Muir College Writing Program

Instructor Biographies

Fall 2018


Yasamin Aftahi is getting her masters in International Affairs at the School of Global Policy because she wants to work with women around the world in the global health field. She's a HUGE rock climber and spent time in South Africa this Summer to sport climb. She is also a musician and songwriter!

Jennifer Carter completed an MA in Liberal Arts & Sciences, focusing her research on gender, popular culture, sociology, ethnic, and LGBTQ studies. She also holds a BA in English Literature and Women's Studies and is a German-English translator. In addition, Jennifer has taught for several college campuses and her writing has appeared in various publications, which culminated in the founding of The California Journal of Women Writers

Stephanie Fairchild studies labor and immigration history, particularly within the context of the development of global capitalism.  She recently received a Ph.D. in history from UC San Diego.  In addition to teaching MCWP 40 and 50, Stephanie is currently working on a book manuscript that uses the history of the Justice for Janitors campaign as a lens to explore the growth of precarious work and socioeconomic inequality in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Ted Falk completed his PhD in Middle Eastern History at UCSD in 2017. His dissertation, Arabs into Frenchmen: Education and Identity in Ottoman Syria, analyzes the development of hybrid identities among the Arabic-speaking students of Jesuit missionaries. He lives in Los Angeles with his dog Pedro Martínez.

Amy Forrest, completed an MFA in the Program in Writing (Fiction) in 2012. She has taught for Muir Writing since 2011 and has taught MCWP 40, 50 and 125. In addition to written analysis, Amy's academic and creative interests include immigration, humor theory, and the social, medical, and historical management of mental illness.

Ayden LeRoux is an artist and writer hailing from New England. She is the author of Odyssey Works and Isolation and Amazement, and her work has been published by Electric Literature, Los Angeles Review of Books, Cosmonauts Avenue, and edibleManhattan. Her artwork has been exhibited in China, Cuba, Greece, New York, San Francisco, and Austin, among others. 

Gibran Guido, Ph.D. Candidate, Literature. Gibran Guido is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. He completed his M.A. program in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University. As a doctoral student, his dissertation focuses particular attention to the ways pain, trauma and HIV/AIDS has come to impact the lives of young gay men of color and formulate a sensibility of consciousness-raising. He is the co-editor of Queer in Aztlan: Chicano Male Recollections of Consciousness and Coming Out (Cognella, 2014) and co-editor of Fathers, Fathering, and Fatherhood: Queer Chicano/Mexicano Desire and Belonging (Palgrave Macmillan, in progress). 

LeKeisha Hughes is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the UCSD. Her dissertation Black Feminist Horror: Race, Gender, and the Making of Monstrosity in the U.S.calls together cultural and experiential modes of horror in order to rethink the significance of horror for understanding structures of anti-blackness.

Shelton Lo, Master's of Public Health, UCSD Department of Family Medicine and Public Health. He is originally from San Francisco, and graduated from UCSD with his Bachelor's in Public Health. He is currently focusing his studies on population health behaviors and their relation to prevalent chronic diseases in the community. 

Elizabeth Miller, Ph.D. Program, Art History, Theory, and Criticism. Elizabeth specializes in American art of the 1960s and 70s.

Michael Morshed writes crime novels around bringing opportunities to the disenfranchised. He also created and writes for a website ( that tells narrative and analytical stories about soccer.

Laurie Nies, Ph.D. Literature.  Laurie’s interests include Native American and Indigenous studies, early U.S. literature and culture, and post-colonial studies. Recent research has focused on 18th century and early 19th century women who appropriate “popular” literary genres to craft narratives that critique America’s political views and subvert ethnic stereotyping.

Vincent Pham, Ph.D. Program, Visual Arts. Vince is an art historian whose work and research focus on the visual culture surrounding portraiture in the long eighteenth century in Britain. Recent ideas that have been of interest include the sociability of portraiture, social practices within art spaces, and the experience of viewing in the eighteenth century. 

Kelly Silva, Ph.D program, History.  Kelly is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of History and is currently working on her thesis, "To Heal the Wounds of Empire: Government Physicians, the Winnebago, and the Development of Federal Indian Health Care Policy in the Nineteenth Century."

Haydee Smith, Ph.D. Program, Literature. Haydee Smith is a scholar of queer theory, disability studies, and memoirs. She is currently earning her PhD in Literature at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on intersectional identity formations and the autobiographical representations of divas, femmes, disability, and queer sexuality in contemporary popular culture, modernist literature and women's films.

Jonathon Walton is a Ph.D. candidate in the Communication Department at UCSD. Jonathon analyzes games as sociotechnical systems, looking specifically at the conceptual, social, and material infrastructure that allows "serious games" to make sense and be able to operate as forces for change in the world. He previously spent 7 years in the foreign policy world, where he studied Chinese policing and social policy.

Michael Witte is an art historian, theorist, and translator, currently earning his PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). His research lies at the intersection of literature and the visual arts, juxtaposing the histories of aesthetic theory with the development of late 19th and 20th century modernisms.

Suzy Woltmann is a literature PhD specializing in adaptation studies, gender and sexuality, and pop culture. She lives in North Park with her two amazing dogs, Charlie and Apollo.