Developing the ability to communicate in a clear, organized, and effective way is a central goal of the liberal arts education at Hamilton. To help all students strengthen their writing abilities, the College established the Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center in 1987. 

The Writing Center is named in honor of George L. Nesbitt (1903-1985), Professor of English from 1930 to 1973, and Thomas McNaughton Johnston (1904-1986), Professor of English from 1934 to 1972. Demanding and inspiring teachers, they helped two generations of Hamilton students to write thoughtful, coherent, clear, and sometimes elegant prose. Professor Nesbitt, who chaired the Department of English from 1952 to 1968, was instrumental in establishing the English composition sequence; Professor Johnston, the principal author of Hamilton’s Essentials of English Usage style guide, was known for his own graceful style, which his best students aspired to emulate. Together they constructed the foundation for Hamilton’s present reputation as an institution that teaches and values effective writing.

Meet Our Tutors

Jennifer Ambrose, Ph.D.

Writing Center Director



Jennifer became the Director of Hamilton's Writing Center in 2016. She obtained her PhD from the University of Iowa and has over 20 years of experience in writing center work as well as a teaching background in rhetoric, communication, scientific & technical writing, and American studies. Her work focuses on providing equitable and inclusive access to writing support for students and faculty.

Laura Widman, M.A.

Writing Center Assistant Director: Multilingual Specialist



Laura has a Master's degree in Linguistics, focused on Teaching English as a Second language, and came to Hamilton after working in the Writing Centers at Texas A&M and the University of Iowa. Their work focuses on providing academic support to multilingual students on campus, as well as helping faculty develop their pedagogy to create an environment where linguistic diversity is respected. In their free time, you can find them hiking, playing board games, baking, and hanging out with their cat, Bastian.

Riley Spellman

Writing Center Office Assistant



Riley graduated from St. Lawrence University, where she majored in English and Performance-Communication Arts. When she's not in the Writing Center, she spends her time exploring waterfalls, drawing cartoons, and going to art galleries and museums.

Student Assistants

Sofia Isabel Gonzalez Alvarado ’26

Sofia is a Studio Art and Art History major from Caracas, Venezuela. She loves Lorde's music, foreign movies, and all sorts of artsy stuff. In her free time you can find her painting, blasting music in the studio, and finishing projects in KTSA until 2 a.m.

Emma Earls ’24

Emma is a senior from Sturbridge, Massachusetts. She is majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Theater and Classical Studies. She enjoys reading and writing, inside and outside of classes. She also likes good movies, iced coffee, and fall weather.

Jaylaan Limon Ixehuatl

Jaylaan is a sophomore from West New York, New Jersey. She plans to major in Biology and minor in Hispanic Studies. She loves reading manga, listening to music, embroidery, and reading.

Ken Lam ’26

Ken is a sophomore majoring in Data Science. He is from Chicago, Illinois, where he enjoys going to downtown Chicago to try out new food, especially deep dish pizza. He loves trying out new cultural food and doing side projects relating to data analysis on the NBA season.

Ben Peterson ’24

Ben is a senior from Pittsburgh. He is a Literature major. He loves to read and would suggest that anyone here at Hamilton take a course in literature. He is on the club soccer team and loves to play and watch the beautiful game (up the Red Devils).

Ely Silverman ’26

Ely is a sophomore from Manhattan. He’s unsure about a major but loves photography, literature, and government. He spends his time hanging with friends, hosting a WHCL show, reading, and watching movies (and studying, in case my mom reads this!).

Rosie Villa '25

Rosie is a junior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is majoring in Sociology. She spends her free time catching discs with the ultimate frisbee team and watching shows like Community and New Girl with friends.

Helen Xin ’25

Off-campus. Helen is a junior majoring in Neuroscience and Environmental Studies. She is from Louisville, Kentucky. She loves matcha, sushi, and going on runs.


Office / Department Name

Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center

Contact Name

Jennifer Ambrose

Writing Center Director

Office Location
Kirner-Johnson 152
10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
2 p.m. - 10 p.m.

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