Stefan Zweig forum

Graduate Alumni Highlights

Check out what the graduates of our Master's programs have been up to!



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Kristen Niemi, Cathy Klein Perry

Class of 2013 and 2007

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.


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Tulin Ece Tosun

Class of 2011

Tulin is currently a Ph.D. student in the Comparative Literature Department at Purdue University. Her article “Women Writers and Rewriting Epic as a Female Genre” was published in Interactions in 2012. She is currently working on a book review of The Republic of Love: Cultural Intimacy in Turkish Popular Music by Martin Stokes.

“Being an international student and an MA student in the English Department at Fredonia was a very significant experience for me! Throughout my two years, both as a student and as a TA at SUNY Fredonia, I have greatly been impressed by the soul and the energy of English Department as a Turkish national. In such a rigorous environment, I have gained the chance to explore the limits of my potential, both as a student and as a Teaching Assistant for two years. In the academic circle, I was also lucky enough to teach ENGL 100 Composition, which was an excellent opportunity for me in terms of developing my abilities in teaching. I am confident that my background in teaching composition at Fredonia has given me the hands-on experience in all facets of teaching that would enable me to contribute to my professional academic career. I should say that my experience during these two years with my students taught me how to implement teaching strategies and what to do when I had to make on-the-spot decisions in the class. As a result, my teaching experiences at Fredonia contributed a lot to my teaching career at Purdue, where I have been awarded the Quintilian Award for Excellence in Teaching twice. I am indebted to all my professors at English Department at Fredonia for all the achievements I have been made so far. I cannot even find a word to express all the experiences I had both as a student and as an academician. I have learned a lot from my role models, from my professors at Fredonia who have contributed both to my academic and personal life."


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Heidi Frame

Class of 2011

Heidi is currently working on her Ph.D. in the Literature, Cultural Theory and Social Practice program at Kent State University in Ohio. In her time at Fredonia, Heidi held a Teaching Assistant position, served on committees, helped organize events on and off campus, and presented her research at campus events. Most recently, Heidi has presented her work at the APA/PCA Conference in Washington, D.C. (2013) and as a Brown Bag lecturer at Kent State (2013). Heidi currently holds a Teaching Fellowship at Kent State University where she teaches College Writing I and II courses. Right now, Heidi is finishing up her last semester of coursework before taking her exams and beginning work on her dissertation. Heidi developed a love of medieval literature at Fredonia that has accompanied her to Kent where she has had the opportunity to take graduate courses in Arthurian and medieval mystical literature. “My experiences with Fredonia’s English department were life-changing. When I began taking courses in the English department, I felt immediately at home. The professors are knowledgeable, accessible, and kind. They provided so much support to me throughout the program and have continued to do so even after I graduated. In addition to the quality of the faculty, the classes were outstanding! I always looked forward to my evening grad seminars because the lessons and discussions were so interesting. I also made some great friends during my graduate studies at Fredonia. For all of these reasons, I am so grateful for the education that I received from Fredonia’s English department and I highly recommend their programs.”


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Jesse Sherwood

Class of 2011

Jesse (M.A. English, 2011), a recent graduate of Fredonia State University, is a writer in Boulder, Colorado. Besides writing Letters From Yonder, Mr. Sherwood freelances and devotes most of his time to fiction writing. He is also the Managing Editor of an online magazine, The Fat City Review.

"I continued my education at Fredonia for a number of reasons. The main motivation was the tremendous influence of faculty at the university. Each of the professors cares deeply not only about your success in their classes, but also your own goals, aspirations and passions. They work closely with you to develop your unique research and experience that directly reflects who you are and who you wish to become."

You can also follow Jesse’s Blog at



Sarah T. Schwab

Class of 2009

A native of Eden, NY, Sarah (M.A. English, 2009) is an American fiction writer and opinion journalist living in Manhattan. Last May her fiction piece “Firefly” was published on the Evergreen Review. It was one of the last essays selected by the provocative publisher, Barney Rosset, before his death that February. The last issue, which includes her story, is being made into a bound volume. Her fiction piece “The Gift” won Writer’s Digest’s Your Story competition and was published in the May/June 2010 issue. For the past five years she has written a Sunday column titled, “A Scribbling Woman’s Limbo” for the Dunkirk Observer, which is syndicated by several area Journal Register daily papers. Her essays have appeared in The Buffalo News, as well as on the Websites Nerve, Jezebel and The Fat City Review. She is currently working on her first novel, a psychological thriller, about an arachnophobic violinist living in Killington, Vermont. And she is working with Rattlestick Theatre’s Managing Director, Brian Long, on two plays. You can visit her Website at

"There are many ways I can connect my current writing life to my work in the graduate program at Fredonia. The breadth of reading material and the intimate/encouraging class discussions being a few of the most influential. But overall, what the graduate program did for me was to instill an interdisciplinary curiosity. Even though my degree is technically in English literature, I considered art history, philosophy, psychology, gender studies and journalism in my MA thesis. Professors from each department and program were happy to answer my questions, and to help guide me onto the path of understanding. Unfortunately, in the real world – especially the real world of New York City – people are not usually so eager to help. But the compassionate faculty at Fredonia have given me confidence in my thoughts: I look at the world; I ask questions; I am indefatigable about hunting down the answers."


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Emily Luther

Class of 2007

Emily Luther earned her B.A. at Fredonia in Secondary English Education in 2000, went on to pursue her M.A. in English, and finished her M.A. in English at Syracuse University in 2007. Her work at Fredonia has served her well as a high school English teacher at the rural Bemus Point School District in Western New York, and later while teaching at two schools in Reno, Nevada: an urban charter school in its first year, and a suburban high school in the mountains. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at Syracuse University, where she teaches academic writing courses for traditional students, and also for first-generation college students attending college part-time.

"Fredonia taught me to see all learners as capable, intelligent people, and to give the best of myself as a teacher. I learned from the best role models: my professors. My graduate work, especially, gave me a strong foundation in critical theory that has allowed my classroom to be a politically informed, analytical environment where learners are challenged to understand their civic responsibilities in the rapidly changing, globalized world."


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Phillip Razem

Class of 2007

Phillip (B.A. English Adolescent Education, 2005; M.A. English, 2007) teaches 6th and 7th grade English Language Arts at Martin Behrman Charter School in New Orleans, LA. He coaches the school's chess and award-winning debate team, as well as serving as a KIDsmART ( Teacher-Leader, specializing in promoting arts integration across the state's curriculum. After graduating from Fredonia in 2007, he served in the People's Republic of China as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer until 2009. To promote world citizenship at his school, he teaches Introduction to Mandarin and Chinese Culture to 1st grade students. He is presently in the process of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher. His blog can be found at "The six years I spent at Fredonia were invaluable. I was deeply inspired by the English Department faculty. The lessons I learned, both in and outside the classroom, made me hungry to explore the world and its people. Most importantly, Fredonia taught me the importance of encouraging creativity and critical-thinking skills in each and every lesson."



Dana Ostrander

Class of 2004

Dana received a job teaching English at Cleveland Hill High School in Cheektowaga, NY. She feels her Fredonia education provided her with a well-rounded background in literature and critical theory -- from Aristophanes and Milton to Joseph Conrad and Toni Morrison. In addition to teaching Regents 12 classes, she also teaches an honors class through Erie Community College (for which the students receive college credit); one of the requirements for teaching this class is a Master's in English, not education. She also took two post-graduate classes through Fredonia in London, one in feminist literature and one in post-colonial literature, which have served her well when teaching these lenses to her students.


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