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Vanessa Flora-Nakoski
  • Lecturer/Director of the Writing Center

Vanessa Flora-Nakoski

Contact Professor Flora-Nakoski

In my experience, everything useful is interesting, and everything interesting will, eventually, reveal itself to be useful. As a student, I let my curiosity guide me, trusting that the breadth of my studies would lead to the right career. I earned both a BA and MA in American Studies, and these degrees gave me the chance to explore the intersections of food, ethics, politics, gender/sexuality, and popular culture. As a young professional in higher education, the needs of my own students guided me, and I completed graduate certificates in TESOL and Strategic Management. These courses were practical but no less interesting for it. Loving what I study and studying what I love have served me well over the years.

Both mindsets prepared me to serve as Writing Center Director and Lecturer in English at a liberal arts institution like McDaniel College. Here, I try to pass that same sense of curiosity onto my students, whether that’s in a classroom encouraging them to explore their own research interests, in an advising meeting hearing my students share their passions, in a tutoring session guiding writers to discover their talents, or in staff meetings pushing my tutors to identify career connections.


M.A., The University of Iowa
B.A., The University of Maryland Baltimore County

Research Interests

  • Tutor professionalization & professional development

  • Writing Centers as sites for social justice

  • Food in literature & film

Recent Courses

  • FYS 1241: Reading the Recipe

  • ENG 1122: Food in Children's Literature

  • ENG 2218: Introduction to Peer Tutoring

Clubs and community involvement

  • National College Learning Center Association

  • Maryland College Learning Center Association

  • Association for the Coaching & Tutoring Profession

Awards and Honors

  • Hunter Boylan Research Award

Vanessa Flora-Nakoski

Contact Professor Flora-Nakoski