Who We Are
University Writing Team
Christopher Basgier, Ph.D.
Pronunciation: Kriss Bass-gear
Christopher Basgier received his Ph.D. in English from Indiana University in 2013. He has extensive experience working with faculty on teaching with writing, and he has consulted with departments about integrating writing throughout undergraduate and graduate curricula, particularly in support of high impact practices like ePortfolios. His research, which spans writing across the curriculum, genre, threshold concepts, and digital rhetoric, has appeared in venues like Across the Disciplines, The WAC Journal, Composition Forum, and Studies in Higher Education. He is also active in national organizations like the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum, the Conference on College Composition, and Communication, HIPs in the States, and the WAC Cleainghouse.
Layli Miron, Ph.D.
Pronunication: LAY-lee Mee-ROAN
Layli Miron began working for University Writing in January 2021. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in English with a specialization in rhetoric and composition from Penn State, where she taught writing for five years, and her B.A. in English from Mount Holyoke College. At both institutions, Layli worked for writing centers, roles which she loved. In her free time, she writes and copyedits for several publications—but she does occasionally do something unrelated to writing, such as exploring the Southeast with her husband.
Katharine H. Brown, M.A.
Pronunciation: kAEth-rihn brOWn
Katharine H. Brown joined the University Writing team as a graduate assistant in May 2020 and began her current position in July 2022. She completed her M.A. in English in 2011, and she is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English Education at Auburn University. Katharine has over a decade of experience supporting student success through teaching English courses and working in writing centers in a variety of capacities. Her research focuses on inclusive writing center pedagogies and practices. Katharine is an experienced yoga teacher and enjoys spending time with her many pets.
Jake Gebhardt, M.A.
Pronunciation: JAYk Gehb-HART
Jake Gebhardt began working for University Writing in August 2021. He received his M.A. in English from Sam Houston State University, his B.A. in English Education from LeTourneau University, and is currently working on his Ed.D. in Literacy, focusing on digital literacies. Jake has worked in writing centers and connected student support services for over ten years. In his spare time, he enjoys time with his partner and their two dogs while working on any number of creative writing endeavors.
Lisa A. Griffin, B.A.
Pronunciation: LEE-sa Grif-fin
Lisa Griffin began working for University Writing in June 2022. She received her B.A in English with a concentration in Renaissance Literature from Auburn University in 2011. While a student, Lisa frequented the Miller Writing Center, which assisted largely in Lisa’s successful undergraduate career at Auburn. Since graduation, she has worked administratively at Auburn in Athletics and over a decade in Poultry Science. Lisa is happy to assist University Writing in efforts to further the careers of students, faculty, and staff. In her spare time, Lisa reads, crochets, and enjoys time with friends and her family, especially her husband, daughter, and three cats.
Okunola Odeniyi, M.Ed.
Pronunciation: Oh-koo-oh-la Oh-deh-nee-yee
Okunola Odeniyi joined the University Writing team in May 2022. She obtained her master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Nigeria and is currently a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology at Auburn. She has been a teacher for 10 years and is interested in working with special education needs students and counseling both students and young adults. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and traveling.
Huan Liu, B.A.
Pronunciation: hwAHN L-YEH-oh
Since joining the Miller Writing Center in the spring of 2022, Huan has shown unconditional warmth and support for all students. Huan is currently an ESOL Master’s student. After working as a teacher of English for four years in China, she decided to further explore and research the profession in America. She majors in language teaching and enjoys reading books about education, psychology, philosophy, and literature, and doing creative writing. With an everlasting passion for languages, she has learned at least four different languages. She expects to be a multilingual teacher or educator in the future. Huan likes traveling, reading, planting, playing sports (like badminton, tennis, and ping-pong), and writing ancient Chinese calligraphy in her spare time.
Clare Hancock, M.A.
Pronunciation: Clair HAN-kok
Clare is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Career and Technical Education, with a focus in Agricultural Communication. She received her B.A. ('18) and M.A. ('21) in English from Texas A&M University, where her capstone research centered on Jane Austen and intimacy. Building from her English background, her Ph.D. research focuses on written forms of communication in the field of agriculture, agricultural literacy, and writing competency expectations for agricultural communication undergraduates when they enter the industry. Concurrently, she serves on the adjunct Language Arts faculty at Southern Union State Community College, teaching English Composition and American Literature courses when needed. Clare is also pursuing the Technical Communication graduate certificate through the English Department at Auburn for supplemental training.
Ashanti Kira Belcher, B.A.
Pronunciation: a-SHAHN-tee KEYR-ah BELL-chur
Having been a Peer Writing Consultant for the Miller Writing Center since 2017 (but taking a break between 2020 and 2022), Ashanti Kira Belcher strives to elevate her involvement with the Writing Center through the Graduate Assistantship offered to her in 2022. In December of 2021, she received her bachelor’s degree at Auburn University, majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Technical and Professional Writing. She currently pursues a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), with excepted graduation in 2024. Her ultimate goal is to go to South Korea and teach English; however, she is elated to help others with this language wherever they may be. Her hobbies include playing video games, writing songs and poetry, learning the ocarina and guitar, helping others with their English, and studying Korean. She prefers to be called either “Kira” or “Ash.”
Jonah Breed, B.A.
Pronunciation: JOE-nuh Breed
Jonah graduated in May 2022 from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. He has returned to get his master’s degree in English Education so he can teach English at the high school level after graduating. Jonah began working for University Writing as a peer consultant in 2020 and stepped up to the role of Graduate Assistant in May 2022. He thoroughly enjoys collaborating with students from different backgrounds and areas of study, and he hopes to help the people he meets speak passion through writing.
Carly Cummings, B.S.
Pronunciation: Car-Lee Come-ings
Carly Cummings is a Ph.D. student in the School of Forestry. While working on her Ph.D. Carly will become a certified teacher through a master's in science education. Her research focuses on increasing environmental awareness and science literacy in the secondary school systems of Alabama. As she develops her research, Carly hopes to promote equity and equality in the Alabama Science Education System by studying urban and rural school districts. In addition to her academics, Carly was a captain and school record holder on the Auburn Swimming and Diving team.
Souji Gopalakrishna Pillai, Ph.D.
Souji Gopalakrishna Pillai is a Ph.D. Candidate in Hospitality Management. He also holds a doctorate in Business Mangagement with a specialization in Human Resources Management. Over the last 20 years, he has held a wide range of academic and research positions, including department head of hospitality and tourism, deputy director of research, curriculum developer, academician, trainer, and administrator in countries including the USA, Sultanate of Oman, Nepal, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and India.
Pronunciation: Mah-rk Sm-i-th
Mark Smith joined the University Writing team in May 2021. He is currently a senior pursuing a double major in Professional Writing as well as Psychology. After college, he hopes to find a position in which he can positively influence the lives of others, especially those of children. He enjoys a variety of hobbies such as sports, video games, fishing, skateboarding, and hanging out with close friends.
Pronunciation: KAY-lin MAR-sh-all
Kaelin joined the University Writing team in July 2022. She is currently working towards a BA in Psychology with a minor in Counseling at Auburn University. After graduating, she hopes to attend graduate school to enter either the clinical or counseling psychology fields with express interest in multicultural issues in psychology. In her free time, Kaelin enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with friends.