Rebecca King is the Director of the Writing Center at Methodist University, where she graduated, magna cum laude, in 2012 with a B.A. in Writing. She teaches the Dirty Dozen workshops and the internship course, ENG 4160, to prepare students to be writing consultants. She moved in 2007 to the Carolinas from Maine, where she owned and operated a restaurant for many years, sold real estate, and started a furniture repurposing business. Rebecca recently completed an MFA in creative writing at the University of Southern Maine, where she connected with her mentor Rick Bass, the celebrated short-story writer. She is currently working on her first novel.
Baylor Hicks is a writing consultant and for several years was the managing editor of the Monarch Review, Methodist’s journal of undergraduate research and art. Prior to arriving at MU, she practiced law for many years, in both North Carolina and the San Francisco Bay area. Notwithstanding the fact that she lived for close to 30 years in northern California (including three years at a Zen Buddhist retreat center), she is one of those rare creatures—a Fayetteville native. As a lawyer, she worked in a various fields, ranging from civil litigation to tax planning, and specialized in legal research and writing. A Buddhist and a meditator, she has a broad array of interests, including art and architecture, qigong and gardening, and fixing up a modernist house created by her father, local architect Mason Hicks. Baylor leads a local Buddhist meditation group. She obtained her law degree at Stanford University and her bachelor’s at Duke University, from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude.
Wilma Leinonen moved to Fayetteville from Kennebunk, Maine, and is delighted to be a professional consultant with the Writing Center. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English, magna cum laude, from Boston State College; a chef’s diploma from Creative Cuisine in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and her M.S.Ed., summa cum laude, from the University of Southern Maine. Wilma enjoyed working as a resource teacher in the public school system for more than twenty years, and developed and taught a variety of early childhood education courses at York County Community Technical College. Wilma volunteers for the Fayetteville Symphony, the Museum of the Cape Fear, and the Cumberland County Schools. She treasures time with her family and friends, and enjoys year-round outdoor photography in the warm North Carolina climate.
Faculty Guest Consultant
Kevin Hoffman is a professor of Philosophy & Religion whose approach to both disciplines emphasizes what we care about and how we understand those concerns. His introduction to philosophy explores justice and personal love, and he devotes much scholarly attention to Danish writer Soren Kierkegaard, who once said, “If we should believe nothing that we cannot see with our physical eyes, then we first and foremost ought to give up believing in love.” Among the things that matter to him are his tools: books and fountain pens, but also hammer, saw, drill, block plane, and sewing machine. His BA is from Valparaiso University, and his Ph.D. from Fordham University. He is the chair and an assistant professor in MU’s Philosophy & Religion Department.
Sydney Bird is majoring in Applied Forensic Science and Criminal Justice, and minoring in Professional Tennis Management and Psychosocial Aspects of Sports and Coaching. She will be graduating in the spring of 2023 and aspires to become a crime scene investigator. Originally from Lancaster, Ohio, Sydney loves going on spontaneous adventures, reading, hanging out with friends and learning something new every day. She aims to hike every state park in North Carolina and so far has bagged 4 out of 41.
Maria Choi plans to graduate in May of 2021 with an English major, Spanish minor, and TESL certificate. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics and/or English Education, and as a Fayetteville native, she also hopes to spend more time abroad to further her language learning and intercultural understanding. Besides working as a student consultant at MU, Maria has also worked on the staff of the Monarch Review: MU’s Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity and is involved with campus ministry groups. Off-campus, Maria is a dance teacher at Alpha and Omega Dance Academy and a children’s/youth ministry leader with Manna Church. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano, spending time outdoors, and tackling her ever-growing reading list.
Kaitlin Coltharp will be graduating in December 2020. She is majoring in Accounting and has minors in International Business, Business Administration, and Spanish. After graduation, Kaitlin plans to immediately pursue a Master’s of Accounting with a concentration in tax strategy. She has worked with the Monarch Review: Methodist University’s Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity, where she served as the Lead Student Editor. She’s a member of the university’s Honors Program and is a violinist in the campus Chamber Orchestra. She loves to help people with their writing in English and Spanish, and looks forward to working with everyone!
Deanna Glus is a sophomore at Methodist University, majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in English. Her plans after college include occupational therapy school; she also aims to complete a Hand Therapy Fellowship course. Deanna is a Fayetteville native, but she often enjoys the wild and wonderful mountains of West Virginia where her grandmother resides. She’s active in the MU Chorale and Student Government Association. When Deanna is not studying, she can be found sewing, listening to music, or crafting.
Kseniia Petrova is studying Mass Communications with a concentration in journalism and will graduate in December 2020. On campus, she serves as a head resident assistant and the president of both the MU Reports news show and the MU Speech and Debate team. In May 2020, she completed the Leadership Fellows Program. Kseniia also worked on the 2019-2020 Monarch Review: Methodist University’s Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
Josie Samuelian is a sophomore at MU, majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in Psychology. Her goal is to attend MU’s Occupational Therapy program and become a pediatric occupational therapist. She is from Fayetteville, NC and plans to graduate in 2023. She’s also involved in the MU orchestra, SGA, and religious life program.
Trey Samuelian is a junior studying Hospitality; he plans to pursue a career in Recreation after he graduates in 2022. He’s from Fayetteville, and his interests include comics, literature, and Star Wars. Trey is active in the MU Music Department and the Student Activities Committee, and works as a head resident assistant on campus.
Jackline Abbo is from Uganda. She is in her junior year, studying for a Bachelor of Science in Financial Economics and Business Administration with a minor in Human Resource Management. For many years her career goal has been to work in the corporate world. She is passionate about fashion and reading books and doing community work. She is inspired to keep pushing forward by Oprah Winfrey’s adage, “You become what you believe.”
Gloria Benihirwe is majoring in Computer Information Technology and plans to graduate in four semesters. She is an information technology enthusiast, working toward understanding the influence of this technology in business success. Gloria, who is from Rwanda, is passionate about integrating information technology into traditional businesses to improve their operations in today’s world.
Nellie Damiba is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, and plans to complete a graduate program in biochemistry or genetics. She is from Burkina Faso in West Africa, and one of her long term goals is to use her knowledge for the good of her home country.
Nomfanelo Hlophe is from The Kingdom of eSwatini, a small kingdom in southern Africa. She is in her final semester and will graduate in December 2020 with a major in Biology with a concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology. Nomfanelo’s career goal is to work as a research scientist in industry. She enjoys watching documentaries.