Students

Bates (2)Sarah Bates
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: sbates@nmu.edu

Sarah Bates is an MFA candidate in Poetry. She earned her BA in English Literature and Secondary Education from Marshall University in West Virginia where she taught both middle school and high school writing. Some of her favorites include hiking to bodies of water with her goldendoodle, River, getting lost in new places, and reading about rain. Her goals in life are to visit all the zoos and meet all the otters.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARachael Belmore
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: racjohns@nmu.edu

Rachael is in the MA program focusing on pedagogy. As a Marquette native, Rachael has been happy to stay close to her family while attending NMU for the last five years. Her busy days include working part time at Marquette’s newspaper, The Mining Journal, and caring for her two daughters, ages 11 and 12. This semester, Rachael is teaching one section of EN 111; she hopes to eventually be a tenured professor in one of her two passions: English or sociology. In her free time, Rachael enjoys musical soundtracks, novels, Netflix, and thrift stores.

Michael Berry
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: miberry@nmu.edu

Michael is an MFA candidate in Fiction. He completed his undergraduate studies at Western Michigan University, where he earned BAs in Creative Writing and Public Relations. His creative work tends to compress family stories or legends into small towns, and his stories are frequently fueled by boozy characters, baseball and goose hunting. In a past life, Michael played collegiate baseball and ventured across the country with his father while they participated in the odd-known world of competitive trapshooting. His other hobbies include Netflix binges, pheasant hunting and general failure at everyday humor.

Annie BAnnie Bilancini
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: abilanci@nmu.edu

Annie Bilancini is an MFA candidate in fiction. Her work can be found in Booth, matchbook, Kinfolk Magazine, A Cappella Zoo, and The Collapsar. In her life before Northern, she taught high school and college composition and could make fairly decent latte art. These days you can find her sitting by a window with her pets and tapping out little stories on her embarrassingly smudged MacBook.

BoucherJacqueline Boucher
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: jabouche@nmu.edu

Jacqueline is an MFA candidate in Poetry. Her primary focuses are spoken word and slam poetry and their ties to social justice and community organization. She has taught College Composition I at NMU. In addition to her graduate work, she serves as a co-founding board member of Woosh Kinaadeiyí Poetry in Juneau, Alaska and founding editor of the organization’s literary journal, Songs that Shake the Earth. She also enjoys her cat, stress baking, and writing about the banal secret lives of supervillains.

frostyJosh Brewer
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: jobrewer@nmu.edu

Josh Brewer spent six months living in his van, Frosty, as an exploration of space.  He is an MFA candidate in fiction at NMU, where he writes about social conflict in southern communities. Josh enjoys a good sauna, running around Presque Isle in the morning, and reads just about everything.

IMG_1847Cameron Contois
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: cacontoi@nmu.edu

Cameron was born and raised in Marquette, MI.  He studies fiction in the MFA program, and completed his MA in fiction at NMU as well. Cameron has taught composition, narrative and descriptive composition, and technical writing.  Cameron has a semi-evil cat named MiMi who does not listen to anyone. Cam’s nickname is CeeCee, he loves B-Dubs, Ke$ha, and T-Swift. His fiction focuses on integrating LGBT characters as well as exploring spaces of death, apparitions, loss, and mental health. He also has been on numerous panels for comp/rhet at conferences across the country.

IMG_1597Marie Curran
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: mcurran@nmu.edu

Marie is an MFA candidate in fiction who draws inspiration from time spent living in Waco, Denver,  and California.  Before joining the NMU program, Marie taught in preschools and ran an organic farm with her husband, Neal. Marie and Neal live in Marquette with their daughter, Judy, and dog, Martin.  Marie teaches EN 111 at NMU and is at work on a novel.

Tyler Dettloff
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: tdettlof@nmu.edu

Tyler is in the MA Literature/Pedagogy dual track and teaches College Composition. He was raised in Kinross, MI. He is interested in oral traditions, specifically Blues and Native American literatures and the changing environments which force adaptation. As a singer/songwriter, Tyler likes to beat up his guitar and voice then nurse them back to health. Lake Superior is where he soaks his brain and toes. He has a border collie named Banjo and likes to fish for Lake Trout and Coho Salmon. Teaching is a newly discovered passion for Tyler, one which he feels fosters his professional development and his curiosity.

DuncanJessica Duncan
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: jesdunca@nmu.edu

Jessica Duncan is an MA candidate in Literature and Writing. She earned her BA in English at University of Missouri – St. Louis. Before coming to Marquette, she read fiction and poetry for River Styx and sold books for Left Bank Books. Her favorite writers are Haruki Murakami, Roxane Gay, and Cormac McCarthy. She once had the pleasure of discussing Aqua Teen Hunger Force with George Saunders.

IMG_1804Cory Ferrer
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: cferrer@nmu.edu

Cory writes both prose and poetry in the MFA nonfiction program. He hails from Traverse City, MI. He has taught composition, narrative and descriptive writing, and is looking forward to teaching creative writing in his third year of the program.

 

 

Paige Frazier

Graduate Assistant
E-mail: alfrazier@nmu.edu

Paige Frazier is an MFA student at NMU studying creative nonfiction. She completed her BA in English at Marshall University in West Virginia. She has taught Composition and currently teaches Narrative and Descriptive writing. She hopes to pursue a PhD in Gender Studies in the future. Her hobbies are songwriting, vegan cooking, and petting her cat, Harriet Tubman.

Matt Ftacek PhotoMatt Ftacek
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: mftacek@nmu.edu

Matt Ftacek is an MA student studying writing and literature and teaching composition. He received his BA from Western Michigan University in anthropology and creative writing. He enjoys writing poetry, taking solitary hikes through the woods, and generally wasting time in his office.

IMG_1830Michael Giddings
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: mgidding@nmu.edu

Michael is from Brooklyn, New York and is a fiction MFA student. If you are ever lucky enough to enter his apartment, you will find intense maps for his short story collection. Drawings of mysterious characters cover his desk, The Simpsons is often playing on his computer, and he is known to possess a Sharpay folder from High School Musical.

IMG_1846Tracy Haack 
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: thaack@nmu.edu

Tracy moved to Marquette from Wisconsin for the MA program in writing. She loves Harry Potter, is mysteriously collecting bottle caps for a craft project, and is praised often by her colleagues for being an incredible crafter. Tracy teaches Composition on the basic and college levels and has represented NMU at numerous academic conferences.

amyyyAmy Elisabeth Hansen
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: amyehans@nmu.edu  

Amy studies poetry in the MFA program. Her work has been published in 580 Split and in some tiny magazines that no longer exist. At NMU, she teaches composition, reads poetry for Passages North and volunteers at the writing center. She has three cats, a really loud laugh and a deep and special bond with online shopping.

johannahardyJohanna Hardy
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: jhardy@nmu.edu

Johanna studies literature and writing in the MA program at NMU. She comes from Wacousta, MI and loves to travel, having seen all but 8 states in the USA. She has work published in Crack the Spine and is currently working on a novel while working two big-kid jobs and going to school. Johanna loves playing guitar and drums and taking her dog, Rosie, on walks. She is especially interested in telling stories of travel and finding home wherever life leads.

jillJill Harris
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: jiharris@nmu.edu

Jill Harris is a first year MA candidate, dual tracking in Literature and Writing. Born and raised in Sweet Home Alabama, Jill received a BA in English and Sociology; she then spent five years working in the University of West Alabama Police Department before making the trek to NMU to study and teach. Recently, she has learned to correctly pronounce “sauna,” the fundamentals of Euchre, and why wool socks are important. She currently focuses on flash fiction, and she is particularly interested in contemporary and historical racial and cultural relations. Her mother sometimes refers to Marquette as Neverland. Jill can usually be found in her office, located second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.

IMG_1845Sofie Harsha
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: sharsha@nmu.edu

Sofie is in her first year of the MA program for writing. She, like many people in the programs, has a fantastic cat that consumes her. Lately, she has been writing short fiction. Sofie loves traveling, all things cat, and her cupcake earrings. She always has her fun glasses on and has all sorts of witty things to say to you if you happen upon her office.

JacobyMike Jacoby
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: ajacoby@nmu.edu

Mike is working toward his masters degree in writing. While earning his BA at NMU in both English and Psychology, Mike worked as an associate editor for Passages North and as a tutor in the writing center. Now, he splits his time between the writing center, where he is the managing graduate assistant, and his writing desk, which is often a bed, the couch, or the tub. Mike’s writing explores the relationships between identity and sexuality, often against the landscape of a made up world.

Ben KinneyBen Kinney
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: bekinney@nmu.edu

Ben Kinney grew up in rural Fife Lake, MI, where he spent his childhood reading and writing stories. He studied at Central Michigan University, where he graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in Secondary Education. He then lived for four years in Pinellas County, FL, where he taught 6th grade Language Arts. There, he came to the gradual realizations that he preferred being the student to the teacher and that his storytelling days were not over. He is now in the MA program, once again trying to become a writer. He is an assistant editor of Passages North. His favorite authors include Stephen King, Annie Proulx, David Foster Wallace, and Gregory Maguire.

lepplaChristen Leppla
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: cleppla@nmu.edu

Christen is a dual track fiction and poetry candidate in the MFA program. After teaching college composition for three years in Cincinnati, she made the long drive to Marquette where she lives with her boyfriend Ryan and their dog, Dr. Watson. At NMU, she teaches and reads for Passages North while she works to complete her novel and a book of poetry.

Robin McCarthy
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: romccart@nmu.edu

Robin is an MFA candidate in fiction. She teaches composition and is a managing editor for Passages North. Robin also counts for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and deeply loves Wildcat hockey games. Her work has been or will be published by The Rumpus, Green Mountains Review, NPR, and on the blogs of [PANK] and Ploughshares. She is from Maine.

10665847_10202475376470591_6808677756389845682_nFrancis McGill
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: jmcgill@nmu.edu

Francis is a teaching assistant in the English Master’s program. He plans to study literature and write poetry, as well as undertake a project on the relationship between native rituals and modern day performance. Some interests include: Superior Lake, morning time, flash fiction writing, and music to the background of conversation.

IMG_1743Caleb Nelsen
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: calenels@nmu.edu

Caleb Nelson is a first year poet in the MFA program.  He graduated with an English degree from the University of Montana after transferring several times. Originally from Montana, he grew up fly fishing on the Yellowstone River and the Bighorn River, skiing most winters, and playing tennis during the summer. His main writing interest include people like, Peter Richards, Richard Siken, Carl Philips, Ales Steger, Larry Levis, Emily Dickinson, Mary Jo Bang, and Emmanuel Hocquard.

IMG_1840Ania Payne
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: apayne@nmu.edu

Ania studies nonfiction in NMU’s MFA program. She moved to Marquette from Arkansas and enjoys sunshine, the beach, and walking pretty much everywhere.  She, like many other TAs, steals candy from Amy Hansen’s candy jar.  She loves her golden retriever and looks forward to reunions between semesters.

mepandaRebecca Pelky
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: rpelky@nmu.edu

Rebecca is currently an MFA candidate in poetry. She has a BA in English from Indiana University, South Bend, and a BS in Zoology from NMU. She has taught College Composition I twice, Narrative and Descriptive Writing once, and is currently teaching Technical and Report Writing. She is also the graduate co-coordinator for the 2014 Writing Across the Peninsula Conference. Prior to coming back to Marquette, she spent thirteen years working in zoos. Once, she was run over by a giraffe. Her poetry, which often focuses on place and Native American issues, has appeared in Prick of the Spindle and The Stone Highway Review.

QuartararoJennifer Quartararo
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: jquartar@nmu.edu

Jennifer received her BA in English Communications from Emmanuel College in Boston as well as a certificate in nonfiction writing and editing from The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, ME. She now studies nonfiction in the MFA program at NMU. Though she was raised in the woods of Maine, she has also called Florence, Berlin and most recently Brooklyn home. While still in New York she dreamed of one day passing Joan Didion in the street and going for coffee together. She still holds out hope, though the chances seem slimmer here in Marquette.

IMG_1836Emily Suess
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: esuess@nmu.edu

Emily is an MA candidate in writing and literature. She came to the program from Lodi, California. Emily loves to travel and has been to Cambodia, Ukraine, and various parts of Europe. She’s interested in teaching literature in the future. She is especially interested in the re-telling of stories, regardless of whether it is Shakespeare or fairy tales, etc. At NMU, Emily has taught composition and in the fall will be teaching Writing and Literature.

Jason TealJason Teal
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: jteal@nmu.edu

Jason Teal is an MFA candidate in Fiction. Born in South Carolina, he lived in California, Louisiana, and Ohio before coming to Michigan. He has a BFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University and co-edits the literary and arts quarterly Heavy Feather Review. He is an associate editor for Passages North and has served as an assistant editor for Drunken Boat and as Managing Editor for Mid-American Review. He has worked as a production supervisor for an interior automotive parts manufacturer and as a substitute teacher. His favorite writers include Russell Edson, Padgett Powell, Donald Barthelme, and Stephen Dixon.

Tiffany Walters
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: twalters@nmu.edu

An MA candidate in literature, Tiffany wants everyone to know that her favorite word is “stuff” and that her favorite color is grey.  She drinks a lot of tea at her desk and worked really hard to ensure that her desk remained naked for the majority of her first year, but has failed.  She also has a magical and colorful afghan blanket that she wears while rocking in her chair and grading.  Her officemates take secret Snapchat photos of her when she isn’t looking.  Her thesis will focus on Harry Potter.

leviLevi Warnos
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: lwarnos@nmu.edu

Levi Warnos is dual-tracking in writing and pedagogy in the MA program and works as the Graduate Assistant at the Center for Native American Studies, where he produces The Anishinaabe News. He graduated from NMU in December 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in English. He writes non-fiction and poetry and his overarching goal is to teach composition at the collegiate level. Alongside his studies, he will primarily be co-editing and producing. In his spare time, he enjoys board-sports, photography, quoting films, cliff jumping, and the quiet found only under the surface. Levi was born south of the bridge: an “Adopt-A-Yooper” by lineage and self-design. He has a soft spot for young adult literature by authors such as Garth Nix and Brian Jacques, and highly recommends Shantaram to everyone and anyone.

IMG_1829Matthew Weinkam
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: mweinkam@nmu.edu

Matt Weinkam is a fiction student in the MFA program. Originally from Ohio, he holds an MA from Miami University and spent a year teaching at Sun Yat-sen University in Zhuhai, China. Matt’s fiction and book reviews have appeared in TINGE Magazine, Monkeybicycle, The Rumpus, and Heavy Feather Review. He is a managing editor at Passages North and co-edits Threadcount, an online journal of hybrid prose. He has a fat cat named Cricket and enjoys writing about robots.

andreaAndrea Wuorenmaa
Graduate Assistant
E-mail: awuorenm@nmu.edu

Andrea is an MFA candidate in creative nonfiction. She has lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for most of her life. Her writing interests lie in her love for the U.P. and her travels abroad. In her spare time, she enjoys reading short stories in her back yard, riding on the back of her boyfriend’s motorcycle, and planning her next trip overseas. Andrea has been teaching composition at NMU and in the fall will be teaching Narrative and Descriptive Writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s