Tag Archives: Communications Intern

From Jill Salahub, English Department Communications Coordinator: I am so happy to introduce the English Department’s Communications Interns for Fall 2017 —  Michaela Hayes and Katie Haggstrom, (who was also with us last semester and over the summer, and is so great we asked her to stay on). Just like the position description states, they are creative and enthusiastic CSU students with good communication and writing skills who are super excited to help us tell the story of the English Department. We’ve had our first official meeting, and there’s lots of good stuff coming your way! If you have any ideas of what they should be writing about, events they should be attending, people they should profile, etc., please send those suggestions my way.

 

 

 

From Michaela Hayes: 

Hi! I’m Michaela and I’m beyond excited to be an intern for the English department this semester. I’m a transfer student from the University of Kansas and one of the main selling points of CSU for me was the English department. One step in Eddy and I was in love. Feel free to chat with me at any time about books and such- I’m always up for new recommendations. Some of my favorite authors are Daphne du Maurier, Tim O’Brien, James Baldwin, Jeffrey Eugenides, Joy Fielding, and I could talk about about Sylvia Plath for days. I’m looking forward to going to English department events and readings this semester and adding to my list of favorites.

 

 

 

 

 

From Katie Haggstrom:

My name is Katie and this will be my second year interning for the English department! I’m constantly amazed by how much our students, faculty and staff do, both during the summer and the school year. I’m starting my second year in the MA English, Literature program, and I also work in the Writing Center as a consultant. I spend most of my time running around Eddy, so if you see me please say hi (and you might become the next feature for our Humans of Eddy). Outside the English department, I work with ASCSU as the graduate senator, helping to bridge the gap between grad and undergrad students. I’m excited to get started and hope to see some of you around Eddy!

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From Jill Salahub, English Department Communications Coordinator: We had so many great applicants for the internship position this time around. Any of them would have been a great fit, which meant we got to pick the best of the best. I am so happy to introduce the English Department’s Communications Interns for Spring 2016 — Katie Haggstrom and Joyce Bohling, (who was also with us last semester, and was so great we asked her to stay on). Just like the position description states, they are creative and enthusiastic CSU students with good communication and writing skills who are super excited to help us tell the story of the English Department. We had our first official meeting last week, and there’s lots of good stuff coming your way! If you have any ideas of what they should be writing about, events they should be attending, people they should profile, etc., send those suggestions my way.

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From Katie Haggstrom: “I admit that I’m a cliche English student, but I try to live by Emerson’s quote ‘do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’ I went from spending my undergraduate years bundling up against harsh Minnesota winters at St Olaf College to studying in Tanzania, London and attending NYU’s Publishing Institute.”

“I will always be a Nebraska native, but I officially moved to Fort Collins in August to begin a Masters in English at CSU. While I’m beginning my second semester, I’m still adjusting to the whole graduate student thing. But I’m amazed at the countless authors, writers, and poets invited to speak at CSU. As your intern this semester, I’m excited to learn more about the different events and speakers on the calendar.”

“If you see me lurking around Eddy (where I seem to live most weekdays), feel free to say hello.”

Joyce Bohling

Joyce Bohling

From Joyce Bohling: “I’m excited to be returning for a second semester as a Communications Intern for the English Department! In the fall, I not only learned a lot about writing for the web, but met some very cool people I otherwise would not have met, learned more about people I already knew, and got to share their stories with all of you. I’m looking forward to another semester of learning all I can about communications and about this department. Don’t hesitate to contact me (or Katie or Jill) if you have a story you’d like to be heard.”

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From Jill Salahub, English Department Communications Coordinator: I am so happy to introduce the English Department’s Communications Interns for Fall 2016 — Joyce Bohling, Haley Huffman, and Courtney Satchell. Just like the position description stated, they are creative and enthusiastic CSU students with good communication and writing skills who are super excited to help us tell the story of the English Department. We had our first official meeting last week, and the room was full of so much good energy and so many great ideas! I can’t wait to share more of their work with you. If you have any ideas of what they should be writing about, events they should be attending, people they should profile, etc., send those suggestions my way.

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From Joyce Bohling: Hello! I’m Joyce, and I’m very excited to be joining the English department communications team for fall 2016. Not only will it be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about a department that does so much to support me alongside hundreds other graduate and undergraduate students, but also to learn a new set of writing skills for a new audience and context. Writing, after all, is a very employable skill, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The majority of my web writing experience comes from my food blog, The Hungry Caterpillar. I really like food. I also like swing dancing, bike riding, cats, good books of all kinds (but especially memoirs), mountains, public radio, Star Trek, tea, teaching, yoga, and cheesy 80’s music.

This will be my second year in the creative nonfiction program here at CSU, which means I better start cranking out a thesis soon. Writing, coursework, attending to my food blog and teaching CO150 as a second-year Graduate Teaching Assistant keep me plenty busy. But don’t worry—I’ll be finding a few hours each week to let you know what’s going on here in the English department. I’m looking forward to learning all that I can.

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From Haley Huffman: “It’s better to look back and think ‘I can’t believe I did that,’ than to look back and think “I wish I did that.’” My name is Haley Huffman and I am a senior Journalism and Media Communications major with an English minor. I’m still figuring out my end game with these areas of study, but ideally I would like to become involved in the editing and publishing business. I am from Denver, where my family still resides with two cats and two dogs. I love animals and all of our pets are rescues. I am also a huge Denver Broncos fan and I go to as many home games as I can with my dad. When I’m not yelling at oversized, sweaty men on a football field, I can be found reading and drinking coffee. I have a passion for literature and I am very excited to be working with the English Department as a Communications Intern so I can broaden my literary experiences and chronicle those for you all.

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From Courtney Satchell: Courtney is a Junior at CSU currently earning her undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies and English Lit. She’s obsessed with movies, writes angsty poetry, and takes way too many photos of her cat. She’s seen the movie Princess Bride way too many times and Twilight is the bane of her existence. When she isn’t doing school work you can find her loitering the halls of the Eddy Building.

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From Jill Salahub, English Department Communications Coordinator: I am so happy to introduce the English Department’s Communications Interns for Spring 2016 — Ashley Alfirevic (returning), Beth Campbell, and Kaitlyn Phillips. Just like the position description stated, they are creative and enthusiastic CSU students with good communication and writing skills who are super excited to help us tell the story of the English Department. We had our first official meeting last week, and the room was full of so much good energy and so many great ideas! I can’t wait to share more of their work with you. If you have any ideas of what they should be writing about, events they should be attending, people they should profile, etc., send those suggestions my way.

Ashley Alfirevic, after her senior thesis readin

Ashley Alfirevic, after her senior thesis presentation (Ashley’s thesis: Women in Irish Film: Representations of Feminine Mobility)

From Ashley Alfirevic: Winter break provided some rest and relaxation as I caught up with family and friends back home in Chicago. Seeing as this was first time in a few years that Christmas didn’t come coupled with a polar vortex, it was the perfect opportunity to go explore the city. My trip back to Colorado started a little early with a few days in Breckenridge, where I skied my first black diamond trails and narrowly avoided several wipe-outs.

Not much different from those intimidating new trails, I’m excited and a little nervous to tackle my last semester of college. Senior year means the embarking on the job hunt and navigating adulthood, but I’m not ready to call myself a graduate just yet. There are a few more items to tick off the list before I leave CSU, like rafting down the Poudre or going to a concert at Red Rocks. And, of course, I’d like to make the most of my time left in the English Department.

I’m eager to meet my two new colleagues in the English Department Communications Internship, and hope to offer some helpful tidbits during our time together. Though far from old and wise, seniority has granted me a little perspective. While this comes with the territory, attend all the readings, presentations, poetry slams, and English Department events that you can. I’m making up for lost time this year, and am now realizing how much they ground you in the CSU English community. Don’t be too intimidated to talk with professors and grad students (even if you have a bit of an awkward start); everyone in the department is welcoming and friendly, and will be more than willing to strike up a conversation.

And while this is terribly, awfully cliché, you’ll be signing your graduation contract before you know it. Make sure you can look back on your time with a little bit of a smile, maybe because you talked with a professor who was passionate about their course, or met a classmate who made you think during discussions, or a read book that changed the way you looked at the world around you.

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Beth Campbell

From Beth Campbell: Literature is the purest expression of the human spirit, which is why it terrifies some, confuses others, and delights those who dare to keep looking. This is my dearest belief and why I am so passionate about what I do. I am a second year English Education major who loves being involved with anything related to reading, writing, or education. When I am not reading whatever book I picked up this week from the library or in class, I am out meeting new people, going to poetry slams, or relaxing in my favorite corner of the Alleycat. I am a tea connoisseur, an advocate for adult nap time and recess, and I always eat dessert first, because life is too short to pass up the good stuff.

I have been writing for most of my life, but my writing career only took off two years ago when a poem of mine was published in the America Library of Poets yearly book Accolades. I began to pursue English as a major and career choice when I came to college. I was hired as a weekly writer for an online national journal called The Odyssey, where I continue to publish short works of fact and opinion. I am very excited for this internship and cannot wait to see what this semester holds for us!

Kaitlyn Phillips

Kaitlyn Phillips

From Kaitlyn Phillips: I’m incredibly excited to join CSU’s English Department as an intern this Spring; I’ve been part of the community as a student for almost two years, and I’m excited to gain new perspective on this place that many of us English majors call home. My concentration is education, and I hope to one day be the kind of teacher that creates the same sense of community in her classroom that I’ve found here in the university’s English department. When I’m not studying English here on campus, I’m most often at Putnam Elementary school, where I work as a teaching assistant in a preschool classroom, or doing small projects as the Development Officer of the nonprofit Far Away Friends; our mission is to extend quality education into Northern Uganda, and it has been amazing to take my passion for education across the globe. Additionally I am a lover of coffee, books, and people, and can be found binge watching Grey’s Anatomy on any given weekend. I am crazy excited to be taking on this internship this semester, and hope to help the community as much as I learn from it.

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From Jill Salahub, English Department Communications Coordinator: “I am so happy to introduce the English Department’s Communications Intern for Fall 2015, Ashley Alfirevic. She was the recipient of the Donna Weyrick Memorial Scholarship this past spring. Just like the position description stated, she is a creative and enthusiastic CSU student with good communication and writing skills who is super excited to help us tell the story of the English Department. Some of the projects she is currently working on: profiles of faculty and students and alumni, articles about this semester’s reading series, Instagram and Twitter posts, and continuing our Humans of Eddy project.”


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From intern Ashley Alfirevic: “I’m excited to serve as this semester’s Communications Intern for the English Department. When I’m not roaming around Eddy, my free time usually consists of over-analyzing movies, knitting, or feeling nostalgic about my summer in Ireland.

Through CSU Education Abroad and a cooperating program called EUSA, I spent the summer copyediting and search engine optimizing an Irish web publication called the Dublin Globe. Living across the pond served both as a unique work experience and a wonderful opportunity take a whirlwind tour of Europe.

When Mary Hickey, the English Department Internship Coordinator, was de-briefing me on the necessary paperwork pre-trip, she mentioned that the English Department had an available position for the Communications Intern. My dual degrees English Literature and Communication Studies have fostered a love for telling people’s stories, so I immediately applied and accepted the subsequent job offer.

This semester, I want to help tell the narrative of the English Department through the blog and social media pages, bringing readers event coverage, interviews, and, of course, some flashy pictures of the new Eddy Hall. My goal is to keep students and faculty updated on department news in an engaging and intriguing fashion, and maybe gain some new followers in the process. The English Department is filled with such friendly and creative people, and I can’t wait to share their stories with you.”

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The end of the semester is typically a mix of relief, exhaustion, and joy. Students who have worked hard all semester long are looking forward to a break and some rest, giddy with the promise of summer. It is a bittersweet moment for many faculty because while they are looking forward to the same things, they also have amazing students who they might not see in class or even on campus again. I am feeling mostly sad today because I am having my final meeting with my interns. Kara Nosal has been so much fun to work with, to get to know this semester. She is easy going but enthusiastic. She did such good work for the department, specifically through her reports about the various readings she attended and her research into department history and creation of a timeline. Her work and her presence communicate a sense of genuine engagement, compassion, and creativity — the best the Humanities has to offer.

Kara is graduating this semester, making the move from student to alumni. I hope you will join me in wishing her all the best. She will be missed, but we are certain she is moving on to good things.

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What brought you to CSU?

I liked the general vibe I got from the campus. There was a wide variety of people here. Some had dreadlocks, some had cowboy boots, and some were in suits. All of them, though, seemed laid back and friendly. I was pretty intimidated by the idea of college students when I was in high school, but I felt that I would be welcomed here. Plus, there were trees and flowers everywhere and I love trees and flowers.

What inspired you to pursue a degree in English, the Humanities?

My favorite teachers, elementary school through high school, were book nerds. Simply, they passed their love of the humanities on to me. Something about the assumption that the arts were a waste of time also inspired me, in a reverse way, to become an English major. I wanted to prove to my mentors, my parents, society, that there is value in studying the humanities. Though, I’ll admit that that value looks different than, say, the value of math or science.

Why is it important to study the Humanities?

My experience with the humanities is that they are useful areas of study, but not readily marketable in an economic sense. I get sick of thinking about human success purely in terms of money. There’s more to humans than what goods or services they can produce. In fact, I’d argue that that unmarketable quintessence in every person is the most important part of them. I believe the core of a person that reacts to art and story is the origin of creativity, wonder, hope, unity, and a slew of other beautiful character traits. English, ethics, music, art, history feed this part of a person and keep it alive. Picturing a world where that element is missing from the human heart gives me the shivers. So I chose to study the humanities in the hope that I can somehow help another person fall in love with that part of themselves and grow a little more goodness into the world.

(Also, I know I said that the humanities do not appear readily marketable, but I do hope to get a job as an editor, blogger, author, or teacher someday. An English degree can be a good idea on a practical level, too, though that’s not my primary motivation for choosing to study it.)

What are you reading, writing? Favorite book or author?

I’m reading Blue Angel by Francine Prose right now (though I should be writing final papers). It’s an interesting book because my trust in the main character has diminished more and more as the plot has progressed. I’m fifteen pages away from the end and now I can’t stand the main character. That’s some good writing, to make me hate a character I once felt sympathetic towards!

My fall-back answer when people ask about my favorite book is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. So Wilde might be my favorite author, but I also like Italo Calvino, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Column McCain, or any other author who might be considered a fabulist.

Was there a specific class, professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you, helped you, or inspired you while at CSU?

My experience in Dan Beechy-Quick’s intermediate poetry workshop will probably never leave me. My brain hurt at the end of his lectures because it had been growing so rapidly, I imagine. I wouldn’t say I wrote my best stuff for that workshop, but I did feel that my writing turned a corner, in a good and irreversible way, thanks to him.

Also, EJ Levy, who taught three of my workshops over the years, as well as being my academic advisor, helped me value my work and myself. All she did was affirm my writing and encourage me to keep writing. It was really simple. But I admired her so much as a human being, a teacher, and a writer that those affirmations held a lot of weight for me.

How does it feel to be graduating? What are your plans?

I’m excited to be done with school and all my anxiety about tests and papers that goes along with it. I will say that I’m going to miss the structure. For 16 years, going to class and studying has been my life’s focus. Now what? It’s a little scary hopping out of the fishbowl of academia, praying for water out there.

My plans are few. I plan to hike as much as the Colorado Trail as I can this summer, which looks like living out of a tent in relative solitude for a number of weeks. After that, I will try to get a job, but I don’t have anything lined up. It’s a very freeing feeling. I could do anything and go anywhere. Of course, I’ll stay in Colorado, I think, seeing as every other place on the planet pales in comparison!

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What did you learn from your internship experience?

I learned how to interact with strangers professionally, which sounded scary to me at the start. Also, I practiced writing informational reviews of real life events. Up until this point, my voice only came through in poems and stories, but it was nice to have a voice, an opinion, on real things.

What advice do you have for other students doing an internship?

Go ahead and put your whole self into the process. Your personality, your likes and dislikes, your spirit, is valid in all contexts, including work. Don’t worry about morphing yourself into who you think the ideal intern should be.

What advice do you have for CSU English Department students?

Get to know the people in your major. Some really cool experiences can come out of a shared love of a subject. I did a project in my Beat Authors class last semester with some other English students in which we recorded our poetry while being backed up by a group of jazz musicians from the University of Denver. I don’t see those students much out of class, but we are all the kind of people who get buzzed on poetry. The atmosphere in that recording room was intense, highly creative, free, maybe even transcendent.

I regret keeping to myself so much in class. I was intimidated by those students who I considered to be better writers than me. I told myself I didn’t deserve to hang out with the “real” writers. It was total bull pucky. Don’t do what I did. Make friends with the people who love what you love. Grow together.

When you aren’t in school or working, what do you do? What do you love? What are you obsessed with?

I go through phases of obsession. Right now I’m really into the North American Bison. There used to be hundreds of thousands of them all over the west, and now the only true ones are in Yellowstone National Park, thanks to a whole lot of hunting and the development of cities. In some places they were so prevalent that settlers describe them as black sea over the plains. I read in my guidebook that the Colorado Trail passes through the area where the last sighting of a wild bison in Colorado occurred. So hopefully I’ll get to see that spot first-hand.

Where can we expect to find you in five years?

Oh, I expect to be thoroughly unfindable by that point.


Interested in this internship? We need two new interns for Fall 2015. Find out more: http://english.colostate.edu/news/english-department-communications-internship-submit-an-application/

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The end of the semester is typically a mix of relief, exhaustion, and joy. Students who have worked hard all semester long are looking forward to a break and some rest, giddy with the promise of summer. It is a bittersweet moment for many faculty because while they are looking forward to the same things, they also have amazing students who they might not see in class or even on campus again. I am feeling mostly sad today because I am having my final meeting with my interns. Marina Miller has been so much fun to work with, to get to know this semester. She is a hard worker who pays attention to detail and always, always does her best. Even when she had assignments that were outside of her interests, beyond her comfort zone, she completed them with enthusiasm, precision, and professionalism. She set a high standard for next semester’s incoming interns.

Marina is graduating this semester, making the move from student to alumni. I hope you will join me in wishing her all the best. She will be missed, but we are certain she is moving on to good things.

last first

What brought you to CSU?

In all honesty, I came to CSU because NYU rejected me. However, I stayed at CSU because of the people. We have some of the nicest people on this campus (crazy preachers who come to The Plaza excluded). I also really like the balance of social activities and athletics and academics here. We know that our sports teams are great and we support them, but at the end of the day we are a school where academics are more important.

What inspired you to pursue a degree in English, the Humanities?

Originally I decided to major in English because I wanted to go to law school. While law is something I am still considering, I am considering writing as a career even more so. My love for writing has only grown since being an English major at CSU.

What are you reading, writing?

I am currently reading Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison. I am currently writing one of my last blog posts for my personal blog. I have loved blogging for the past four years but with graduation coming up, the blog has run its course at this point. I will continue to blog but it will be a different theme with different content of course and serve a different purpose.

Favorite book or author?

I read too many novels to choose just one favorite. The authors I like are Beth Harbison, Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot (not just The Princess Diaries, her grown up fiction too!) and Erin Duffy. I like fun reading and all these authors write fun, “girly” books that I can relate to.

Was there a specific class, professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you, helped you, or inspired you while at CSU?

So many teachers have helped and inspired me in these past four years. Kate Kiefer, Ellen Brinks (who finally taught me what a comma splice is), Carrie Lamanna, Sarah Sloane, Courtenay Daum (Political Science professor but still incredibly helpful) and of course Jill Salahub who said, “Thank God our plans don’t always work out” which is slowly becoming my mantra as I enter the real world.

How does it feel to be graduating? What are your plans?

Exciting, and absolutely terrifying. School has been such a huge part of my identity for so long that it’s a very strange feeling to just be finished with it. My plans are to take a week off and just sleep in and do whatever I want. And then I will probably get a job as a legal assistant to pay the bills while I try and find a writing job to support me.

What did you learn from your internship experience?

I learned the importance of proofreading, reading aloud and getting a second opinion on your writing. I also learned how to tailor your work to the audience that would most be interested in the topic, even if you are not necessarily a part of your audience.

What advice do you have for other students doing an internship?

Enjoy your internship and make the most of it. Yes, it looks good on a resume but there is more to it than that. If you pay attention and take the constructive criticism into consideration beyond just your writing (or whatever the task may be), it will make you a better writer and that will shine on and off your resume. And go to more events. Even if you don’t have to write about them, go for the experience and the networking.

Why is it important to study the Humanities?

I think studying the Humanities gives a broader base of knowledge than going right into STEM classes. People call me “well-read” now, which is I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as but it is because of the Humanities classes I have taken. I wasn’t described in that way before I came to CSU. People will just ask me random questions now because they assume I know, and while most of the time I don’t know the answer, it does feel good to know that people think of me in that light.

What advice do you have for CSU English Department students?

Don’t get so bogged down on one text you can’t decipher or one class that you absolutely hate. When you can start to take classes that you are really interested in and you feel as though you will use the skills you’re learning in the real world, it will all work out. I hated my literary theory classes and I swore they were going to kill my GPA because I didn’t know what was going on, but I somehow got B’s in those classes and once I was finished with them, I got to take Writing Online and Writing and Style and I did amazing in those classes. Also, we all have at least one person in our lives that will either belittle the work we are doing or ask us what we are going to do with an English degree, instead of letting those negative comments get to you and make you question your decisions, use them as motivation.

When you aren’t in school or working, what do you do? What do you love? What are you obsessed with?

I love to bake. When I get really stressed out, I bake until I am able to calm down and handle the situation better. I also have a slight obsession with shoes so I go shoe shopping much more than I should.

Where can we expect to find you in five years?

In five years, I hope to be married and have one child. I know it sounds very stereotypical but I love kids and I want to make sure I have them in my life. However, I also want to have a successful career. At this point I can see two paths, one is writing – maybe I’ll get paid to blog at some point, who knows – and the other is law. Either way, where I end up will be a result of my English degree, and I know wherever I am will be fabulous!


Interested in this internship? We need two new interns for Fall 2015. Find out more: http://english.colostate.edu/news/english-department-communications-internship-submit-an-application/

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From Jill Salahub, English Department Communications Coordinator: “I am so happy to introduce the English Department’s Communications Interns for Spring 2015, Marina Miller and Kara Nosal. Just like the position description stated, these two are creative and enthusiastic CSU students with good communication and writing skills who are going to help us tell the story of the English Department. Some of the projects they are currently working on: profiles of faculty and students and alumni, a department history, articles about this semester’s reading and speaker series, and continuing our Humans of Eddy project (even as those Humans are temporarily out of Eddy). I can’t wait to see what this dynamic duo creates.”


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From intern Marina Miller: “My name is Marina Miller, I am 22 years old and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Since junior year of high school I wanted to be a lawyer, so every decision I have made since then, including becoming an English major has been in pursuit of that goal. However, since starting my own blog and taking as many writing courses as I have, I realized that writing is truly what gets me through the day and has helped me discover who I am. When I write I put my heart on the paper and hope that I inspire someone out there to do the same.

In my spare time I enjoy baking, shopping and attempting DIY projects. I have a white cat named Ninja and an absolute love for shoes, pink and glitter. I am very excited to begin work for the CSU English department blog.”


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From intern Kara Nosal: “Kara Nosal is a Senior at CSU, majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Outside of class, you may find her tending to her houseplant collection, cooking, or dancing. Her favorite keyboard symbol (aside from the ever-popular ampersand) is the exclamation point. Yeah!”


Welcome, Marina and Kara!

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The end of the semester is typically a mix of relief, exhaustion, and joy. Students who have worked hard all semester are looking forward to a break and some rest, to celebrating the holidays with family and friends. It is a bittersweet moment for many faculty because while they are looking forward to the same things, they also have amazing students who they might not see in class again. I am feeling mostly sad today because I had my last meeting with intern Tim Mahoney. He’s been so much fun to work with, is so enthusiastic, has done so much good work for the department, and wrote some of our most popular posts. He gets excited about good writing, has a sense of humor, and is happy to spend a good fifteen minutes discussing whether or not to use a comma in a particular phrase. He set a high standard for next semester’s incoming interns.

Tim is graduating this semester, making the move from student to alumni, so it seems appropriate that one of our last alumni profiles of Fall 2015 is his. Join me in wishing all the best to intern Tim Mahoney. He will be missed.

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Why is it important to study the Humanities?

I have been asking this question during all of my interviews with the English faculty this semester. This is a much better than, “What are you going to do with an English degree.” I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that the latter question usually gives me an awkward feeling; like there is a right answer for what I should be doing with my degree.

I think that it is important to study English (and the humanities in general) because it helps you understand things in a broader context. Sure, we read a lot of books during our time as English majors, but I would consider the bulk of our work to be the critical thinking it takes to unpack our texts and more fully understand them. As English majors, our schooling makes us highly intellectual and critical people, who take the time to understand an issue before trying to solve it.


I think our critical minds and creative thinking are more crucial now than ever, as a lot of the problems facing our world are man-made. However, this also means that they can be solved by people as well. As English majors, we have the power to incite positive change in our society by using the critical processes we have been practicing here at the university.


What brought you to CSU?

My brother Thomas came to CSU in 2008, and was a senior here before I graduated from high school in Denver. I knew I wanted to stay in-state for college, but I thought Boulder was a little too close to home. I had visited Fort Collins a couple of times, a really liked the feel of the town. The people here love the outdoors, and biking, and I really just felt comfortable here. I knew I wanted to come to CSU, so this was actually the only school I applied for in high school. I knew I had the grades and the test scores to get in, so I felt it would be a waste of time to apply anywhere else.

What are you reading?

This semester, I have gotten really into nonfiction. I have been reading anything David Sedaris writes, including his collection of essays When You are Engulfed in Flames, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. I am about to leave the university so I have also been reading a lot of books on the craft of writing, including Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and On Writing by Steven King. Anything that will help me learn and improve my writing is worth reading.

What else do you do besides go to school?

For the past year and half, I have been volunteering as a mentor with Campus Corps, a mentoring program here at CSU which pairs youth from the Fort Collins community with students on campus. It’s a really fun way to do some good in the community, and it’s really incredible to get to meet and hang out with those kids.

How does it feel to be graduating?

I am fully aware that it is a cliché, and I don’t like how it sounds, but the experience is bittersweet. I am really excited to start the next chapter of my life, and go out and have new experiences, but I am sad to leave behind the university and the people I have met here. My friends, classmates, and professors have made my college experience so wonderful. I will miss meeting with professors and getting to know them and the incredible things they do.


I think I’m going to miss the culture of the university the most though. Here, we have such a vibrant community of learners where everyone is devoted to learning. It’s a pretty incredible place.


What advice do you have for future students?

You have probably heard it a hundred times, but that doesn’t make it any less true: Meet your professors. Go in and talk to them. My professors have been an incredible source of knowledge and inspiration for me, and I never would have had the experiences I have had if I never went in a talked to them. They have interesting stories and perspectives, and are incredible people who still love to learn.

I would stress that future students should go out and find community here at CSU. There are so many interesting clubs and groups I wish I would have joined. CSU, and college in general, has had such an impact on me as a person. I have had a lot of fun off campus, but the people I have met and lessons I have learned here on the campus are what I am going to remember for the rest of my life.

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From Jill Salahub, English Department Communications Coordinator: “I am so happy to introduce the English Department’s Communications Interns for Fall 2014, Denise Jarrott and Timothy Mahoney. Just like the position description stated, these two are creative and enthusiastic CSU students with good communication and writing skills who are going to help us tell the story of the English Department.

I’m looking forward to facilitating their dynamic mix of undergraduate and graduate, creative nonfiction and poetry, interest in current events and an appreciation of history. Some of the projects they are currently working on: faculty profiles, a department history, articles about department readings and events, building an upcoming events page for the department’s blog that will include things happening on campus and beyond, and continuing our Humans of Eddy project (even as those Humans are temporarily out of Eddy).”


timmahoneyFrom intern Tim Mahoney: “I was born in Denver, Colorado and came to CSU in the fall of 2011. When I was applying for colleges, I felt eighteen years was not enough time to experience everything Colorado has to offer, so I decided Fort Collins would become my new home.

I originally came to CSU as a construction management major, but during my first semester I quickly learned my true passion was English. I had taken 20th Century Fiction as part of the core curriculum, and instantly fell in love with the intellectual, and emotional joyride, that is reading and writing. I started off reading classic fiction texts in my lower division survey courses, but soon found my passion in creative non-fiction. I began to write creative non-fiction, and read authors such as David Sedaris, Anne Lamott, and Mike Birbiglia who have the natural talent of extracting the profound from the ordinary.

This is my last semester at CSU, and while I am nervous to leave the place I consider my home, and the people I consider my family, I am excited to get out and finally answer the question: What do I want to do with an English degree? I have been asked this question many times, and my answers have certainly varied over the years. Despite me not having an exact idea of what I will use my degree for, I am sure that the communication, analysis, and critical thinking skills I have learned as an English major will serve me well in my career.

I have a firm belief that there are lessons to be learned every day, but sometimes it takes the close eye, and critical mind of an English major, to know exactly what that lesson is.”


denisejarrottDenise Jarrott is a transplant from Iowa and an MFA candidate in poetry. She grew up in a small resort town in Northwest Iowa and received her BA in English from the University of Iowa. She was an employee at Prairie Lights bookstore and an undergraduate research fellow for WritingUniversity.org, where she also wrote occasional book reviews. Her writing has appeared in Petri Press, Rescue Press, Dollfeeder, and is forthcoming in Dusie. Her thesis-in-progress, a collection of poems and lyric essays tentatively titled Red Dwell mediates on the intersections of eros and architectural space.

Aside from writing, Denise is a tireless flag-waver for libraries and independent bookstores. She plans to pursue a Master’s in Library Science following her MFA. She also occasionally paints watercolors of distinctive-looking people and ephemeral text.


Welcome, Tim and Denise!

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