The Center for Writing and Public Discourse

Academic Mentor Program

Program Description

The Academic Mentoring Program (AMP) is designed to support students in both academic work and general college experience. Students sign up to participate in AMP and work closely with their graduate-student mentors with a particular emphasis on writing skills. Mentors hold regular workshops throughout the semester that incorporate supplemental academic lessons in an informal, fun, and social way.

Vision and Mission

Our mission is to provide academic support to all students and to work closely with them in their writing throughout their academic career at CMC.

Program Goals

  • To educate students about plagiarism
  • To teach students about the importance of academic honesty
  • To help students write at the academic level
  • To foster a sense of mentor/mentee relationships
  • To encourage students to seek out advice from their mentors


Mentors conduct workshops for students related to writing and academic honesty, hold weekly office hours for one-on-one meetings with students, and offer feedback on writing and/or other related coursework activities. Mentors are also available to work with seniors on thesis projects.


All students are eligible to participate. Students who sign up are not required to participate in all events; however, due to the accommodating nature of the workshop schedule to student life and coursework, students are encouraged to attend as many of the workshops as possible as well as schedule regular meetings with mentors during office hours.

Office Hours

All the Mentors hold office hours on a weekly basis. Come in with any homework or writing assignments you'd like to get feedback on. Look for the Mentors on the first floor of Honnold Library during the following hours:

Mondays 1:00 - 6:00
Tuesdays 1:00 - 7:00
Wednesdays 1:00 - 6:00
Thursdays 1:00 - 7:00
Fridays 1:00 - 5:00

Spring Workshop Schedule

How to Read and Understand Poetry with April Anderson
Wednesday, February 5th at 2:30 in RS 103

Etext: Writing for the Web with Evan Kindley
Tuesday, February 18th at 4:00 in RS 104

Networking: How to Cultivate Writing Relationships with Sam Carrick
Monday, March 3rd at 4:00 in RS 102

The Freedom of Fiction Writing with Tom Dibblee
Thursday, April 3rd at 4:00 in RS 104

Making Poems Make Sense: A Writing Workshop with Greg Emilio
Tuesday, April 15th at 3:00 in RN 105

Tips and Tricks for Copy Editing with Emily Schuck
Thursday, May 1st at 5:00 in RS 104

Academic Marketing: Getting Ready for Grad School with Raul Madrid
Wednesday, May 7th at 3:00 in RS 103

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For more information, contact

Funding for the Academic Mentor Program has been provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of a Mellon-funded initiative to enhance CMC students’ first-year experience.

Academic Mentor Biographies

April Anderson
April Anderson

April Anderson is the coordinator of the Academic Mentor Program and is currently a doctoral student in the English department at Claremont Graduate University. She recently completed her M.A. in Literature and Writing Studies from CSU San Marcos. At CGU, April is currently working as a writing consultant in the Writing Center and as an academic mentor, as well as a frosh-comp instructor at Palomar College. Though she has been caught reciting the poetry of ee Cummings and T.S. Eliot and/or pondering the human condition as is appears in Russian literature, her primary research focuses on American women poets and aesthetics.

Evan Kindley
Evan Kindley

Evan Kindley is a visiting instructor at Claremont McKenna. He recently received his PhD in English Literature from Princeton University. His writing has appeared in academic journals like Critical Inquiry and ELH and in magazines like Bookforum, Film Quarterly, Slate, and The Guardian. He is the senior humanities editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Samantha Carrick
Samantha Carrick

Samantha Carrick is working on her PhD. in English at the University of Southern California where she studies 20th century American poetry and avant garde visual archives. She has an awesome dog and a less awesome cat.

Tom Dibblee
Tom Dibblee

Tom Dibblee's fiction is forthcoming in Glimmer Train. His criticism has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and The Point. He is the founder and editor of Trop at, he has an MFA from CalArts, and he graduated from CMC in 2004.

Greg Emilio
Greg Emilio

Greg Emilio is a Southern California native who writes poetry and book reviews. His work has appeared in Foothill and World Literature Today and is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of Books and Solo Novo. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside and currently teaches composition at Chaffey College.

Raul Madrid Jr.
Raul Madrid Jr.

Raul Madrid Jr. is a doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University where he studies Political Science. He earned a master's degree in 2011, studying Rhetoric and Composition, and has taught composition previously at a four-year institution. He is a California native, an observer of politics, and a longtime writer.

Emily Schuck
Emily Schuck

Emily is a doctoral student in English at Claremont Graduate University focusing on eighteenth-and nineteenth-century British literature with a focus on the body, sexuality, and death. While you can find her reciting poetry or debating the mechanics of language and vehemently defending the Oxford comma over a glass of wine on a Friday night, she also enjoys stenciling, making lists, and cats.

Success Stories

Kartik Das
Kartik Das, CMC'15

I can't give enough credit and praise to the Academic Mentor Program. Throughout my freshman year, my mentor, April, helped with my writing seminar essays, through editing and helping formulate ideas. Sitting down with my mentor and going through my paper word-by-word made my papers a grade better. The sessions really improved my overall writing because I would recall previous sessions and those improvements were naturally incorporated into my latter papers. The mentors help so much that I now take every long paper to them! Most recently, I met with Vuslat, and she made my philosophy paper more concise. These mentors are welcoming, understanding, friendly, and a great resource; I don't know why students wouldn't use them. Some of them even teach college courses and are willing to spend as much time as you need! Feel free to email me at if you have more questions regarding the program! Feel free to email me at if you have more questions regarding the program!

Elham Yusuf
Elham Yusuf CMC'15, International Relations Major

I speak four languages where English is my third. I had a hard time writing papers in English when I was a freshman in CMC. I wrote from a different linguistic portal and thus making my writing journey challenging. My mentor helped me a lot in finding my voice in writing literature papers. I felt confident constructing a thesis with arguments that support my ideas. My FWS class, Meta-literature in writing, allowed me to practice my new style of writing from AMP and apply all my writing skills to other classes. I think my success AMP was truly heightened when I wrote my second 20-page International Relations paper last year and I was extremely organized with my thoughts and thesis statement. I am extremely happy with AMP and I would definitely recommend it to all students from different writing skills.

Sanjana Rao
Sanjana Rao, CMC'15, Science Major

AMP helped me in my freshman writing seminar as a freshman at Claremont McKenna. As a proud science major, the thought of reading and writing about literature on a college level was not appealing, in the sense that all the material was very interesting, but I was insecure in my abilities to write at a college level. We were informed that we would be assigned an academic mentor for the class whom we could consult with on our thesis ideas and whom would guide us on how to format proper arguments and outlines. We were assigned April Anderson, a lively doctoral student from Claremont Graduate University, and she was the primary reason why my level of writing escalated and my motivation and enthusiasm escalated to write creative papers. She not only provided us a timeline and basic guidelines for each step of the paper writing process, but also was a great source to discuss ideas with. I would always come out of our meetings more inspired about a particular thesis or the direction in which my paper was headed. Out of all the sources of help available to us at the Claremont Colleges, April was my favorite because she was extremely intelligent, engaging, and practical and developed into a good friend. She gave me advice not just on writing papers, but also on developing a fulfilling undergraduate career. I left FWS with plenty of confidence in my ability to write and a great friend and academic mentor. I highly recommend the AMP program to all students, and if you are lucky enough to have been assigned an AMP mentor for any class, take advantage of the invaluable resource!

Samuel Pitcavage
Samuel Pitcavage, CMC'15, Dual Major in Economics and Government

I was one of 660 seniors who graduated from a large public high school in Portland, Oregon before entering my freshman year at CMC. Like many students with similar backgrounds, the expectations of college professors were kind of a shock. It wasn't that I was a bad writer (I even considered myself a pretty good writer); it was just that my work had never received as much individual attention and scrutiny. Being held to a higher standard was difficult at first, but my Academic Mentor sat down with me in a few individual meetings. This helped my written work immensely and helped me adjust to a higher level of academic work.

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