2022 SAW Staff & Faculty
Charles Yarnoff, who received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University, teaches a wide variety of undergraduate writing courses, including Intermediate Composition, Writing and Speaking in Business, Expository Writing, and First-Year Seminars. He also teaches courses in American Literature in Northwestern's School of Professional Studies.
He was named a Charles Deering McCormick University Distinguished Lecturer, an award recognizing faculty members who “have consistently demonstrated outstanding performance in classroom teaching.” He has been voted to the ASG faculty honor roll twice, has been nominated for the first-year advising award, and has received the Distinguished Teaching Award from NU's School of Professional Studies.
He has been a Weinberg first-year advisor since 2000, and is the academic director of the Summer Academic Workshop, a pre-orientation writing seminar for first-year students. He serves on Northwestern's Transition Programs Plus Council, whose mission is to better support undergraduate students in their transition to college. In 2018-19, he will participate in Northwestern's Change Makers Program, whose mission is to create more inclusive classrooms, departments, and centers at the university.
Dr. Yarnoff is a faculty fellow at the Women's Residential College. He is also Chair of the board of directors of Students Publishing Company, which oversees The Daily Northwestern newspaper and The Syllabus yearbook.
Elizabeth Lenaghan teaches courses in expository writing, communication, and practical rhetoric in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the McCormick School of Engineering. Her current first-year seminar—Truth in Representation—explores historic and contemporary hoaxes to critically assess the roles that fake news and other lies have played throughout history. Another expository writing class examines how new modes and genres of written communication impact the style, content, and frequency of formal and informal writing practices.
Lenaghan also serves as the assistant director of Northwestern University’s Writing Place. As the founding director of the Graduate Writing Place, she selects and oversees a group of advanced PhD candidates who serve as Graduate Writing Fellows. The Writing Fellows and she hold one-on-one writing consultations with graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members, providing feedback and assistance about writing in a variety of genres, including course work, dissertation proposals and chapters, fellowship applications, job market materials, and manuscripts for publication. She also facilitates writing workshops, interdisciplinary writing groups, and dissertation boot camps aimed at teaching participants concrete strategies and exercises to improve both the quality and productivity of their writing both within the workshops and outside of them. Lenaghan earned a Graduate School Service Award for this work in 2014. She has published two pieces on graduate student writing: the article “Writing Centers and Graduate Student Leadership,” in the December 2013 issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly and the chapter "Revisiting the Remedial Framework: How Graduate Writing Centers Can Better Serve Graduate Students and Themselves" in the 2019 edited collection Re/Writing the Center.
Like her teaching, Lenaghan’s other research focuses on the impact of new media on the reception, consumption, and production of traditional cultural objects and modes of expression. Related publications and presentations include the book chapter, “Readers as Audiences,” in The Handbook of Media Audiences (2011), “Media’s Material Meanings: Book Collectors as ‘Alternative’ Audience,” (paper presented at the 2011 Reception Studies Society Annual Meeting), “Making Material Matter: How Contemporary Collectors Remediate the Medium of the Book,” (paper presented at the 2010 National Communication Association Annual Meeting and winner of the conference’s Donald P. Cushman Best Student Paper Award), and “Kindling Consumption: How Amazon’s E-Reader Marketing Refashions Readers,” (paper presented at the 2010 Society for the History of Technology Annual Meeting).
Teaching college English and writing since 1981, Leslie Fischer has worked with thousands of students to improve their writing. Fischer has taught at Northwestern University since 1987, joining the Cook Family Writing Program faculty in 1998 where she teaches Design Thinking and Communication.
Fischer is an experienced mentor in writing, communication and teamwork who also teaches graduate and undergraduate writing courses at Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies. Experienced as both a student and teacher of traditional, blended and online courses, she understands how students learn in-person and online and the particular challenges for both traditional and adult students.
In addition to her teaching, Fischer was the president of a consulting firm that helps businesses to communicate more effectively and assists individuals in career development. She was an editor on a variety of special interest publications, most recently The Daylily Journal. When she is not teaching, she hikes, attends the theatre, and goes letterboxing--an activity that combines art, orienteering and mystery.
Michele Zugnoni teaches Design Thinking and Communication, Writing & Speaking in Business, and two first-year seminars. Zugnoni’s seminars include LGBTQ in Popular Culture and Through the Looking Glass: Intersections of Identity. Zugnoni also serves as co-director of Design Thinking and Communication.
Zugnoni teaches with two goals in mind: (1) help her students learn to enjoy writing by engaging their own voice and unique knowledge; and (2) teach her students fundamental writing skills important to their continued success in writing at the university level and beyond. Zugnoni strives to create a safe space in each of her writing classes, where she and her students work together to build a community.
Zugnoni graduated from UC Davis during the summer of 2019 with a PhD in Education, and a designation in Writing, Rhetoric and Composition. Zugnoni’s dissertation focused on the narrative experiences of first-generation college students, and in particular, on how self-reflective writing can help students to cultivate a sense of community and professional identity in the writing classroom. Working in small groups, Zugnoni's students wrote about their experiences and shared their insights with their peers. They formed important bonds with each other and found a place of belonging.
Beyond teaching and research, Zugnoni spends many hours writing creative fiction, playing piano, traveling to new locales, and educating herself on writing and popular culture. She's originally from the San Francisco Bay Area.