Writing Center

Meet Our Staff

Dr. Julia Combs
Writing Center Director

Julia Combs

I'm Julia Combs. My undergraduate major was Language (German Emphasis). I have a Master’s of English in Renaissance and Medieval Literature and a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition.

I have the best job at SUU. I get to hang out with cool people all day.

I enjoy biking, especially in Europe :) I enjoy visiting old cathedrals and churches in Europe. My most recent cycling trip was up the coast of Denmark from Copenhagen to Hamlet’s Castle. I love to read poetry, especially seventeenth-century metaphysical poetry (John Donne and George Herbert). I like to study the history of women’s rhetoric.

Julia Combs In China



My name is Aaron Ganss, and I’m a philosophy major with a minor in economics.

I’m stoked to be working in the writing center because I love working and interacting with fellow students. The ability to write is such an important tool to have, and what better way to get better at writing than to help others!

I’m a non-traditional student. I grew up in Ohio, moved to Colorado in 2000, and landed in Cedar City in 2014. My goal is to attend law school in 2018, so writing is going to be a pretty essential part of my future!

Aaron at the Grand Canyon

Sir A.J. Edwards


I am a senior Biology/Zoology major. Upon graduation I will enter a Master’s of Animal Science program.

As Southern Utah desert rat, I hate being cold. I love research, swimming, biking, running, taking naps, and spending time with family and a few select friends. I am a farmer in the summers and love traveling. I have been to a dozen different countries and a dozen states.

You can call me A.J. or Sir A.J. as I readily respond to both.

An idyllic picture of a farm with a tractor working the field and mountains in the background.

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."

Mark Twain



Hey y’all I’m Alexis Taylor, I am an English Major with a Creative and Technical Writing emphasis and a Dance Minor.

I love working in the writing center because I have a strong passion for helping people and I find it highly enjoyable to assist someone with becoming the best writer they can be.

I am a Junior at SUU and plan to continue my education after graduation. My dream is to be an English Writing Professor or an Ancient Grecian Princess, but then again I don’t really fancy all that trouble with the gods so I guess I’ll stick with teaching. I enjoy reading, watching movies, cooking, photography, and the occasional jaunt into the wild outdoors to explore the world and engage my inner child by swinging in the park, or playing any sport that involves a ball. I live my life in my pajamas with a pen stuck in my hair a book in my hand and just a smidge of childlike enthusiasm.

Alexis in PJs

At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.

Paulo Coelho


Image of Allisa

I am Allisa White and I'm studying English with an emphasis on creative writing as well as getting the Technical Writing Certificate.

I love working in the writing center because I get to help people like me who love the support others can give while writing. I've found that even one more person can make a huge difference in any kind of writing.

When I'm not at school or tutoring, I can usually be found writing a novel, reading a good book, baking, or laughing hysterically with my husband.

Allisa and her husband



My name’s Alyssa Shurtz, and I’m a biology education major.

Writing has always been a passion of mine, so working somewhere where I can share and develop my skills makes me really, really happy.

I was born and raised in the wonderful, blistering heat of Saint George, Utah, and this is my second year at SUU. Along with writing and biology, some of my other interests include outdoor recreation, art, and dogs. My dream is to publish a bestselling book so I can have more money to get more dogs.

Alyssa hugging a statue of a dog.

"You have to be odd to be number one."

Dr. Seuss


Ben Cozzens

The writing center is an awesome and fun place where I can grow as a writer and I can help you do the same.

I love hiking, watching and making movies, acting and directing, writing anything, learning and teaching and improvising. You can always catch me working or performing at Off the Cuff every Friday night.

Picture with Man sitting in chair and the word TNETENNBA beneath him.


Brandon P.

I am excited to work at the writing center because the people here are a lot of fun! if you take some time to just hang out here, you'll probably make some quick friends. That was my case, and also the case for a lot of people that I have seen come in here.

I am preparing myself to run my own medical clinic someday. I love medicine, but I also love business, so this has really become my dream job. Outside of school, I like to sleep. Sometimes I will also eat. Life is wonderful!

He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.

Brigham Young

Brandon P.

Brandon Payne

My name is Brandon Payne and I’m double majoring in management and marketing.

I believe the Writing Center is one of the greatest resources on campus. I want to be part of a growing team that helps SUU students develop writing skills for life.

I was born in Salt Lake and this is my second year at SUU. I’m a business student hoping to make a impact on those around me. I am a part of SUUSA, the Community Attaches, and Sigma Chi. I enjoy spending time with friends, solving my rubik's cube over and over, and playing NBA 2k.

If he fails, at least [he] fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither defeat nor victory.

John F. Kennedy

Try not to become a man of success, rather try to become a man of value.

Albert Einstein



My name is Cale Broadous and I’m an English major with an emphasis in creative writing! I’m also getting my technical writing certificate as well!

I’m super stoked to be a part of the Writing Center staff for many reasons. First off, I obviously love writing, whether it be for school or for my own projects. Secondly, I love having the opportunity to help my peers and share bits of what I know about something I’m passionate about.

Aside from writing, I also love playing piano, singing, or creating visual art! I’m interested in many things. Let’s do this!

Cale posed 'holding up' Spaceship Earth at Epcot



I am bouncing around between majors in the Humanities, but in particular Classics and philosophy.

Writing is one of the best ways to communicate our passions, and developing good technique will help in pretty much all aspects of life. I love taking complex ideas and explaining them in simple language. Tutoring at the writing center is a fantastic opportunity, and I look forward to helping others make the most of their ideas.

I try to fall in love with as much of life as possible. I love novel ideas, and exploring different ways to live. I enjoy reading, researching interesting topics, and spending time with loved ones.


“And so I commanded myself to live. Oftentimes, the very act of living is one of bravery”

Lucius Seneca


Chris Westwood

Hey, I'm Chris and I am a sophomore at SUU studying Political Science and American History.

First off, the writing center is a very chill place to work and helps me to keep busy. I also enjoy working in the writing center because it allows me to learn from many other people about what I can do better within my own reports and papers.

I am from Burbank, California. I love the outdoors and have been coming to Cedar City for the last 14 years. I speak Spanish. I hope to someday work for the government as a political advisor.

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.

Marcus Aurelius

Forever is composed of nows.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill



I am a sophomore majoring in exercise science and physiology.

I am excited to work in the writing center because I love to be able to meet new people! The writing center has been an amazing resource and has helped me improve my writing immensely, so I want to be able to give back and help my fellow peers. I also enjoy editing APA formatted papers and empirical studies.

For fun I love to run and I also love being involved in many different organizations on campus! I am in five different clubs and love being apart of a volunteer group as well. I also love to play piano and spend time with friends.

"Live in the moment, for the moment"

-Michael Jordan



My name's Christien Coombs. I'm an English major minoring in philosophy.

I enjoy writing and teaching, so this job is right up my alley. I want to help others improve their abilities to write and express their own unique ideas.

I prefer to be outside absorbing life, love, and the pursuit of summits, or inside absorbed by good company, good media, and Legos. When I’m not procrastinating…. While procrastinating, I enjoy trail running with my dog, Memphis, playing video games, and spending time with family.

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."

Benjamin Franklin

"I mean certainly a lot of people are gonna look at what we do and think we're chasing windmills, ya' know? But that doesn't mean that we're not knights."

Matt Blank



I am a English with Creative Writing Emphasis major.

I love helping others with their writing. There is something so human about taking those words from a very secret, personal part of us and sharing them. We all have a voice and writing enables us to share it!

I'm a writing, reading, indoor-sy type of gal. I'm a music fanatic. I love going on long walks. I have an incurable travel-fanatic and I want to see the world. But most of all, I love hanging out with my family.



Hello, my name is Elyssa Cunningham. I am pursuing two majors in Secondary Math Education and French.

Don’t let my majors confuse you because I actually really love writing as well. I am excited to tutor and offer any help I can give.

I am a proud ginger with a unique personality. I may look innocent, but I love to pull pranks.

I love to travel and meet new people. I lived in Canada for a bit, speak French, and thoroughly enjoy real maple syrup and poutine. (poutine = french fries + cheese curds + gravy = most delicious heart attack in a bowl)


“I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair.”

Evel Knievel



I am studying graphic design and computer science to become a UX designer.

Being a writing tutor is the best because I learn a lot from helping students become better writers. The writing center is awesome because it's super chill and I can concentrate on discussing questions people have about their papers.

My favorite movies are the original Star Wars, Indiana Jones, While You Were Sleeping, and The Princess Bride. I love 80s rock (Steve Perry is amazing!), riding my mountain unicycle, and playing Just Dance.

Lutz Eichholz riding in the Swiss Alps.

Lutz Eichholz riding in the Swiss Alps.



I honestly have the hardest time with making myself sit down and write! It is a really painful process for me. But I know how satisfying it can be to get ideas down on paper in a way that makes sense. I'm excited to work at the writing center because I want to help people feel good about their writing.

I love playing sports, going camping and fishing, and watching movies. My biggest weakness is Oreos. I also love to play the guitar.

My favorite favorite film would have to be Remember the Titansj



My name is Joshua Blaine Barton. I am an English Ed major with minors in Spanish and History.

The Writing Center is great to work at because it is a great learning environment. Helping others to know they can write and can write well is an awesome feeling. Teaching in general is pretty awesome when the concept you are teaching clicks in the student's mind.

I like superheroes, milk, reading, movies, sports and Phineas and Ferb is probably one of my favorite tv shows of all time. Cutting rocks was a previous job I had. Carpe diem is how I like to live my days.




I am a pre-med senior Biology major with a Chemistry minor with a goal of becoming a Pediatrician.

One of the most rewarding experiences is to see students. I believe that every single person has a unique perspective, and has the potential to be a phenomenal writer. I am excited to work in the writing center because I love working with and meeting new people.

I hail from Brigham City, Utah. I love reading, baking (especially cookies), and learning. I am currently a member of the Rural Health Scholars Program at SUU. I am an avid fan of comedy; especially puns and jokes.

"Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you… Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you."


"I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become."

Carl Gustav Jung

Katie B.

Katie B.

My name is Katie. I am a Political Science and Sociology major with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. I hope to pursue a career in Public Policy.

I like to spend most of my free time snacking, napping, or expanding my education. I love to read, study, and watch films about social issues and current events.

The Writing Center has always been one of my favorite resources on campus and I am incredibly excited to be working as a part of that now. I’m always interested in learning new things and helping others so it’s fantastic to work with different people in their varying studies.

Katie B. as a small child.

"Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.

Albert Einstein

Katie L.


My name is Katie Lee, and I am a Creative Writing major with a minor in Film Studies.

I have done a great deal of writing in the science fiction and fantasy genres, as well as academic writing for my various classes. I am very happy to be working in the Writing Center because I love helping others with their writing and teaching them how to become better writers. I am very patient and I believe everyone has the capacity for great writing once they learn all the right tricks.

I have a wide variety of hobbies, including reading, writing, singing, drawing, watching movies, and dominating at Jenga.

"You want weapons? We're in a library. Books are the best weapon in the world. This room's the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!"

The Doctor, Doctor Who, Tooth and Claw, Season 2



I am a Graphic Design major with minors in Art History and Photography.

Working in the writing center is a very rewarding job! The tutors are awesome, the environment is easy-going, and everyone here wants each other to be successful. Writing is something everyone can do, and I've genuinely enjoyed teaching that kind of confidence to students.

When I'm not working as a tutor, I'm usually designing, hiking, or binge watching Parks and Rec. I'm a die-hard classic rock fan, a major book nerd, and a running fanatic. The octopus is my favorite animal, and I once met Tim Allen. He's pretty awesome.

A quote from my favorite book:

When Christmas came that year, we had no money at all. On Christmas Eve, Dad took us kids one by one into the desert night.

"Pick out your favorite star," Dad said.

"I like that one!" I said.

Dad grinned "that’s Venus," he said. He explained to me that planets glowed because reflected light was constant.

"I like it anyway," I said.

"What the hell," Dad said. "It’s Christmas. You can have a planet if you want."

And he gave me Venus.

The Glass Castle; Jeanette Walls


Kenneth Butterfield

My name is Kenneth Butterfield. I am a junior. My major is mathematics, in which I am planning to emphasize statistics and probability.

I believe the value of writing and reading cannot be overemphasized! In my life, reading has given birth to writing and writing has given birth to speaking with others in a quest for oneness. I have fallen in love with the belief that humanity might one day become unified as a world as we seek out not the things that divide us, but rather for our beautiful commonalities. Writing from our points of view and then reading the perspectives of other people in order to understand the nature of the world and humanity are essential stepping stones toward innovation that will help us to weld our world together. So I say, let’s write!

I love to mountain bike, climb, and play games—except for Risk (someone always ends up with tears running down their face before Risk is over). I feel a powerful wanderlust about once each month, which usually results in a long drive to one of the many national parks I haven’t yet seen. Life invigorates me.

What word describes you best?
Warmsunnyhandsome. Haven’t heard it before? Well, it is a newer word.
Which book did you enjoy the most over the summer?
Abundance: The Future is Brighter Than You Think
If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
Harry Potter


Lainey Solano

My name is Lainey Solano, and I am majoring in English with a creative writing emphasis and a technical writing certificate.

I am looking forward to working in the writing center this year because I love writing! I am excited to spend time with people who also love writing and people who are working hard to improve their writing.

I love to spend time outside hiking, hammocking, and camping. I also have a passion for traveling! I enjoy reading, writing, cooking, and spending time with my cute husband.

Silhouette of a group of students holding their hands over their heads.

I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.

Arthur Rubenstein



Howdy dowdy do! I’m Logan and I am a Psychology major minoring in English.

I am most excited for helping student’s ideas come to fruition in the Writing Center. There is nothing more aggravating than having something to say but not the tools to communicate those ideas. I hope, as your tutor, I will be able to offer those tools to you.

When outside of SUU, I am a voracious reader, Netflix binger, and makeup artist who loves the occult.

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

“My dear, you play the hand you’re dealt”

Andrew Holleran, Dancer from the Dance

“I loved Halloween. I never wanted to take my mask off; I wanted to wear it everywhere, night and day, always. And I suppose I still do”

Merle Miller, On Being Different

“The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory”

Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory



My name is Megan Warner, and I am majoring in English with a Creative Writing emphasis.

I am excited to work at the writing center because I love editing as well as experiencing other people's writing. It is my goal to turn editing into a career in my future and I believe being a tutor is a good first step.

I love writing for no one but myself and reading more than I should. I am an excellent marathoner (Netflix not running, I'm not a masochist). Please don't steal my hot chocolate, you heathen, but I'll give you all my bacon. My favorite hobbies include singing slightly off key but with brevity and painting. Allergies can suck it; I still love cats.

"I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland



Hi! My name is Poe. I am an Anatomy major with a minor in Archeology.

I love being in the writing center because it is a place where people can experiment, share ideas, and find their voice. Learning how to communicate through writing, like most important things in life (and death), should not be done alone. The writing center offers a positive community that supports students during all stages of the writing process. And if you don’t want to work on a paper, the writing center is just a great place to hang around.

Fave book: As I Lay Dying

Fave TV show: Bones

Fave song: Cyanide by Metallica or anything by Megadeth.

Favorite ice cream: I have no stomach for ice cream.



My name is Rebekah Smith. I am English Literature Major with a Technical Writing Certificate.

I have worked as a writing tutor since 2015, and I love working with papers from every department. Despite my slight fetish with vegetables, I manage to resist taking vegetables from strangers (most of the time). Belle is my favorite Disney Princess, and elephants are my favorite animal. Feel free to approach me any time if you have more questions! I am always happy to help.

Quote: 'Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what mamkes life meaningful.' By Joshua J. Marine.

Photograph of a flower



Hi! I'm Tate. I'm a Creative Writing major with a Technical Writing Certificate.

I’m so thrilled to be able to work at the Writing Center, and to be of assistance to the students of SUU. The reason I am really excited to be a tutor is to help increase the writing abilities of those in need to help them get that degree they are here to get. And in doing so, we can help each other! I feel like helping others write can help me also increase my skills.

I love reading, writing, playing video games, and I really enjoy teaching. I’m also one of the biggest movie goers you will ever see, and I’ve seen the biggest variety of T.V. shows than seems possible. You name the show, I’ve probably seen it. Oh, and I know Chinese.



Tingting Gu

大家好! My name is Tingting Gu. I’m an elementary education major in pursuit of a teaching career.

Tutors in the writing center are so awesome! My writing has improved a lot with their help, and now I’m very excited to be part of this amazing team to help others. I love writing, and I would love to pass this love to people around me.

I like exploring new things, so my interests keep expanding all the time. Currently, I am crazy about Spanish movies probably because I am learning Spanish now. I also enjoy experimenting on cooking to satisfy my belly. If I could not be a good teacher in the future, maybe I would be a good chef.

Tingting rock climbing

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

H. Jackson Brown Jr