Meet the New Grad Students

Nineteen new graduate students joined the Kansas State English Department this fall. They came from California and Kansas and Illinois and Missouri. They came to read books and take names. (We promise they will never run out of books.)

image-2From left, Latrice Ferguson, Karla Larrañaga, Katie Hall, and Alyssa Cook.

Name: Latrice Ferguson
Hometown: Chicago
Alma Mater: DePauw University and Dominican University
Areas of Study: Children’s Literature and Composition and Rhetoric
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? Yeine Darr from N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. She’s strong and fierce, and (spoiler alert) at the end, she gets to be an immortal goddess!

Name: Karla Larrañaga
Hometown: Inglewood, California
Alma Mater: Loyola Marymount University
Area of study: Cultural Studies
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I have a cat named after the last Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan, Cuauhtémoc. He is majestic but, like the real ruler, a bit irrational.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? Coraline Jones from Coraline because I admire her curiosity and resourcefulness. Her explorations get her into interesting predicaments. And like Coraline, I too am frustrated by grown-ups.

Name: Katie Hall
Hometown: Southbury, Connecticut
Alma mater: University of Mary Washington
Area of study: Children’s Literature
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I lived in Germany for a year and a half when I was 5.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? I’d become Bilbo Baggins. That way I could go on an adventure while still being able to have a comfortable hobbit lifestyle.

Name: Alyssa Cook
Hometown: Wolcott, IN
Alma mater: Saint Joseph’s College
Area of study: Creative Writing
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I want to run a marathon after I graduate.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? I’d want to be Calvin from A Wrinkle in Time. That way, I could tesser and take in the full experience of time/space travel without being preoccupied with Meg’s numerous internal and external conflicts.

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Name: Ryan Ellis
Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas
Alma mater: Ottawa University
Area of Study: Creative Writing
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I love Romantic-era poetry. William Wordsworth inspires almost all of my writing.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? I would like to become Frankenstein’s creature because I relate to him on so many levels already, so the transition should be relatively easy.

image-5From left, Cailin Roles and Lauren Callihan.

Name: Cailin Roles
Hometown: Tavares, Florida
Alma mater: University of East Anglia
Area of study: Cultural Studies (and, more specifically, 20th and 21st Century representations of the female body in feminist literature and comics)
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I’m currently writing a graphic novel about my relationship with my parents, which I am illustrating through photographs modified by hand embroidery.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? I would like to be Sophie Hatter, from Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle. I love Sophie’s accidental magic and how she changes everything around her through personification and empathy.

Name: Lauren Callihan
Hometown: Blue Ridge, Georgia
Alma mater: University of Hawaii
Area of study: Composition and Rhetoric
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I have a parrot named Toccoa. She has an instagram page: #Toccoatheconure

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Name: Chelsea B. Osademe
Hometown: Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Alma Mater: Spelman College
Areas of Study: Cultural Studies Track, Gothic Literature, Speculative Fiction, Neo-Slave Narratives, African American Literature, American Literature
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I love fashion and changing my hair. I typically wear earrings that are handmade, whether it be from newspaper clippings, African Adinkra symbols, or anything else you can think of. I love making a statement with my hair, jewelry, and clothes.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? I would become Mama Day from Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day because she is wise, powerful, kind, and loving. Mama Day is a strong black woman who uses her gifts to empower those around her.

image-7.jpegFrom left, Dan Haws, Kat Goetting, and Hannah Wright.

Name: Daniel Haws
Hometown: Hiawatha, Kansas
Alma mater: Washburn University
Area of Study: Creative Writing
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I have partial heterochromia and enjoy the occasional board game.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? Frankenstein’s creature, so I could meet my maker.

Name: Kat Goetting
Hometown: Lawrence, Kansas
Alma mater: Fort Hays State University
Area of study: Creative Writing
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I collect taxidermy and make jewellery and displays with bones and mineral specimens.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? Smaug from The Hobbit, so I could soar through the skies and destroy villages at will. I’d prefer to change back before being slain, of course.

Name: Hannah Wright
Hometown: Jersey, Arkansas
Alma mater: Ouachita Baptist University
Area of study: Children’s Literature
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: When I was younger, I had a pet cow named Marc Antony and a dog named Cleopatra.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia because she’s a positive believer in all things good.

image-8From left, Brittani Ivan and Miriam Barton.

Name: Brittani Ivan
Hometown: Murrieta, California
Alma mater: Bryn Mawr College
Areas of study: Children’s Fantasy Literature, Medieval Literature
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I spent a year at the University of Edinburgh, was on the fencing team as an undergraduate, and have flown both a helicopter and a plane.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? I’d rather like stepping into the shoes of Lunette, the maiden who guides Ywain through his adventures in Chretien de Troyes “Knight of the Lion” and who becomes fast friends with Gawain. She always strikes me as very independent, loyal, and brave, all of which are qualities I’d like to embody myself.  (Plus, who wouldn’t want to be friends with Gawain and go adventuring?)

Name: Miriam Barton
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Alma mater: University of Kansas
Area of Study: Children’s Literature
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I am really good at finding four-leaf clovers (and I never try to—they just pop out at me).
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? I would transform into Raven Queen from Ever After High. She has cool magic powers, she’s tough, brave, and kind, and even when she’s negatively misunderstood by other characters, she doesn’t get bitter.

 

image-9.jpegName: Name: Gabriela De Anda
Hometown: South Gate, California
Alma Mater: University of California, Riverside
Area of Study: American Literature
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: Being the middle child of my family led me to loving literature and reading.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? I would be Viola from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Who wouldn’t want to pose as their brother, fool a bunch of men and women, and eventually rule a kingdom? 

image-10Name: Kaitlin Vincent
Hometown: Olathe, Kansas
Alma mater: Kansas State
Areas of study: Composition and Rhetoric, Professional Communication and Technical Writing
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: My cat thinks she’s a dog.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? Captain Picard, who is arguably literary in nature and leads with poise, diplomacy, and authority. He’s an explorer who appreciates beauty and vibrancy wherever he goes. I’d love to command the bridge of his ship and experience just one of his adventures.

image-11.jpegFrom left, Susanna Millsap and Maddie Pospisil.

Name: Susanna Millsap
Hometown: Belton, Missouri
Alma mater: Graceland University
Areas of study: British and American Literature
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: Sometimes when I’m bored, I practice listing the British monarchs from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? It’s rather obscure, but I would probably want to spend some time as Theodred from The Lord of the Rings. He’s tragically underdeveloped within canon, and that has always bothered me. I would relish the opportunity to get inside his head and understand his perspective of the political goings-on in Rohan prior to his death.

Name: Maddie Pospisil
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
Alma mater: Northwest Missouri State University
Areas of Study: Creative Writing–Poetry
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: I can juggle!
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? I would transform into the Emperor of Ice Cream, so that I could always let be be finale of seem.

image-12Name: Krista Danielson
Hometown: Los Angeles
Alma mater: University of Colorado, Boulder (BA) & Mills College (Teaching Credential)
Area of study: Creative Non-Fiction
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: My eyes change color with my mood. If they are blue-green, I’m feeling joyful; if they are battleship gray, uh oh….
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? Hermione Granger. She’s smart, loyal, and awesome with spells. She has her own ambitions and isn’t anybody’s sidekick. She likes cats. And I’ve always wanted to use a magic wand effectively.

Name: Colby (not pictured)
Hometown: Wichita
Alma Mater: Kansas State
Area of Study: Cultural Studies—I’m primarily interested in queer literature and depictions of queer relationship structures.
Please tell us something interesting/unique about you: During my senior year of undergrad, I was president of FIRE, a feminist student organization.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why? That’s a tough question because all of my favorite novels have tragic endings. Maybe Thom Creed in Perry Moore’s Hero. He’s a badass gay teen superhero. Alternatively, Holden from Catcher in the Rye.

 

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