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The winner of the UNK College of Fine Arts and Humanities Masters Theses Award is Faith Colburn for Threshold: A Memoir. Paul Skinner received Honorable Mention for Fighting for Their Place: Constructing Masculinity in Chuck Palahniuk's
Sandra Anthony has just won the Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Grand Prize, a $2,500 cash award and a free trip to New York City to attend the Writer's Digest Conference East.
Sandra received her B.A. in English Education 7-12 in 200, and an M.A.
in Creative Writing in 2011. In addition, there will be a profile of her
published in the May/June issue of Writer's Digest, and her story will be posted online at the Writer's Digest website.
Gary Dop, a graduate of UNK's MA in English and UNK's joint MFA program with the UN-Omaha, accepted a tenure-track assistant professor of English position in creative writing at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Randolph College is a selective liberal arts college in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Congratulations to Gary Dop (MA from UNK) who was just awarded the GREAT PLAINS EMERGING WRITER PRIZE for 2013. He received his MFA from the joint UNK/UNO Program at the University of Nebraska. Gary's poems have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and his essays have been heard on Public Radio's All Things Considered. Gary is currently the Writer in Residence at North Central University as well as a screenwriting faculty member for the University of Minnesota’s MFA Program.
Congratulations to our 2012 English/Education Cohort MAEd Summer Graduates!William Arnold, Jennifer Bruck, Brian Cochran, Shannon Dykstra, Lisa Hadenfeldt, Cathy Herstead, Jennifer Ippensen, Amy Katt, Jennifer Long, Stacy Ludwig, Patty Margritz, Beth McGrath, Sally Shepherd, Jennifer Stark, Andy Stobel, and Brad Wesner. After the graduation ceremony, faculty and students celebrated at the Alley Rose restaurant.
Mandy Brabac, who teaches English at Schuyler Central High School, was awarded Teacher of the Year (2011-2012) by the Schuyler Student Council.
Eric Reed (English BA & MA from UNK) has just been awarded the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture Award for Excellence in Teaching. Principal criteria include innovative or unique approaches that result in learning, ability to clearly communicate ideas, motivation of the intended audience, and recognition of accomplishments by peers and students. He will also be award the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit. Eric is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Chair of the Division of General Education at Curtis.
Steve Warren's first book, While a Hummingbird Sways, a poetry chapbook carved from his MA thesis (December 2010), was published in Sequoyah National Research Center's Tribal Writers Chapbook Series, out of the University of Arkansas, in 2011.
Jillian (Tangeman) Wenburg is currently living in Durango, Colorado, and teaching at Fort Lewis College.
Two former students presented papers at the Western Literature Conference held in Missoula, MT, in October. Cindy Ostrom, currently working on her doctorate at the University of South Dakota, presented "Myths of the American West: Cultural Identity and the Land in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath." Jillian (Tangeman) Wenburg, pursuing her PhD degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, presented "Barely Legal: Callgirls and Cattle Thieves--Slogun House as a Warning Tale in Understanding Law and Justice on the Nebraska Plains."
Doreen Pfost has just received the national Frederick Manford Award for Creative Writing from the Western Literature Association for "Trailing Consequences," adapted from a chapter of her thesis, River of Glistening Wings.
Mark Sanders has just published a new collection of poems, Conditions of Grace: New and Selected Poems from Stephen F. Austin State University Press.
Congratulations to Kevin L. Nenstiel on the premier of his play, Jessa Pruit's Jams and Preserves, which he wrote and directed. The family comedy focuses on a woman who tries to "preserve her family and her fortune in her perceived glory days," states Nenstiel, "but her daughters have grown restless under her control, and one of them rebels against her by bringing home an inappropriate man."
Dr. Jason Miller, Professor of English at North Carolina State University just been awarded tenure. Congratulations! Matt Athey will begin his final year of law school at Barry University School of Law in Orlando in Fall 2011. Matthew Kovar has just been selected as the new Technology Learning Center Coordinator at Kearney Public Library. Yang Zhao has been accepted in the Comparative Literature program at the University of Georgia. Cynthia Ostrom has been accepted in the doctoral program at the University of South Dakota. Dr. Jason Miller, Professor of English at North Carolina State University, will be featured for 15 minutes on the third segment of National Public Radio's "The State of Things" on Thursday, February 10th, to discuss his book Langston Hughes and American Lynching Culture. The show airs from 12:00-1:00. Gary Dop is currently serving as an associate professor and Department Chair of English at North Central University in Minneapolis. His poems have been published recently in The New York Quarterly, North American Review, New Letters, Poet Lore, Salt Hill, Poetry Northwest, Rattle, and Agni, among others. One of his poems was given a Pushcart Special Mention in the 2011 Pushcart Prize Anthology, and his work has been reprinted in the Poetry Foundation’s syndicated column, American Life in Poetry. Rick Marlatt has won the 2010 Chapbook/Spotlight award from the Seven Circle Press for his poetry collection How We Fall Apart. He recently earned a MFA from the University of California, Riverside, where he served as poetry editor of the Coachella Review. His most recent work appears in New York Quarterly, Rattle, and Anti. Jeff Leever has recently published a new novel, The University, a mystery set at Tremont college--"A place for learning. Partying and dating. And murder." He has also written Dark Friday, a mystery about five teenage girls who are murdered on the same night in the same small rural town. Paul Skinner presented his paper "Strangers on the Three Day Road-Cultural Clashes in World War One" during the Popular Culture/American Culture Associations' National Conference in Saint Louis, March 30 through April 4, 2010. He also presented a summary poster at UNK's Student Research Day, April 8, 2010. In addition, Paul will be presenting his paper, "Wounds and Warriors: Notions of War, Initiation and Masculinity Within Non-War Films" at the War, Literature, and Arts conference in Colorado Springs, September 16-18, 2010, and at the Midwest Popular Culture Association regional conference in Minneapolis, October 1-3, 2010. Levi Jacobs will be starting a graduate program in in Cultural Anthropology this fall at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He continues to work for the Hope Destitute Children's Center, an orphanage and school in Uganda, Africa. MA graduate Wendy (Korenek Flessner) Ralph has had her poem "Left Behind" nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. Wendy earned her English MA in Creative Writing from UNK in 2004 and is currently at the University of South Carolina, pursuing her Ph.D. in English & teaching. Her Recent publications include "The Garden" (Creative Nonfiction) in Yemassee Vol. XVI, No. 2 and "Left Behind" (Creative Nonfiction) in Upstreet, Vol. 5 published in 2009; "Will" (Fiction) in Verbsap Online (2006); and "Rhythm Before Reason" (Fiction) in Short Story, Vol. 13, No. 2 (2005). She is currently at work on a novel, "This Side of Neverland," a contemporary adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan that follows the character of Wendy and targets the adult audience Barrie only winked at.Rick Marlatt teaches Language Arts at Horizon Middle School in Kearney, and he is currently pursuing a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside where he studies screenwriting and poetry. Marlatt has published poetry, fiction, and book reviews in more 40 literary journals and magazines. His most recent poetry appears in New York Quarterly, Pedestal Magazine, and Plains Song Review. Marlatt reviews poetry books for Cold Front Mag and is a poetry editor for Whistling Fire, UCR's literary journal. Mary Dixon (MA in Creative Writing) has had her poetry published in Pirene's Fountain: A Journal of Poetry. Sarah Wolf will be teaching at Grand Island Senior High School. Elissa Martin will be teaching at Callaway. Marilyn Mathine will be at Scribner/Snyder High School. Danielle Helzer will be teaching freshman and senior English at Ogallala High School. Jillian (Tangeman) Wenburg will be begin course work in the University of Missouri--Kansas City Interdsiciplinary Ph.D. program beginning Fall 2009. She was awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship & will be teaching one Introduction to Literature course as she begins her course of study. Jeff Gerdes has been chosen to attend the 2009 Steinbeck Institute: Voice of a Region, Voice for America, a National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute for teachers. The Institute will be held at the Monterey Peninsula. According to the website, the institute will be based off campus on Cannery Row, California. "Teachers and scholars will reconsider this iconic American writer, author of more than thirty books, winner of the Pulitzer Prize (in 1940, for The Grapes of Wrath), the Nobel Prize for Literature (1962) and the United States Medal of Freedom (1964). Days will be filled with study, exploration of the area, discussion and reflection. During the two weeks, participants will have ample opportunity to appreciate Steinbeck Country through our exploration of the land and Steinbeck’s literature." The two-week Institute is held every two years, and only 20 teachers were chosen out of over 1,000 applicants. Erica Chu( 2005) is a doctoral student and graduate assistant at Loyala University in Chicago. Her "An Interview with J. Califonia Cooper," has been published in the October/ November issue (vol. 40.2) of The Writer's Chronicle, a national publication of the Association of Writer's Writing Programs. Jeff Leever (B.A., English ’94) has published a second mystery/ suspense novel, Dark Friday, which was released in Fall 2007. When an investigative reporter travels to a small Indiana town to investigate a series of horror-movie-inspired murders, he uncovers a conspiracy involving local teens. Further information about the book is available on Jeff’s web site, jeffreyleever.com. Jeff’s first novel, Even in Darkness (2001) follows a Midwestern college student who discovers a mysterious cult-like group meeting secretly in catacombs beneath the college (any resemblance to the fabled UNK tunnels is of course purely coincidental). Jason Miller has recently published "A Turn on Social Surveillance: Faulkner's use of Thresholds in Light in August" in Volume 14.1 (Fall 2005) of This Is Just to Say, a peer-reviewed publication of the NCTE Assembly on American Literature. Andrew Bennett, MA in English: Creative Writing Emphasis, will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations of Education with an emphasis in disability studies. Wendy Fleshner was accepted in the English docortral program at the University of South Carolina. She is currently enrolled and focusing on 20th century American literature with a minor in creative writing. Eric Reed, a 2005 MA graduate, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska's Ag campus in Curtis. Ethan Hon (a former student in Beginning Poetry at UNK) has been accepted into the MFA program in poetry at Columbia University. Jeffrey Hower (B.A. Ed.—English, 1996) received his MAEd in School principalship 7-12 in 2005 and is currently teaching at Grand Island NW High School. Ndeye Fatou Ba, who received her MA in English/Literature, will begin graduate school at Western Ontario University, Canada, in Fall 2005. Her thesis was “Miriama Ba’s So Long a Letter” with advisor Dr. Elizabeth Peck. Gary Dop, who received his MA in English/Creative Writing, will begin as an Assistant Professor in the English department at his alma mater, Augsburg College in Minneapolis, in Fall 2005. His thesis, “David: The Brigand King,” was advised by Dr, Sam Umland. Jason Stubbs, currently teaching at Amherst High School, received his MA English/Creative writing with his Thesis “A Man Between: A Collection of Narratives” directed by Dr. Barbara Emrys. Jason Miller is now an Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University teaching courses in English Education and American Literature. Dellareese Higgs has received her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Bowling Green. She is now "Dr. Higgs." Jason Miller (BAEd, English, 1993; MA, English 2000) received his PhD in English from Washington State University (May 2004), then completed a one-year appointment as recipient of the Charles Blackburn Fellowship, awarded to the university's most outstanding PhD graduate in either the English, Composition, or American Studies. He now holds an Assistant Professorship in the English department at North Carolina State University. Heather Shotkoski (B.A. Ed. 2008) was just hired by Morris Press in Kearney as a copywriter. Molly Brost (2001) is a teacher in the English Department at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. She received her Ph.D. in American Cultural Studies from Bowling Green University in Ohio. Amanda Hansen (2008) and her husband J. Nathan Hansen (also a 2008 UNK graduate) have moved to Denver where she will starting a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics at the University of Colorado. Lubna Samha(2007), who graduated with a BA English: Writing Emphasis, now writes for the Qatar Peninsula, an English daily newspaper. Molly Albrecht, after working as an investigative reporter for the Farmington Daily Times, a newspaper in Farmington, New Mexico, has become an online editor for the Rapid City Journal, a 30,000-circulation newspaper in Rapid City, a city of 70,000 people located in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. She writes and edits stories; posts breaking news to the Journal's Web site; checks online reader replies for editorial appropriateness; and develops social networking tools for the Web site. She also shoots and edits video. Danielle Helzer will be teaching English in Perkins County High school. Elissa Martin will begin teaching English and Speech at Callaway. Jennifer Szymanski will be teaching at Horizon Middle School in Kearney. Heather Garrelts will be teaching English and Speech (and be the head Speech coach) in Lexington. Jessica Gilbertson was hired to teach English at Grand Island Barr. David Salyer (B.A, 2007) is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Periodic updates on the Salyers appear on http://davidanddawn.blogspot.com/ Erica Chu(2005) is a doctoral student and graduate assistant at Loyala University in Chicago. Her "An Interview with J. Califonia Cooper," has been published in the October/ November issue (vol. 40.2) of The Writer's Chronicle, a national publication of the Association of Writer's Writing Programs. Amanda Maryott (Magna Cum Laude, 2005)now lives in Bloomington, MN, where she will attend chiropractic school. Monica Schleicher (Honorable Mention, 2005) Justin Sevenker (Summa Cum Laude, 2005) will be an Adjunct Instructor in the UNK English Dept., Fall 2005. Jillian Tangeman (Summa Cum Laude, 2005) will pursue an MA in English at UNK, Fall 2005. Micah Torgrimson (Summa Cum Laude, 2005) Haylie Lewis (2005) is teaching in an after school program in Texas and writes the curriculum for the Middle Schools in the program. Elaine M. Nelson (B.A.E. 2002) received her M.A. in history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2004. She is a PhD Candidate in U.S. and Indigenous history at the University of New Mexico. In 2009 she was awarded the John Higham Grant from the Organization of the American Historians & the Immigration and Ethnic History Society for her research on indigenous tourism in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Nelson has an article appearing in the Summer 2009 issue of the Great Plains Quarterly on an Omaha Indian Woman named Eunice Woodhull Stabler. In 2009-2010 she will be the "Michael J. Connell Foundation Fellow" at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Andy Stobel (2007)will be teaching English and German at Gering, Nebraska, High School. Joy Eldrige (2007)signed a contract in Atwood, Kansas, and began her teaching career the fall of 2007. Jeff Gerdes (2007) is teaching ESL at Horizon Middle School in Kearney. Carolyn Hance (2007) is teaching English at the Wilcox-Hildreth high school. Jodi Meyer (Honorable Mention)will begin teaching at Franklin High School, Fall 2005. Upon graduating from UNK in May of 2005, Jami Salas (Cum Laude) accepted a position teaching high school English in Elwood, NE, which included 7 – 10 grades as well as speech, drama, and journalism. In the spring of 2006, she entered the summer master’s degree program at Fort Hays State University, which she plan to finish in the summer of 2008. This year, she accepted a position at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, NE, developing and teaching the basic English courses that students need to meet the pre-requisites to enter freshmen English courses if their college entrance scores are not high enough. She is also the writing specialist as the college goes through their self-study and accreditation process with the North Central Higher Learning Commission. Justine Walton will begin teaching at Omaha Benson High School, Fall 2005. Mindi Horst (BA, English, 2004) has returned to UNK as a graduate student in English, pursuing her MA. After graduation, she worked as a merchandise manager with Walt Disney World at the Once Upon A Toy-a job that allowed her to work in her second most favorite field-merchandise. Andrea Longoria (BA, English, 2003) has completed two years of law school at University of Nebraska--Lincoln. She spent the past summer working for the Nebraska Appleseed, a non profit law center. In Fall 2005, she will begin her final stretch of education (at least for now, she says) in Fall 2005, when she will be "getting back to her roots" with a Law and Literature class, as well as a class in Style and Composition. Jill Prochaska (BAEd, English, 2004) teaches high school English at Millard South, in Omaha, NE. David Pearson (BAEd, English, 2003) is teaching high school English at Hays Center, NE . Stacy Oberembt (BAEd, English, 2003) teaches 6th grade Language Arts/Reading at Elkhorn Ridge Middle School. Dave Keber (BAEd, English, 2003) teaches high school English at Millard North, in Omaha, NE. Josh Schultz (BA, English, 2003) is a Graduate Assistant in philosophy at Marquette. Jeff Leever (B.A., English ’94) has published a second mystery/ suspense novel, Dark Friday, which was released in Fall 2007. When an investigative reporter travels to a small Indiana town to investigate a series of horror-movie-inspired murders, he uncovers a conspiracy involving local teens. Further information about the book is available on Jeff’s web site, jeffreyleever.com. Jeff’s first novel, Even in Darkness (2001) follows a Midwestern college student who discovers a mysterious cult-like group meeting secretly in catacombs beneath the college (any resemblance to the fabled UNK tunnels is of course purely coincidental). John Ritchie (B.A. '98, M.A. '00) recently passed certification requirements to become a National Board Certified English Teacher. He currently teaches secondary English in Manhattan, KS. Dave Keeber, previously a secondary English teacher at Millard North, has followed another dream and is now a firefighter in Lincoln. Mary Dixon (MA, English, 2005), a native Nebraskan who loves the Great Plains, is a visual artist and a poet. Much of her work is paper collage and includes illuminations of her poetry about the land and people of the plains. Mary has BA degrees in Art, English and Education from Hastings College and an MA in English from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She also graduated from Notre Dame with an MFA. in creative writing and an MA in theology. She has recently had an article accepted in Great Plains Quarterly on Nebraska author Mari Sandoz. Nathan Meier (BA, English, 1999) now works for the University of Nebraska as a grant writer. Dr. Becky Faber (BA, 1979, MA, 1982) completed her PhD in English at UNL in 1995, concentrating in Cather Studies. She has published in the Seminar Volume of Violence, the Arts, and Cather, Teaching Cather, Heritage of the Great Plains, and Great Plains Quarterly. She holds a courtesy appointment in the English Department and occasionally teaches 20th century American literature seminars for the Honors Program, but her full-time position at UNL is as an Assistant Director in Career Services with a particular focus on those students seeking education employment and those planning to attend graduate/professional school. In 2005 she received the American Association for Employment in Education Outstanding New Member in Career Services Award. Dr. Faber has five times been cited by the UNL Parents Association with a Recognition for Contribution to Students Award as well as a People Who Inspire Award by Mortar Board. She is a Fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies and a board member for the Nebraska Center for the Book.
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