Kenna Castleberry sitting at a desk holding a plant

Kenna Castleberry
Double major in
Biological Science: Botany
and English: Creative Writing


What made you interested in studying both English and Biology?

I decided to study both English and Bio because I originally wanted to be a novelist, but my dad, the engineer, told me I should go into science in order to make a living. Once I decided on a double major, I became passionate about the connections between literature and the sciences, and how those connections can be better researched and aware by the public.

What do  you do outside of taking classes?

Outside of classes, I do a lot of reading and archery. I also garden quite a bit, volunteering with the Botanic Gardens on Spring Creek. When I want to relax I tend to watch British murder mysteries and knit something.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

My favorite genre to read is probably murder mysteries. I grew up on Nancy Drew stories, the originals from the 1970s. Currently, my favorite mystery author is Dame Agatha Christie, as she always keeps me guessing and she has some really funny descriptions of her characters. My favorite genre to write is probably nonfiction, as I enjoy writing about plants. I’m an avid botanist and writer and like to combine the two. Living in Colorado allows me to appreciate the diversity of plant life we have and to write about it.

What is your favorite plant?

I actually don’t have a favorite plant, because I like them all. I would have to say that I do like poisonous plants better than basic houseplants, mainly because they are used quite a bit in cancer research. Currently, I’ve been researching the science of medicinal plants, and have fallen in love with poisonous plants, as they have such a controversial background that has only been recently redeemed through successes in cancer remediation.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote comes from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, as it’s carried me through some of the hardest moments in my life: “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won.”

How would you describe Eddy?

I would describe Eddy as a memorial to an 80’s sitcom. With that being said, it is always humming with activity, and I end up running into someone I know on a daily basis. Because the English department is nestled in on the third floor only, we’ve all gotten very close as a community. I’m glad I’m part of that community and hope to continue engaging with it until I graduate in the summer.