Alicia DeSantis

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

May 2011

Awesome teacher...class environment was always really upbeat...never thought she was giving me teacher bullshit, always felt she was shooting me straight...seems to understand that not everyone is James Joyce, and works (and grades) each student according to his or her abilities (I might be wrong about this)....she was very easy to talk to when we met one on one to go over papers and her instructions on what was wrong or what I needed to fix were very clear...I don't know if my class was super cool or what but she even scheduled a little get together after classes had ended for us.

Nov 2010

Alicia is the best teacher I have had at Columbia to date. If you are looking for a teacher that lets you slide by without being challenged, then she isn't for you (by the way, if you are looking to slide by without being challenged, I would presume to suggest you are probably at the wrong school). If on the other hand, you really want to learn to write -- to generate original and creative ideas, to see and explore something from an entirely new perspective, to argue efficiently and potently, to write like a writer -- then I would highly recommend taking any course with her. Her class demands that you do the footwork and that you participate in the class discussions. But if you are open to a new experience and willing to do the work, then you will leave this class feeling that you have experienced an "Ivy League" quality class with an engaging and stimulating "Ivy League" teacher.

Nov 2010

Alicia is a brilliant person, but like many brilliant people she has minor issues with organization and communicating her ideas. Fortunately they never impede the pace of the class. Those are really the only faults and there are tons of positives to tip the scales in her favor. She is constantly energetic, inspirational and completely willing to work with you to improve your writing. Critiques on papers are typically effective and she has no problem meeting with you to discuss what elements of your writing need particular attention. The class discussions are open and very enjoyable and she has no problem allowing people to explore new ideas during discussions.

Jan 2010

If you have the opportunity to take this class with Alicia grab it! Alicia is extremely attentive and energetic and always creates a comfortable learning environment. My writing improved tremendously and I can say confidently that I am ready to write any and all types of papers for Columbia. I looked forward to every class, the readings were interesting and I always felt I could reach out either by office hours or email if I was stuck or had a problem with a paper. Excellent class...I was shocked to find out that Alicia was a TA, she is as capable and educated as any professor on campus. Two big thumbs up!

Oct 2009

Best TA I've had at Columbia. I think the previous reviewer's hatred for graduate students unfairly colored his/her review of an enthusiastic and brilliant instructor. Discussion sections were generally informative and interesting. Alicia has a great sense of when a concept needs to be further explored and when it's time to move onto something else. Although the course was a bit of a hot mess, Alicia taught an excellent section I found to be about as enjoyable and productive as an hour fifty minute night class can be.

Aug 2009

The kind of person that would be attractive if she weren’t a graduate student. It’s insulting enough that Columbia won’t provide full professors to teach its required (and therefore most ‘critical’) classes, but Alicia – you call her Alicia – is palatable as far as things go. A little over-indulgent of bad ideas, hyper-critical of good ones, vigilant for signs of boredom, insecure to the point of assigning arbitrary grades that elevate the lunatics and bring down the dons, but I could be describing all grad students. The point is: you don’t have much of a choice, and Alicia, all things considered, isn’t a terrible one. In person she’s kind and accessible and will talk with you about anything you want.

May 2007

If you get this professor to teach your section of UW, consider yourself incredibly lucky. Alicia was able to break all of the negative preconceptions I had about University Writing. Going to this 9:10 class every day turned out to be much more of a pleasure than a chore. Not only does she try to improve all of the typically dreadful standardized UW assignments, she has a mastery of the reading. Also, if you get her, try to help her with the printing quota, since apparently grad students also have the same 200/week quota as undergrads do. Interesting fact(s): she was an undergrad at Harvard (she tried unsuccessfully to conceal this fact), and she has a facebook (haha!).

May 2007

Alicia was great. She really knew how to make the UW workload seem less stressful! She made a 9am class bearable and really worked hard toward improving her students' writing. If a student ever needed anything, she was there to respond to you quickly whether it was via email or meeting with her after class. She's a very approachable teacher and an extremely fair grader. If you've got her, be thankful!

Dec 2006

Alicia is a great University Writing instructor. She's knowledgable of and enthusiastic about the material, and she always has great suggestions on how to improve your writing. She's a nice person and understands that students have a ton of other committments in addition to the work for this class, but doesn't let the class walk all over her. One of the best things about having her as an instructor is that she puts in a ton of time and energy into reading students' work, revising it, and meeting with students. She assigns a lot of challenging writing assignments, but you won't feel like you are doing pointless busywork. I felt like every assignment helped me become a better writer in some way, even though it was stressful to do them. When meeting with students Alicia sometimes gets overly enthusiastic and throws out too many ideas about how to formulate an argument or revise an essay, which can be confusing, but her suggestions are always great.

Dec 2006

Alicia's enthusiasm was contagious enough to neutralize the fact that this class was at 9:10 twice a week. She earnestly tried to improve your writing and always made time for you to meet with her outside of class if needed. The bottom line is, we cared because she cared. Although she didn't perform miracles in making us all fantastic writers, she helped us see the path to what a fantastic writer was and maybe also cleared some debris, depending on what kind of shape you were in when you started.

Dec 2006

Alicia deSantis is a great teacher. She never assigns too much work, but you learn a lot and improve your writing tremendously. Though you do have to do 3 really dumb essays (all of them are just university writing standard ones), she really makes them seem probably much more interesting than they are. all in all, i highly recommend her to anyone who has to take u.w.

Nov 2006

Excellent, engaging, intelligent! Alicia is very passionate about what she teaches and is genuinely interested in bettering your writting. She does not bull shit but gets to business and does a great job. Anyone who has her is extreamely fortunate...