Writing Centre and Academic Communications

Meet the Staff

Brian Hotson, MTS
Director, Academic Learning Services


A professional writer for over twenty-five years, Brian spent ten of these years in educational publishing. With Nelson Canada and Pearson Education, Brian worked as a project manager, developmental editor, and writer, collaborating on the publication of more than thirty titles.


As well, Brian spent ten years as a television producer/director and writer for Ontario’s public educational broadcaster, TVOntario. He also worked as a writer and project manager for the Independent Learning Centre, Ontario’s designated provider of distance education. He has a BA in History from Lakehead University and a Masters of Theological Studies from Queen’s University (Kingston). During his Master's degree completion, Brian worked as a tutor at the Queen's University writing centre.


Brian is a past-president of the Canadian Writing Centres Association (CWCA), founding member of the Atlantic Canadian Writing Centres Association (ACWCA), former boardmember of the Canadian Association for the Study of Language and Learning (CASLL).


Currently, Brian sits on the Inkshed Publications editorial board. He is also editor-in-chief of the Writing Lab Newletter (WLN) Blog, a member of the Steering Committee for the STLHE/SAPES 2017 conference 2017, and a member of the CWCA communitcations committee.



Arlene Bell



Writing Tutors



Jodi-Ann Walker, BA, Environmental Science; BEd; MA, Geography (In Progress)

Senior Tutor


Jodi-Ann is a spirited young lady from Jamaica who holds a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies. She has gained a combination of eight years’ experience in teaching students from the kindergarten to secondary levels. Jodi-Ann is currently pursuing a Master’s in Geography and enjoys having intellectually stimulating (and hilarious) conversations.

She is the author of a very useful guide entitled, “An International Student’s Guide to Attending Canadian Universities,” and is an active blogger, who, in her spare time, engages a diverse audience with her two blogs.


Eric Franklin, MA, English

Senior Tutor


Upon the completion of an MA in English, Eric taught honours and AP literature courses for several years at an independent high school but wanted to learn more about the cultural and political impulses that prompted the literature studied. For that reason, he decided to take a break from teaching high school English to earn a degree in History.

Eric is now in his third year in the Saint Mary’s History program, helping students through the Writing Centre all the while. When school is not in session, he likes to ski in the winter and travel to the British Isles in the summer.




Roberto Montiel, PhD (Dalhousie)

Graduate Tutor

Languages: Spanish

Roberto has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from Dalhousie University. Before coming to Canada, He taught at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He also writes film reviews in his spare time.


Sheelagh Russell-Brown, PhD, English Literature

Senior Tutor

Sheelagh Russell-Brown holds a BA and PhD from the University of New Brunswick, and an MPhil from the University of Waterloo. She has taught literature and composition at a number of universities, community colleges, and language schools in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, and after teaching for seven years at an international university preparatory high school in the Czech Republic, is now a part-timer instructor in the English Department at SMU.

Although her specialty is nineteenth and early twentieth-century British literature, she has presented and published papers on Samuel Beckett and Václav Havel, on the memories of the Holocaust among European Roma, on the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, and on Dickensian elements in neo-Victorian literature, At present, she is devoting her free time to developing her creative writing.




Mandy MacArthur, BA, Religious Studies; MA, Religious Studies

Senior Tutor; WHO Coordinator


Mandy holds Masters and Bachelor’s degrees in Religious Studies, with a concentration on Buddhist Environmental Ethics. In addition, she completed a University Teaching Diploma from Saint Mary’s University in 2011.
Mandy has worked on the Saint Mary’s campus since 2007 as a Teaching and Research Assistant and prides herself on being a SMU Alumna. She is a self-proclaimed nerd who has a passion for academic research and writing and genuinely cares about the student experience.


Kurtis Anstey, BA, Anthropology; BA, English Literature; BSc, Astrophysics (ongoing); TESL/TEFL Certification

Senior Tutor, Science


Kurtis holds a double-major in Anthropology and English from Saint Mary’s. He is also TESL/TEFL certified and spent the last year and a half as an ESL teacher and tutor in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He is currently pursuing a second degree in Astrophysics at Saint Mary’s in anticipation of a graduate degree. He can often be seen carrying a skateboard.




Adrian Knapp, PhD, English Literature (University of Leeds)

Graduate Tutor

Languages: German

Before coming to Saint Mary’s, where he is now an adjunct professor in the English Department and a part-time instructor in the Faculty of Education, Adrian taught in the English Department and the International Language Centre at the University of Innsbruck. His research focuses on early black writing in Britain and the characterisation of black characters in eighteenth-century literature. He co-edited the essay collection (Re)figuring Human Enslavement: Images of Power, Violence and Resistance (Innsbruck University Press, 2009) and is currently working on a monograph that explores the construction of self in eighteenth-century slave narratives and their contemporary rewritings.