Writing Center Staff


Tim Alexander 

Tim Alexander, Writing Specialist

  • MA student in Spanish with a concentration in Linguistics 
  • Goals: Earn a Ph.D, learn French, act in a play, visit Japan, and publish a short story.
  • Special interests: Traveling, learning languages, playing tennis, writing poetry, and listening to Neo soul 
Brooke Blankenship 

Brooke Blankenship, Writing Specialist 

  • BA student in English
  • Goals: Earn a Master’s Degree, become multilingual, and teach at the high school or college level
  • Special Interests: Forcing affection on animals, reading scary stories, clambering on rocks, and dancing the Argentine tango   




Jeff Heid

Jeff Heid, Writing Specialist

  • MFA student in Creative Writing
  • Assistant Director of the Center for Literary Arts
  • Goals: Finish his novel, publish some short fiction, and own a cabin in the woods 
  • Special Interests: Hiking, eating pizza after hiking, and drinking coffee while working on his novel
Sheldon Hentschke 

Sheldon Hentschke, Writing Specialist 

  • BA student in English
  • Goals: Travel as much as possible, get lost exploring a forest, publish a novel eventually, and learn some metalworking skills
  • Special Interests: Laughing at corny jokes, playing with all kinds of animals (especially lizards), riding and working on old motorcycles, and telling stories around campfires



Nicky Lai

Nicky Lai, Writing Specialist

  • BS student in Kinesiology
  • Goals: Study abroad, adopt a rescue dog, and become an occupational therapist
  • Special Interests: Cooking, traveling, collecting scarves, watching old cinema, and making homemade crafts
Sammy Lai 

Sammy Lai, Assistant Writing Specialist

  • BA student in Communicative Disorders and Sciences
  • Goals: Learn how to paint, design a clothing line, make someone laugh every day, and become a speech therapist
  • Special Interests: Cooking, growing sunflowers, making homemade cards, and collecting mini animal figurines


Roya Lillie

Roya Lillie, Writing Specialist

  • BA student in English
  • Goals: Climb Mt. Whitney, backpack through South America, qualify for the Boston Marathon, and become an elementary school teacher 
  • Special Interests: Eating, running, cycling, hiking, reading, and gardening
John Linford 

John Linford, Writing Specialist

  • MA student in Economics with a concentration in Applied Economics
  • President of the San José State University Economics Club
  • Student representative on the AANAPISI Writing Excellence Board
  • Goals: Complete an Iron Man Triathlon, continue to learn new things, and earn a Ph.D before going into investment banking
  • Special Interests: Running, endurance cycling, playing guitar, participating in martial arts, and watching/playing football and baseball (Go Oakland!)
Vanessa Mendoza Palencia 

Vanessa Mendoza Palencia, Writing Specialist

  • BA student in English with a concentration in Professional and Technical Writing
  • Goals: Travel to Europe; create a start-up magazine; write and publish novels, poetry, and lyrics
  • Special Interests: Hiking, baking, health and fitness, listening to music, writing lyrics, watching cheesy chick-flicks, and reading fantasy and mystery books
Giselle Tran 

Giselle Tran, Writing Specialist

  • BA student in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, minor in Career Writing
  • Goals: Continue with her band; play a sold-out show; build an artistic community in San Jose; and publish essays, articles, and poetry
  • Special Interests: Playing soccer, going to local events, learning new instruments, listening to and writing music, and writing nonfiction and poetry


Hannah Wiltbank

Hannah Wiltbank, Writing Specialist

  • BA student in English with a concentration in Professional and Technical Writing, minor in Computer Science
  • Student representative on the AANAPISI Writing Excellence Board
  • Goals: Learn Spanish, write a useful computer program, finish that ambitious grammar website, and find a full-time position as a technical writer
  • Special Interests: Reading, baking, writing short fiction, and playing computer games sub-optimally


Administrative Assistants

Cynthia Harper

Cynthia Harper, AANAPISI Grant Assistant

  • BA in English from San José State University
  • Goals: Obtain a Master’s degree and Ph.D in English, teach at the university level, publish a collection of short stories and personal essays, and finally attend Comic Con
  • Special Interests: Reading, blogging, gaming, watching silly sci-fi shows, and participating in writing communities
Pat Walls

Pat Walls, Writing Center Administrative Support Coordinator

  • BA in Theatre Arts and History from Concordia University, Irvine
  • Goals: Finish a long-overdue Master's thesis in the History of Food and Culture, publish said thesis, and become a Master Brewer and a Master Cicerone
  • Special Interests: Cooking, reading, sampling fermented and distilled beverages, and being outdoors