphasis on African American women’s literature, other areas of literature interest are the genre of magical realism, Hispanic literature, The Zora Canon, and anything ever written by Toni Morrison or Haruki Murakami. She is a San Diego native and with over fifteen years' experience, she has taught on several campuses throughout the city. She reaches for progressive andragogy to engage student experience and question antiquated hierarchical foundations of higher education. She enjoys live music, writing poetry, and building community. 


  • Sarah Savage

    Sarah Savage

    EBU3B 1120

    Sarah Savage earned a master’s degree in linguistics and an Advanced TESL/TEFL certificate from San Diego State University, where she was awarded the Master's Research Scholarship for her work on language and embodiment in reported speech. Sarah’s past work focused on language use and the interaction of various semiotic recourses employed by interlocutors. She has taught at almost all levels from first grade up through college and adult learners. At Earl Warren College, she aims to create a dynamic learning environment where her students feel empowered to critically analyze texts and ideologies to fuel their own writing.

  • Natalie Susi

    Natalie Susi

    EBU3B 1109

    Natalie Susi received a bachelor’s degree in English education from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in English literature from San Diego State University. She has been teaching at UC San Diego for 6 years. She also has more than 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur. She founded and grew a beverage company called Bare Organic Mixers, and sold the company in 2014. Currently, outside of teaching at Warren Writing, Natalie provides conscious communication coaching to executives, entrepreneurs, and global business leaders.

  • Walter Merryman

    Walter Merryman

    EBU3B 1120

    Walter Merryman earned his Ph.D in Comparative Literature from University of California, Riverside, focusing on comparative readings of concepts of community and human rights in twenty-first century Anglophone Literature and Continental Philosophy. He is originally from Ohio and earned a BA and MA in English from Bowling Green State University. His past teaching experience includes teaching First-Year Writing and Writing Across the Curriculum at UC Riverside, World Literature at Moreno Valley College, and Technical Communication at University of Michigan. Having taught writing and communication in a variety of disciplinary settings, Walter teaches with an emphasis on writing as a transferable and adaptable skill useful in academic research, professional settings, and communication in general. Walter plays the drums, and from that he has learned that learning should be unafraid of failure and fun.

  • Emma Uriarte

    Emma Uriarte

    EBU3B 1109

    Emma Uriarte holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Oregon State University, where she taught undergraduate composition and fiction writing. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of San Diego before spending three years teaching ESL in Madrid, Spain. Her current teaching interests range from alternative narrative craft to analyzing the rhetoric of discourse communities. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in Flash Fiction MagazineSLAB, and X-R-A-Y. When she isn’t teaching or working on creative projects, she enjoys walking around her neighborhood, befriending local cats, and doing yoga.

  • Simrita Dhir

    Simrita Dhir

    EBU3B 1109

    Simrita Dhir holds a doctorate in Comparative Literature from Panjab University, India. Her research interests include American Fiction, South Asian Studies, Colonial Novel, Diaspora Studies, Post-Colonial Novel, and Subaltern Narratives. She is the author of acclaimed novels The Rainbow Acres (2018) and The Song of Distant Bulbuls (2023). She has extensive experience teaching Literature, Writing and Critical Thinking in the United States and abroad. Through all her courses, she seeks to create an equitable, inclusive and antiracist classroom environment so that all students have the resources and support to reach their full learning potential. She enjoys gardening, swimming, poetry and coffee.