Feel like you recognize this week’s Human of Eddy? In a previous life, she was a communications intern for the English department, (as well as a graduate student, which makes her another kind of alumna as well), and we published a lot of great stuff by her here on our blog. Intern Katie Haggstrom caught up with Joyce recently to find out what she’s up to now.
What brought you to CSU?
The year after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, I was applying for M.A. and M.F.A. programs in the American west: Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. I’ve always loved the west and the mountains in particular. Some of my mentors from when I was an undergraduate suggested it was not the wisest to choose schools based on geographic location, and they were probably right. But it worked out great. As soon as I started corresponding with folks in the English department and the CNF program here at CSU, it was clear to me that they had by far the most welcoming and helpful faculty and staff of any program I applied to.
I know that you just graduated with your M.A. one year ago. How was the transition from graduate student to faculty member?
Since I had already been a GTA as a grad student and knew a lot of the faculty in the composition program, I found the transition very smooth. New non-tenure track faculty are assigned mentors their first year—mine was Sean Waters—and I find our department in general to be awesome about supporting its new faculty. The hardest part has been adjusting from having max 38 students to having max 96 students. That’s a lot of names to learn!
How do you make time for your nonfiction writing? Are you working on any special projects right now?
Finding time to write has always been my greatest challenge as a writer. I’m a person who needs deadlines. On a few different occasions, friends that I know from graduate school or other contexts have organized writing groups to share our work and give each other feedback, which has not only helped motivate me to make time to write but helped me still feel like part of a community of people who are excited about words.
Too much! I cycle with the Fort Collins Cycling Club, and I write their newsletter. I also swing dance with the CSU Swing Dance Society and sometimes other dance clubs and organizations. I garden, I love to cook, and I write a blog that has readers from all over the world!
And, finally, which three people (living or dead) would you invite to dinner?
I would invite my namesake and grandma Joyce, who passed away before I was born. I’ve always admired her: a 6-foot tall woman with a math degree at a time when STEM fields were even more predominantly male than they are now. I would also invite my mom and aunt; I’ve never had the chance to be in a room with three generations of the women in my family.