The Ivory Tower Team

Who we are
What we do
Why we’re here:

Andrew Rimby (Co-Founder and Executive Director, pronouns: he/him/his)
 is a Ph.D. Candidate and queer activist at Stony Brook University researching nineteenth-century literature from a queer transatlantic perspective. He is the 2019 inaugural recipient of the Guiliano Global Fellowship, a 2019-2020 Public Humanities Fellow, and a 2019 Stony Brook Graduate Fellow in the Arts, Humanities, and Lettered Social Sciences. With Adam Katz, he co-anchors The Ivory Tower Boiler Room, a podcast about navigating academia during the pandemic. He also is the Associate Editor for the Watchung Review and a Board Member of the Walt Whitman Initiative. 
Mary DiPipi (Chief Contributor, pronouns: she/her/hers) is a writer from Blackwood, NJ. She is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and a certification in Professional Writing . In addition to writing Mary has a background in the performing arts including 17 years of dance training, 8 years of musical theatre study, and 5 years combined teaching dance and musical theatre. DiPipi is currently working on a children’s novel and a speculative fiction novel. She resides at home with her parents and pup Houston.
Erika Grumet (Media Director, pronouns: she/her/hers) holds a master’s degree in social work from Stony Brook University with a concentration in student community development. She adamantly denies being a “real writer,” and refuses ownership of the title “poet,” although she keeps sharing poems with the Ivory Tower community, and  says she doesn’t know what would tip her over the edge into feeling like a “real writer.”  Erika also enjoys reading, knitting and puzzles, and defending the honor of viola players everywhere against Adam’s slanderous barbs as well as gloating whenever he admits to liking a piece of viola music.

  Erika grew up on Long Island, and shares her life with cats–who like to wait until she is on a Zoom call before stepping all over her–and with her incredible children who… don’t do that.
Adam Katz, PhD (Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, pronouns: he/him/his) Adam Katz grew up in Great Neck, New York in the late ’80s through early ’aughts. An interesting bit of trivia from those years is that he took piano lessons in the part of town where The Great Gatsby would have taken place. A precocious author, his first known publication is a 1989 monograph with full-color plates on the timely but somewhat controversial subject of dinosaurs; the book had a limited run but was highly regarded in certain circles. A graduate of Columbia College (class of 2008) and the Stony Brook English Department (class of 2019), Adam is currently employed as a contact tracer for the City of New York, and is writing a novel on medical and dystopian themes, working title: Cattle Futures.

Tutoring subjects include: English, Writing, SAT, Spanish.
Hobbies include: drawing, singing, practicing piano, reading and writing (duh), and knitting. And cooking, sometimes. Oh, and teasing Erika about being a violist, which is not so much a hobby as it is a moral imperative.


Ceren Usta (Director of Marketing, pronouns she/her/hers) is a PhD candidate and instructor at Stony Brook university studying notions of identity, belonging and diaspora with a specific focus on Armenian Literature in modern Turkey. My background is in Comparative Literature, History and Cultural Studies. Originally from Istanbul, I now call Brooklyn my home. 

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