We are proud to showcase our alumni!
Our English alumni do incredible things! We are proud to know our department prepares students for successful careers, fulfilling lives, and transformative contributions to their communities and our world. Read on to learn how individual alumni have put their English degrees into action.
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Class of 2014
Since graduating from Fredonia in May 2014, Peter started as an Editorial Intern at Prometheus Books in Amherst, NY. In less than a month he was hired as an Editorial Assistant primarily handling blurbs (endorsements on covers/jackets of books from authors), arranging permissions (experts, maps, photo, etc.) and entering publications into awards nationwide.
His time at Fredonia has prepared him for his career, which he enjoys because of the work and the people he interacts with.
“At any given point, I’m working on paperwork for ten books or so at various stages of completion and the variety of people I get to talk to … intellectual elite from around the world, authors with a finger on the pulse of the human condition, and artists whose work has touched my life. In short, I love what I do and it’s a privilege to work with such great people every day.”
Class of 2013
Louis Frankel majored in English Adolescence Education at Fredonia and upon graduating spent five and a half months teaching ESL in Valdivia, Southern Chile, through the English Open Doors Program. He now lives in New York City, preparing to start an M.A. in English Literature.
Class of 2013
Ellie Poleon graduated with her English Adolescence Education degree in May 2013. She is the Williamsville Field Supervisor for Just For Kids, a non-profit organization working with students in grades K-7. Ellie keeps busy overseeing 8 before/after school programs, creating programming, and supervising personnel. Although the administrative tasks are time-consuming, she's able to be on-site each afternoon in "the thick of things with kids making shaving cream paint or doing alphabet races!"
Class of 2012
Kristen King graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and French literature in May of 2012. Originally hailing from Oneonta, NY, she decided to stay in Western New York after graduation (she just can't get enough of Tim Hortons!) and began a position as Community Engagement Coordinator at Writers & Books in August. Writers & Books is a non-profit literary center in Rochester, NY that provides year-round education classes for youth and adults in writing, publishing, and the book arts; a community-wide reading program, "If All of Rochester Read the Same Book;" readings/talks by writers; a bookstore; and writers' retreats at their Finger Lakes facility, among other things. Kristen is thrilled to be working at such a wonderful organization and to be using so many of the skills she learned at Fredonia (including grant writing, leadership, community outreach, and effective written and verbal skills). When not working, she can be found baking, reading, or contemplating the possibility of graduate school."
Amanda Marie Rogers
Class of 2012
After graduating in May 2012, Amanda Rogers packed her bags and spent six months in New York City interning for a publishing company and a literary agency. Since then, she created her own independent contracting position working with a literary agency, where she scouts for new talent via self-publishing. (To wit: she gets paid to read, which is basically the coolest job ever.) Amanda is also a freelance book reviewer for Publishers Weekly. She hopes to pursue an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and she is working on writing fiction and creative non-fiction. A degree in English from Fredonia has made all the difference. Amanda learned a great deal about the writing and publishing business during her four-year study, and she was offered a great deal of support for her ambitious dreams
Class of 2012
Emily Paccia, a Fredonia English Adolescence Education graduate, co-presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference in Las Vegas in November 2012. Their presentation, "Exciting Ways to Teach Grammar" used music (in the form of grammar songs) as a new approach to teaching grammar.
Her reflections: "When we wrote our proposal, we didn't think we had a chance. It seemed as though actually being accepted to present at the NCTE conference would be as easy as climbing Mt. Everest. When we touched down, and more importantly, walked around the conference with the 'presenter' badge on our shirts, it was unbelievable. The audience at our presentation was very involved and wrote some excellent songs themselves, which we joked about featuring on our next album. We learned so much from our own presentation as well as all the presentations we attended (and even met Chris Crutcher!). It was an amazing experience and I challenge anyone with even the slightest interest to not only attend, but present if at all possible." Emily Paccia graduated in May 2012. Emily is currently a long-term substitute in 11th grade English at Gowanda High School in Gowanda,New York.
Class of 2012
Leah Urtel graduated from Fredonia in May 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in English Adolescence Education. Once home in Buffalo, she worked full time in a Mental Health Clinic while tutoring part-time through Stutelage Innovations--a tutoring company built in East Amherst, NY specializing in creative home instruction. There, she was able to implement a writing workshop much like the one she had learned about in her classes at Fredonia. She also immediately set to work on her Master's Degree at The University in Buffalo to extend her degree down through the middle grades and graduated a year and a half later with an M.Ed. in English Adolescence Education. With her New York education in hand, she said a hard goodbye to Stutelage Innovations and her students as she headed to Phoenix, AZ to begin her search for her own classroom. She spent the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year teaching students with emotional and intellectual disabilities at The Austin Centers for Exceptional Students in Peoria, AZ. In May of 2014, she finally found her classroom as she accepted an offer to teach 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts and Grammar for the 2014-2015 school year at Adams Traditional Academy in Phoenix, AZ.
"I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the English Adolescence Education program at Fredonia. The faculty and camaraderie which existed within our program shaped me into the kind of teacher that I am today. I am honored to be able to learn and grow along with my students at Adams and hope to be able to create a learning environment much like the one that we created at Fredonia."
Class of 2011
Since graduating in 2011, Andrew Garvey worked in Frewsburg, Gowanda, and even Arizona before finally settling in teaching ELA to 7th and 9th graders at Randolph Central School. Besides teaching, he has been playing hockey, enjoying great books and video games, and getting back into theatre (recently playing Patsy in Spamalot and Oscar in The Odd Couple, both staged at Jamestown's Lucille Ball Little Theatre). Andrew Garvey married his long-time girlfriend in June of 2013 and lives in Jamestown with his two cats and dog.
Class of 2011
Lacey Daley is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Fiction at Boise State University, something she is wholly certain she would have never done had it not been for the support and guidance from Fredonia faculty and professors. Tucked into the foothills of southwestern Idaho, Lacey is on the editorial staff of the Idaho Review and teaches English Composition and Fiction Writing at BSU. She is also getting lost in sagebrush, reading into all hours of the night, and trying her best to acclimate to the good natured people she is finding in the Northwest. Lacey continues to write for Artscope, a New England based arts and culture magazine she interned at as a Fredonia undergraduate student. She is currently the email blast! editor, a position she loves for the freedom and creative interpretation that it grants.
Right now, at this very moment, she is probably thinking about direction, a sense of place, and moves of subtle emotion—all of which she is hoping to lay bare in her thesis.
Class of 2010
Catherine Colmerauer, Class of 2010, used her English degree to embark on a career in journalism. She was previously the arts and entertainment reporter for The Sun News in Hamburg, N.Y. and a frequent contributor to Business First and the Buffalo Law Journal. She is currently the editor of the East Aurora Bee with Bee Group Newspapers, a group of nine weekly newspapers serving the suburbs of Buffalo, N.Y.
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Class of 2009
Tom had the great opportunity, since graduating from Fredonia in 2009, to return to his hometown to start his career as the Director at ReNU Niagara.
Tom explains: “Each and every day I have the opportunity to work with some amazing people who all share the same goal: returning the City of Niagara Falls to the level of success and prosperity it once enjoyed. I love my job. That may sound cliché, but I have the opportunity to sit in an office just a few hundred yards from one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in the world, Niagara Falls. Beyond that, though, I actually get paid to give back to my hometown community. I couldn't be more fortunate”.
His degree at Fredonia gave him a broad foundation from which to base his career. A lot of the work Tom does in the community is grant-based, which requires research, reading and writing.
The English program has prepared him to write a grant, read, decipher and comprehend dense materials. He also writes cohesively so that a broad and diverse audience understands what it is that he is trying to convey. For this Tom credits the English program, in short, for preparing him to be an adult.
Tom was named one of Buffalo Business First "30 under 30" honorees in 2014.
Jennell Krishnan | Elizabeth Poleon
Class of 2009, 2013
Jennell Krishnan (B.A. 2009) and Elizabeth Poleon (B.A. 2013) collaborated on the article "Digital Backchanneling: A Strategy for Maximizing Engagement During a Performance-Based Lesson on Shakespeare's Macbeth" in The Journal of Teaching English with Technology.
Jenell Carapella Krishnan is in her fifth year of teaching English 11 and AIS English at Cassadaga Valley Central School. She looks forward to continuing her research in the area of technology in the classroom as it pertains to text comprehension. Elizabeth (Ellie) Poleon is Assistant Site Manager at Just for Kids Before and After School Aged Programs--Dodge Elementary and Casey Middle School in Williamsville. She also teaches at the Gow School in South Wales in the summer, teaching reading and comprehension skills and Computer 101.
Kristen Nieme | Cathy Klein Perry
Class of 2009, 2005
Kristen Niemi (B.A. 2009, M.A. 2013), Cathy Klein Perry (B.A. 2005, M.A. 2007), and Ann Siegle Drege presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference in Boston in November. Their session “Engaging Students: It Matters!” explored a “pedagogy of engagement” with particular attention to drama strategies. They shared practical strategies that work with middle school through college students.
Cathy teaches 7th grade English in Gowanda, New York. Kristen teaches 9th grade English in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Class of 2008
Amy Aderman graduated from the Fredonia English department in 2008. Since then, she has earned her MLS from the University at Buffalo and taken on a variety of library-related jobs, such as assessing the archives of the City Historians of Rochester, NY. Currently she is employed as a Youth Services Librarian. Her first novel, "The Way to Winter", was published in 2013.
Class of 2008Kim graduated with her B.A. in English and public relations in 2008. She has possessed several jobs using skills from both degrees she obtained at Fredonia. Her previous jobs allowed her to gain skills in volunteer management, fundraising, special events and community involvement. After working at Planned Parenthood of Western New York as a Community Engagement Officer, Kim is now the Director of Resource Development at The Buffalo History Museum in Buffalo, NY. Her role encompasses raising unrestricted general operating funds, grant writing, annual giving, and managing the membership program. Kim was named one of Buffalo Business First "30 under 30" honorees in 2014. Kim acknowledges, “My teachers, Dr. Steinberg, Dr. McRae and Dr. Jarvis, challenged me to think critically and to clearly communicate my ideas concisely, both verbally and in writing.”
Class of 2007
Christie Nadratowski graduated from Fredonia in 2007 with dual degrees in English and Music Education. As Christie commented, “I can say with certainty that without the English department at Fredonia, I would not have had the opportunities to excel in my career.” She is currently working as an Administrator in Higher Education at Pace University. Christie is the sole Academic Advisor and Program Manager for the university’s online program, which is ranked third in the country. She is currently working on her Masters’ degree in Higher Education Administration Leadership. Christie is extremely pleased with the education she received from Fredonia and has gained positive feedback in her professional and academic pursuits. Christie shared, “Professors like Dr. McRae and Dr. Liggins shaped me into someone who is able to view problems holistically and can clearly communicate my thoughts and opinions in writing.”
Class of 2006
A few weeks after graduating in 2006, Stephanie Sadler moved to London, England where she had studied abroad during Fall semester her junior year. She has worked in art marketing for a gallery, interned at The Sunday Times, run a distance learning program for international students, and has done freelance journalism projects. Her writing and photography have been featured in Time Out London, Street Art London, Art of England, CNN Go, and Londonist, among others. In 2011, she spent six months living in a village in Colombia with a family where she set up a business to work with local women to promote and sell their crafts abroad and jewelry from the local guadua plant.
Currently, Stephanie is a Social Media Strategist for CAPA International Education in London. Over the past four years, Stephanie has written her award-winning blog, Little London Observationist, and a second blog, Little Observationist, which details her travels. Between these blogs she has interviewed over 170 people in an effort to tell the stories of ordinary Londoners and talented artists. She had her first group photography exhibition in April 2013 and 13 of her large canvas prints are held in a private collection in London. Currently she is preparing for her first solo exhibition which will be held at The Chance Gallery in London's Chelsea and is looking for sponsors to help make a long held dream come true. She is also engaged to be married next June.
Stephanie thanks her influential lecturers and mentors at Fredonia and time as news editor at The Leader for their role in giving her the skills and motivation to pursue all of the above.
Class of 2006
Matthew Vercant (English B.A., 2006) is currently Regional Manager of Game Universe, a local Milwaukee, WI chain of board game stores. Matt also owns rpgshop.com and someguyscards.com, e-commerce websites that sell role-playing games and collectable card games to customers globally, and he oversees shipping operations for Minion Games, a board game manufacturing company also local to Milwaukee. As he says, "It's a lot of hats to wear, none of which have 'English' written on the brim, but none of which would have been possible without the critical thinking and creative skills I sharpened at Fredonia (not to mention all the Dungeons & Dragons I played in Fenton Hall's reading room)."
Class of 2005
Since graduating from Fredonia in 2005, Luke has worked around the country as a line cook, a counselor, and a chef. In 2007, he taught for a summer in South Korea. He has lived in Minnesota, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. In May 2013, Luke received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University at Mankato. His first full-length poetry manuscript, titled "Wonder Traffick", is in the hands of poetry presses across the land, awaiting decision; he has taught writing and creative writing at Fredonia and other area colleges. In Fall 2017 the Arts Council for Wyoming County hosted him as their poet-in-residence. He currently works as sous chef at Thin Man Brewery in Buffalo, NY.
Class of 2003
Christina Olson, class of 2003, is the author of Before I Came Home Naked, a book of poems. Her poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, Mid-American Review, The Normal School, River Styx, Passages North, and other magazines; her work has also been anthologized in The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 3, and appeared on Verse Daily.
Since leaving Fredonia, she has used her English degree every single day, in a wide range of roles and careers: she received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University; worked as a healthcare copywriter; taught writing at Grand Valley State University, and serves as poetry editor for Midwestern Gothic. She presently teaches writing and technical communication at Georgia Southern University, and lives online at www.thedrevlow-olsonshow.com.
Class of 2003
Jessica Smith teaches creative writing and literature at Central Maine Community College in Auburn Maine, where she also serves as faculty advisor of the college's literary magazine. Jessica also created and runs the Read*Share program, which gathers book donations and distributes them free of charge to community college students. Jessica's writing has appeared in several literary journals. Her story "Something Quick and Bright" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her story "A Star Means Quiet" is included in a forthcoming anthology. She is currently working on a young adult novel. Jessica credits her Fredonia classes and teachers with inspiring her to pursue her M.F.A. in creative writing at Minnesota State University. She reflects, "Not a day goes by when I don't think back to the time I spent at Fredonia, and I often find myself sharing with my students lessons and ideas I first learned in the classrooms of Fenton Hall! I couldn't be prouder to be a Fredonia alum."
Dr. Adam Myers
Class of 2002
Dr. Adam Myers graduated with his BA in Secondary English Education from Fredonia State in 2002. After graduation, he moved to Charlotte and taught middle and high school English/Language Arts for a total of twelve years. He earned his MA in Middle Level Education/Literacy from Winthrop University in SC, and became a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. In 2012, Dr. Myers transitioned out of the classroom and worked for the NC New Teacher Support Program as a Beginning Teacher Coach through the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He recently graduated with an Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction from Gardner-Webb University and published his dissertation titled The Experiences of Beginning Teachers Working in Low-Performing Schools with a Non-District Affiliated New Teacher Support Coach. He is now an Assistant Professor of Education at LaGrange College in GA. The English program provided him a solid foundation of various types of literature to choose from when selecting texts for his students. He also fondly remembers the excitement and passion of many of his English professors, namely Dr. Terry Mosher, Dr. Mac Nelson, and Dr. Adrienne McCormick, who served as models of excellent English teachers.
Class of 1994
Mark Peters (B.A., 1994) is a freelance writer and writing instructor. From his pad in Chicago, Mark teaches online for Capella University and Empire State College, while writing regular columns for McSweeney’s (about jokes) and Visual Thesaurus (about euphemisms). Mark has also written for the Boston Globe, Esquire, New Scientist, Psychology Today, Salon, and Slate.
One of his favorite topics is lexicography: Mark has written over 250 articles about some aspect of words. Mark is equally obsessed with humor. He dabbles in standup, writes humor pieces, and has written for several sketch comedy shows.
None of Mark’s work would be possible without the Fredonia English Department, which was rigorous and nurturing. It was an amazing place to learn how to write and think.
Class of 1991
Sarah C. Holmes, class of 1991, graduated from Fredonia with a double major in English and Anthropology. She received an M.A. at SUNY Brockport and a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island where she focused on American literature and composition. Her publications include an edited book of Ezra Pound’s letters, an article about Erskine Caldwell and eugenics, and an article about a forgotten writer by the name of Alice Beal Parsons. Through archival research Holmes recently recovered Parsons, a feminist and socialist novelist from the early Twentieth Century, and has introduced her to the field of American literary study.
In addition, Holmes is an Associate Professor at New England Institute of Technology and teaches composition, literature, and humanities. Much of what she does is influenced by her experiences at Fredonia. In terms of scholarship, Holmes remembers the exercises in close reading, thorough research, and historical context to guide her in analyses of literature’s role in society. In terms of teaching, she shares her enthusiasm for the subject matter with her students, like her own professors did, and she tries not to miss an office hour (having spent much time in faculty offices at Fenton Hall). Professors who were greatly influential include Terence Mosher, George Sebouhian, and Melinda Wendell. Still holding on to her decades-old, over-highlighted, and pen-marked copy of the Norton anthology for American literature, Holmes will never forget her time at Fredonia.
Wendy Corsi Staub
Class of 1986
Wendy Corsi Staub graduated from Fredonia in 1986. She is a New York Times bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy-five published novels. She has sold more than four million books worldwide. Her novels range from thrillers, mysteries, young adult and women’s fiction. To read more visit Wendy’s website.
In 2011 she was a featured speaker for “Taking Risks: Rewards and Repercussions," where she spoke about the road she traveled to "bestsellerdom.”
Class of 1982
Nick Tate has built a career in journalism inspired by the teachings of the strong cadre of Fredonia faculty members.
Since leaving Fredonia, Tate has written extensively about health, science, business, technology, finance, music and consumer affairs issues. He is currently the Deputy Health Editor at Newsmax Media Inc. in South Florida. His work has appeared in The Miami Herald, South Florida Sun Sentinel, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boston Herald, Newsmax Magazine, Health Radar Newsletter, Progression Magazine and other print and online publications.
His most recent book — the “ObamaCare Survival Guide,” published in October 2012 — ranked among the top-selling books in the country (reaching No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list for paperback advice books, No. 4 on Barnes & Noble’s Top 100, and No. 3 on Amazon.com).
His first book, “The Sick Building Syndrome,” was published by New Horizon Press – the result of a year-long journalism fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is also an experienced educator whose background includes teaching health/science journalism as an adjunct professor at Emory University in Atlanta and health communications in a variety of training seminars for college students, scientists, doctors, business executives and public relations specialists.
Trish Foley| Louise Margosian Louglin | Carol Maxwell Conley
Class of 1972
On August 15, 2013 in Burlington, Vermont, three roommates from McGinnies Hall who graduated in 1972 and who have remained friends and colleagues through the years, gathered for a "mini" Fredonia State reunion. The photo shows Trish Foley (B.A. Art '72) on the left who is a past recipient of Alumni of the Year for her outstanding work in design. In the center of the photo is Louise Margosian Loughlin (B.A. English '72) who is a retired high school English teacher living in Sarasota, Florida. On the right is Carol Maxwell Conley (B.A. English '72 and M.S.Ed English '75), who is also a retired high school English teacher living in Essex, Vermont. Both Louise and Carol remember with pride the outstanding English education they received in the Fredonia English Department. Their careers as English teachers have brought them a deep sense of accomplishment, and they wish current Fredonia English majors continuing success.
Class of 1972
Richard Lehnert has explored a wide range of experiences since graduating from Fredonia, including typesetting, acting, and writing. For a time he was the music editor and assistant editor of Stereophile. The magazine grew during his nine years there, but he decided to focus on his writing. In 1995 he began Warren Wilson College’s M.F.A Program in Writing – Poetry. Reflecting on that experience, Richard notes, "What astounded me was that, in the classes and workshops I took during my six residencies at Warren Wilson, I seemed to be the only student with a firm grounding in poetic prosody – something for which I thank my English professors at Fredonia, particularly Mac Nelson, David Lunde, Nancy Libby, and Stephen Warner. The Fredonia English Department was far more understanding and supportive than I deserved or showed much promise of ever returning or making good on, and for that I will always be grateful."
Since leaving Stereophile and completing his M.F.A, Richard has been a freelance copyeditor of books and magazines. Several of his poems have been published in literary journals. His first book of poems, A Short History of the Usual, was published in 2003 by The Backwaters Press. His second book, The Only Empty Place, still seeks a publisher. Many of his writings for Stereophile are archived at www.stereophile.com. He shares a website with a colleague, Stefanie Marlis, who also attended Fredonia, 1968-1970; see http://stefaniemarlis.com/copyediting/ for a short piece on his philosophy of copyediting. Richard and his wife, Susannah Tyrrell, moved to Ashland, Oregon, in 2011.