Writing Center Faculty

Writing Center Director

Michelle Hager

Michelle Hager

Michelle Hager is the Writing Center Director and a lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in English from San Jose State University, and she has been teaching college-level writing for ten years. Prior to becoming the Writing Center Director, she served for four years as the Writing Center Associate Director. In this position, she developed the web presence of the Center and supervised the program for lower-division Assistant Writing Specialists. She became Writing Center Director in July 2013. She was honored as the Lecturer of the Year in the English Department for the 2011-2012 academic year.

She teaches English 1A and 1B (Composition), English 7 (Critical Thinking), English 22 (Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature), English 103 (Modern English Grammar), English 106 (Editing for Writers), English 112A (Children's Literature), and English 112B (Young Adult Literature). She sits on the English Department Composition Committee and the university Writing Requirements Committee. 

Though most of her teaching experience has been at SJSU, she also taught courses at Santa Clara University in 2006. She belongs to the National Council for Teachers of English, and she enjoys the daily adventures of teaching and working at the Writing Center.

Spring 2015 Office Hours: 

Monday, 10:30-4:00
Tuesday, 9:00-5:00
Wednesday, 10:30-4:00

Please note that hours are subject to change due to university meetings.  


Cindy Baer

Cindy Baer, Ph.D

Cindy Baer is an SJSU alumna, earning here both a B.A. and an M.A. in English. She continued her studies in English Renaissance Literature at the University of Washington, where she completed a Ph.D.

In 1981, as a teaching associate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, she taught her first freshman composition course. Over the last three decades, she has gone on to teach a wide range of courses in the department: from surveys in Classical and English literature to courses in Shakespeare and the British novel; from freshman composition courses to seminars in advanced composition; from grammar to editing.

At the core of Professor Baer's studies, even her literary studies, has been a keen interest in rhetoric. Humanist poets like Sir Philip Sidney or Edmund Spenser or John Milton were steeped in the values and forms of rhetoric passed down to them through the Greek and Roman orators—values and forms that continue to inform our ideals about public education as first argued by Thomas Jefferson. Their notion of the citizen-orator is at the core of her own education and informs the course work she designs for her students and for the programs she helps to administer.

It is not enough to have a thought and a passion for that thought; one must also embody it in and for the world. And that is why grammar, rhetoric and logic—the trivium of a classical university education—inform her teaching and curricular design.

"All I know of grammar is its infinite power. . . . " --Joan Didion

To read about Cindy's current Writing Center project, please refer to our Faculty Projects page. 

Spring 2015 Office Hours:

Monday, 1:00-4:30
Thursday, 1:00-4:30


Gloria Collins


Gloria Collins

Gloria Collins earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English at San Jose State University. With Dr. Virginia de Araujo as her mentor, she taught English 1A-F and 1B-F, composition for foreign speakers, when she was a Teaching Assistant in 1979. In 1980, she continued with this assignment until the special "F" sections were discontinued in 1999. She continues to teach composition courses in the English Department and also coordinates the Writing Skills Test.

She is an experienced holistic reader for tests like the TOEFL, EPT, WST, and other abbreviated exams too numerous to fog your mind with. Gloria is a member of the English Department's Composition Committee, Policy Committee, and the university Writing Requirements Committee.

In her year as Faculty-in-Residence at the Writing Center (2008-2009), she compiled a report about how the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) is enforced throughout the California State University system. In her second semester, she proposed a new writing course for students having trouble passing the Writing Skills Test.

She is secretary of the California Faculty Association executive board at SJSU and a union activist.

She is a published poet and hopes to complete her second novel manuscript before she gets much older.

To read about Gloria's current Writing Center project, please refer to our Faculty Projects page. 

Spring 2015 Office Hours: 

Monday, 9:00-11:30
Tuesday, 9:00-11:30
Wednesday, 9:00-11:30


Debra Caires


Debra Caires

Debra Caires is an SJSU alumna, earning her B.A. in both Creative Arts (English Literature emphasis) and Biology (Neurophysiology), and an M.S. in Neurological Mechanisms. 

Since 1998, she has taught courses in several disciplines throughout SJSU. She started teaching in biology, later moved to engineering, and eventually found her niche in computer science, where she remains today. Her roles, within her department and the College of Science, include coordinating student community-centered projects as an instructor and managing interns as the Internship Director for the College of Science.

Her focus is student empowerment and success through communication. See the list below for a few examples of student/instructor collaborative projects.

That’s What We Do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdoQ6UG2c7M

Computer Science Interns and Industry Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qXhPRPLX4c

Technical Communication: http://www.sjsu.edu/cs100w

Science Education Resource Center: http://serc.sjsu.edu

STEM Center (SJSU): http://www.sjsu.edu/stem

To read about Debra's current Writing Center project, please refer to our Faculty Projects page. 

Spring 2015 Office Hours:

Tuesday, 1:30-4:30
Wednesday, 1:30-5:30


Former Writing Center Director

Dr. Linda C. Mitchell (2007-2013) 


Former Faculty-in-Residence

Martin Leach (2012-2013)
Jan Hagemann
Sabine Rech (2007-2008)
Andrew Fleck (fall 2008)
Jim Lobdell (spring 2007)
Nancie Fimbel (spring 2007)