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.

Abigail

B.A. in English Writing Studies

Abby is an English Writing Studies Major working towards becoming a high school English teacher. She is also hoping to get a minor in Creative Writing as it is one of her passions. She loves writing in all forms especially poetry and short stories and spend much of her free time writing and reading. Abby is also involved with music both on and off campus as well as in her community. She enjoys all types of reading, writing, and music and loves to share those passions with others.  Her favorite activities include singing, playing piano, and spending time with her three dogs and two cats. Abby is a first-year writing consultant and is very excited to be able to help fellow students with their writing and reading pursuits.

Amy

B.A. in English; TESOL Certification

Amy loves having conversations about writing and sharing learning experiences with other writers. She loves studying literature, especially ancient texts, British literature, and science-fiction. She believes that although the processes of writing and speaking can be nerve-wracking, they give students the opportunity to express themselves and connect with the people around them. Amy is also interested in linguistics and second language acquisition. In 2018, Amy presented a paper titled “The Theory of Translingualism and Its Implications in Pedagogy” at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Transformations Graduate Symposium. Outside of academics, Amy likes walking, yoga, going to the movies, and reading. Amy’s specialties include: literary analysis, public speaking, English as a second language, MLA, APA, Chicago, and writing for the humanities.

Ariana

B.A in Environmental Science (to be completed December of 2019)

Ariana grew up in Dallas and is now a junior at TAMU-CC. She enjoys learning about Environmental Sciences but is not sure what she truly wants to do for a career. Although her major is Environmental Science, she has always loved English and Literature classes. She mostly enjoys freelance and analytical writing. She has also gotten comfortable with technical writing through classes such as Pro Skills and the labs in Chemistry and Biology. In her free time, she enjoys painting, watching movies, and hanging out with friends. She also loves to travel and broaden her horizons. This past summer she got to teaching English to 5th graders in Romania for 6 weeks.

Avien

B.A. in English; TESOL certificate

Avien is a Senior majoring in English with a TESOL Certificate. She speaks English and Spanish. Her favorite writings to work on are lengthy research papers and those that require scholarly sources such as journals and books. In her free time she sews, edits graphics, and sniper bids on online auctions. When she graduates she would like to teach English abroad in Japan or Spain, but is open to travel anywhere in the world. An office job with a cubicle would be nice too.

Bee

B.A. in English and Spanish; M.A. English

Bernadette, also known as Bee, gained her BA in English and Spanish from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2014. Bee went on to complete her Master’s in English at TAMUCC with a focus in gender studies, trauma, and writing & rhetoric. After working in the Writing Center as a consultant, Bee went on to be a GTA in DUGS.  She is excited to have been invited back as a full-time adjunct for both First Year Writing and Rhetoric and Seminar courses.

Ben

B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies

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 Amazon.com. Alongside his literary pursuits, he composes music and enjoys all things creative.

Chuck

B.S. in Elementary Education (reading emphasis); M.A. in Reading (in progress)

Carlos Almaraz, who goes by Chuck, was raised in South Texas and he is enchanted with the area and the culture. He is happily married to his wife and has three beautiful children who are all very talented.  In addition, Chuck is the proud owner of two canines and he loves reading the Bible, surfing, writing, playing his guitar, writing music, and fishing, among other activities.

Chuck has been a language arts instructor for nineteen years. He has earned his B.S. In Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Reading. Chuck is certified in grades K-8 self-contained and EC -4th ESL self-contained. He is currently working on his Masters in Reading with a Reading Specialist Certification. Chuck has been asked and encouraged to publish his work on metacognitive strategies. He is very interested in metacognition as it relates to reading and writing, and has recently created a metacognitive curriculum supplement for K-1 emergent readers. It has been published, but it is being modified to be more effective and efficient. The curriculum supplement uses music and lyrics to reach emergent readers. By tapping into social emotional areas of cognitive development, this curriculum provides emergent readers the tools to self-monitor. Recently, Chuck has been asked by his college professors to mentor undergraduate students in tasks including but not limited to: creating, designing, and targeting instruction. Chuck is extremely interested in devoting his time and experience as a teacher and a student to help learners understand the writing process. Also, he desires to help struggling writers become self-regulated and calibrated readers and writers. Lastly and most importantly, in his beginning years as a college student, he recalls the struggles he had as a writer; and he wants his writing clients to become excited about and efficacious in writing so they will become life-long readers, writers, and learners.

Danyela

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 graduate student in the English program, preparing to defend her thesis. Danyela is a passionate advocate of critical writing and 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. Thanks to her interdisciplinary training, Danyela has presented research on STEM writers, as well as race and medicine, at both local and out-of-state conferences. Her other research interests include biopower/biopolitics, transculturalism, and intersectionality. To decompress, Danyela enjoys playing with her maltipoo, Wendy, and watching a myriad of shows and movies. 

Emille

B.S. in Microbiology; M.A. in English, M.A. in Public Administration (In progress)

Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, Emille (pronounced Emily) graduated from TAMU-CC in 2016 with her BS in Microbiology and a minor in Creative Writing. After a brief stint in an Immunology and Infection MS program, she changed gears and is now challenging herself with gaining a double master’s in English and Public Administration right here at TAMU-CC! Her academic goal is graduating with her doctoral degree in public administration to assist with policy making in major hospitals. Due to her varied academic background, Emille is versed in literary analysis, creative writing workshops (fiction, creative non-fiction, with a dash of poetry), scientific lab reports, and general writing assistance.

In her hand-carved moments of spare time, Emille enjoys writing, hiking, martial arts, crafting, and (good natured) shenanigans. Many of these activities, however, are often rudely interrupted by her adorable-blonde-lump-of a yorkie named Athena.

Dr. Frances Ćurčija Johnson

PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric-Texas Tech University

Dr. Johnson is returning to the Writing Center as a specialist in technical communication. Her dissertation focused on agency in experimental journal articles. She has taught in the Frist-Year Learning Communities since 2003 developing the curriculum used for science majors. Currently she works as a distance education instructor, teaching ENGL 1302 courses, Technical and Professional Writing, and Visual Rhetoric.  Dr. Johnson is looking forward to working with you on your writing project, from freshman to doctoral level and at any stage, from invention to final review.

Jayda

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

Marnie

B.A. in English/Education; M.A. Rhetoric and Composition

Marnie graduated with a B.A. in English/Education from the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in May of 2014. She then moved to Corpus Christi and attended Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi where she graduated with her Master’s in English – Rhetoric and Composition in August of 2017. She now works as an adjunct professor here at TAMUCC and teaches Seminar and First Year Rhetoric and Composition courses. She plans to begin working on her PhD in the next few years, where her focus will be a converging of her two worlds: Jane Austen and Composition. Her hobbies include reading anything to do with her favorite author Jane Austen, cuddling with her cat Buttercup, and Harry Potter marathons. Marnie worked in the Writing Center as a consultant two years ago and is excited to be back to help students as they work on any part of their writing process. 

Mary

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 MarthaStewart.com. 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. 

Nicole

B.A. in English; M.A. in English (expected May 2020)

Nicole completed a B.A. in English at TAMU-CC and an A.A. in Liberal Arts at Del Mar College. She joined the U.S. Army straight out of high school and spent 12 years in the Reserves; during that time, she deployed overseas twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. She moved to Corpus Christi for the Army and chose to stay to focus on her family and pursue her love of language and learning. She is currently working on an M.A. in English with an emphasis in technical and professional writing at TAMU-CC. She plans to teach writing at the college level and spends as much time as she can learning, writing, learning about writing, and sometimes even writing about learning.

Nicole R.

B.A. in Psychology, minor in Communications

Nicole is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Communications here at TAMUCC. After she earns her Bachelors degree in May of 2019, she plans to go on to grad school to earn her Masters in Psychology. Ultimately, her goal is to become a Child Life Specialist and work with pediatric oncology patients. This is Nicole’s first semester working at the Writing Center, but don’t let that fool you - she LOVES to read and write in her free time and thoroughly enjoys helping people in any way that she can. In her free time, Nicole enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and her adorable puppy. In addition to that, Nicole is a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan who never misses a game or passes up an opportunity to talk with other football fans. 

Raven

B.A. in English (in progress)

Raven loves poetry, cats, and memoirs. She has won multiple awards for her writing and editing skills throughout her academic career, including an award in a local literary journal, The Stone Circle. She is pursuing a bachelor's in English with a concentration in creative writing. When she isn't writing, Raven enjoys gardening and going to cat cafés.

Sarah

B.A in Studio Art; M.A. in Art History

Sarah has a B.A. in Studio Art and an M.A. in Art History. In addition to the writing center at TAMUCC, Sarah also works at the Stone Writing Center at Del Mar College. She has partaken in several major writing projects in both her undergrad and grad years with an emphasis in research, interpretation and argumentative theory. Sarah is a two-time published writer under the McNair Scholar’s Program, where she conducted research in her field of art history. Her favorite genre in which to write is creative non-fiction and has applied such a style to much of her academic writing. In her free time, Sarah loves to write poetry, paint with acrylics and oils, and spend quality time with her cat-child.

Selina

B.A. in Psychology; M.A. General Psychology

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 interested in studying the human mind and behavior. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology as well as a Master of Arts degree in General Psychology. 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.  She is happy to assist students with outside course writing projects such as essays for scholarships or admission applications.

Shalyn

B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies: EC-6 Generalist Reading

Shalyn Watt received her Business Administration Associate Degree from DMC in 2017 and is currently working to obtain her Bachelor Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: EC-6 Generalist Reading from TAMUCC. When She graduates she would like to teach reading and writing at an underperforming elementary school near her home.

Shalyn vastly enjoys reading series such as, Tales of a New World by P.C. Cast, The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith, and The Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey; from which her older sister, Lessa, was named. She enjoys Fiction because she admires the creativity, be it books, television shows, or movies. She is addicted to Disney movies and her other favorite addictions are at odds with each other; coffee & napping. Shalyn is also passionate about writing and helping other people with their scholarly or personal writing projects. She has yet to write for much other than scholastic purposes, but she dreams of trying her hand at writing her own fiction books one day. To her, writing is just another form of art, and she appreciates all art forms. Aside from reading and writing she is also enthusiastic about painting, and as a self-taught artist, her favorite medium is acrylic paints.

When she is not engaged in scholastic or artistic activities she loves spending time with her “husband” and their beloved dogs. She and her man like to shop at thrift centers, re-sale shops, and yard sales rather than department stores because in doing so, every outing is a little treasure-hunting adventure and time well spent together.

Susan

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.

Tasha

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.