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University Writing Center: Meet the Staff

About the University Writing Center

The UWC opened in 2008, staffed by a single adjunct faculty member serving only one school. Today, the UWC serves the entire A.T. Still University community and is staffed with a full-time director, a full-time assistant director, and a team of expert writing coaches. In addition to reviewing thousands of student submissions--from discussion posts to final dissertations--the UWC also offers targeted services for ESL writers, provides information on basic writing skills, and provides guidance on APA and AMA formats. For students in need of targeted instruction in using resources correctly or for those referred for misuse of sources, we offer a one-on-one tutorial on the proper use of sources in academic writing. Participation in the tutorial is offered only through referral. 


Writing Coaches

The UWC is staffed with professional editors, writers, and educators who have experience in health care writing and editing, or TOEFL/ESL.


ESL Writing Coaches      

Jennifer Beal (Arizona) earned her BS in psychology from Arizona State University and her MEd - educational leadership with a concentration in higher education from Northern Arizona University. Jennifer is currently earning her PhD at University of the Cumberlands. She has worked in higher education for 18 years at various institutions in a variety of student support, program management, and leadership roles. Jennifer has a background in teaching at the community college level, working with the underserved and early college learners, while specializing in international and distance learning health care education. In addition to working for the ESL team, she serves as both adjunct faculty and the Assistant Director for the Postprofessional DPT program.

Katharine Boggess (New Mexico) is an educational consultant, editor, and technical writer with over 25 years' experience in the fields of medicine, archeology, and the energy sector. She holds a BA from Emory University and MA in special education with teaching licensure and TESOL endorsement from the University of New Mexico. Previous positions include QA manager in health information management, content editor for Stedman's Medical Word Books, and copy editor for Cambridge University Press.

Bernadette Discon (New Jersey) completed her MBA at the University of Phoenix and has 20+ years health care experience as an administrator of various departments in New York City hospitals.  Additionally, she has 10 years experience managing medical transcriptionists and editors, both in America and overseas.

Melissa Lux (District of Columbia) is a copyeditor and writing coach focusing on health and public policy. She has a BA in English and history, an MA and all coursework for a PhD in English, and a master’s degree in social work. In previous professional lives, she taught college English in Milwaukee and was a community mental health worker in St. Louis.

General Writing Coaches

Dr. Mary Barile (Missouri) is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of editing experience in medicine and health care at  university and research levels. She has a PhD in theatre from the University of Missouri and is a working playwright. 

Dr. Elizabeth Belasco (Texas) is a certified professional ghostwriter, has spent the last decade as a freelance dissertation coach, consulting statistician for the College of Health Professions at Texas State University, and general academic editor working with tenure-track professors. Prior to establishing her independent firm, she taught macro and microeconomics and introductory statistics at a private university.

Jaclyn Chupeck (New York) earned a master's degree in higher education from Purdue University and a master's in English from Oswego State University. She has been a writing and English instructor for more than a decade. 

Meghan Cunningham (Florida) is a freelance word wrangler focused mostly on law, academics, and medicine, she has taught English for Minnesota State University, the DoD Equal Opportunity Management Institute, and Valencia College. She is the author of eight textbooks in developmental English and has helped develop learning management platforms for McGraw-Hill and Cengage.

Jen Esmay (Oregon) has been a freelance writer and editor for a number of publishers, such as McGraw Hill, Pearson Books, and others. Over the years, she has acquired a BA degree from Florida Intl University, a certificate in editing from UC Berkeley, and a JD from Lewis & Clark Law School. Jen has taught writing courses at Clover Park Community College and also worked as an analyst/editor and proofreader at the University of California San Francisco within the Department of Neurology. 

Dr. Deborah Heairlston (Georgia) is a licensed chiropractor in the state of Georgia who taught at the world's largest chiropractic university for 16-1/2 years. She has taught courses in chiropractic technique, biomechanics, and anatomy and physiology.

Elane Johnson (Indiana) is a deaf activist and creator of “The Witty Biddy Vlog” on She has published nonfiction and fiction in Creative NonfictionBrevityThe Writer, HippocampusSuperstition Review, Haunted Waters Press: Penny Fiction,, The East County Gazette, and Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly. Her award-winning “Aftermath” is featured in college creative writing curricula across the United States. She holds an MFA (with distinction) in Creative Nonfiction. 

Dr. Dan Mikesa (South Carolina) earned a master’s degree and a doctorate from ATSU and changed his course from owning a fitness studio to being a professor and writing coach. His latest project has been the development of a continuing education program and the accompanying textbook that addresses exercise and chronic disease.

Dr. Sabine Seiler (New York) earned her PhD in English at the State University of New York. She is a freelance translator and editor with more than 20 years experience in helping authors in the fields of philosophy, social science, and holistic health express complex facts and ideas in clear and engaging writing.

Dr. Elise Wormuth (Minnesota) is Professor Emerita of English at San Francisco State University, where she taught aspiring teachers of English/writing for 28 years and was Director of the Composition Program for 8 years.  Before her academic career, she took a BA and worked as a scientific editor at University of California San Francisco and for scholars in Japan.

Katie Wyatt (Arkansas) is an editor and curriculum developer specializing in data science, geosciences, and geospatial information systems. Prior to her current roles, she worked for several years as the managing editor for a statewide arts and culture magazine and as a geosciences instructor at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

UWC Leadership


Tracey Lantz took over as Director of the University Writing Center on July 1, 2019, after serving as the Assistant Director for almost 7 years. She has worked with many students, reviewing over 9,000 papers and helping finalize over 80 dissertations. In her previous ATSU life, she worked in the President’s Office for 14 years as Assistant to the President, Secretary to the Board, and the University’s Accreditation Liaison Officer, and was involved in many of ATSU’s major milestones. Tracey also served on several accreditation site visit, focused visit, and self-study steering committees. In addition, she was the liaison for the presidential search in 2012. Tracey has a BA in organizational management from Alderson-Broaddus College and an MBA from William Woods University.

Assistant Director

Dr. Heather A. Brown holds a bachelor of arts degree from Lake Forest College (1996), a master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School (2001), and a doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University (2012). Her academic writing and editing career spans more than a decade. In addition to working at the UWC, she currently serves as a co-editor of Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. She was previously a co-editor of the Journal of Research and Practice for Adult Literacy, Secondary, and Basic Education and the editorial assistant for Adult Education Quarterly. A critical obesity researcher, her work has appeared in Sex RolesResources for Gender and Women’s Studies: A Feminist Review, and Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society as well as in the multiple award-winning The Fat Pedagogy Reader: Challenging Weight-Based Oppression in Education and in Thickening Fat: Fat Bodies, Intersectionality, and Social Justice. Her first book, called Weight Bias in Health Education: Critical Perspectives for Pedagogy and Practice, was published by Routledge in 2021.