Academics

CO201 Faculty

Members of the COM 201 include professional writers with expertise in print/broadcast/online journalism, television, film, advertising, and public relations as well as writers specializing in composition, rhetoric, and creative writing. Comprising both full- and part-time instructors, our staff brings real-world writing experience and a hands-on approach to teaching.

In the classroom, faculty members create a collegial, interactive atmosphere. Students usually sit in a circle or work in small groups; instructors guide and direct student discussions and writing exercises in order to encourage independent thinking and creativity.

Instructors also work one-on-one with students. They hold frequent conferences and office hours, giving students ample opportunity to discuss their writing progress. The faculty’s careful commentary on students’ papers provides the kind of valuable feedback that helps students become confident, professional writers.

Meet Our Faculty

Susan Blau

Director, College Writing Program
Associate Professor

Susan Blau’s background is in linguistics, rhetoric, and American literature. She has many years of experience in teaching writing and directing writing programs. She has published articles, conducted workshops, and presented papers at national conferences on teaching writing, writing across the curriculum, and writing center theory and practice. She is the co-author of the writing textbook, Writing in the Works and was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. She can be reached at blaucom@bu.edu.

Cynthia Anderson


Biography to be listed

Jay Atkinson

Jay Atkinson is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, critic, investigative journalist, and itinerant amateur athlete from Methuen, Mass. He is the author of two novels, a story collection, and four narrative nonfiction books. His nonfiction book, Ice Time, was a Publisher’s Weekly notable book of the year in 2001, and Legends of Winter Hill was on the Boston Globe bestseller list for several weeks in 2005. Atkinson’s narrative nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, Men’s Health, Boston Globe, and many other publications. A former two-sport college athlete, Atkinson has competed in rugby for three decades and is the author of Memoirs of a Rugby-Playing Man. He teaches writing part time at Boston University and can be reached at jaya@bu.edu.

Lisa Becker

Lisa Becker has written for Boston Magazine, the Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated Women, and other publications. She has also taught at Bentley University and at the BU College of Arts and Sciences Writing Program. She is the author of Net Prospect: The Courting Process of Women’s Basketball Recruiting and is currently working on her second book. She holds a BA from Tufts University, an MS in Journalism from BU’s College of Communication, and an MAT from BU’s School of Education. She can be reached at lbecker@bu.edu.

Kate Burak

Kate Burak is co-author of the CO201 textbook, Writing in the Works (Wadsworth/Cengage) and has had her works of fiction and poetry featured in The Missouri Review, Gettsyburg Review, West Branch, Seventeen, Fiction, and other publications. She also enjoys blogging about writing, publishing, and teaching at kathrynburak.com and writingintheworks.com. Recently, she published her first young adult novel, Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan, October, 2012)—a book that explores her philosophy that we, as writers, are works in progress. Burak received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A senior lecturer in the CO201 Writing Program, she can reached at kburak@bu.edu.

Susan Carlton

Susan Carlton is a part-time professor in both the Boston University College of Communication and the School of Management. Carlton has been an editor and writer at a variety of magazines, including Self, Elle, and Mademoiselle. She has written or co-written four nonfiction books and is the author of two young adult novels. She received her MA from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and can be reached at susankcarlton@gmail.com.

Ellen Davis

Ellen Davis has been a professor of writing at both Emerson College and the Boston University English department. Her poems and reviews have appeared in several journals, including Bostonia, The Emily Dickinson Journal, and Salamander. She has also been writing book reviews for Harvard Review since 1990. After completing her undergraduate work at Amherst College, Davis received her MA in teaching from Simmons College, her MA is Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College, and her MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. She can be reached at edaquili@bu.edu.

Gary Duehr

Gary Duehr has taught poetry and writing at Boston University, Lesley University, and Tufts University. In 2001 he received an NEA Poetry Fellowship, and he has also received grants and fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the LEF Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. His poetry has appeared in Agni, American Literary Review, Chiron Review, Cottonwood, Hawaii Review, Hotel Amerika, Iowa Review, North American Review, and Southern Poetry Review. His books of poetry include SORRY (Grisaille Press, 2012), In Passing (Grisaille Press, 2011), THE BIG BOOK OF WHY (Cobble Hill Books, 2008), Potato Chips for Dinner (Cobble Hill Books, 2004), Beautiful Bullets (Cobble Hill Books, 2003), Winter Light (Four Way Books, 1999) and Where Everyone Is Going To (St. Andrews College Press, 1999). A photographer as well, Duehr has had his photography displayed throughout New England, including a permanent photo installation in Boston’s North Station. Duehr has written about the arts for journals including ArtScope, Art New England, Art on Paper, Communication Arts, Frieze, and Public Culture. Currently he manages Bromfield Gallery in Boston’s South End. He holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop and can be reached at gary@garyduehr.com.

Veronica Freeman Ellis

Part-time professor Veronica Freeman Ellis’s love of words and storytelling began in her birthplace, Liberia (where she completed elementary school), and continued through her secondary schooling in England, her undergraduate years at Boston University, and her graduate program at Northeastern University Graduate School of Education. She honed her writing skills and storytelling abilities working as a reading textbook editor for Boston publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Later, she put these talents to work as a professor at the American Cooperative School (Liberia), the University of Liberia, Wheelock College (Boston), and the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is the author of Wynton Marsalis (Steck-Vaughn Company, 1997) and three other titles published by Just Us Books, Inc: Land of the Four Winds (1993), AFRO-BETS First Book About Africa (1989), Book of Black Heroes Volume Two: Great Women in the Struggle (co-author 1991). She has also written several 16-page theme books that accompany various publishers’ reading series. Professor Ellis can be reached at vfellis@msn.com.

Leslie Goldberg

Part-time faculty member Leslie Goldberg has more than 25 years of writing, teaching, and consulting experience. She began her career as an editor at Allyn & Bacon Publishing Company, and in 1989, launched her own company, Blue Sun Communications, specializing in corporate writing and training. She writes and manages a range of corporate communications materials, including brochures, newsletters, annual reports, and Web sites; clients include Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, McLean Hospital, Tufts University, Children’s Hospital, and the Museum of Science, Boston. Goldberg has been teaching 201 at the College of Communication since the program was launched; she was also the associate director of the COM Writing Center for two years. She holds an MS in Mass Communication from BU and a BS in Psychology from Tufts University, where she graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. She can be reached at bluesun@bu.edu.

John Hall

John Hall is a senior lecturer in the writing program and film and television department at Boston University’s College of Communication. He teaches communication writing and film studies courses, specializing in film criticism, film genres, and cultural analysis. He has published film essays and reviews in a variety of publications, such as The Bright Lights Film Journal and The Boston Phoenix. Hall also serves as the Associate Director of the COM Writing Center and has published several articles in The Writing Center Journal and The Writing Lab Newsletter. He can be reached at johnhall@bu.edu.

Hal LaCroix


Biography to be listed.

Jeff Mason


Biography to be listed.

Peter Rand

Part-time faculty member Peter Rand has written about revolution in Africa (Firestorm), and civil war in China (China Hands: The Adventures and Ordeals of the American Journalists Who Joined Forces with the Great Chinese Revolution), and the superrich (Private Rich; Gold From Heaven). He worked as a political reporter and editor for The Washington Monthly in Washington, D.C. and as a regular book reviewer for The New York Times. Additionally, Rand has translated works from Chinese and been involved in film. He is also involved in the worlds of ballet and musical theatre; he was an editor and contributor to Ballets Russes and the Art of Design, published in 2009. He has appeared on television and radio interview shows, including WBAI, New York, the Leonard Popate show, New York & Co, WNYC, New York, Christopher Lydon’s The Connection, WBUR Boston, and local television in Washington, D.C. Prior to teaching at Boston University, Rand taught at Columbia University and Harvard University. He can be reached at prand@bu.edu.

Tinker Ready


Biography to be listed.

Taline Voskeritchian

Taline Voskeritchian’s prose and translations have appeared in American Literary Review, London Review of Books, The Nation, Agni Review, Book Forum, Words Without Borders, The Daily Star/International Herald Tribune (Beirut), Journal of Palestine Studies, MERIP/Milddle East Report, Alik (Tehran), Warwick Review (UK), artsMedia (Boston), the blog of radio program “On Being,” the online journals Jadaliyya, and HowlRound. Born in Jerusalem and educated in Jordan, Lebanon, and the US, she blogs at PassagesHome: talinedv.wordpress.com. She can be reached at taline@bu.edu.

Meta Wagner


Biography to be listed.

Phyllis Waldman

Phyllis Waldman holds degrees in Communications and Writing from Emerson College, where she was Director of the Graduate Advertising Certificate Program. She is a former journalist, advertising executive, and award-winning copywriter. Recently, she has taken up screenwriting and is a member of the Screenwriters Boot Camp in Los Angeles. Phyllis brings her extensive real-world experience to the classroom where she challenges students to match wits in discussions and to write with passion for their readers. She can be reached at pwaldman@bu.edu.