Meet the New Grad Students

You probably won’t see the new English graduate students at Kansas State University without masks for a while, but you can see their full faces and learn about them here. Here’s some foreshadowing: They love their pets! We’re thrilled to welcome them to campus, and wish everyone a safe and enriching and healthy semester.


image001Name: Hannah Rollison
Hometown: Earlham, Iowa
Alma mater: University of Northern Iowa
Area of study: Composition and Rhetoric
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
I was traveling in Australia when the Covid-19 pandemic hit America. Our trip was cut short when New Zealand closed its borders. We abruptly came home to a quarantined life with no toilet paper in the stores.
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Hedwig because he can fly wherever he wants in the wizarding world, and what could be better than that?
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
My yellow lab, Sparx. She is always filled with happiness and gets me out of the house when I need it most. I love her more than almost anything!

 
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Name: Jorden Schoenhofer
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Alma mater: Kansas State University
Area of study: Creative Writing
 
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
 
I love to dance! I was one of the high school dance coaches the past 2 years at the school I taught at in Garden City, Kansas.
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
 
I would choose Fred or George Weasley because I could be a twin for a brief amount of time, as well as use magic to play pranks and help fight the dark lord.
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
 
My dog, Wilbur, who loves to play fetch for countless hours a day regardless of how out of breath he is.
 
 
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Name: Hunter Scott
Hometown: Highland Village, Texas
Alma mater: Kansas State University
Area of study: Cultural Studies
 
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
 
I am forever on the search for the *perfect* leather jacket…even though I own 16 already. 🙈
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
 
Miss Marple. I mean, solving mysteries and taking tea in the English countryside? Dreams.
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
 
Season 3 of Search Party.
 
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Name: Sharidan Kraljic
Hometown: Olathe, Kansas
Alma mater: Kansas State University
Area of study: Composition and Rhetoric
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
 
Rosalind from As You Like It. It sounds like a lot of fun to go live in the woods and operate incognito. Plus, Touchstone seems like an interesting guy to be around.
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
 
The development of Avalon, my sweet little island in Animal Crossing. What was once a pile of dirt in the ocean is now a dream vacation destination thanks to my efforts.
 
 
image001Name: Tolulope Daniel Ojuola (I prefer to be called Tolu Daniel though.) Hometown:  Abẹ́òkúta, Nigeria. 
Alma mater:  Tai Solarin University of Education 
Area of study: Creative Writing
 
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
I always feel like a blank page, even when I know I am not. So in essence, you’ll have to get close enough to find out. 
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Most of my favorite characters led difficult lives, so I wouldn’t want to be any of them at any moment. Maybe Tyrion Lannister?
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
I co-wrote a small ebook on the craft of creative writing during this period. It felt like a small win.
 
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Name: Caitlin Radonich
Hometown: Belvue, Kansas / San Jose, California
Alma mater: Kansas State University
Area of study: Medieval Literature
 
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
 
I’m the oldest of eight children and a second dan black belt in Taekwondo.
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
 
Isabella from Measure for Measure, so I could say “Hell no” at the end of the play.
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
 
I had the free time to take some ceramics classes, which ended up being a blast.
 
 
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Name: Molly James
Hometown: Eudora, Kansas
Alma mater: Kansas State University
Area of study: Creative Writing

Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
I have a fraternal twin sister (her name’s McNeilly), and we’re both K-State graduates, though she graduated from the College of Business with a Human Resources degree.

If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle because I wish I could be as witty and cunning as she is.

What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
Working on prop making and restoring old lawn furniture. I like working with my hands and painting things, so I was able to work on a few projects during lockdown.

 

IMG_2617Name: Jennifer Trapp
Hometown: Manhattan, Kansas
Alma mater: Kansas State University
Area of study: English Literature

If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Maybe one of the witches from Macbeth. Just being able to speak and think naturally in Shakespeare’s language for a bit would be quite an experience.

What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
I’ve spent any and all time I can with my horse, Striker. I got him the week after classes ended last semester.

 
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Name: Spencer R. Young
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
Alma Mater: University of Nebraska at Omaha
Area of Study: Creative Writing
 
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
 
I’m a bit of a spiritual nomad, consistently finding new ways to engage with what is impossible to understand.
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
 
The creature from Frankenstein or Winston Smith from George Orwell’s 1984. I guess I’m just a glutton for existential dread.
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
 
I’ve been going back and listening to my favorite bands from middle school and high school. Not all of the music is good (looking at you Falling in Reverse), but it’s been so interesting seeing how my musical tastes have changed over the years.
 
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Name: Sariah (Suh-rye-uh) Cheadle
Hometown: Fulda, Minnesota
Alma mater: Southwest Minnesota State University
Area of study: Children’s Literature
 
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
 
I taught myself to juggle using the walnuts in our back yard when I was in 8th grade. Because why not.
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
 
Lucy Pevensie — specifically from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (although any Narnia book would do). One, so I could meet Aslan, and two, so that I could see the sail to the end of the world.
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
 
Finding out that THREE of my sisters are going to have a baby. Two of them for the first time!
 
KSU
 
Name: Mary Cook
Hometown: Butler, Pennsylvania
Alma mater: Waynesburg University and University of Dayton
Area of study: Composition and Rhetoric

Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
I love to travel, and I collect coffee mugs from everywhere I go. I have more than 50 mugs, and they’re displayed all over my kitchen. One of my favorites is from Alaska (where I lived prior to moving here), and it has a sasquatch on it.

If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Minerva McGonagall — tough, intelligent, funny, righthand to Dumbledore, and the opportunity to teach at Hogwarts? Count me in!

What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
Dobby and I have spent many days walking, going to the lake, playing fetch, and enjoying Manhattan’s parks. She’s my favorite four-legged travel companion!

 
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Name: Joseph Frasco
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Alma Mater: Kansas State University
Area of Study: Composition and Rhetoric
 
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
 
Last summer, I spent six weeks studying Japanese in Osaka, Japan.
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
 
Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit. I’d get to go on an adventure in a fantasy setting and nothing too bad would happen along the way.
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
 
I’ve mainly found enjoyment through connecting with my friends and getting used to my new living arrangements.

image0Name: Nyssa (pronounced like Alyssa but with an N) Owens

Hometown: Federal Way, Washington
Alma mater: Kansas State University
Area of Study: Creative Writing

Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
My name comes from the British sci-fi show Doctor Who. The Fifth Doctor’s companion is Nyssa.

If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Elizabeth Bennet, after she marries Mr. Darcy, so I could experience the luxury of that time.

What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
I had the privilege of continuing to work during Covid. Coming to the office and getting to see my coworkers was the best source of joy everyday.

 
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Name: Marissa Combs
Hometown: Haysville, Kansas
Alma mater: Kansas State University
Area of study: Undecided, but interested in Composition and Rhetoric, Literature, and Cultural Studies
 
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
I enjoy recreating real-life buildings and rooms on The Sims, down to the smallest details.
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Arya the elf from Eragon. I have always felt a kinship with her because of her strong principles and the unapologetic way that she lives her life; besides, she’s a gifted magic-user and gets to ride on dragons… who wouldn’t want to experience that?
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
My usual Dungeons and Dragons group had to suspend our campaign back in March, so I have found joy in replacing those weekly sessions with some D&D-style fantasy story apps. My wizard character just got possessed by a demon. :/

 

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Name: Ben Kirchner
Hometown: Palmyra, Nebraska
Alma mater: University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Area of study: Creative Writing

Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
I am incredibly easily entertained: I can watch/read/play just about anything and have a pretty good time.

If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Gandalf. While I haven’t read the books (sorry sorry sorry), I’ve always been a big Gandalf fan, and I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to use magic.

What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
My friends. I’ve been quarantining in style with a small but fun group of people.

 
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Name: Morgan Shiver
Hometown: Ellensburg, Washington
Alma mater: The University of Alabama
Area of study: Children’s Literature
 
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
 
I played the trombone from age 11 to 21 and participated in my college marching band. I attended 3 national championship games during my college career.
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
 
Hagrid’s dog, Fang. You can’t tell me he’s not living his best life!
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
 
My newly adopted dog, Gus!
 
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Name: Jefferson Storms
Hometown: Basehor, Kansas
Alma mater: Manhattan Christian College/Kansas State
Area of study: Cultural Studies
 
Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
I often won awards in high school powerlifting, which is odd because I’m not much of an athlete.
 
If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Merry Brandybuck from Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings. He doesn’t have much responsibility yet gets to be part of the action and can often be found eating, drinking, or smoking a pipe with friends—all activities I deeply enjoy.
 
What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
Spending time with my fiancée and coming to know her more, as well as finding ways to continue living life with my family and close-knit church community.

IMG_2459Name: Jana Hunter
Hometown: Garden City, Texas
Alma mater: Abilene Christian University
Area of study: Composition and Rhetoric

Please tell us something interesting or unique about you:
I grew up on the headquarters of a large ranch outside of a town of 100 in West Texas with about six other families. I spent my days cleaning the ranch office, tending the owner’s yard, riding horses bareback, biking in the pastures with my brother, and jumping on our trampoline. (My daughter says to tell you I can still do a back flip.)

If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Dr. Watson. Accompanying Sherlock on his cases would be quite an adventure, and he wrote about it!

What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
Getting a second dog (despite his traumatic life and neurotic personality, resulting in potty-training difficulties), enjoying a slower pace (no chauffeuring kids everywhere), working in the yard, planting a garden, and biking more.

IMG_4256[1]Name: Gabrielle Coffey
Hometown: Mandeville, Louisiana
Alma mater: University of New Orleans
Area of study: Literature, with an emphasis on speculative fiction/horror and queer fiction

If you could transform briefly into a literary character, who would you want to become and why?
Miss Amy Murgatroyd (before the bit where she’s strangled, anyway) from Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced because she was absolutely living the cottagecore lesbian dream.

What has been your best source of joy during the global Covid-19 pandemic?
My cat. This is probably a very cheesy answer.

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