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Your Clem History Writing Center Consultants

The consultants for the 2023-2024 Academic Year are Joan Jockel,Kaila Schwartz, Katy Telling and Emily Wells

We are advanced Ph.D. Candidates in the William & Mary History Department. We are very familiar with history research and writing and are prepared to help you with any type of history writing assignment. We look forward to meeting you!  

We look forward to meeting you! Learn more about us below:


Joan Jockel


 I am a PhD candidate in History and am writing my dissertation on gender violence, power, and print in the revolutionary Anglo-Atlantic world. During my time at William & Mary I've worked as an Editorial Apprentice for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, served as a Teaching Assistant for Global History, and taught my own course on US Women’s History from 1600- 1877. Outside of campus, I volunteer for YWCA of South Hampton Roads as an outreach educator and hospital advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.   In my spare time, I like to be in my kitchen or my garden. I love cooking for friends and family, especially when I can include herbs and produce from my own backyard. I’m also obsessed with prestige television and can often be found cuddled up on the couch binge watching something new. 

 Fun Fact: I have a worm bin in my backyard. So in addition to my three beloved dogs and cat I am also the proud owner of 2,000 plus red wigglers.

 Best Writing Advice: Focus on your topic sentences above all else. Topic sentences need to identify the main point of a paragraph but also explain to readers how the paragraph is connected to the larger argument in your paper.

Kaila Schwartz


I grew up in South Carolina and Massachusetts and discovered my love of history when exploring all of the neat old stuff in my grandparents’ houses. I went to college and grad school in greater Boston, earning a B.A. in history from Brandeis and an M.S. in library science and archives management from Simmons. My dissertation focuses on New England naming patterns from the 1600s through the Civil War, examining what people named their children, how that changed over time and why, and how people used names to build family memory and identity.  In Fall 2019, I taught a section of HIST 121: American History to 1877.  In addition to teaching, I have worked as a tutor of middle and high school students, a fact checker for the Omohundro Institute, a freelance editor, and a TA of Global History.  When I’m not doing history or working in the writing center, I enjoy genealogy, cooking, crafts, and jigsaw puzzles.

Fun Fact: I spent many summers as a toy maker in Nantucket.

Best Writing Advice: The best writing advice I’ve received is to avoid passive voice and instead use a variety of active verbs like “demonstrate” and “reveal.”

Katy Telling


I am a PhD Candidate in the History Department studying gender, religion, and the family amongst Quakers in the 17th- and 18th-century Carolinas and Virginia. While at William & Mary, I've worked as an Editorial Apprentice for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, been a Teaching Assistant for Global History, and taught the survey course United States History to 1877. I also manage social media content for the Omohundro Institute's Octo page as well as for the media and curriculum database Women Also Know History. When I'm not poring over the history books and dissertation drafts, you can usually find me exploring a Richmond museum, spending hours in an independent bookstore, or in the kitchen trying out a new recipe. Pop culture podcasts, crossword puzzles, checking out local bands: these are a few of my favorite things!

 Fun Fact: I'm a UT Austin alum and huge Texas Longhorns fan. Most of my writing occurs on my living room couch next to a Bevo plush! 

 Best writing advice: Get the words on the page and then don't touch them for at least 24 hours. A professor once told me that drafts do strange things when you leave them alone for a while. When you come back to edit, you'll be able to see areas for improvement more clearly and you usually find a lot to like about your original writing.

Emily Wells


I am a PhD candidate in History and am writing a dissertation on elite, white girlhood in the American South between the Revolution and the Civil War. At William & Mary I’ve served as a TA for Global History and taught my own course on early American material culture. I have also interned at several museums, including Colonial Williamsburg. When I’m not doing history, I enjoy taking walks down DoG Street, relaxing with my cat, browsing antique malls, and working on overly-ambitious craft projects.

 Fun Fact: I collect needlework samplers from the 19th century and am teaching myself how to embroider my own.

 Best Writing Advice: Read your writing out loud! This is the best way to catch mistakes and develop your writing style.