Graduate Student Directory
Want to know who's who among our graduate students? Browse our students' profiles and catch a glimpse of the breadth of research, writing, and teaching that takes place in our M.A. and Ph.D. programs.
Jamaica grew up in Santa Cruz, CA. She earned her B.A. in Afro-American Studies from Smith College and her M.F.A. in poetry from Pacific University. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Third Coast, Prairie Schooner, Hayden's Ferry, Rattle, The Missouri Review, and TriQuarterly, among others. She was the winner of the 2019 San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference Contest in Poetry and received an honorable mention for the 2019 International Literary Award's Rita Dove Prize. Her writing has been supported by Hedgebrook and the Jack Straw Writers program. Jamaica lives in Lincoln where she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Creative Writing (poetry) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Chaun Ballard is a Ph.D. student in English from Alaska. Within the doctoral program, Chaun's area of specialization is creative writing, with a focus on poetry. From 2010-2018, Chaun and his wife lived in the Middle East and West Africa, where they taught in local area schools. He is an affiliate editor for Alaska Quarterly Review and a Graduate Teaching Assistant here at UNL. Prior to his arrival to UNL, he was a faculty member in the Department of Writing and the Department of Creative Writing & Literary Arts at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Chaun’s chapbook, Flight, was the winner of the 2018 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize and is published by Tupelo Press. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming inNarrative Magazine, Terrain, Rattle, The New York Times, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and other literary magazines. Chaun is the recipient of a 2019 Alaska Literary Award. His work has received nominations for both Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize.
Tara Ballard is a Ph.D. student in English from Alaska. Within the doctoral program, Tara's area of specialization is creative writing, with a focus on poetry. From 2010-2018, Tara and her husband lived in the Middle East and West Africa, where they taught in local area schools. She is an affiliate editor for Alaska Quarterly Review and a research assistant for the Charles Chesnutt Digital Archives here at UNL. Tara is the author of House of the Night Watch (New Rivers Press), which won the 2016 Many Voices Project prize in poetry. Her poems have been published in Consequence Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, North American Review, Poetry Northwest, Spillway, and other literary magazines in the US and abroad. Her work received a 2019 Nâzim Hikmet Poetry Prize.
Alexandra Bissell is a doctoral student in English Literary and Cultural Studies with an emphasis in Women’s & Gender Studies. Her current work centers on poetry & poetics, queer theory, trauma, and the affective role of literature in cultural archives. She holds an M.A. in English from DePaul University and a B.A. in English with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Northern Iowa. She served for two years as the executive editor of the literary magazine, Inner Weather, and has presented papers on the poetry of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Thom Gunn. Some of the accolades she has received for her critical and creative work include the Selina Terry Poetry Award, the James Hearst Award, and the James HiDuke Writing Award. She is also currently a recipient of the Crompton Fellowship.
Maura Bradshaw is a second year master's student in Literary and Cultural Studies. Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains, she earned her bachelor's degree in English literature and creative writing at the University of Montana in Missoula and has since worked in the fields of law and education. As a graduate student at UNL, Maura is minoring in geography, researching human/environment relationships and how they are represented across various media.
Joelle Byars is a M.A. student in creative writing with particular interest in Short Fiction and Lyric Nonfiction. She received her B.A. in English with Honors from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where she was awarded the Myrtle Clark Award in Creative Writing and the Ernest Hemingway Undergraduate Award. Her academic interests include social politics, ethnic studies, and women’s studies, all of which influence her creative work.
Jordan Charlton is a Ph.D. student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a focus in creative writing, specializing in poetry. He earned his M.A. in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and his B.A. in English from Oklahoma State University.
Avee Chaudhuri is a first year Ph.D. Student in Creative Writing. His stories have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Necessary Fiction, Maudlin House, Always Crashing, and elsewhere. He has taught writing and literature at Stephen F. Austin State University, Upward Bound PDX and the Louisiana Governor's Program for Gifted Children. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in English Literature from McNeese State University, as well as a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Texas at Austin. He used to coach Ultimate Frisbee.
Timothy J. Cook is a Ph.D. candidate (Literary and Cultural Studies) in the Department of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. His critical work digs into the modernist and epic poetic traditions as well as the contact points within these fields. Cook earned a master’s degree in English (literature) from the University of Montana, Missoula.
Victoria Davis is a doctoral student in English Literary and Cultural Studies. She holds an M.A. in English from Lehigh University and a B.A. in English and in gender & diversity studies from Slippery Rock University. Her current work centers on narrative and textuality in stories of apocalypse. Her other academic interests include 19th-century British women writers, environmental literary criticism, and critical theory. She has spent the last year processing the newly digitized Gloria Naylor Archive and designing the archive’s website. She is currently a recipient of the Crompton and Pulos Fellowships.
Andrew Del Mastro is a Ph.D. student in Literary and Cultural Studies, and is also pursuing a certificate in Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies. He received his B.A. in English Education at Illinois State University and, after working as a high school English teacher in Illinois for four years, returned to ISU for his master's degree in English. His research interests include Gothic literature, Victorian science, monster studies, and transatlantic Romanticism.
Alexandra DeLuise is a doctoral student in Composition and Rhetoric with a concentration in Digital Humanities. Her research interests center on composition pedagogy, including the ways technology can be most effectively used in the writing classroom to facilitate increased student agency. Prior to her work at UNL, Alex taught as an adjunct instructor at various Connecticut colleges and universities, focusing primarily on first-year writing and Accelerated Learning Program courses. She earned her M.A. in English from Southern Connecticut State University, where she focused on the importance of space and place in novels by Virgina Woolf and E.M. Forster. Her work has been published in the South Carolina Review and the Virginia Woolf Miscellany.
Kathleen (she/her/hers), who originally hails from Manistee, Michigan, is an activist, educator, and first-year Ph.D. student in Composition & Rhetoric who is interested in how writing classrooms can prepare our students to be thoughtful, empathetic, values-driven community members. Kathleen is also interested in dismantling classism in higher education and researching the ways in which rhetoric is used to frame political conversations and movements, particularly how dualistic, simplistic, and adversarial rhetoric dilutes and debases political discourse and what we believe is possible for the future. Before coming to UNL, Kathleen worked for five years as an Academic Advisor/Counselor then a Senior Academic Advisor/Counselor and Program Coordinator for a TRIO Student Support Services program at Loyola University Chicago, where she previously received a Master's in English, on the 'teaching track'. Kathleen also earned a Bachelor’s in English, with a minor in Politics & Government, from North Park University in Chicago. Kathleen hopes to teach one day full-time at a community college, where she will be active in campus and community life.
Simone Droge is an M.A. student in Composition and Rhetoric. Her research interests are menstruation literacy and menstruation literacy sponsorship, digital rhetoric, and anti-abortionist legal rhetoric. She holds a B.A. in English and History with minors in Women’s & Gender Studies and Digital Humanities from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She worked in the UNL Writing Center for three years as an undergraduate and currently is the Center’s Research Assistant
Saddiq Dzukogi is a doctoral student in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln creative writing program, where he is a recipient of the Othmer Fellowship. He is the author of Inside the Flower Room, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series. His recent poems are forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, African American Review, Transition, DIAGRAM, Spillway, Crab Orchard Review, Volta and elsewhere, while others have appeared in Prairie Schooner, New Orleans Review, South Dakota Review, Best American Experimental Writing Series, and Verse Daily. Saddiq is an Editorial assistant at Prairie Schooner and also a fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency.
Hailey Fischer is an M.A. student studying Literary and Cultural Studies with interests in Women's Literature, Gender Studies, and Film Studies. She is originally from Colorado and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with her B.A. in English and Film Studies and a minor in Business. Academically she is interested in studying Feminist writers and theory, specifically looking at Intersectional Feminism. She also has an interest in the publishing industry and has interned for Brandt and Hochman Literary Agency in New York City, as well as Prairie Schooner and the University of Nebraska Press.
Kate Gaskin is the author of Forever War, winner of the 2018 Pamet River Prize (YesYes Books). Her poems have appeared in journals such as Guernica, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, 32 Poems, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Southern Review, Blackbird, and The Rumpus, and her work has been anthologized in the 2019 Best American Nonrequired Reading. She is a recipient of a Tennessee Williams Scholarship in poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, as well as a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. In 2017 she won The Pinch’s Literary Award in Poetry. She grew up in a small town in central Alabama and has also lived in Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Florida.
Samantha Gilmore is a doctoral student, concentrating on Nineteenth Century Studies, and an Othmer Fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her scholarship focuses on early-to-mid nineteenth-century American literary and historical studies, digital humanities, archival research, and manuscript culture, specifically surrounding journals/diaries and commonplace books. Samantha holds a B.A. in English from Penn State University and a M.A. in English from West Virginia University, where she taught first-year composition and research writing. Currently, she works as a research assistant for The Walt Whitman Archive and The Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive at UNL, as well as for The Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson: A Scholarly Digital Edition with Northeastern University’s Women Writers Project.
Nicole is a Ph.D. candidate in Composition and Rhetoric. and has also completed a minor in Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education. During her time at UNL, she has served as the Associate Coordinator of Composition, Assistant Writing Center Director, and currently as the Assistant Director of the Writing Fellows Program.
Nicole’s current research investigates collaborations among secondary and postsecondary teacher-scholars engaging in education policy advocacy. Her scholarly interests also include teacher development at both the secondary and postsecondary levels, disability studies, writing center studies, and literacy studies. Her scholarship has appeared in English Journal and been featured at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention, and the International Writing Centers Association Conference.
Nora Harris is a first year M.A. student studying Composition and Rhetoric. Her research interests include writing center theory, writing and language pedagogy, and second-language writing. She holds a B.A. in Literature and Culture Studies, with a minor in Psychology, from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has also worked as a writing center consultant and as an ESL teaching assistant in Murcia, Spain.
Mark Houston is a doctoral student in composition and rhetoric. His current research focuses on pedagogy, ecocomposition, material rhetorics, theories of entanglement, food justice, and place-based education. His teaching practice centers on helping students think and write in ways that challenge binary dualisms and isolated subjectivities by exploring their place in the world’s complex intra-relations. Mark has contributed to the Husker Writers Project, conducting a class partnership in 2019 between a UNL writing class and a local high school class. He and his teaching partner received Husker Writers Teaching Excellence awards for their collaboration. Mark has also worked in UNL’s writing center and currently serves as an associate director there. In 2019, Mark received the English department’s John Robinson Award for Scholarly Papers for his “Monstrous Entanglement and Deep Time in Louise Erdrich's Future Home of the Living God.” Before coming to UNL, Mark taught composition at Blinn College and a variety of courses at York College, including composition, world literature, and American literature. Mark has also been active in the Nebraska Writing Project, where he helped lead a chapter of the Nebraska Warrior Writers, assisting veterans to develop their own writing projects. He holds B.A. degrees in English and religious studies from York College and a master’s degree in literature from Texas A&M University.
Phillip Howells is pursuing a Ph.D. in English with a focus on Digital Humanities. He received his B.A. from Westminster College in Pennsylvania and his M.A. from Kansas State University. At K-State, he focused on Cultural Studies, receiving a graduate certificate in Gender/Women/Sexuality Studies. He works as a TA in the English department as well as an RA in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities located on the third floor of Love Library.
Liz Husmann is a first year M.A. student in literary and cultural studies. She earned her B.A. in English and Art from UNL.
Claire Jimenez is a Puerto Rican writer who grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York. She is the author of the short story collection Staten Island Stories (Johns Hopkins Press, December 2019), which received the 2019 Hornblower Award for a first book from the New York Society Library. Jimenez is a Ph.D. student in English with a concentration in ethnic studies and digital humanities at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She received her M.F.A. from Vanderbilt University. Recently, she was a research fellow at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. In 2020, she and Raquel Salas Rivera were awarded a Mellon Foundation grant from the U.S Latino Digital Humanities Program at the University of Houston to create a Puerto Rican Literature Digital Archive. Currently, she is an assistant fiction editor at Prairie Schooner. Her fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in Remezcla, Afro-Hispanic Review, PANK, The Rumpus, el roommate, Eater, District Lit, The Toast and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications.
MacKayla is currently a first year Master of Arts in English student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she also received her Bachelor of Arts in English, and currently works as a Project Coordinator for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Academically, her current interests include narratives of displacement/resettlement in relation to place, immigrant/refugee literature, global education, pedagogies in developing nations surrounding literacy comprehension, literature, and creative writing, as well as human rights and humanitarian affairs. Professionally, her interests and experiences surround community outreach, public policy creation, international relations, transnational literature, human rights, and education. Personally, she enjoys devoting her time to the creative development within local communities by volunteering.
Tom Knoblauch is a Ph.D. candidate in Literary and Cultural Studies in the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He studies the intersection of political theory, gender studies, and literature/film. Knoblauch earned a master's degree in English from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He also hosts the public radio show Riverside Chats, teaches rhetoric/film in Omaha, and has three beautiful cats.
Celie Knudsen is an M.A. student in composition and rhetoric. She is specifically interested in queer and feminist rhetorics and the intersection between writing pedagogy and fat studies. Celie works as a Core Teaching Artist for the Nebraska Writers Collective, where she helps run the largest youth poetry festival in the state. She graduated with highest distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.A. in English and Women's and Gender Studies.
Charlotte Kupsh is a Ph.D. student in composition and rhetoric. She’s interested in place studies, place-conscious education, first-year writing, and composition pedagogy. Her academic and creative work has been published in Writing on the Edge, The Madison Review, Pleiades, and The Los Angeles Review, and she has written for the serial radio drama Bend in the River. Previously, she was the prose editor of Barstow and Grand, a Midwestern literary magazine. She holds an M.A. in English-Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Nicole Lachat was born in Edmonton, Canada to a Peruvian mother and Swiss father. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Alberta and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing (poetry) from New York University. Her poetry appears in Palimpsest Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Ruminate Magazine (forthcoming), among others. She won second prize in the Short Grain 2018 poetry contest, and is a Banff Art Centre fellow. She currently lives in Lincoln, where she is pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska.
Erika Luckert is a Ph.D. student in Composition and Rhetoric. A poet, writer, and educator, her research interests lie at the intersection of creative writing, composition studies, and pedagogy. Originally from Edmonton, Canada, Erika earned her B.A. in English and Creative Writing at the University of Alberta before moving to New York City. There, she completed an M.F.A. in Poetry at Columbia University, and spent several years teaching creative and critical writing at Hunter College and in New York City public schools through the Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Erika's poetry, translations, and essays have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, CALYX, Room Magazine, Tampa Review, F(r)iction, Entropy, Boston Review, and elsewhere. In 2017, she was a winner of the 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize.
Katie Marya is a poet, translator, and installation artist originally from Atlanta, GA. She earned an M.F.A. in poetry from Bennington College and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in creative writing in Lincoln, NE. Her work has appeared in Waxing, North American Review, Southern Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner, and Five Points as the recipient of the 2018 James Dickey Prize for Poetry. She has received fellowships from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and Nebraska Arts Council. Her first full length poetry collection Sugar Work was the Editor's Choice for the 2020 Alice James Award and will be published in June 2022.
Ilana Masad is a fiction writer and book critic, with work published in The New Yorker, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Joyland Fiction, StoryQuarterly, and many more. She's the founder and host of The Other Stories, a podcast featuring new, emerging, and established fiction writers.
Caitlin is a first-year M.A. student in English Literary and Cultural Studies. Her research interests include digital humanities, women and gender studies, and American literature. At UNL, she works with the Walt Whitman Archive, One More Voice Archive, and COVE Consortium. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Belmont University.
Keshia Mcclantoc is a Ph.D. student in Composition and Rhetoric. She currently holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Montevallo and a master's degree in English and certification in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her areas of interest include rural and community literacies, especially of women and queer peoples in those spaces. Additionally, she is interested in digital rhetorics and popular culture; her current research focuses on the ways digital communities interact with marginalized identities in rural spaces. Keshia has held positions on the EGSA Executive Board (2017-2019) and within the UNL Writing Center (2017-2019). Currently, she is on the Watershed Executive Board and is a Coordinator for the Writing Lincoln Initiative.
Molly McConnell is an M.A. student in Composition and Rhetoric. Prior to this, she was the Gregory Maguire Writing Fellow at the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, Greece for two years after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in English and minors in Creative Writing and American Studies. She also worked as a writing coach at the UNC Writing Center. Her work in creative nonfiction can be found in various publications including Entropy, Roads and Kingdoms, and Sidereal.
Jason McCormick (he/him/they/them) is a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, studying Rhetoric and Composition. Previously, they were awarded an M.F.A. from The New School in Creative Writing (2013) and then an M.A. in Literature from Hunter College (2019). Their current research centers on pedagogy for developmental composition courses, and the way that identity, assessment policy, and other factors shape that educational experience. Jason has also written about Zombies and Pop Culture and has published fiction in F(r)iction Magazine and other publications. They have previously taught at Hunter College and Westchester Community College as an adjunct and recently worked as a Lecturer at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. They have taught courses in composition, creative writing, literature, and children's literature, and they currently teach Writing as Argument at UNL. In addition to teaching, Jason is excited to be serving as a Research Assistant for the Whitman Archive.
Zoe McDonald is a Ph.D. student in rhetoric and composition with a specialization in women's, gender, and sexuality studies. She holds B.A. in English and gender studies from the University of Wyoming and a M.A. in English from the University of Vermont.
Tim Meadows is a Ph.D. student in composition and rhetoric. His interests include first-year composition, writing centers, place-conscious teaching, and literacy studies. Since 2016, he has been a lecturer with Programs in English as a Second Language (PIESL) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During this time, his interest in teaching writing developed as he taught composition courses to international students. He has presented about the use of writing histories to improve instruction in first-year writing courses designed for international students and ways in which instruction about human rights can be integrated into writing curriculum. He received a Bachelor of Music with a major in church music from Carson-Newman University, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from Old Dominion University, and a Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also has a teaching license from the Virginia Board of Education with endorsements in ESOL k-12 and choral/vocal music k-12.
Elva Moreno Del Rio is a first year MA in literary and cultural studies. Her research interests include American literature, African American literature, and Latinx Literature. At UNL, she works at The Walt Whitman Archive and The Central Online Victorian Educator (COVE). Elva received her Associates of Arts degree from St. Charles Community College and her Bachelor of Arts in English from Truman State University.
Teo Mungaray is a queer, chronically ill, latinx poet. He holds an M.F.A. from Pacific University of Oregon and is pursuing his doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a co-founder and co-EIC of Cotton Xenomorph. His poems can be found in Cosmonauts Avenue, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry, Prelude Magazine and The Bellevue Literary Review. He has a cat named Lysistrata.
Reagan Myers is a second year M.A. student studying Composition and Rhetoric, with an interest in communities and modern poetics. She holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Reagan is the youngest Grand Slam champion to ever come out of Nebraska, and was the first woman to hold the title in seven years. She's been to two National Poetry Slams as a member of the Omaha team, founded and represented the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational for two years, and was the Woman of the World Poetry Slam Nebraska rep for 2016, in addition to being a member of different teams for regional competitions. You can see her work on Button Poetry, which has accumulated over 2.5 million views, and has also been written about in The Huffington Post, Bustle, and Everyday Feminism.
Anne Nagel is a Ph.D. candidate interested in 19th-century British literature and affect theory. She was the 2019 speaker for the Big Ten Emerging Scholars lecture series, received the Robert L. Hough Lecturer Teaching Award in 2019, and served as EGSA president in 2016. She has written for the Watershed Theory Blog, and she has worked on the Central Online Victorian Educator website as well as the George Eliot Archive.
Anne's dissertation explores the potential for affective intensity in dreams, dreamlike spaces, and sleep disorders in Romantic and Victorian novels and poetry. She holds an M.A. in English literature and a certificate in Interdisciplinary 19th-century Studies. Her undergraduate degrees include majors in English, philosophy, and secondary education, with a minor in French.
Olufunke Ogundimu is a Ph.D. student in Creative Writing (Fiction). She is a graduate of the University of Lagos and University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ MFA International program in fiction. She is a Caine Prize for African Writing finalist, a Miles Morland Writing Scholarship finalist, and a Pushcart Prize winner. Her work has been published in Transition Magazine, New Orleans Review, Red Rock Review, Johannesburg Review of Books, Asymptote Journal, Jalada Africa, and other places.
Linda J. Pawlenty is a doctoral student in English Literary and Cultural Studies, focusing on American working-class women writers of the early twentieth century, with a specialization in Ethnic Studies. A former truck driver, she is interested in the ways women function doing "men's work" and the ways in which labor is represented in literature and popular culture. Linda's research interests also include transportation, travel writing, and the language of locomotion.
Linda holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and UNO's Advanced Writing Certificate in Creative Nonfiction. Outside the university, she volunteers for organizations in Lincoln and Omaha, teaching adult literacy and English to non-native speakers. Before joining UNL, she taught undergraduate classes in composition, technical writing, writing for criminal justice, and truck driving. She currently teaches first-year writing at Lincoln.
Caleb Petersen is a 1st year M.A. student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a focus in Creative Writing, specializing in Poetry. He received his B.A. in Theology from Colorado Christian University.
Katherine Pierson is a Ph.D. student specializing in 19th-century studies. She has worked as a writing center consultant, a developmental English instructor, and an LPS student mentor. She is a volunteer with Lincoln Literacy Council and is married with two young children.
Jessica Poli is the author of four chapbooks: Canyons (BatCat Press, 2018), Alexia (Sixth Finch, 2015), Glassland (JMWW, 2014), and The Egg Mistress (Gold Line Press, 2013). She earned her M.F.A from Syracuse University and her M.A. at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is the founder and editor of the online journal Birdfeast, and also served as Editor-in-Chief of Salt Hill Journal. Originally from Pennsylvania, she also spent several years working on farms in Central New York.
Lydia Presley is a Ph.D. student studying English Literature and Cultures. Lydia's research is on Native American literatures and boarding school narratives. Her current projects are working with the gossip columns in the Genoa Indian School's newspaper, The Pipe of Peace, and the creation of a digital humanities project that will allow for the preservation and accessibility of stories told by the students at the Genoa Indian School.
Lydia is both an Othmer Fellow and a Great Plains fellow. She received her B.A. in English Literature and Music Performance from Eureka College and her M.A. in English Literature with specializations in Great Plains Studies and Ethnic Studies from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is also completing her specialization in Digital Humanities and her Certificate in the Teaching of Writing.
Alexander Ramirez is a Ph.D. candidate in the creative writing program. He earned his M.A. at Sacramento State. In 2017, he entered the University of Nebraska with a Chancellor's Recruitment Fellowship. In 2020, he was awarded the Robert L. Hough Graduate Teaching Award. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Image Journal, Full Bleed, Black Rabbit Magazine, and Potomac Review, among other publications.
Susannah Rand is a first year M.A. student in creative writing, specializing in speculative, queer, and magical fiction of the long and short form variety. Her work investigates gender, trauma, and mental illness through the fantastical. Her general interests include never finishing a painting, killing her plants, and watching her two cats chirp at birds. She graduated with honors from New York University with a B.A. in History and Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Emily J. Rau is a doctoral student in the English Department and a Graduate Fellow in the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She works full-time in the library as the Assistant Editor of the Willa Cather Archive, and also serves as an editorial assistant for Western American Literature. She has published an article in two parts in the Summer 2016 and the Fall/Winter 2016 issues of the Willa Cather Newsletter and Review, and a co-written piece with Gabi Kirilloff in the collection In the Country of Lost Borders: New Critical Essays on My Ántonia, published in 2017 in France. Emily's research focuses on American literature of the long nineteenth century, interweaving those texts with the work of contemporary ecocritics and spatial theorists. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities from UNL and an M.A. in English from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.
Benjamin Reed is a Ph.D. student in Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MRST) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests include early modern conceptions of childhood and child dramatic characters and performers. He earned an M.A. in English, Literary Studies from Boise State University in 2014. Following graduation, he taught for three years as a lecturer at Iowa State University in a variety of first-year writing and technical communication courses, including piloting the online version of their Business Communication curriculum. He currently teaches composition courses and serves as a graduate consultant and writing fellow at the UNL Writing Center. He plans on teaching early modern authors such as Shakespeare at the college level following graduation. Awards include the Robert Knoll Award for excellent writing in the MRST field and the Robert L. Hough Graduate Teaching Award for his work in online instruction.
Zainab Saleh is a first year M.A. student in Literary Studies, interested in Ethnic Literature and Women's Literature. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.A. in English and double minors in Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies. Her academic interests include women's writers, specifically Arab/Arab-American women writers, film, popular culture, and 20th and 21st century literature. She will be a research assistant this year.
Carson Schaefer is an M.A. student studying creative writing. With inspiration from both literature and film, his fiction blends high drama, magical realism, and gothic influences. Academically he is interested in the exploration, criticism, and application of different and unorthodox literary forms. He has had photos featured on the official Instagram accounts for Disney Books and Random House. Carson holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Sexuality Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Rosemary Sekora is a M.A. student in the creative writing program. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and is currently the publicity manager at the University of Nebraska Press where she supervises book publicity for 150 new books a year. She is on the board of the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association, currently serving as vice president. Originally from Colorado, she now calls Nebraska home.
Danielle Shumaker Page is a first year M.A. student studying Composition and Rhetoric. Her research interests include First Year Writing, Composition Pedagogy, and Writing Center Theory. She holds a BA in English Writing from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Cameron Steele is a writer, teacher, and doctoral student in Creative Writing with a focus on Women's & Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her nonfiction and poems are forthcoming or have eappeared in Entropy, The Fix, Bluestem Magazine, Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal, Wherewithal, and Ivy Hall Review. She has won several state journalism awards for her former work as investigative crime reporter at The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina and The Anniston Star in Alabama.
Ashlyn is a first-year Ph.D. student concentrating on nineteenth-century American literature and digital humanities. She has a dedicated research interest in periodicals from nineteenth-century America, particularly early national publications like Harper's Weekly. At UNL, she works at the Walt Whitman Archive and the Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive. Ashlyn holds a B.A. in English and History from the University of Denver and an M.A. in English from UNL.
Jaclyn Swiderski is a Ph.D. student in Literary and Cultural Studies. She is pursuing a certificate in both Interdisciplinary 19th Century Studies and Women and Gender Studies. She received her M.A. in British and American Literature from Northern Illinois University, and her B.A. in English with a minor in Linguistics from SUNY New Paltz. Her research interests are 19th and 20th century female novelists and disability studies.
Will Turner is a first year M.A. student in literary and cultural studies. He earned a B.A. in Film and Digital Media Studies from the University of North Georgia. His current research lies at the intersection of continental philosophy, film studies, 20th-century literature, and theory of the novel. He is particularly interested in biopolitics, aesthetics of freedom and literary forms as expressions of political imagination and potential futures.
Matt Whitaker is a doctoral student in Composition and Rhetoric and a graduate fellow with the Center for Great Plains Studies. His work explores environmental activist rhetoric in the Great Plains, focusing specifically on the interrelationships between discourse and space. Matt’s research pulls from a broad range of disciplines and subdisciplines, including critical geography, spatial theory, ecocriticism, animal studies, and material rhetorics. His teaching practices are informed by his commitment to public affairs and community engagement. He contributed to the Husker Writers Project in 2018 and serves as a counselor with the Missouri State Public Affairs Academy. Matt was a recipient of the Robert L. Hough Teaching Award in 2018, as well as the Husker Writer Teaching Award. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Master’s degree in Writing at Missouri State University.
David Winter is a Ph.D. student in Creative Writing specializing in poetry. He wrote the chapbook Safe House (Thrush Press, 2013), and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Baffler, Grist, Meridian, Muzzle, New Poetry From the Midwest, Ninth Letter, and Poetry International, among others. David received his M.F.A. from The Ohio State University, a 2016 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, and a 2016-18 Stadler Fellowship from Bucknell University.
Jonathan Wlodarski is a graduate of the Northeast Ohio M.F.A. and pursuing a Ph.D. in creative writing (fiction) here at UNL. His work as a writer and translator has appeared in FLAPPERHOUSE, Fairy Tale Review, Third Coast, and Fiction International, among other venues.
Jamison Wyatt is an M.A. student focusing on 20th century American literature, including works by Mari Sandoz and her literary contemporaries. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society. He also works as an editorial assistant for the Willa Cather Archive. From 2013 to 2018, he served as an aide in the Nebraska State Legislature and wrote the legislation which elected Ponca Chief Standing Bear and Willa Cather to be the Nebraska representatives in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.A. in history.