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Writing Initiatives Specialist
Gillian Epstein graduated with a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University, and received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000. Dr. Epstein taught composition and literature courses during her six years at UC Berkeley, where she won a teaching award and a Mellon research fellowship. Her academic interests include nineteenth-century American literature, narrative theory, and feminist theory. Always interested in shaping curriculum development through hands-on applications of the analytical skills honed in Humanities doctoral programs, Dr. Epstein worked as a senior consultant and instructor for a professional development company based in Cambridge, MA. In this consultancy, she devised and led team-driven programs that partnered with K-12 teachers to create challenging curriculum projects in the humanities, implement a vigorous peer review process, and use online publishing tools to share curriculum research and lesson development. Dr. Epstein was drawn to Olin College by the exciting challenge of teaching analytical reading and writing in ways that address and expand the communication goals of innovative, iconoclastic engineering undergraduates. At Olin College, Dr. Epstein works closely with individual faculty and program groups to develop, implement, and align customized writing pedagogy; she teaches a suite of writing workshops embedded in each of Olin’s Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHS) Foundation courses, works with a team of writing tutors who partner in Olin courses, and devises targeted writing modules that address communication goals across Olin’s curriculum. Dr. Epstein also teaches the AHS Preparatory and AHS Capstone Program, coaches students on their essays for post-graduate opportunities, and mentors an eclectic and exciting array of individual student projects. Dr. Epstein believes that analytical reading and writing sharpens one’s thinking in any discipline, and loves helping students build their skills of analytical reflection such that they can take intellectual risks and imbue both originality and impact into their communications—at Olin and beyond!