Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Roohi Choudhry has published short stories and nonfiction in Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Rumpus, Callaloo, Bitch, Hyphen, Desilicious, Fiction Writers Review, and the anthology 21 Under 40. Her work has been recognized as a Notable Essay by the Best American Essays series and a Distinguished Story by the Best American Short Stories series. She has taught at the University of Michigan and led workshops for the New York Writers’ Coalition. She holds a BSc from Lahore University of Management Sciences, an MS in Marketing Research from the University of Texas-Arlington, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.

Brendan Halpin is the author of the novels Dear Catastrophe Waitress, Long Way Backand Donorboy (all by Villard); the memoirs Losing My Faculties and It Takes a Worried Man (both by Villard); and the author or co-author of eight young adult novels, including Legacy (Gum Road), Forever Changes (by Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom (Walker Books), and A Really Awesome Mess (Egmont USA). His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Sunday Times (of London) Magazine, Best Life Magazine, Rosie Magazine, and Ladies’ Home Journal. He has taught at Emmanuel College, Bunker Hill Community College, and the Wentworth Institute of Technology. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Teaching from Tufts University.

Christine Meade is the author of the novel The Way You Burn (She Writes Press), and her personal essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, Chicago Literati, HuffPost, the Manifest-Station, and Writer’s Digest. She has taught for 826 Boston, Lasell College, and Curry College. She holds a BA from Northeastern University and an MFA in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts.

Lisa Namdar Kaufman wrote the animated feature film Baldy Heights (Bleiberg Entertainment/Pitchipoy Productions), and the TV drama In the Prime of Her Life, which aired on Israel’s public broadcasting station. She has written short films that have been shown at festivals around the world, from the Cannes International Film Festival to the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival. She has served as story editor on the documentary film 8000 Paper Clips and TV shows in development with Sony, ABC, and Happy Madison. She has taught at Columbia University and the New York Independent Film Workshop. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA in Film from Columbia University.

Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn is the author of the essay collection A Fish Growing Lungs, and she is the editor-in-chief of The Rumpus. Her nonfiction has appeared in the St. Petersburg Review, Gulf Coast, Brevity, Prairie Schooner, Fourth Genre, Southeast Review, Sweet: A Literary Confection, Indiana Review, Hobart, Essay Daily, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Brevity Blog. She has taught at Catapult and the University of Maryland. She holds a BA from the University of Tampa, an MA in English from Ball State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing-Creative Nonfiction from the University of South Florida.

Alanna Schubach is the author of the novel The Nobodies (Blackstone Publishing). Her short stories have appeared in Sewanee Review, Massachusetts Review, Juked, and Electric Literature's Recommended Reading. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Atlantic, The NationJacobin, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, and the LA Review of Books. She has taught at the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, the College Readiness Program, the Westchester County Department of Corrections, and Girls Write Now. She holds a BA from American University and an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

Rachel Simon is the author of the narrative nonfiction book Pickleball for All: Everything But the "Kitchen" Sink (Harper Collins/Dey Street Books, forthcoming). Her essays, features, and opinion have appeared in in the New York Times, magazine, Shondaland, InStyle, Glamour, Vulture, Refinery29, and NBC News. She has constructed crossword puzzles for the New York Times and New York magazine's Vulture. Previously she's been the deputy editor of HelloGiggles, entertainment-news editor for Bustle, and well-being editor for Mic. She holds a BA from Emerson College.

Cullen Thomas is the author of the memoir Brother One Cell (Viking). His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Salon, The Rumpus, The Sonora Review, World Hum, Current Biography, and Penthouse. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and the National Geographic channel and has taught at NYU. He holds a BA from Binghamton University.