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.
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.
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.”
Kim 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.”
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.
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.
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.”
Find Out What Other Alumni Are Doing Both Local And Abroad!
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!"
Amy Aderman graduated from the SUNY 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.
Since graduating from SUNY 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; and, he is currently
an Adjunct Professor at Fredonia. The greatest joy in Luke’s life since graduating
from Fredonia is his wife and two daughters.
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)."
Dr. Adam Myers
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
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 SUNY 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 SUNY Fredonia."
Jenell Krishnan Elizabeth Poleon
Jenell Carapella 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.
Sarah C. Holmes, class of 1991, graduated from SUNY 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.
Richard Lehnert (B.A. 1972) 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 SUNY 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 SUNY 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.
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.
Kristen Niemi Cathy Klein Perry
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, NY, and Kristen teaches 9th grade English
in Las Vegas, NV.
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
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.
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
Jessica credits her SUNY 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."
Jessica Smith (1st row, bottom rt hand corner), English alum ('03) and her creative
writing students at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Trish Foley Louise Margosian Loughlin Carol Maxwell Conley
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
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.
Nick Tate, Class of 1982, has built a career in journalism inspired by the teachings
of the strong cadre of Fredonia faculty members.
Terence Mosher. Denise Cassens. Maureen Fries. Robert Schweik. All were important
inspirations and mentors who helped launch him on what has been — and continues to
be — a lifelong education as a professional writer, editor, author, and multi-media
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. more...
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.
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 SUNY 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
Amanda Marie Rogers
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 SUNY 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
Louis Frankel majored in English Adolescence Education at SUNY Fredonia and upon graduating
spent 5 1/2 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
Louis: "As a former English Adolescence major at Fredonia, I felt quite comfortable
transitioning into a teaching position upon graduation. Cultural differences aside,
I was able to connect with my colleagues and students on one principal issue--the
fact that, like them, I was there both to learn and to teach."
Sarah Prisaznuk, Emily Paccia, and Tomi Stratton Class of 2012
Emily Paccia, a SUNY 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, Gowanda NY.
Wendy Corsi Staub
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.”
"One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other
human beings as we take our place among them."
We are updating the Fredonia English Alumni page frequently so please check back with
us in the near future to see what your fellow English grads have been up to!