Our Staff

​Administration & Staff

Deborah Escalante

Writing Center Director

Randall Sessler, PhD

Writing Center Assistant Director

Lauren Solis

Writing Center Resource Coordinator

​Doctoral Writing Coach​

Tori D., PhD

Doctoral Writing Coach

dalzell_orig.pngDr. Tori Dalzell holds a PhD in ethnomusicology (UC Riverside) and a BA in Music and English (Hollins University). She has worked with both undergraduate and graduate students in writing centers since 2012. Most of her students have been English language learners, non-traditional students, and involved in the STEM fields. She views writing as an integral part of professional development for any chosen field. Tori conducted her dissertation research in Nepal on a Fulbright IIE grant (2012-2013), and remains involved as an alumna in UC Riverside’s Latin American Music ensemble, which performs folk and popular music from the Andean region of South America.

Specialties & Interests: Music, anthropology, cultural studies, English literature, journal articles, conference papers, abstracts

Professional Writing Coaches

Nicole D., MA

Professional Writing Coach

Copy of Nicole KopNicole works as a writing coach/ESL specialist and also teaches ESL here at APU. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and an M.A. in English, with concentrations in TESL and Rhetoric and Composition. While Nicole’s background is in English, she comes from a medical family and enjoys working with nursing students. She cares deeply for her students and writing center clients and aspires to encourage confidence, authenticity, and success.  When she is not at APU, Nicole is busy raising her two daughters.

Specialties & Interests: Multilingual students, English language learners, nursing, liberal studies, education, social sciences, music

Allie F., MFA

Professional Writing Coach

Copy of Allie FrazierAllie Frazier’s passion for helping others in the writing process started with her first coaching experience as a 3rd grade tutor to 2nd graders in her elementary school. Since then, she has earned her BA in Writing from Point Loma Nazarene University and her MFA in Creative Writing Fiction from Chapman University. Now she uses her past experiences of being a paper editor, writing consultant, and grammar TA to guide APU students through the writing process and develop their writers’ voices.

Specialties & Interests: ​creative writing, fiction, research, literature, business writing, music

Emily Goulding, MPS

Professional Writing Coach

Emily Goulding holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in Modern Literature from UC Santa Cruz. Emily is keenly interested in how writing can contribute to difference making. She spent much of her career writing for social impact, particularly for media and arts enterprises that center young people’s voices. She then went on to run her own grant writing business – Girasol Consulting – for seven years.

Emily has taught Writing 1 and Honors College rhetoric groups at APU and has published original essays and reporting via Zocalo Public Square as well as Harvard and NYU journals. When she’s not working, Emily is busy raising her son Caetano and teaching her Freire-informed 4th/5th grade Sunday school classroom at All Saints Church, Pasadena.

Specialties & Interests: argumentation, composition, expressivism, journalism and narrative nonfiction, diasporic literatures, civics, social entrepreneurship, startups, collaborative storytelling, the politics of change, social-emotional learning, contemporary dance, vegan nachos

Mandy H., MA

Professional Writing Coach

Mandy PhotoFrom the moment she began writing stories at seven years old, Mandy has held a passion for all writing genres. Pursuing that passion, she earned a Bachelor of Science in English Education from the University of Georgia and a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University. Mandy writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and screenplays in her spare time, believing that writing allows us to explore ideas and experiences without limitations. Mandy also enjoys singing, reading, traveling, attending plays, and enjoying God’s creations on a mountain or at the beach.

Specialties & Interests: Narrative Essays, Application Essays, Cover Letters, Nursing, Biology, Fiction Writing, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Literature, Technical Writing, Business Writing, Grant and Proposal Writing

Joshua M.

Professional Writing Coach, San Diego Regional Center

Copy of Joshua Morse

Joshua Morse is one of the two writing coaches based at the San Diego Regional Campus. You’ll recognize him based on the Hawaiian shirts he wears every day. He recently graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a degree in Literature & English Education. He enjoys writing, but enjoys helping others achieve writing goals even more. When he’s not writing, you may find him at a Super Smash Bros. tournament, in a library, on the soccer field, or lounging at the beach.


Ella P., MA

Professional Writing Coach, San Diego Regional Center

Copy of Ella Preston

Discovering her love for English and desire to teach during her high school years, Ella Preston graduated from Huntingdon College with her BA in English and vocal minor in 2011. She completed her MA in Secondary English Education at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, where she was a writing consultant. After her teaching internship, she taught four years at Marbury High School. After teaching various classes including English 9 & 10, Pre-AP 10, AP 12, Creative Writing, and more, she feels blessed to return to a college setting. Her husband’s Navy career brought them to San Diego, where she enjoys supporting and encouraging students in their writing process! Ella leads worship at Legacy, playing keyboard and singing. She loves spending time with her husband, Cody, and their fur-baby beagle, Frodo.

Dan R., MAR

Professional Writing Coach, Inland Empire and High Desert Regional Campuses

dan roberts

Dan received his BA and MAR in Religion. These helped him develop a deep respect for the power of communication through the written word. His academic writings have included studies of the Magical Realism literary genre, films using multiple media, and post-existentialism. He loves to assist students in finding better ways to express their thoughts in a clear and effective style. His key strengths include attention to word choice, structure, and readability. He is comfortable helping students learn the APA Publication Manual’s formatting requirement.

Specialties & Interests: Theology, Christian history, philosophy, neuropsychology, fantasy and science fiction, music, and poetry ​

Jesús S., PhD

Professional Writing Coach

Copy of Jesus Salazar

Jesús Salazar holds a B.A. (Pyschology) from Pitzer College, M.A. from UC Santa Cruz (Social and Development Psychology), and Ph.D. from USC (Educational Research). He taught five years at the USC School of Education, where he read hundreds of term papers. He worked 25 years at the L.A. Unified School District as a report writer, statistician, and database manager. He retired, but chose to work at APU’s Writing Center due to his writing background. His two passions are reading about history, economics, languages, and eschatology; and spending time with his family.

Specialties & Interests: Journalism, screenwriting, journal articles (currently about life from a Christian perspective), and book writing

Graduate Student Writing Coaches

Laura F.

Laura graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in political science, and is now a graduate student in APU’s English program. However, both as a student at Pasadena City College, and after her transfer, she worked as a tutor in the English Division’s Writing Center. She looks forward to working with and helping any APU students with any part of the writing process they need help with.

Eva S.

Eva is completing her Masters in Business Management and is in her second year at APU. Her focus is marketing, and she was international teacher for seven years before joining Azusa Pacific University.  She is interested in environmental sustainability.
Eva believes life is an endless journey of learning.

Donny M.

Donny earned his B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Philosophy from Azusa Pacific University. He currently is currently enrolled in Azusa Pacific’s MA of English program. Upon completion of the MA, he plans to enroll in a PhD program to study Early Modern drama.  Donny’s literary interests are eclectic and range from Shakespeare to the work of David Foster Wallace. Some of his additional interests/hobbies include film, cooking, music, and trying new restaurants.

Ashli L.

Ashli has worked at the APU Writing Center for 2 years as an undergraduate and is now a graduate student in the MA in English program. She has a great love for literature and aims to produce creative works that respectfully represent the under-represented. She is passionate about working with English Language Learners and Generation 1.5 students and hopes to become an English and Composition professor at a community college.