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A Collection of Alumni Stories

If you are a graduate of Keene State who majored in English, or minored in English or writing, please share your story with Dr. Mark C. Long, at mlong@keene.edu. Dr. Long also welcomes updates to the entries below.

English Majors

Adam Hogue (English 2011)

is currently teaching English in Gwangju, South Korea to students in grades 4-6. In addition to backpacking and learning Korean, Adam continues to develop as a writer. He is a contributing writer to Gwangju News, an international print magazine in Gwangju, as well as Art Elemento, a monthly art and writing print magazine. He is a contributing writer for The Next Great Generation, an online Boston-based magazine. And his fiction has appeared in the literary journal Danse Macabre (April 2011) and his art in Student at Large (March 2012). Finally, Adam maintains a creative writing blog, Cold Soup and a blog about his travels in Korea and Southeast Asia, The Kim Chi Chronicles.


Tracy Minard (BA in English & Writing Minor 2010)

is serving in the Peace Corps. Tracy is living in the Rhodopi Mountains in southern Bulgaria, teaching English to grades 2–8. For a fuller description of Tracy’s work see the article by staff writer Mark Reynolds at KSC Newsline.


Tyler Kirsch (English 2010)

Upon graduating from Keene State, Tyler embarked on a one-year service with AmeriCorps at a non-profit in Boston where he worked on the organization’s marketing campaign and assisted with grant writing. In the fall of 2012 Tyler was hired as an Administrative Assistant at Schepens Eye Research Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he supports a group of scientists.


Samantha Bardell (English 2010)

is a student at the Graduate School at Long Island University (LIU) completing a dual masters degree in literature and writing/rhetoric where she is an assistant in the LIU Writing Center. Jessica Buttafuoco (BA in English & BS in Elementary Education 2009) is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Reading and Language Arts at Central Connecticut State University and is currently working as a permanent substitute teacher for grades PreK-6. During the summer of 2008, she worked as an education intern at a primary school in Notting Hill, London.


James Chevalier (BA in English, with honors, 2009)

is currently teaching English for business professionals in the bustling city of Seoul in South Korea.


Eve Feldman (BA English Education 2008)

is in her second year in the Professional Aerial Program at San Francisco’s Circus Center directed by Elena Panova, the world renown swinging trapeze artist. Before attending college, Eve says, she always wanted to pursue a career in circus. Now in San Francisco, she is truly living her dream.


Dominic DiBenedetto (BA in English 2007)

teaches Eight Grade English Language Arts at Keene Middle School. Dominic is the recipient of the 2010 “Promising Practitioner” Award from the New England League of Middle Schools. The NELM award recognizes teachers with one to three years teaching experience who have demonstrated a commitment to professional growth, success with students and the ability to foster community connections. He is also nearing completion of his Masters in Education from Antioch New England Graduate School.


Suzanne Callis (BA English 2008)

has been accepted to Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English and will be spending her first summer of the program at Oxford University.


Ethan Ash (BA in English, minor in writing and Economics 2005)

is enrolled in a Master of Fine Arts program at St. Mary’s College of California. Ethan writes that he attributes most of his early success at St. Mary’s to being pushed, challenged and encouraged in his courses at Keene State College.


Eric Dusseault (BA English)

is currently a Residence Director at the Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts. Before taking his current position, Eric earned a M.A. in administration from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and worked as an Area Coordinator at the College of Art in Baltimore, Md.


Ben Cammett (BA English & Writing Minor 2004)

is currently a documentation specialist at GlaxoSmithKline. He is currently in the Duke University Certificate in Technical Communication Program and is planning to continue his graduate studies in the Master of Science in Technical Communication at North Carolina State.


Josh Lawrason (BA English 2004)

has completed a Masters in Secondary Ed with a focus in Aesthetical Education and is teaching 9th and 10th grade English at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, Colorado. Josh is teaching courses in writing and American literature and reports that teaching Faulkner (As I Lay Dying) was a struggle, but that the students loved it when he read Vardaman’s sections out loud), and that his students created and designed Holden Caulfield action figures in a unit on The Catcher in the Rye.


Paul Visser (BA English 2003)

is enrolled in a Masters of Arts in Teaching program at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. He has been awarded a graduate assistantship and is proud to report a 4.0 GPA last semester while holding down two part time jobs. He plans to get double certified so that he will be able to teach elementary and middle grades.


Lara Scott (BA English 2002 & BS in Elementary Education)

worked for one year in Baltimore, Maryland, in the Mercy Volunteer Corps where she ran an after school program for 1st-6th graders in inner city Baltimore. She then enrolled in The University of Vermont where she received a Masters Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration. She is currently working at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, in the Residential Life department. Lara reports that the study of English has been a huge help in her professional life—in the after school program literacy program, editing grant proposals, and in graduate school. In her current work at Champlain College, Lara types memos, e-mails, and proposals daily and is grateful for her ability to express her ideas and present them in an organized way. She is also grateful for the diversity of courses she took in the English department at Keene State College. Her literature and theory courses, in particular, have been very helpful to her as a higher education professional who spends a lot of time challenging students in areas of diversity and social justice. Lara writes, “I do not think I’d feel as confident in expressing my ideas and thoughts if I had not been part of the English department. Written expression of my thoughts, summarizing conversations and meetings, and writing proposals all happen almost every day (personally and professionally) for me and I am very grateful to have English in my background to help.”


Drew Forbes (BA English 2001)

is currently working for Group Creativity Project (GCP). GCP is a group founded and run by David Shepard. (David is improvisation creator-subject of part of the book “Compass.”) Drew is currently involved in work on an improvisational format that deals with the end of oil.


Susan C. Ashman (BA English & Women’s Studies Minor 2001)

is the Head Start Coordinator at Action for Children in Chicago, IL. She is also the managing editor of Tuffy Feminist Zine. Susan has had her writing published in Curve Magazine and will be having another article published in Curve this spring. Susan is a self-described “radical performance artist and guerilla activist” with xxx-esoterica, the Lickity Split Radicals, and Gender Force in Chicago. This group has performed all over the country and was a featured act at the Sundance Independent Film Festival. Susan is currently considering a return to school to pursue an MA in Gender Studies.


Collie Fulford (BA English 2002)

is a doctoral student in English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she teaches, tutors, and mentors for the Writing Program. Finding ways to make work and play overlap has been one of Collie’s lifelong aims, and she attributes some of her success in making the transition to graduate school to her English professors at Keene State: Nona Fienberg’s use of invention and performance in her Shakespeare classes made Antony and Cleopatra feel alive; Bill Doreski’s attention to poetic structures as something to try, not just to analyze, made theory engaging; Mark Long’s invitation to work out ideas in multiple genres dissolved her assumption about what academic writing could be; Kirsti Sandy’s encouragement to analyze all kinds of texts—comics, tarot cards, scholarly essays—expanded her concept of what academic writing could be about; and Sally Joyce’s explication of trickster figures has somehow snuck into Collie’s teaching persona. Collie is spending the 2006-07 academic year Collie as the assistant to the director of the Center for Writing at Keene State College.


Audra Ramos (BA English & writing minor 2002)

has been certified in Massage Therapy and has recently applied to the Journalism program at Qunnipiac in Hamden, Connecticut.


Molly Dunne (BA English 2001)

spent four years teaching middle school language arts and history at St. Kevin School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She currently teaches at St. Mary’s School in Melrose, Massachusett, where she teaches 7th and 8th grade history and 7th grade Religion. She is currently completing the requirements for her Masters in Education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Molly writes that her background in English from Keene has been immensely important in her work as a teacher. She has taught non-English speaking students how to read and write, has taught poetry, and has used her research writing skills to teach her students how to write an essay. She credits the English faculty with helping her become a person who loves read and write, and inspiring her to share that passion with her students.


Heather Pamula (B.A. English 2001)

lives in New York City where she has worked as a professional actor, in advertising and sales at HGTV, and in PR at Magnet. She is currently working in Private Equity as an Assistant Financial Analyst. Heather continues to participate in writers’ forums and attends readings and networking functions. This participation led to her current work as an out-of-house editor and she is also working on a novel of her own. Heather reports spending hours on the subway re-reading formerly “required” books for pleasure.


Brian A. Bilodeau (BA English with secondary education teacher certification, 2000)

spent three years after graduation as an English teacher in Vermont and Massachusetts. Brian then moved to Chicago to pursue a second degree in interior design at Harrington College of Design. He will finish his degree in December 2005 and has already had his work displayed in the 2005 Oak Park-River Forest ASID Showcase House. Recently, Brian had the opportunity to utilize both of his degrees when he edited the introduction to a book on theoretical structures called Visionary Chicago Architecture. Brian currently designs furniture and installations for a high-end glass and mirror manufacturer in Chicago.


Stephen Chupaska (BA English 1999)

is a reporter and columnist for the New London Times, a weekly newspaper in New London, Connecticut, where he also writes as a pop music correspondent for theday.com. After graduating from Keene State College, Steve spent two years pursuing a Master’s degree in American Literature at San Diego State University. He then worked in public radio and freelancing for alternative newsweeklies in San Diego, California. Since taking his position at the New London Times, Steve covered Kelo v. City of New London, the landmark eminent domain case that was heard before the Supreme Court. Steve has also written about politics, including statewide and municipal elections. Another part of his beat is the vibrant underground music and arts scene in New London. Steve continues to be much happier receiving payment, rather than a B-minus, for his written work. Check out Steve’s blog at http://www.theday.com/.


Thea Durling (BA English 1998)

is employed in the Fitchburg, Massachusetts Public School system as a math/ESL inclusion teacher for three years. Since graduation, Thea has taught English as a Foreign Language in Ecuador and English as a Second Language in the United States. She received an MEd in English as a Second Language from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2001 and an MEd in Math for Secondary Level 5-8 at Cambridge College in 2004. She continues to teach ESL as a volunteer.


Henry E. Lee, Jr (BA English, BS Computer Science 1998)

is a Senior Systems Analyst for Pequot Capital Management, Inc. After graduation, Henry worked as an entry- and senior-level computer programmer and then started his own business in computer programming consulting. He then worked full-time position as a Senior Programmer with Credit Suisse First Boston before accepting his current position at Pequot Capital. Although English has never been a requirement in the field of computer science, Henry reports that his English degree has set him apart from many of his peers and co-workers who struggle with the reading and writing requirements of their jobs. He has used his English skills, in particular, in e-mail communication, writing marketing text, and in countless other ways to make him “a more complete and valuable asset” to the firms for which he has worked.


Megan Anne Todd (BA English and Individualized Major in Language, Reading, and Culture of the Americas 1997)

is enrolled in a new PhD program at ASU entitled Theatre and Performance of the Americas, with a concentration area in dance. Before enrolling in the PhD program, Megan completed a Master’s in Exercise and Wellness. Megan is especially grateful for her work with Dr. Dizard, whose teaching permeates and informs Megan’s work today.


Jason Bennett (BA English 1997)

began teaching after graduating from Keene State College at Thayer High School in Winchester, New Hampshire. His studies of Japanese language, however, took him to Japan, where he spent seven years living in Osaka Prefecture. His professional experiences in Japan included teaching at private and public schools and working for a corporation. Jason also entered into the world of professional full-contact fighting sports, and pursued prize-fighting in South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. When Jason returned the United States he taught at Monadnock Regional High School before moving to the Dublin School, where for six years he has taught courses in world literature, American literature, and a variety of electives, including Arthurian literature, magical realism, science fiction, and fantasy literature. In addition to his work with students in the classroom, Jason coaches a wrestling team, supervises a dormitory and continues his involvement in the performing arts by assisting with the dance team. Most recently, Jason traveled to Beijing, in the People’s Republic of China, where he took part in a conference on educational reform. Jason reports that his passion and dedication as a teacher was inspired by his time at Keene State, particularly in Tim Antrim’s classes.


Danielle Atherton (BA English & Holocaust studies minor 1997)

is completing a MA in English Literature at the University of Sheffield . Danielle is planning to enter the PhD program to complete a study of post Holocaust genocide narratives. She hopes to do field work in Cambodia and is interested in studying oral narratives.


Scott Cohen (BA English 1996)

completed his M.A. at The Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. He is currently an assistant professor of twentieth-century British and postcolonial literatures at Stonehill College. Scott teaches courses in Postcolonial cultural studies, world Anglophone literatures, transnational and international modernism, and the history and theory of the novel. His research interests include materialism and theories of space, gender and sexuality, globalization and urban culture, aesthetics and theories of values, and advertising and empire. Many of these interests inform his current book project In the Crosscurrents of Empire: A Moving Geography of Global British Fiction; the study considers the importance of real and imagined movement and mobility in the formation of modernist aesthetics and British imperial policy.


Tom Morgan (BA English 1990)

is currently Sales Liaison at Overture.com, a Yahoo!-owned search engine. After graduating from KSC, Tom, who blames Professor Mallon for his love of literature, moved to NYC to “be a writer.” He waited tables in the Village for a couple of years while renting an apartment in Jersey City with his brother and his girlfriend (both KSC alumni). He currently resides on the West Coast in, of all places, Arcadia , California —home of Seabiscuit. Tom has a literary agent who is currently shopping around his completed novel manuscript, North of Here, his “answer to David Lynch’s Blue Velvet.” Tom is outlining another novel and working on some screenplays with a writing partner. And last but not least, he is also completing a stage play about D.H. Lawrence. (Tom sends his thanks to Dr. Antrim, his academic advisor who introduced him to Lawrence in two seminars!)


English Minor

Joseph Fulliero (BA Safety Studies, Minor in English)

continued his studies at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where he is pursuing a Master’s degree in the Work Environment with a concentration in Industrial Hygiene. He is currently completing the requirements for the degree and has just recently gained employment as an Industrial Hygiene Consultant. Joseph reports that a minor in English has helped him in his job (almost every job he has applied for requires strong written and verbal communication skills, his graduate-level work, and his life as a reader. After finishing his Master’s degree, and working for several years, Joseph plans to continue his education by pursuing a degree in law. Joseph anticipates that his background in English will help with the complexities of the legal profession he hopes to enter.


Writing Minors

Scott Mansfield (BA American Studies, Writing Minor)

is writing on a web log (or blog) of his trip to Nepal at http://scottmansfieldny.wordpress.com

Kevin White

is completing an MFA in poetry writing at New England College.

Ethan Ash (BA in English, minor in writing and Economics 2005)

is enrolled in a Master of Fine Arts program at St. Mary’s College of California.

Rebecca Spiegel (BS Sociology & writing minor)

is currently at Plymouth State University working on a Master’s in School Counseling.

Ben Cammett (BA English, Writing Minor 2004)

is currently a documentation specialist at GlaxoSmithKline. He is currently in the Duke University Certificate in Technical Communication Program and is planning to continue his graduate studies in the Master of Science in Technical Communication at North Carolina State.

Sylvia Xanthopolous (BS Management & writing minor)

co-owns and runs Keene ‘s Pizza Palace with her brother, Lazo. She is still writing and working on sending out her work for publication.

Christine Walker (BS Computer Science, writing minor)

is currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Bioinformatics at Northeastern University . Bioinformatics combines biology and computer science to map out the human genome and potentially create new pharmaceutical products.


General Studies in English and Writing and Interdisciplinary Studies

George F. Roberson (BA American Studies, Geography Minor and Art History concentration 1980s)

is the Founder, Director and Publisher of Collaborative Media International (CMI), and organization dedicated to furthering intercultural dialogue and understanding between the United States, North Africa, Middle East, and world-wide through multinational collaboration, research, and education. George completed a PhD in Geosciences in the Human Geography Research Group, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the Geography Human Dimensions Research Group.

A liberal arts education gave George the chance to take courses in a great variety of subject areas and he took full advantage of the course offerings at Keene State College: geography, history, literature, art, history, design, math, management, economics, education, and a host of “sciences” – environmental, social, health, earth, computer and physical. As George writes, “besides giving me a broad-base and big-picture view of life and the world, this experience taught me how to think, learn, adapt, and engage. The most important course was Bill Sullivan’s seminar on the 1930’s in the USA: how never-before-seen human progress rose from disaster – and was driven by innovation, creativity, vision, and an openness to true change.” George goes on to say that the professors at Keene State College “have had lifelong impacts on me, in particular: David Leinster, History; Bill Sullivan, American Studies; Tom Havill, Al Rydant, and Klaus Behr, Geography, Anne-Marie Mallon, Literature; Henry Freedman, Art History; and Glenn Theulen, Education/Coaching. They all cared about big and important things and their passion and generosity inspired action and emulation.”


Danielle Richey (BA Political Science 2003)

took numerous American Studies and writing courses in the English department. Danielle is currently enrolled at Penn State ‘s Dickinson School of Law on a full academic scholarship. She is also working for a law professor who is also an ACLU attorney on a racial profiling case. Danielle recalls spending hours preparing her citations to be sure it was perfect and reports that this care has paid off in following the citation form for legal documents and briefs. Having Dr. Sandy stress the importance of citations has made a difference in law school and in communicating with judges. She says that students need to know that the expectation for careful research and citations does not go away. And once you are in the habit of perfecting citations it will make your writing that much more effective when writing for professors and employers.


Rachel Bailey (BS in Elementary Education and Geography 2003)

completed a Masters in Geography from Texas State University-San Marcos and is currently a first year teacher at Hudson Memorial School in Hudson, NH, where she teaches 7 th grade Social Studies and Language Arts. Rachel intended to major in English at KSC, and it was her coursework in English that helped her get her current position. She encourages all students to take additional courses outside of their major, especially if they are going into education, as teaching more than one subject is common. A liberal arts curriculum will help future teachers meet the requirements put into place by No Child Left Behind.


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