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David Hershinow
Writing Center Director

David HershinowDavid Hershinow joined the GC community as its founding Director of the Writing Center in the Fall of 2019. He earned his PhD in English at Johns Hopkins University, where he worked at the university’s Writing Center for seven years and served as the center’s Director in his final year of study. Since completing his PhD, David has held faculty appointments at Princeton University and at Baruch College, CUNY. He is the author of Shakespeare and the Truth-Teller: Confronting the Cynic Ideal (Edinburgh UP, 2019). David is excited to bring his experience to bear on the development of the GC’s new graduate writing center, one of the few writing centers in the country whose mission caters solely to the needs of graduate students.

David can be reached at


Writing Fellows

Shiraz Biggie

Shiraz Biggie is a doctoral candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies at the Graduate Center.  Her dissertation research explores the relationship between pre-state national theatres of Ireland and Israel and the U.S. diaspora.  She teaches in the Speech and Communication department at Brooklyn College where she focuses on public speaking and presentation skills as well as children’s literature in performance.  Shiraz worked for many years as a production and stage manager at theatres throughout the city.  She also teaches Hebrew to children and adults.  Shiraz received her BA from Hampshire College and her MA from Hunter College.   Her work has been published in Studies in Musical Theatre.

Shiraz reads every fairy tale adaptation out there and spends most of her time procrastinating with her dog.

Daniel Hengel

Daniel Hengel, a writing fellow, is a doctoral candidate in English at the Graduate Center and an adjunct professor at Hunter College. His dissertation, titled “(In)Hospitable Modernity as Dissent in Modernist Fiction, 1920-1953” reorders formerly ‘hospitable’ domestic spaces into inscriptions of political resistance to ideologically prescribed, institutionally legitimated subject formations. More broadly, Daniel studies and teaches what he affectionately calls 20th/21st-century English Language Literatures of Resistance. In the classroom, Daniel is a proponent of critical pedagogical models that share agency and incite discourse. Before joining the writing center team Daniel was a Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow and adjunct professor at Baruch College.

Daniel spends way too much time listening to epic-fantasy novels, which he calls his “stories”—Michael Kramer is his all-time favorite narrator. Robin Miles’s work for The Broken Earth is amazing. He also enjoys hunting for Easter eggs in the MCU, swimming, volleyball, rock climbing, The Office, and playing outside.

Karen Okigbo

Karen Okigbo is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Broadly speaking, her research is on the areas of immigration, race, ethnicity, and family. Her dissertation focuses on intermarriage and endogamy among second-generation Nigerian-Americans and explores their marital decision-making processes. She also serves as a Research Fellow at the Office of Research, Evaluation & Program Support (REPS) and is currently the Administrative Director at CUNY’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latino Studies (CLACLS).

In her free time, Karen enjoys baking (and eating) a variety of breads and cakes. She also is quite fond of calligraphy and sending hand written cards and letters through the post.

Julia Kolak 

Julia Kolak is a doctoral candidate in the philosophy program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research is primarily on the philosophy of psychiatry and the philosophy of medicine. In particular, she is interested in metaphysical and epistemological issues pertaining to the nosology, etiology, and diagnosis of psychiatric illness and the normative implications that follow from these controversies for the lived experience and treatment of psychiatric patients. She is the Interim Curriculum Director of Bioethics at City College, a Senior Medical Ethics Fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and a former Graduate Teaching Fellow at Brooklyn College and Baruch College, CUNY. She is the Co-Organizer of the Yale-Oxford Bioxphi Summit and a strong supporter of empirical bioethics.

In her spare time, Julia regrets not becoming a professional ballerina and enjoys ruminating on the nature of human experience. Occasionally, she supplements her existential dread with poetry and dank philosophy memes.


Past Writing Fellows

Kate Pendolay

Aaron Botwick

Elizabeth Goetz

Meira Levinson

Erin Garrow

Jared Keel



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