Meet our team of Writing Center tutors!
Jermaine Yazzie, Peer Tutor
My name is Jermaine Yazzie and I am a Peer Tutor at the UNM Gallup Writing Center. I have been a Peer Tutor since the summer of 2015 and I enjoy it very much. I am originally from Texas and find the New Mexico/Arizona area quite profound compared to city life. I have several hobbies which include maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. I love being out in nature, whether it be running or hiking. When I get the chance, I also enjoy reading. School is very important to me and I hope it is to you. I look forward to working with you this semester. Feel free to schedule an appointment with me at your convenience.
Alyssa Gchachu, Peer Tutor
My name is Alyssa Gchachu and I’m a Liberal Arts major in English and Language, Literature and Sociocultural Studies. I have two Associates degrees, one in Pre-Professional Education and another in General Studies. My hobbies include spending time with family, enjoying the company of my dog, Zowie, catching up on the latest seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder, keeping up to date with new hit movies, hiking, going on walks, and traveling far and near. I also enjoy artistic works such as pottery, painting, drawing, weaving, and photography. I appreciate a good read from J.K. Rowling and Stephen King, and I spend my free time finding restaurants with the best steak and chili! So far, not one restaurant has won my heart at ‘Best Steak.’ When I’m not looking for that juicy steak, my head is stuck in books and endless homework, which I strangely enjoy. My philosophy can be summed up in these words by Dr. Seuss: "You’re off the great PLACES! Today is your DAY! Your MOUNTAIN is waiting. So… Get on your WAY!"
Janel Sowers, Peer Tutor
My name is Janel Sowers. I have been writing random things, whether it be poems, essays, or stories, ever since I learned how to use a pencil. I find writing to be a therapy, a way of expressing myself. Besides writing my thoughts down, my interests include taking pictures, reading books (mysteries and medicine), solving Sudoku puzzles, and researching broad topics on the Internet. Lately, I've been sketching again. I also play the piano. I absolutely love school, and I try to encourage everyone in their studies because it's an opportunity to learn and grow. I find fulfillment when I have helped others while watching them grow on their journey. This is one of the reasons why I want to become a community doctor. I have a passion for women and children, and I want to help them physically, mentally, and spiritually in the medical world. I have a heart for Asia, so I find Asian cultures fascinating. I hope to learn Thai, since I want to help orphans with HIV/AIDS in Thailand. I like to remind myself that "if you do nothing, you will experience nothing."
Karla Baldonado, Education Specialist
My professional background is in education, but my love for teaching goes way back. I come from a family of educators, from my great-grandparents who were principals and professors, to my mother who teaches fourth grade. They say that you know you’ve made it when you’re doing what you love as a career, and that’s how I feel about being a writing tutor here at UNM Gallup. It’s very fulfilling to help both the young and young at heart discover something about themselves as lifelong learners, and teaching reading and writing in particular makes this journey so much more meaningful to me. It’s amazing how much you can learn about yourself and the world around you through words. I’m a teacher by trade, nerd by nature. I am obsessed with Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and the Ridley Scott franchise. I cried for a week when Firefly got cancelled, and my idea of a romantic vacation involves cosplaying at an anime convention. I am also interested in using technology in educational settings, and I am currently seeking a graduate certificate in Digital Learning Technologies with a concentration in Games and Simulations.
Allison Olejnik, Writing Specialist
My name is Alison Olejnik and I have the privilege to start working with the Writing Center this semester. I recently spent three years working with second language learners in Chile. There, I earned my Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction (English as a Second Language). My Bachelor's degree is in English as well. I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with the students here at the University of New Mexico! I come from a background of education and a passion for literature. I find fulfillment in supporting students in their writing and helping them develop into competent professionals. My free time is spent volunteering, reading, writing, traveling, and finding ways to incorporate technology and culture into the classroom. I sincerely look forward to creating with students and celebrating their future accomplishments!