Discover Your Island

Our Team

Noelle Ballmer PhD, CASA Director


Ms. Kristen Ruggles, CASA Writing Center Coordinator 

B.A. in English; M.A in English; MFA in Creative Writing (to be completed 2019)

Kristen earned both a B.A. in English with a minor in creative writing as well as an M.A. in English with a focus in Rhetoric and Composition from TAMUCC.  She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Kentucky University via their low residency program.  She is a freelance writer and her freelance publications include but are not limited to: feature articles, television and radio advertisement copy writing, service pamphlets.  She has had multiple poems and short stories published in different literary journals across the country.  She also serves as a poetry editor for the Windward Review and the Switchgrass Review, both local publications.  When she is not spending her time on campus, Kristen is either belly dancing or spoiling her dog-child and her cat-children.


Amy loves talking about writing and coming alongside students to share in their writing journeys. She loves studying literature—especially Greek drama, British literature, and maybe even a little bit of science-fiction. She believes that although the processes of writing and speaking can be nerve-wracking, writing gives students the opportunity to express themselves and connect with other people. Outside of academics, Amy likes walking, yoga, going to the movies, and reading. She is also interested in anthropology—particularly medical anthropology—and hopes to continue her education in these subjects. Amy’s specialties include: literary analysis, public speaking, ESL, MLA, APA, and the humanities.


A native of the Corpus Christi area, Callie graduated with her BA in Mass Communication-Public Relations from Texas State University in 2011. Soon after graduating, Callie moved to South Korea, where she lived and taught English as a second language for five years, moving to a different city every couple of years. Eventually, she decided to move back to Texas in May of 2017 to begin pursuing her MA in English at TAMUCC. Her overall goal for life is to be a force of positive communication in the world, hoping to teach skills that will be used to foster understanding between individuals and organizations, improving other people’s lives to the betterment of the world at large. She loves Modest Mouse, Led Zeppelin, and Cats (the animals and the musical) and spends her free time under the tyranny of her toddler, reading Dr. Seuss books repeatedly while singing children’s songs.


Benjamin graduated from Wheaton College, IL, in 2004 with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (joining English and art). He has since been working in the field of education, including two and a half years in the TAMUCC Writing Center and five abroad in Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia. ESL has been a recurring theme in his work and has been a vital part of those jobs and others. Ben also has self-published a book of collected poems and an illustrated children’s book through Alongside his literary pursuits, he composes music and enjoys all things creative.


Lisamarie is currently working on her degree in English and taking classes to earn the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate.  She taught adult General Education Development (GED) and ESL classes for five (5) years at a community college and hopes to one day become an English professor.

As a first year writing center consultant she brings with her an extensive background in business and human resources.  She wants students to never hesitate about coming to the writing center for help.  She loves brainstorming and helping students learn how to organize their thoughts on paper.  She has excellent skills in Microsoft Word and Excel

 Her hobbies are running and gardening.


Michael is an English major and a Corpus Christi native. At Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi he was involved in a class project in the digital humanities that transcribed La Diana of Jorge de Montemayor, in an effort to preserve seminal texts that might otherwise be lost in online databases for future generations. The next semester he presented a paper entitled “‘Wishful Figments’: Ableist Fantasies and the Disabled Body in the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” at the 2017 Movement and Mobility Graduate Symposium, a paper which was nominated for and won a Haas writing award. That summer he was also involved in the Islanders Study Abroad program that went to Scotland where he studied Mavbeth. Before working as a writing consultant Michael worked as a grader for a sophomore level English class. His interests include Disabilities studies, Postmodern literature, the influence of popular culture on an increasingly interconnected and panoptical world, and the art of cinema, which has led to his starting a Film Club on campus. He specializes in literary analysis and the application of critical theory, particularly queer and disability theory.


Sarah Reeves is a creative writer who enjoys writing novels and short stories. Along with writing creatively, Sarah has a concentration in academic writing such as literature reviews and analysis, lab reports, argumentative essays, analytical essays, and case studies. Whenever Sarah has free time, she enjoys playing video games such as Call of Duty, Skyrim, and Minecraft. She also loves to read a variety of fiction books. One of her favorite authors is Sarah Dessen, and one of her favorite books is Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. She enjoys cuddling and playing with her two Maltese/poodle dogs named Olivia and Brodie. Additionally, Sarah is an avid traveler. She has gone on the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi study abroad trip this past summer to Scotland. The summer before, she visited Ireland. She longs to someday visit Italy and hike Mount Vesuvius, and she also wants to travel to Kyoto, Japan and walk among the classical Buddhist temples. 


Selina is from Corpus Christi, Texas, where she earned an Associates of Arts in 2011.   She lived three years in San Antonio while she attended the University of Texas at San Antonio. After spending a semester studying architecture with her cohort, she became far more interested in studying the human mind and behavior. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Currently Selina is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in General Psychology at TAMUCC and is working on her thesis. Selina is interested in studying cognitive psychology. In the future, Selina plans to continue her education in a doctoral program. As a Writing Consultant, Selina enjoys working with students to improve their writing skills. She is well-versed in gathering research, writing literature reviews, and proposals. 

Selina has experience in writing literary analysis of American Literature and Science Fiction. She is happy to assist students with outside course writing projects such as essays for scholarships or admission applications. Her outside interests include playing video games, watching movies, and spending time with friends.


B.A. English

Jayda Venable recently graduated in the Spring of 2017 from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi with a Bachelor of Arts in English, a minor in Pre-Law and a TESOL Certificate (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).  Jayda’s academic interests include Victorian and Renaissance literature, Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition as well as Disabilities and Feminist studies.  In addition to being a Writing Consultant at the CASA Writing Center, Jayda is currently preparing for law school.  Jayda loves helping students become better writers.  She especially enjoys how rewarding it is to see students’ feel good about their writing.  Outside of work, Jayda loves Netflix binging FRIENDS reruns, taking pointless Buzzfeed quizzes, and supporting local businesses. #IslanderForever


B.A. in English; M.A. in English

Tasha received her B.A. in English from Southwest Texas State University in 1991.  20 years later, after devoting that time to homeschooling her own children, she went back to graduate school here at TAMUCC where she studied Rhetoric and Composition and British Literature.  Tasha began teaching composition here at TAMUCC in the First Year Learning Program in the Fall of 2013.  She currently teaches private English classes to homeschooled high schoolers while continuing to educate her own children at home.  She volunteers as the editor for a national homeschool forensic league’s publications.  Though she assists the learning process through these many group situations, it is the one-on-on that Tasha finds particularly effective.  As such, she appreciates the opportunity to do so at the Writing Center.

Kelsy M

B.A. in English; TESOL Certificate

Kelsy’s main passion in life is to help students become stronger writers and to share her love of the English language with everyone around her. In particular, she loves helping international students and enjoys experiencing the cultures they bring to their writing. She is currently attending Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi as a graduate student pursuing her Masters in English. She received both her Bachelors of Arts in English and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificate at TAMUCC. Goals for Kelsy’s future include either working as an English teacher in the Philippines or as an English teacher with the Peace Corps. In her free time, she enjoys writing sci-fi or fantasy novels, watching Lord of the Rings, The Avengers movies, Sherlock, and Doctor Who, and drinking gourmet coffee.


B.S. in Chemistry; M.A. in English (to be completed Fall 2018)

Danyela earned her B.S. in Chemistry, with a concentration in Biochemistry, from TAMUCC in Fall 2015. She also double-majored in Biomedical Sciences and minored in English. She is currently a part-time graduate student in the English program, working on her thesis to be defended in Fall 2018. Danyela is a passionate advocate of strong writing and critical reading skills for all disciplines, especially in the sciences. She has taken numerous writing-intensive science courses and labs, including Biochemistry, Microbiology, Physics, Instrumental Analysis, Global Health/Health Disparities, and Introduction to Toxicology. She has presented scientific research projects on topics related to women's health and fetal development. Her other research interests include medical humanities, medical ethics, bioengineering, and Feminism.


Susan is pleased to return to The Writing Center after a 12 year hiatus during which she taught middle school, high school and coached teachers in Writing Across the Curriculum. Working one on one with writers continues to offer her the greatest rewards of my teaching and coaching career. Above all, She believes that students should be in charge of their own thought processes, growth and learning. She is the most gratified when she serves students as they navigate writing to express themselves as part of this process. A personal benefit is that she is privileged to learn something every time she works with a student, no matter the subject or level.


B.A. in English; M.A. in English (to be completed in 2018)

Erin (who prefers to be called Cat) is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in English at TAMUCC. Upon completion, she will be applying to PhD programs in linguistics, specializing in corpus linguistics. As a linguist, Cat’s focus is helping students of diverse backgrounds succeed at the many writing tasks required in college, without erasing the student’s natural voice. Cat has previously taught English in the first-year writing program, and especially enjoys working one-on-one with students at the writing center. In her spare time, Cat enjoys reading comic books and playing video games.


B.A. in Creative Writing; M.A. in English

Mary hails from Oregon and has lived in Corpus Christi for 4 years. In addition to working at the Writing Center, she serves as Creative Director for the lifestyle network Peaceful Dumpling and Beauty Editor at Vilda Magazine. Her writing has appeared on The Everygirl and When she's not working, she enjoys cooking, running, ballet barre, and lots of soy lattes. Mary is excited to work with you at the CASA Writing Center! Mary lives with her husband, baby daughter, and kitty.