Photo credit: Craig Chandler | University Communications
Your curiosity is a gift that’s led to your unique skills and experiences. It’s shaped who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going… it’s your life’s story. Your curiosity contributed to your success. How did curiosity move you to where you are today?
Cara Morgenson graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in August 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts (High Distinction, Honors Program) in English and psychology, minor in women's and gender studies. During her time at Nebraska, Cara worked in the Writing Center, served as an intern and editorial assistant for Prairie Schooner, and was a teaching assistant for a 189H Honors Seminar, "Great Love Stories," taught by Dr. Karon Lyons.
Dr. Megan Black received her B.A. in English and Film Studies from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2009. She is now assistant professor of International History at the London School of Economics with research interests in the United States and the world, environmental history, and political economy. Her current research explores the role of the U.S. Department of the Interior in spearheading the pursuit of minerals beyond U.S. formal sovereignty in indigenous lands, formal US territories, nations throughout the global South, the oceans, and outer space.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with a B.A. in English, Justin Perkins participated in an international service corps program with the Lutheran World Federation located in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Tracy Prince received her Ph.D. in 1997 and is now a Research Professor in the American Indian Teacher Program at Portland State University in Oregon. Her first book, Portland's Goose Hollow, was published in 2011 (Arcadia) and she has since authored Culture Wars in British Literature: Multiculturalism and National Identity (2012, McFarland) and co-authored Portland's Slabtown (2013) and Notable Women of Portland (2017).
Lenora Hanson earned her Masters degree from the Department of English in 2009, where she built foundations in both British Romanticism and critical theory before pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Norma E. Cantú is Norine R. and T. Frank Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Trinity University. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln after earning her bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas A&I at Laredo and Kingsville, respectively. She was a senior arts administrator with the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC and was Acting Chair of the Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
James Engelhardt received his Ph.D. in poetry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010. During his time as a Ph.D. candidate, he focused on place studies and ecopoetry, and also served as managing editor of the Prairie Schooner. Currently, he is an acquisitions editor for the University of Alaska Press. His ecopoetry manifesto can be found at octopusmagazine.com.
Kathleen King earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and taught creative writing and literature for many years at Idaho State University. Over the years, many of her poems, stories, essays, professional papers and a novel have been published. She has also edited and published many literary magazines.
Trey Moody (Ph.D. 2014) teaches at Creighton University as an assistant professor of English and creative writing. His first book, Thought That Nature (Sarabande Books, 2014), was selected for the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry.
Julie Iromuanya received her Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010. During her time as an M.A. and doctoral candidate, she was named a Presidential Fellow and won the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Her dissertation (supervised by Jonis Agee) grew to become her debut novel, Mr. and Mrs. Doctor, which has been shortlisted for the 2016 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. She is currently hard at work on her second novel, A Season of Light.
After a Rocky Mountain upbringing in Cody, Wyoming, Will Fech received a BA in English and Film Studies from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (2008), an MLitt in European Cinema from the University of Glasgow (2011), and an MA in English from Oregon State University (2013). Presently he is a Ph.D. candidate in Film and Moving Image Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, where he healthily obsesses over global art film, exhibition, and pedagogy.
Nina Murray received her M.A. in 2006 in Creative Writing - Poetry. Since then, she has translated three novels: Fish and Stargorod by Peter Aleshkovsky, from Russian, and The Museum of Abandoned Secrets by Oksana Zabuzhko, from Ukrainian. In 2011, she joined the U.S. Foreign Service. She served in Lithuania as the U.S.
John Duncan Talbird (Ph.D. 2004) is Professor of English at Queensborough Community College-CUNY where he is assistant director of the writing program and co-coordinator of WID/WAC. He is on the editorial board of Green Hills Literary Lantern and a frequent contributor to Quarterly Review of Film and Video.
Dave Madden (Ph.D. 2010) is an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco and author of If You Need Me I'll Be Over There (Indiana University Press, 2016) and The Authentic Animal: Inside the Odd and Obsessive World of Taxidermy (St. Martin's, 2011).
Jacqueline H. Harris received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2015, with specializations in Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies and Women's & Gender Studies. She worked as a Lecturer for the University's English and Women's & Gender Studies Departments, and is now a Visiting Faculty member at Brigham Young University in Idaho.
Cathie English received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2011. Her emphasis was in Rhetoric and Composition, and she was also a part of the Place Studies program. She teaches secondary English and currently serves as a teacher consultant for the Nebraska Writing Project.
Tracy Tucker is an alumna of the Place Studies and Creative Writing programs, where she specialized in Great Plains Studies. She is a certified archivist and Education Director for the Willa Cather Foundation, where she oversees the foundation's collection and presents regularly on Cather, Great Plains literature, and the environment.
Jennifer Sinor earned her B.A. in English and Russian from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1991. As a student at Nebraska, she first published in Laurus. She earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Michigan. Now a professor of English at Utah State University, Jennifer teaches creative writing and serves as Department Chair of Literature and Writing.
"After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2011 with a B.A. in English and Film Studies I spent some time volunteering at the Nebraska State Historical Society with Paul Eisloeffel, who is the Curator of Audiovisual Collections. There I worked with home movies and ephemeral or sponsored films, and I spent most of the time cleaning, repairing, and creating more detailed records of the collection.
Joshua Doležal was an M.A. student at UNL from 1997-1999 and returned for a Ph.D. from 2001-2005. Since that time he has taught American literature, creative writing, medical humanities, and sustainability at Central College in Pella, Iowa, where he is now Professor of English. He is also the author of a memoir, Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging (University of Iowa Press, 2014).
Vanessa Steinroetter received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May of 2011. She is currently an Associate Professor of English at Washburn University and will serve as the Department Chair starting in July 2017.
Xaviera Flores is the Chicano Studies Research Center Library at UCLA, where she does library and archival work, including marketing, event planning, and grant writing. Previously she served as the Project Archivist for the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Grant project "Labor Rights are Civil Rights/Los Derechos de Trabajo son Derechos Civiles" at Arizona State University Libraries' Archives and Special Collections. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2007 with a B.A.
Molly Merrell graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2004 with a degree in English. Currently, she is the Locations Coordinator for the FOX drama Shots Fired and will be doubling up to prepare for the second season of Cinemax's new hit, Outcast.
Sarah Knight graduated with a B.A. in English in 2009. In May 2012, she will complete a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently works as a Library Media Services Technician at Lincoln High School in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Ryan Wiegert attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln from 1999-2004 and graduated with a B.A. in English. He currently works as a high school English teacher in Omaha, Nebraska. Teaching mostly 12th graders, Ryan focuses his course content on preparing young people for post-secondary education and training.
Pippa White graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.A. in English. She turned to solo performing in 1994, after an extensive career in theatre and television on the West Coast, including five years hosting a daily morning television show on ABC in San Francisco. In addition to professional storytelling, she offers workshops (Mining the Gold in the History Books: Finding Great Stories in History; Speech 101: How to Improve All Speaking Skills) and residencies, and has been a teaching artist with Nebraska Arts Council since 1990.
Frank Wheeler received his M.A. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May of 2010. He currently lives in Nebraska and teaches at SCC in Lincoln. He has published a short story and book reviews in the online magazine Crime Factory. His novel The Wowzer was published by Thomas & Mercer publishers in 2012.
SJ Sindu, who received an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln creative writing program in 2012, just sold her first novel, Marriage of a Thousand Lies, to SOHO Press. The novel is about a Sri-Lankan American lesbian named Lucky who is in a marriage of convenience with a gay man in order to assuage her conservative family. But when her girlfriend agrees to an arranged marriage, Lucky's life of lies starts to fall apart.
Ian Olney was enrolled in the English doctoral program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1998 to 2003 and pursued a course of study focusing on film. While there, he worked closely with Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Foster to manage the English department’s undergraduate Film Studies program, acting as Advisor for the major and regularly teaching film courses. His dissertation, which was directed by Gwendolyn Foster, focused on spectatorship, performance, and classic European horror cinema.
Karen Head earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2004. Now an Assistant Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, she is also the Director of GT's new state-of-the-art Communication Center. Since 2006, she has been a Visiting Scholar at Technische Universität-Dortmund, Germany, where she served as primary consultant for their academic center.
Attorney-at-Large, Gaynell Gavin’s novella, was published in 2012 by Main Street Rag Publishing. Main Street Rag had also previously published her poetry chapbook, Intersections. Gay wrote most of the novella while completing her Ph.D. at Nebraska. Her work appears in many journals and anthologies. A finalist for the 2011 Zone 3 Press Nonfiction Book Award, she now teaches at Claflin University in SC.
Dr. Derek Driedger received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2007 and became an English professor at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota, where he is now Associate Dean of Digital Learning. He has received the Dakota Wesleyan University Faculty Professional Excellence Award multiple times, and currently serves as Chair of the English Department.
Dr. Tyrone Jaeger is a graduate of the Ph.D. program in creative writing. He is currently an associate professor at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, where he was Writer-in-Residence from 2008 to 2011. He is the author of The Runaway Note (2012), "the fragmented story of two star-crossed lovers as they steal the devil's can, resurrect a dead boy, and re-experience their past lives."
Nobuko Tsukui was a child living in Tokyo when the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings killed more than 200,000 people in 1945. She moved to the United States in September 1961 and completed her doctorate in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has taught in Minnesota and in Washington D.C., and has dedicated her life to translating and giving life to the stories of the hibakusha - the survivors of an atomic bomb.
Jenifer "JJ" Dugdale, a native of Milford and graduate of Milford High school, earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's in curriculum instruction with a reading specialist endorsement.
Her entire 20-year teaching career has been at Lincoln East High School.
Her principal, Susan Cassata, said: "JJ is very student- and community-focused, learning-centered, passionate and focused. She is a driving force behind our work with students and improving their reading and strategies to help them be successful."
Amanda Barker is the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Civic Health Programs at Nebraskans for Civic Reform. She has a background in non-profit work, having previously been at the Arbor Day Foundation and the Nebraska Human Resources Institute, as well as MindMixer and Nebraska Tourism. She has a passion for civic engagement, community development, and the great state of Nebraska. She also was one of the founding members of Nebraskans for Civic Reform, and served on the board of directors for many years.
As a high school English and composition teacher, my master's degree coursework at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has helped me in many ways. First and foremost, it has made me a better teacher: by combining the experience of the Nebraska Writer's Workshop with literature courses and courses on the practice of teaching composition and literature, I have been able to have discussions about teaching and literature that (ironically) don't take place during my busy regular day. It has also helped me better understand my own work writing poetry.
Matt DeGroot graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2006 with a major in film studies. He went on to earn his Masters in Media and Public Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and spent time working for a public relations and production company in the area. He is now a Production Manager at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, where he finds himself functioning as a jack of all trades.
Benjamin Vogt has a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an M.F.A. from The Ohio State University, and he is the author of the poetry collection Afterimage (SFA Press). Benjamin owns Monarch Gardens, a native plant garden consulting firm, and is on the board of Wachiska Audubon Society. He blogs about prairie at The Deep Middle. He presents regionally on gardening with prairie plants, and has appeared on local radio and television.
Tom Cabela was one of the first Film Studies Majors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After graduating in 2001, he completed the production program at USC and moved to Los Angeles, where he worked briefly for production designer Jennifer Williams. Williams introduced him to Oscar nominated editor Peter Honess, who soon hired Cabela as a Post Production Assistant.
Theodore Wheeler has books forthcoming in each of the next two years. A collection of short fiction titled Bad Faith was published by Queen's Ferry Press in July 2016. A novel titled Kings of Broken Things was acquired by Little A to be published in Spring 2017. Kings of Broken Things is the coming of age novel of two immigrant boys caught in a political scheme to incite a race riot and lynching, and is based on events surrounding the Omaha Race Riot of 1919.