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Recent Graduate Student Achievements

Jo Hsu, winner of the grand prize for the 2015 CALS writing contest, has accepted an Assistant Professor position at the University of Arkansas. Their research interests concern the use of personal narratives for different political and institutional motives, particularly in the context of diversity and multiculturalism. Jo also holds an M.F.A. in creative writing (fiction) from Penn State.


Michelle Huang, former CALS Graduate Research Assistant, has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of English and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University, beginning in Fall 2017. She completed her dissertation, entitled "Molecular Aesthetics: Race, Form, and Matter in Contemporary Asian American Literature," in spring 2017.


Sarah Salter has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of 19th Century Literature at the Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, where she served as a Visiting Assistant Professor for the 2016-2017 academic year. Salter completed her dissertation, entitled "Patterns of Recognition and Imagination from Italy and the United States" in 2014.

LauraVrana.jpgLaura Vrana has accepted a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in African American Literature for 2017-2018 at Rutgers University. Laura recently defended her dissertation on black women's poetry and the politics of publication, literary prizes/awards, and academic institutions entitled "Writing Transgressions: Publication Contexts and the Politics of Recognition in Contemporary Black Women's Poetry."

MichaelNew.jpgMichael New, recipient of a CALS Graduate Award for a Research or Training Seminar, recently completed his dissertation on jazz and African American poetry under the direction of Aldon Neilsen. Dr. New was a lecturer in English and American Studies at Keene University, but in fall 2016, he began a tenure-track assistant professorship at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, where he will teach in the areas of African American literature, poetry, and cultural studies.

MicahDonahue.jpgMicah Donahue, winner of a CALS Graduate Award for a Research or Training Seminar, defended his dissertation, “The Whirlpool and the Mountain: Scenes of Cannibalistic Worlding in American Literature” (Sean Goudie and Thomas Beebee, Co-Directors), in summer 2015. In Fall 2016, Donohue began a tenure-track assistant professorship at Eastern New Mexico University where his teaching duties will focus on Latin@ literature, film, and Western regional literatures.

Robert Birdwell, winner of a CALS Summer Graduate Fellowship, completed his dissertation entitled "The Radical Novel: Utopian and Scientific. A Study of Genre and Recognition," and began a post-doctoral fellowship at Michigan State University in fall 2016.