Tag Archives: Humans of Eddy

Cory Cotten-Potter is a second-year M.F.A. student in fiction. In addition to his academic work, he is the assistant director of the CSU Writing Center.


What do you like most about your work at the Writing Center?

I like being able to quickly connect students with services that will really help them. Many students come in overwhelmed or bewildered, and if we can’t help them directly, odds are I can put them in contact with someone who can.

Do you have a favorite memory of your time at the CSU Writing Center?

My favorite moments are those when clients call in or email, saying how helpful a consultation was, and I get to pass that along to the consultants. Our consultants work extremely hard–coping with less than ideal schedules and pay–and I love it when they get the recognition they deserve.

What brought you to CSU?

The Creative Writing faculty.

Describe Eddy Hall in one word.


Do you have a favorite book? Why is it your favorite?

That’s hard. At the moment, I’d have to say Mathias Svalina’s I Am a Very Productive Entrepreneur.

What’s one thing you’d like students and faculty in the English department to know about the Writing Center?

We offer video conferencing consultations, and it would be great more humans utilized this resource.

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Caleb Gonzalez
First Year M.A. Student, Creative Nonfiction
Graduate Teaching Assistant for CO150

How do you spend most of your time in Eddy Hall? I spend my time in the computer lab on the third floor, doing my homework, printing out stories for my classes and getting ready for my CO150 classes.

What’s your favorite English class or teacher? Debby Thompson. It’s really fun to go to her office and gripe about the current political situation with her, as we have very similar views about the world. She just gives really good feedback, especially on the current “Cheese” essay that I wrote for workshop.

Tell us about the “Cheese” essay. I’m very excited about it! It’s my newest essay that I wrote based on a prompt in Debby’s class. Cheese is a metaphor for identity, class, race, and individual growth as a person.

Describe Eddy Hall in one word. Unpredictable. Also, my favorite word is “whimsical.”

What’s your favorite author or work of literature? One of them is Russian Journal by Andrea Lee. It’s a creative nonfiction book about her and her husband living in Russia as academics. She uses her experiences to make sense of the former Society Union and its relationship to the United States, as well, which is interesting. She was a staff writer for The New Yorker and has done a lot for the New York Times Magazine. Russian Journal was published in 1981.

If you were to give advice to incoming CSU grad students, what would it be? Trust yourself. Have confidence in your own writing. As hard as it might be, learn to be a part of the community.

Caleb’s mug says “I’m not saying I’m Batman, I’m just saying nobody has ever seen me and Batman in a room together.”

What’s your biggest goal or priority right now? I’m going to be facilitating Rekindle the Classics, and it will be on Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. So my biggest goal is to read that work and do a good job facilitating that work.

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(Left to Right) Tiffany, Mackenzie, Emily, Danny, Leah, Katherine, and Kiley

Today’s Humans of Eddy doesn’t feature one person, but a group of humans who make their home in Eddy. These lovely individuals are some of Eddy’s own Writing Center consultants. The Writing Center is made up of 17 consultants who are both undergrad and grad students with various degree backgrounds.

Where are you located?
The CSU Writing Center is located in the basement of Eddy, room 23, Monday through Thursday.

What does the Writing Center do?

Our consultants can assist writers at all stages of the writing process, including brainstorming, drafting, revising, and polishing. Our clients come from all types of disciplines, with writing that ranges from research papers and essays to lab reports, resumes, and applications. There are three types of consultations: face-to-face appointments, online draft submission, and synchronous video conferencing for online and off-campus students. As our website says, we work “to help create better writers, not just better writing.”

How can a student make an appointment?
Visit our website at writingcenter.colostate.edu and click “Make and Appointment.” If you don’t already have an account, you can quickly register for one to access our availability. Or feel free to stop by our office for any questions or assistance. We have coffee and tea and great conversation!
Favorite words from various consultants:  

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~from intern Joyce Bohling


Caitlin Montgomery
Major: Psychology and Pre-Med

What are you doing in Eddy Hall today?
I am working. I do a work study, and I am a lab monitor.

When do you expect to graduate?
Never. *laughs* I’m expected to graduate in 2019. I’ll be taking an extra year.

How do you spend most of your time in Eddy Hall?
I have a majority of my classes here, and I work here for 13 hours a week, so I do a lot of studying. This is my “library.”

Favorite moment in Eddy Hall?
I just like being in here [the computer lab] and interacting with everyone who walks through the door. There’s a lot of different personalities, especially with English majors. I feel like English majors are very fun.

Favorite English class or teacher?
Sean Waters — he made class [CO300] fun.

Describe Eddy Hall in one word.
Studious. Everyone’s just on the move, ready to go.

What’s your favorite book?
There’s just so many. I like Harper Lee. My childhood was J.K. Rowling, so there’s that too. But I like all different kinds of literature.

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~from intern Katie Haggstrom

Danny's favorite quote

Danny Bishop’s favorite quote

Danny Bishop
Double Major: English and Journalism & Media Communication

You mentioned that up until last year you wanted to be a news reporter. What made you change your path?
Like most liberal arts students, I have had several professional identity crises. I always planned on reporting for a newspaper after graduation (and that remains a viable backup plan), but last year I realized my heart wasn’t in it. After working for various newspapers, I found that reporting felt stifling, and was just a substitute for my actual goals regarding more substantial writing. I found that I enjoyed my writing in literature classes and creative workshops much more than reporting, and my English classes were a better fit for my voice as a writer. Being a double major is a great compromise because I get a chance to test my chops in a variety of genres — both professional and creative.

What is your biggest piece of advice for peers or underclassmen considering a MA in English?
Having just finished my applications last month, I urge students to get started early and be selective. First, it is a long process considering the various drafting, editing, and testing that is required. Make it a priority early to ensure your best work is showcased. Second, be aware that the application requirements vary, so you will have to spend time tailoring the documents to each program, so the workload increases substantially with each program you apply to. If you’re like me and are applying while also taking classes, working, attempting a social life, then applying to 10+ programs is not reasonable (or affordable). Try to pair down to the necessities to maintain a shred of sanity.

What’s your favorite book, poem, quote, lyric, genre, author?
Favorite Book: Today my favorite book is Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. That is subject to change tomorrow.
Quote: “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth” – Albert Camus
Poem: “This World is Not Conclusion” – Emily Dickinson

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~from intern Katie Haggstrom

Name: Tiffany Akers [I ran into Tiffany in the basement of Eddy in the Writing Center].

What is your major/program in the English Department?
I am a first year TEFL/TESL graduate student.

How do you spend more of your time in Eddy Hall?
Most of my time in Eddy is spent working in the Writing Center.

As a TEFL/TESL student, where else do you spend a lot of your time, if you’re not in Eddy?
As a full-time grad student working two jobs and freelance copy-editing, I spend copious amounts of time in my home or the library between commitments. I also enjoy volunteering with INTO and working on professional development actives around Colorado. When I’m not married to my career/studies, I am committed to rugby. So, I’m either in Boulder for practice or traveling for games/tournaments.

Describe Eddy Hall in one word.

Finally, what’s your favorite book, poem, quote, lyric, genre, author?
Wow, this is really hard to decide!!

  • Reading romance novels from the authors Terry Spear and Karen Moning is a guilty pleasure.
  • I love classics, such as The Odyssey and The Count of Monte Cristo.

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~from intern Joyce Bohling


Southeast Eddy Hall Entrance

What’s your name?
Hanan Al-Qarni. Al-Qarni is my tribe name. Al means “the” and Qarni means “Qarnis.” Everyone from Bel Qarn, the place where I’m from in Saudi Arabia, has this last name.

What’s your major?

What year?
I’m a second-year Master’s student.

What are you doing in Eddy Hall today?
I just finished my lecture, and I’m waiting for my father to pick me up and go to an elementary school. It’s part of the Global Ambassadors student program. Everyone will present about their country, explaining things like my last name, food, culture. Letting people know we are all the same, to respect everybody. It’s a great program.

Do you have a favorite moment in Eddy Hall?
All of them. Maybe Professor Tatiana [Nekrasova-Beker]. She’s from Russia. The reason she’s my favorite is, she always pushes us to write proposals for conferences or submit papers to be published. I’m going to submit something for conference last year. A lot of my classmates presented last fall.

Describe Eddy Hall in one word.

How do you spend most of your time in Eddy Hall?
I don’t stay here a lot, but sometimes I go to the third floor, type things, print things, and talk to my professors.

What’s your favorite book or work of literature?
It’s in my language. The person who wrote it is from my tribe. But it’s very popular. It’s called Don’t Be Sad. It’s about not being sad over anything. To overcome everything and think positively.

Do you were to give advice to incoming CSU grad student in English, what would it be?
Be prepared to read a lot and manage your time well. Take advantage of resources that the university offers. There’s a lot of things we don’t know about until we graduate.

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Lillian Nugent_prof photo

Lillian Nugent is new to the English department, started working with us over the summer, and is our Assistant to the Chair. We are so happy to finally officially introduce her to those of you who haven’t already had the pleasure of meeting her!

What brought you to CSU?
Well, what brought me home to Colorado is my granddaughter.  I’ve been in higher education for many years.  When it came time to start my search, CSU had this position open.  It all came together pretty quickly.

What do you miss most about where you lived before?
Friends.  It takes time to build relationships.  There isn’t anything that can replace the history of living life with someone.

What are you most excited to see or do living in Colorado?
Pouring into my kids and my new granddaughter!  I am blessed beyond belief to be a Tutu of two little girls.  Having the opportunity to take part in the growing of the next generation is indescribable.

Lillian and her granddaughter, Jaden

Lillian and her new granddaughter, Jaden

How would you describe your work in the English Department?
I manage the fiscal and personnel operations of the department.  This fits perfectly with my background and degrees.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
The people!  We have an extraordinary department.  Administrators, faculty and staff all work as a team, which is a perfect formula for success.  The diversity of thought and skill allows us to accomplish great things, not only for our CSU community, but for the Northern Colorado community and beyond.

What special project are you working on right now?
As a newbie, my first order of business was to organize my space.  Now that I feel ‘at home’ I am looking at our systems and processes to see how we might be more effective with less effort.  Having less ‘busy work’ will allow for the creative space needed to expand our department exposure and impact on the region.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Be in the moment!  Yesterday is over, tomorrow is yet to come.  We have no guarantees in life…enjoy the experience of now.

Lillian and her husband, Joel, overlooking Estes Park (hiking up Hermit);

Lillian and her husband, Joel, overlooking Estes Park (hiking up Hermit)

Why are the Humanities important?
What are we if not human?  All that has been created in the world since our arrival is through humanity.  Even the discovery of science and technology comes through humans.  The amazing diversity of humans is thrilling!  How do we get to learn about that?  The written word, the spoken word, language, culture, music, drama, and psychology to name a few.  Discovering more of who we are, and providing a space for that discovery to be cultivated, only happens when we value our humanity.

What are you currently reading, writing?
I am currently reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  Regardless of what your path is, this is an amazing book for opening your creative side – and we all have a creative side!

When you’re not working, what do you do?
I love my people!  Spending time with them (husband, kids, grandkids, extended family, friends that are family) is what life is all about.  The only thing that lasts through eternity is the love we have.  I share my love with them through biking, hiking, cooking, laughing, talking, and sharing our hearts.  I also find it fascinating to discover the world through the eyes of my 14 month old granddaughter!

Lillian biking with her husband Joel and a good friend Janice

Lillian biking with her husband Joel and a good friend Janice

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~from intern Haley Huffman


What’s your name? Your major? When do you expect to graduate?
Geneva McCarthy.  I’m an English Major concentrating in Literature and Creative Writing with a Minor in Linguistics and Culture.  I’ll be graduating next Spring.  Finally.  It’s taken me – I can’t believe I’m going to say this – 30 years!

How do you spend most of your time in Eddy Hall?
At the moment, most of my time in Eddy is spent in the Writing Center, but I’ve often been found in the computer lab, meeting with professors, or taking classes here – Eddy is a bit like the bat cave for English majors, it seems to me.

Favorite English class or teacher?
I planned this semester well, so pretty much all my classes are my favorite.  That is, Native American Cultural Expressions, Development of the English Language (I’m learning how to read and speak Old and Middle English), Shakespeare, and British Romanticism.

What’s your favorite book, poem, quote, lyric, genre? Who is your favorite author?
Poem:  “Ode to Autumn” by John Keats – a most constant companion.  I’m immensely fond of Emerson, too.  (Yes, I split infinitives and estrange auxiliaries.) There are scores more worth mention, of course, but these are essential wellsprings.

If you were to give advice to incoming CSU English majors, what would it be?
Be bold in exploring your passion, be open to new vision, and be generous to others and to yourself.

What’s your biggest goal, priority right now?
In practical terms, keeping up with daily demands and applying to Graduate programs; in a more ephemeral realm, broadening my command of voice and register.

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Allyson Berry
English major (Writing Concentration) with a minor in Business Administration

What brought you to CSU?
I transferred from Texas Tech after my freshman year. My mom lives here and I decided that CSU would be a good fit for me. I had always heard about how spectacular the English program was and once I visited I was sure that I wanted to go here. After being in Lubbock, TX (which is flat, arid, and BROWN) for a year it was nice to finally be in a place with trees! The trees sealed the deal!

What classes are you taking this semester?
I’m currently taking BUS205, E305 [Principles of Writing and Rhetoric], E320 [Introduction to the Study of Language], E341 [Literary Criticism and Theory], and SPCM100.

Favorite English class? Favorite English teacher? Favorite assignment or project?
So far my favorite English class would have to be either CO300 [Writing Arguments] or E305 [Principles of Writing and Rhetoric]. It is so incredibly hard to pick my favorite teachers but the top three have to be Christina Sutton, Paul Trembath, and Doug Cloud. They’re probably the best professors I’ve had throughout my collegiate year thus far. My favorite assignment is something I have in E320 [Introduction to the Study of Language]. I’m researching how Google has been using artificial intelligence and causal voicing to linguistically improve Google Voice Search.

Why is it important to study English, the Humanities?

I believe studying English is the key to being an effective communicator and being able to think/read/write critically. Although many people question what exactly there is to do with an English degree, I can say from experience that it has given me the clear advantage over the rest of those I’m competing with for internships and will compete with for jobs in the future.

You are the current president of the PRSSA. Tell us more about that.
Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is a network of more than 11,000 college students that seeks to advance the public relations profession by nurturing generations of future professionals. It not only enhances member education through speakers and real-world experience but it is pivotal in broadening your network and getting internship and job offers post-graduation. I oversee the CSU Chapter and run meetings along with traveling to International conferences to hear from the greatest public relations and marketing professionals in the world. I work on inclusion, as you do not have to major in Journalism or Public Relations to be apart of PRSSA. Here I am an English Major running the whole thing! Being President has given me the opportunity to work on leadership skills, advocate for a group of people, and enhance my communication and writing skills. I cannot say enough about the organization. It has propelled me into numerous opportunities that I would not have without becoming a member.

You interned recently at the Federal Reserve in Denver doing speech writing, social media, and internal and external communications. How did that happen, and what was that like?
That’s correct. I was interning in the Public Affairs Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Denver Branch. I met my boss at a PRSA/PRSSA International Conference last October in Atlanta, GA. She gave me her card and although I’m not a Public Relations major, she gave me a shot at the internship. I interviewed and by some miracle they gave the me job as a Sophomore going into my Junior year. (This is atypical as they try to have Junior-Senior interns to hire upon graduation in the coming year). The PA department in Denver is really a part of the Regional, Community, and Public Affairs department. As the only intern in this area, I got to try my hand at all three. I used knowledge from my business minor to understand the economics and data analysis in the Regional Affairs area. This is where the speechwriting came in. I learned about low-moderate income housing and how to integrate these people with resources that the Bank offers. And finally in PA, I was able to write stories for the quarterly publication, work on social media campaigns, educational outreach, and create a marketing and distribution plan for financial education materials to teachers in the 12th District of the Federal Reserve.

Allyson's last day of work at the Fed

Allyson’s last day of work at the Federal Reserve

Next summer you have an internship with the Pentagon. How did that happen? What will you be doing there? What are you looking forward to most about it?
I do not HAVE the internship there — yet. It is one of my options. I’ve been working to apply to multiple governmental agencies like NASA, The Department of the State, the United Nations Organization etc. Truly, in order to get these internships you have to know when to apply. That’s all there is to it. If I am to get any one of these positions in Public Affairs positions I will be most excited to see how internationally recognized organizations operate their communications. It in a sense is a whole different ball game when you have to communicate with nations around the globe.

How has your English major given you an advantage? How has it prepared you for the work, the life you hope to have?
I have the clear advantage. When comparing my work to that of let’s say a Journalism or Communications major, my work has a clear motive and is most effective in accomplishing its goal. I owe that largely to the study of rhetoric and audience analysis. We are required to take Literature classes like Intro to Poetry and British Literature— which help I’m sure, somehow, but I haven’t found out exactly how yet. However, those upper division level Lit classes require a serious competence when it comes to reading difficult texts, understanding those texts, and regurgitating and then analyzing that text. That skill alone can be applied to EVERYTHING in the business world. The world has a need for effective communicators and English majors are most likely at the top of their game when it comes to communication in any form. I can now write and give eloquent speeches, be direct in communications of any style (email, editorials, social media, blogs, etc.), I can read just about anything, and I can communicate with just about anyone. Being in the English department with such a variety of people with different personalities and interests has sculpted me to be have the skill set to work with anyone.


Do you have any advice for English majors?
Think outside the box. Sell yourself. When I tell people I’m an English Major they immediately ask me what grade I want to teach. It is an uphill battle to prove the worth of the English Major but the proof is in the paper. Be confident in explaining why you are the best communicator they could find and how multi-faceted your skill set. Although many are apprehensive to hire “outside of the box” I am proof that it can and will happen. Don’t think you must be an independent novelist/poet if you’re into creative writing, don’t think you have to be an editor if you’re a writing concentration, and don’t think you have to review books for the rest of your life if you’re in love with literature. You most certainly can, but that is not the ONLY option. The possibilities are endless, you just have to go out and find them.

What advice do you have for students about internships?
Research, research, research. I go on Google about twice a week and just browse internships. Also, apply for everything you may even have a SLIGHT interest in. Unlike graduate school, this application process doesn’t cost you a dime. So why not utilize that and get recognized. You might not make it past the interview but you have built your network in the process.

What’s your biggest priority right now?
At the moment — the 5 papers I have to write before finals week. (Don’t we all!) Apart from that, making sure I study effectively and am healthy by the end of this semester is taking top priority.

Where will we find you in five years?
Hopefully you will all find me as a Public Affairs Specialist for either a government agency or Fortune 500 company, living in a downtown loft, still binge-watching television but hopefully living on more than scrambled eggs and oatmeal! College, right?