Meet our editors

Alexis J. Taylor

Alexis J. Taylor is an Adjunct Professor of English Composition at Weber State University, one of three Graduate Writing Specialists at Southern Utah University, and the current Editor-in-Chief of Verbal Equinox, a writing center publication. In addition, she has a background in journalism and professional writing and editing for grant applications and business operations. She received her Master of Arts degree in Literature with a secondary emphasis in Rhetoric and Writing from Weber State in April of 2022 and is currently considering Ph.D. programs in Rhetoric and Composition. She attended Southern Utah University for her undergraduate degree and studied Creative and Technical Writing. She has worked as a writing specialist, tutor, and editor for multiple universities over the last seven years, demonstrating clear writing across various disciplines, including the sciences, communications, and professional business applications. Her publication history includes WSU Sigma Tau Delta Poem Ball (2022), Verbal Equinox (2022), Kolob Canyon Review (2021, 2017), The Global Review (2021), The Southern Quill (2019), The Journal of the Wooden O (2018), HSS Journal (2018), National Conference of Peer Tutoring in Writing (2018), Utah Conference of Undergraduate Research (2018), Metaphor (2017), Dream Write Literary Journal (2016), inclusion in a book of interconnected short stories titled Refuge (2018), and the Northern Utah Youth Poetry Contest (2010).


Ryan Miller completed his M.A. in English Composition and Applied Linguistics from California State University, San Bernardino. He also completed his certification for teaching English as a second language. For the past 7 years, he has worked with staff, students, and faculty as a writing consultant and editor at both California State University, San Bernardino’s writing centers and Redlands University’s School of Education Writing Lab. Ryan has also worked as a technical writer for ACU Web Services in Riverside and completed an internship with ESRI as a technical editor during his time as an M.A. student. His areas of research are in ethnographic study of communities of practice and sociolinguistic analysis of pop culture, with an emphasis on gender performativity.


Samantha Isasi is a writer and an avid reader. She loves helping students feel more comfortable writing about literature because it is something she enjoys. She wants to help other people enjoy and understand literature and feel more comfortable expressing how they view different text pieces. She believes that reading is essential because it can help us explore and understand the world around us in a more multidimensional way. She has taught in higher education since 2006, both online and in person. She is a member of the Tennessee Association for Student Success and Retention. She is interested in the growth mindset, allyship, and equity in learning, and she has worked to incorporate these things into her teaching practice. She earned a BA in Creative Writing and Literature from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and an MFA in Communications/Poetry from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Rachel Panton

Rachel Panton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Media, and the Arts in the Halmos College of Arts and Sciences at Nova Southeastern University. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a specialization in Adult Learning and Development using narrative research and portraiture methodology to write the life stories of three holistic Africana women community educators of South Florida.

Dr. Panton has taught writing for over 20 years, and her courses and interests primarily focus on women’s narratives of wellness and transformation. Most recently, she served as a guest editor for the University of California Berkeley’s Race and Yoga Journal, where she led the publication of Sassin’ Through Sadhana (2017), a special volume dedicated to the stories of Black women yoga instructors. As the founder of Women Writing Wellness, Dr. Panton also helps women wellness entrepreneurs write their hope, growth, and healing stories. Her most recent scholarly work has appeared in Black Women’s Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability (SUNY, 2017) and New Directions in Teaching and Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016),

Dr. Panton is the editor of the forthcoming book, Black Girls Om Too: Black Women’s Bodies & Resistance to the Visual and Narrative Rhetoric of Yoga (2021, University Press of Mississippi).


Shea Faulkner is a tenured English Professor at Valencia College in Central Florida. She holds a Master’s in Education and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Prior to her role as a professor, she worked as a quality consultant, helping small businesses earn I.S.O. and Aerospace certifications. She also has a writing center and high school teaching experience. When not working as a professor, she can be found writing short stories focused on the complicated dynamics within families.


Derek Tanios Imad Mkhaiel earned his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing, specializing in material rhetoric and critical theory. He has been a writing consultant for three years and an instructor of first-year writing at the university level. He sought a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing due to his passion for meaning-making, creative invention, and ethical communication. His research spans eco-criticism, contemporary art, speculative realism, ethics, and post-structuralism.


Teresa Fowler has been a writer and editing professional for over 20 years, working first as a writer for the Georgia State Department of Education and then as a proofreader and editor in the medical field, where she edited medical notes, office letters, newsletters, and blog posts, while at the same time editing collegiate papers and personal papers as a hobby. She is currently a ghostwriter and editor on the Fiverr platform. She earned a journalism degree from Georgia State University. She has a robust love for the English language and has a natural ability to spot mistakes in any written or online media. When she is not writing or editing, she enjoys time spent with her family, attending Atlanta Braves games, or honing her skills as a thrift store shopper because she loves to find a good bargain.


Pam Portenstein earned an MA in English composition with an emphasis in Applied Linguistics, along with a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). Pam currently teaches courses in English composition at Oxnard College, a California designated HSI with a Hispanic population of over 73%. Her graduate education, along with over twelve years of teaching experience, has given her the knowledge and expertise needed to assist writers, especially those whose first language is not English. Pam’s research interests include the study of cognitive systems in nature. In an era of collective intelligence, collaboration can be viewed as a cognitive system that adjusts inputs and processes to achieve desired outcomes. Writers with superior ideas often just need to make small adjustments in their writing inputs to make their ideas come alive. Pam’s knowledge of proper writing conventions, along with her understanding of the processes of gathering, reviewing, sorting, and presenting data, can help writers to clearly transmit their thoughts and achieve their desired communication goals. 


Dr. Etienne A. Kouakou has been a French and English language specialist and educator since 1991. The holder of a master’s degree in English Education and a doctorate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Dr. Kouakou has been teaching in the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) at Hostos Community College since September 2013. Additionally, he has taught college Freshman Composition at CUNY-Queens College and served as a TESOL Clinical Supervisor in the master’s degree program in TESOL at Hunter College in New York. An avid reader and lover of writing, Dr. Kouakou currently teaches two Freshman Composition courses at Fordham University in New York. Many years ago, Dr. Kouakou was a secondary school English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher in the Ivory Coast. After moving to the United States in 1996, he became a middle and high school English teacher in New York. He also spent a year teaching middle school English in Washington, DC in 2009-2010. Back in New York after this stint, he taught French in the French Heritage Program administered by the Cultural Services of the French embassy. In his spare time, Dr. Kouakou enjoys reading, writing, and practicing Shotokan Karate, a Japanese martial art, which has been his passion for over forty years. He derives a lot of pleasure from revising his own writing, as well as those of others. He has native proficiency in French and is a trained French and English translator.

Kayla Verity

Kayla Verity is a dedicated Resume Writer with 5+ years of experience helping clients of varying professional levels, from college students to CEOs, land more interviews and achieve their dream jobs. Over the past few years, Kayla has revamped and optimized 2k+ clients’ resumes and cover letters and helped them achieve their career goals. Kayla has been working as a freelance Resume Writer on various platforms, including Fiverr, where she has received high recognition for exceptional customer satisfaction rates. She is truly passionate about helping others secure their next job and advance as professionals. Kayla is highly knowledgeable in Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and how to effectively utilize keywords and resume formatting to get clients hired faster. She enjoys making clients feel confident in their resumes and recognizing the transferrable skills and strengths they bring to the table as professionals. Kayla’s favorite aspect of her resume writing career is hearing back from clients that they got the job they were aiming for and are extremely happy.
Kayla Verity


Charlene Jones is an experienced Portuguese translator specializing in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Charlene takes pride in providing high-quality translations by using her language expertise and keen attention to detail. Charlene is a certified medical interpreter through CCHI and NBCMI, and she has a BA in Language and Literature from Universidade Gama Filho. Charlene likes crocheting, singing, and playing board games with family and friends in her free time.

Addison Palacios

Addison Palacios is an Assistant Professor of English at Mt. San Jacinto College in Southern California. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside, where he also coordinated the Writing Across the Curriculum program. His work has been published by the University of Tennessee Press and supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Modernist Studies Association, and the Nettie Lee Benson archives at the University of Texas at Austin.


Mariah Armstrong earned a bachelor’s degree in Design Studies at California State University, San Bernardino. She likes to paint using traditional and digital mediums in her free time. In addition, she likes to play with her dog in the backyard at any given time.

Whitney Hackler

Whitney Hackler is an editor with more than a decade of experience supporting writers and their work. From federal grant proposals to creative projects, she brings a keen eye to details with a strong understanding of project scope. Whitney holds an MA in English and professional writing and an MS in complementary alternative medicine.

Charles Blackstone

Charles Blackstone is the author of the novels Vintage Attraction (Pegasus Books/Simon & Schuster) and The Week You Weren’t Here (Dzanc Books) and the co-editor of The Art of Friction: Where (Non) Fictions Come Together (University of Texas Press). His short fiction and essays have appeared in Joyland, Oldster, Bookreporter, Fiction Writers Review, The Millions, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Bookslut, and Esquire, among many others. Blackstone is a recipient of an &NOW award for best innovative fiction and Newcity included him among the “Lit 50” in 2012 and 2013. He lives in New York City. He works on short-story, essay, and novel manuscripts at all stages of the drafting process and advises on story elements, such as plot, character, scenes, point of view, and pacing. He also assists writers with style issues, breaking through blocks, and suggests markets. Detailed notes come in the form of inline comments in the manuscript itself, digital or paper, and a summary of his thoughts and suggestions follows at the end. Blackstone has worked in many genres.

Francesca Astiazaran

Francesca holds a dual master’s degree in composition and applied linguistics and teaches English as a Second Language. She has more than a decade of experience editing a variety of writing types and over 8 years of experience teaching university-level academic writing as well as teaching English as a second language to international university students and visiting scholars. She also worked for five years as a special consultant and writing coach, working one-on-one with both graduate and undergraduate students to strengthen their papers and thesis projects, as well as helping the department to design program-level writing assignments and assessments. Francesca is active in research, with a particular interest in DEI, and gives regular presentations on best practices for research writing in the social sciences.

Samantha St. Claire

Samantha St. Claire attended graduate school at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She received her master’s degree in Literature and Rhetoric/Composition to achieve her goal of teaching college English. Over the years, she has tutored and taught literature, college freshman composition, rhetoric, and English as a Second Language (ESL) at Cal Poly Pomona; University of California, Riverside; Moreno Valley College; and Mt. San Jacinto College. She endeavors to increase student success and retention by supporting students through the potentially debilitating writing anxiety many college students and writers experience. She works to foster a culturally responsive and culturally sustaining academic environment where her diverse population of students feels safe, seen, and celebrated.


Matthew Nadelson lives with his wife, whom he often annoys with long explanations of esoteric elements of English grammar, in Long Beach, California, where he currently teaches English at Long Beach City College. He holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside, and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University. For the past 16 years, he has taught writing, reading, and information literacy courses at several colleges and universities. Having graded and offered thoughtful feedback on student essays for the past 16 years, Matthew has honed his ability to point out and help students correct errors in grammar, punctuation, and style on an extremely tight timeline and to clearly explain the reasoning behind choices in grammar, punctuation, and various styles. In addition to teaching, Matthew has professionally edited documents from a wide range of disciplines for the past decade.