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Alumni News

English Department alumni are successful in a wide range of careers. While this list is not exhaustive, it showcases the diverse paths that Literary Studies or Creative Writing majors folllow after graduation.

Class of 2016

  • Emmanuela Bean - pursuing M.B.A. at Otterbein University
  • Josh Brandon - Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Goesan, South Korea
  • Amelia Gramling - Artist in Residence for Pages Integrative Arts Program at Wexner Center

Class of 2015

  • Jordan Abbruzzese - Content & Communications Coordinator at Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio; essays, fiction, and poetry published in Stigma Fighters, Beautiful Minds Magazine, Black Fox Literary Magazine, and flashfictionmagazine.com.
  • Mackenzie Boyers - Book Seller at Half Price books
  • Jess Campbell - Assistant Designer at Outlook Ohio Magazine
  • Chelsea Craine - Music Teacher at Blacksburg New School and Band Specialist at Bridge-Kaldro Music
  • Lauren Edmonds - Journalism Teacher at Groveport Madison High School
  • Kristina Fedeczko - pursuing M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Lesley University
  • Katy Major - pursuing M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Ashland University
  • Mark Maurath - Autism Services Aide at Haugland Learning Center
  • Rachel Scherzer - Americorps VISTA Member at Otterbein University's Center for Community Engagement and Promise House
  • Vinny Valenzuela - pursuing M.F.A. in Creative Writing at New School (New York)

Class of 2014

  • Meghan Crawford - pursuing M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Butler University
  • Kayla Forshey - pursuing M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Columbia University
  • Beth Gier - Technical Writer at Kunz, Leigh & Associates
  • Megan (Gray) Eberhard - Secretary at Purdue University College of Pharmacy; pursuing Animation degree at Purdue University
  • Susie Long - Americorps VISTA Member at Ohio Wesleyan University; completed E.F.L. Teaching Assistantship in Nantes, France
  • Andrew Miller - Freelance Writer/Author; publications include You Must Know This (2016) and If Only the Names Were Changed (2016); articles, reviews, and poems published in CCC, Civil Coping Mechanisms Compendium, Columbus Dispatch, Electric Literature, Entropy, Fruita Pulp, Ohio Edit, The Seldom Review, and Two Dollar Radio
  • Karly Smith - English teacher at iSTEM Geauga Early College High School
  • Rebecca Whitney - Captionist at Deaf Services Center; C-Print Captionist certification

Class of 2013

  • Jenna Barnett - Professional Tutor at Ohio State University; Book Seller at Barnes & Noble; August 2014 Guest Blogger at www.mixedroots.stories.org
  • Jess L. Bryant - Managing Editor of Gettysburg Review; M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University; poetry published or forthcoming in: Stirring, Stone Highway ReviewMeat for Tea: The Valley ReviewHobart, and Gravel
  • Whitney Reed - Instructional Designer at Hondros Learning/Greensward Publishing
  • Sydney Tammarine - Writing Consultant at Virginia Western Community College; pursuing M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Hollins University; publications: The Most Beautiful Cemetery in Chile (trans. with Terry Hermsen, 2015); Diez Odas para Diez Grabados (trans. with Terry Hermsen, forthcoming)
  • Orey Wilson - Production Copywriter at Zulily; M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Rosemont College

Class of 2012

  • Hannah Biggs - Archival Fellow at Malabar Farm State Park; Instructor at The Women's Institute of Houston; Copy and Style Editor for Dr. Judith Roof; pursuing Ph.D. in English at Rice University; M.A. in English from Rice University; reviews and scholarly articles published or forthcoming in: The Abandoned Farmers (critical introduction), Midwestern Miscellany, Middle West Review, F. Scott Fitzgerald Review, and The Midwestern Moment; academic presentations in the U.S. and U.K.
  • Tony DeGenaro - Lecturer at University of Michigan-Dearborn (composition and creative writing) and Instructor for Access 21st-Century Youth & Education after school program (Language Arts, creative writing, and ESL); M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco; publications in Bitterzoet Magazine, Da Lo Magazine, ditch magazineWriting Without Walls, and Rusted Radishes; featured poet at the Jazz Cafe at the Music Hall in Detroit
  • Chris (Thayer) Heidtman-Thayer - Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Urban Innovation at Georgia Tech University; pursuing M.S.P.P. and M.C.R.P. at Georgia Tech University; recently finished a half-marathon
  • Sara McElroy - Grants Administrator at College of Dentistry, Ohio State University
  • Lillie Teeters - English Instructor at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College; M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Queens University; President, Phoenix Writers Group (2014-16); Poetry Editorial Assistant at QU Literary Magazine (2013-14); poetry publication in For A Better World 2014 anthology; 2016 AWP panel presentation "Diversity Integrated: The Literary Art of Inclusion"
  • Lavonne van der Zwaag - Administrative Assistant, Central Ohio English Language Learners' Education Cooperative at Otterbein University

Class of 2011

  • Kailey (Parker) Beck - High School E.L.A. Teacher at Whitlock Flexible Learning Center (Spartanburg County Alternative School) and G.E.D. Teacher at Spartanburg County Jail; Presenter at 2015 SCCTE Conference; publication in SC English Teacher; Member of the Leadership Team for the Spartanburg Writing Project
  • Bryan Kish - Contracted Screenwriter for film Dead Beatz, Hipzee Productions (NY); Film Critic for Now It's Dark magazine; 2014 M.F.A. in Screenwriting from Queens University of Charlotte (NC)
  • Alice McCutcheon - pursuing Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at Adler School of Professional Psychology; 2012-14 Peace Corps Volunteer in Chengxian, China
  • Jestine Ware - pursuing M.A. in Rhetoric and Applied Writing at St. Cloud University; Assistant Director of The Write Place (writing center at St. Cloud University); Editor and Co-Owner of Elf Editing and Writing Services

Class of 2010

  • Claire Augustine - Associate Professor of Dance at Colin College (Plano, Texas), Adjunct Professor of Dance at Tarrant County College (Arlington, Texas), and Dance Educator at dance studios at Dallas Metroplex; M.F.A. in Dance Performance & Choreography from Mills College; Recent Performances: Made in a Day at Muscle Memory Dance Theater, West Wave Dance Festival at Mathis Reed Dance Company; Choreography Projects: Deux, Mills College; Binary, Big Range Austin Dance Festival
  • Kathlene Boone - Social Media Manager at Think Glink Media; M.A. in Entertainment and Media Management from Columbia College Chicago; various editorial & writing credits in Dig Baton Rouge (2010-13), Black Music Research Journal (2013), Journal of Artists Books (2013), Shenandoah Valley Apples (2013), After You Left/They Took It Apart: Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes (2013), CBSNews.com and MoneyWatch blog
  • Ashley Butler-Ferrell - Instructional Developer at Purdue University Libraries; M.A. in English Language and Literature from Purdue University
  • Jessica L. Ramey - English & Speech Communication Teacher and Tutor for the Notre Dame (Special Needs) Program at Bishop Hartley High School; presented "SPIDER Web Discussions" at the 2013 Ohio Catholic Education Association Conference
  • Stephanie Freas - Adult Services Assistant at Licking County Library; M.S. in Library and Information Science from University of Pittsburgh
  • Zack Hopper - 10th-Grade E.L.A. Instructor at Hogan Preparatory Academy; M.A. in Education from University of Missouri-St. Louis; M.A. in Philosophy from Georgia State University; forthcoming presentation at the Missouri Charter Public School Association; 2016-17 Kauffman Teacher-Leader Fellow
  • Wes Jamison - Adjunct Professor at Wilbur Wright College; M.F.A. in creative nonfiction writing from Columbia College Chicago; essays and poetry in 1913: A Journal of Forms, The Boiler Journal, Columbia Poetry ReviewFifth Wednesday, Gertrude Press, Gone Lawn, and Wilde Magazine; his essay, "The Secret Garden" (South Loop Review), was named a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2013; his chapbook, and Melancholia, was published in the 2015 Essay Press Chapbook Series
  • Manuel A. Melendez - Activity Leader at North Twin Lakes Elementary School; Tutor at Miami-Dade College; Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador for two years following graduation from Otterbein

Class of 2009

  • Rev. Whitney (Prose) Bruno - Pastor at St. Michael's United Church of Christ; ordained in the United Church of Christ; Master's of Divinity and Master's of Theology from Methodist Theological School of Ohio; 2013 Werner Merit Award from the Methodist Theological School of Ohio
  • Kristin (Sutton) Harris - Government Affairs Associate at Ohio State University; M.A. in Public Policy and Management from Ohio State University
  • Brianna McPherson - Mentoring Program Facilitator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio; 2011 M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hollins University; 2011-12 Volunteer with Mercy Volunteer Corp in New York City
  • Caitlin (Ward) Hopper - External Communications Specialist at UMB Bank; pursuing M.S. in Strategic Communications at Purdue University

Class of 2008

  • Nick DeFazio - Mental Health Therapist; Master's in Mental Health Counseling from Wright State University
  • Angela Hendershot - Adjunct Professor in English at Zane State College; M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Ashland University
  • Sarah Martindell - Associate Pastor at Pinehurst United Methodist Church (Pinehurst, NC); Master's of Divinity from Duke University; 2010-12 Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia; 2012 Otterbein University Young Alumni Global and Intercultural Engagement Award
  • Greg McCleery - Attorney, Land Professional at Gregory J. McCleery, LLC; J.D.Law from University of Akron
  • Tim McWhorter - Author; Publications: Bone White (2015), Blackened (2015), Shadows Remain (2013), and Swallowing the Worm

Class of 2007

  • Erin (Taylor) Barlow - Library Director at Gnadenhutten Public Library; Coordinator of the Ohio Library Council's Small Libraries Action Council; M.L.S. from University of Buffalo
  • Katie Beverly - English Teacher at Liberty Union High School; Post-Grad Teaching Certification from Otterbein University; pursuing M.A. in English Teaching at Bowling Green State University
  • Kevin Crafton - pursuing M.A. in anthropology at Ball State University; self-employed in music industry in Nashville, TN
  • Drew Dammron - M.F.A. in Film Production with an emphasis in Directing from Chapman University; Director of Little Goat, winner of the Best Director and Best Short Film Awards at the Macabre Faire Film Festival (NY) and Best Student Film at the 2013 Hot Springs International Film Festival (AR)
  • Gary Klase - Public Health Ecologist at Ohio Environmental Protection Agency; B.S. in Environmental Science and M.S. in Public Health from Ohio State University
  • Jen Knox - Writers in Communities Director at Gemini Ink; M.F.A. from Bennington Writing Seminars; publications: After the Gazebo was recommended for the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award, Don't Tease the Elephants (2014), To Begin Again (2011), Musical Chairs (2009); most recent publications in Chicago Tribune, Chicago Quarterly Review, and Room Magazine
  • Sarah (Prindle) Mabee - Humanities and Fine Arts Librarian at Southern Illinois University; M.A. in English from University of Oregon; M.S. in Library and Information Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Julie (Crabtree) McWhorter - Learning & Performance Specialist, Nationwide Insurance; M.A. in Children's and Young Adult Literature from Ohio State University
  • Sarah (Pyles) Miller - Development & Marketing at Easter Seals Central; Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Ohio State University
  • Jennifer Roberts - M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts; Short and Full-Length Play Productions: The Pennsylvanian (2015), The Death of a River in Three Quarter Time (2014), Meet Claudia (2014), Mars One Project (2014), Photo Dynamic Therapy (2014), Pablum (2014), Chyrosomelidae Hide No More (2013), Freeze Tag (2013), Twelve Pole Creek (2012), Beekeeper (2011)
  • Valerie (Starkey) Schwartfigure - Counselor Trainee at Family Life Counseling; pursuing M.A. in Clinical Counseling at Ashland Theological Seminary
  • Megan Shock - Communications Specialist at Battelle for Kids
  • Amira Shouman - Program Administrator at New York University; M.A. in Higher Education, Student Affairs from New York University
  • Alonna (Wright) Skinner - Communications Specialist at Grange Insurance; M.B.A. from Franklin University

Class of 2006

  • Christiana Congelio - Teen Services Librarian at Worthington Libraries; M.L.I.S. from Kent State University; 2013 Library Leadership Ohio class
  • Lauren (Stephens) Damon - Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator; pursuing B.S. in Nursing at Chamberlain College 
  • Ladan Osman - Instructor at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago; M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of Texas at Austin; publications: The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony (winner of the 2014 Sillerman First Book Prize), Ordinary Heaven (2014); her poetry has also appeared in Apogee, The Normal School, Prairie Schooner, Transition Magazine, and Waxwing
  • Ericka Graves Payne - Intervention Specialist at Hilliard Darby High School; Special Education Teaching Licensure
  • Michelle Kathryn Yost - Farmers New World Life; M.A. in Science Fiction Studies and Ph.D. in English Literature from University of Liverpool

Class of 2005

  • Jason Carney - Instructor at Christopher Newport University; Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University
  • Stacey Chapple - Program Manager, Global Scholarships and Exchanges at the Institute of International Education, San Francisco; M.A. in European Studies from Georgetown University
  • Ashar Foley - Adjunct Instructor in Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University and in the Department of English at New York City College of Technology; Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from SUNY-Stony Brook
  • Sarah Grooms - Account Executive, Business Development at GSW Advertising; previously: Teacher & Tutor in Shanghai and Jining, Shandong Province, China
  • Rebekah (Gilbert) Jacobson - 8th-Grade English/Language Arts Teacher in Beaumont Middle School (Lexington, KY); M.A. in English Secondary Education from Eastern Kentucky University; Graduate Teaching Fellow with the EKU Writing Project
  • Mandy Knapp - Library Consultant at State Library of Ohio; M.A. in Public Administration underway at Ohio State University; M.L.I.S. in Librarianship from University of Pittsburgh; author ofPublications: A Practical, Public-Service Approach to E-Books in Public Libraries (2012); winner of the 2012 Library Leadership Ohio Award, 2011 American Library Association Emerging Leaders Award; 2010 Library Journal Movers and Shakers
  • Colette Masterson - Associate Director of Center for Student Involvement, Otterbein University; Ph.D. in Higher Education from Ohio University; M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs, Ohio State University
  • Rob O'Donnell - Procurement Assistant at Nexeo Solutions and Adjunct Faculty at Franklin University; M.A. in English Literature from Portland State University
  • Mark Wm Smith - Professional Clinical Counselor and Certified Sex Addiction Specialist at Crossroads Counseling Group; M.A. in Professional Counseling from Liberty University
  • Kyle Yaggi - Co-Chair of English Department and English/Language Arts Teacher at Dublin Jerome High School; Master's in English Education from Ohio State University
  • Becca Zapor - Project Manager Contractor and Consultant; M.B.A. from Franklin University; Jamberry Independent Consultant and Freelance Writer, Teacher, and Tutor in English, business, and P.M.P. exam preparation

Class of 2004

  • Allison Barrett - Graduate Field Coordinator at Cornell University; M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Cornell University; poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Cream City Review, Fourteen Hills Review, and The National Poetry Review
  • Christopher Kaboth - Vice President of Corporate Finance, Whitacre Greer Co.; M.B.A. for Families in Business from Kennesaw State University
  • Becca J (Rossiter) Lachman - Associate Coordinator of Student Writing Center and English Instructor at Ohio University; M.F.A. in Literature and Writing from Bennington Writing Seminars; M.A. in Creative Writing from Ohio University; Publications: Other Acreage (2015), A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversations with William Stafford (2013), The Apple Speaks (2012), Songs from the Spring House (2004); 2014 Ohio Arts Council Award for Individual Excellence in Poetry; 2011 Young Alumni Award in Creativity and Research from Otterbein University
  • Lindsey Rusnak - Development Department for The Salvation Army; M.A. in Elementary Education from DePaul University; taught Elementary Education for seven years before taking position with Salvation Army
  • Tracy Shroyer - Consultant, Discover Network Client Support, DFS Service, LLC; Founder, Coach at Beyond the Stone Wall; Adjunct Faculty in Business Program at Columbus State University; Ph.D. in Organization & Management from Capella University; M.B.A. from Dominican University
  • Jennifer (Reiff) Staten - Science Teacher at Franklin Heights High School, South-Western City Schools
  • Art Todd - Customer Technical Support Manager at Digital Scout for PlayOn!; Diploma in Theology and Biblical Studies from Vineyard Institute 
  • Matt Wolfe - Administrative Assistant in Department of Theatre and Dance at Otterbein University, Theatre Director at Westerville South High School, and Founding Director of Westerville Civic Theatre; 7-12 Language Arts Certification from Ohio Dominican University; K-12 Drama Certification, Hilliard City Schools; M.A. in Education Administration and 6-12 Principal Licensure from the Ohio State University
  • Dawn (Thompson) Woodward - Freelance Writer and Editor; M.L.I.S. from Kent State University

Class of 2003

  • Amanda McElwee - High School Guidance Counselor; M.A. in Education-School Counseling from Malone University

/ Department of English

Shannon Lakanen
Department Chair
Towers Hall 228

p / 614.823.1211
e / slakanen@otterbein.edu 

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