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Alumni Updates: Class Years 1990-99

Archive

Below are archived updates for alumni graduating between 1990 and 1999. Visit the main Alumni Updates page for more updates received this year.

Kenneth Woo '96 - "Having served as a Presbyterian minister in Northern Virginia for several years after graduating, I am currently in the doctoral program at Duke University Divinity School pursuing research in the reception of Christian scripture in the early modern era. (2010)

Michelle (Pratt) Mellon '93 - "After a long hiatus I am returning to work on my fiction writing--a short story collection and first novel. At my "day job" at LeapFrog I was recently promoted to Senior Copywriter and, as the only copywriter now on staff, I am responsible for everything from product packaging to demonstration video scripts to web. (2010)

Thomas Rockson '96 - "After nine years on the English faculty at Rappahannock Community College, I am now among the newest members of the English faculty at Thomas Nelson Community College (Hampton campus). (2010)

Joanna Cook '96 English and Government - In May 2010, Joanna Cook celebrated 10 years at Booz Allen Hamilton where she is a management consultant to federal clients. She focuses primarily on change management and business process reengineering. Though she writes at work every day, her true joy comes from writing in her journal. (2010)

Bill Lawrence '90, creator of the hit show Scrubs, continues a string of successes as a television producer. He was interviewed recently (5/07) in Blogcritics Magazine and is featured in tv.com. (2007)

Scott Moyers BA '90 MA '91 is now Editor-in-Chief at Penguin Press. He gave a presentation on campus at the 17th Ferguson Publishing Seminar entitled "The Role of the Book Editor." (2006)

Meaghan Hanrahan Dobson '91, winner of the 1991 Borish Prize and instructor at W. T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, has published an article in The English Journal entitled "Teacher to Teacher: What Book or Resource on the Teaching of Writing Would You Recommend to Other English Teachers?" (with Sara Dalmas Jonsberg, Katherine McCarthy, Marilyn J. Campbell, and Cheryl L. N. Lovegreen). Her article "(Re)considering Mary Lamb: Imagination and Memory in Mrs. Leicester's School" appeared earlier in The Charles Lamb Bulletin. (2006)

Patton Oswalt '91 still makes us laugh. He has appeared on television in The King of Oswalt picQueens and Mr. Show and in the films Ratatouille (2007), Failure to Launch (2006), Taxi (2004), and Starsky & Hutch (2004). (2006)

 

William Clark '92 now has his own literary agency. He is a conservator member of the Young Lions Program at the New York Public Library, a sponsor of The Moth, a member of the New York Shambhala Center, and Literary Curator of the New York club APT. He and his family live in Manhattan. (2006)

Tracy Ferrell '92 obtained a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2001. She writes: "My dissertation looked at the relationship between alternative sexualities and avant garde writing in the prose of four South American women writers. After working as an Assistant Professor in both Montana and Massachusetts, I returned to the University of Colorado where I currently teach Writing and Rhetoric. I live in a restored mining cabin in the Rocky Mountains with my husband, 20-month old daughter, a dog and a cat." (2006)

Chris Keirstead '92 obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in 1999 and teaches at Auburn University.Chris Keirstead He has published articles on Dickens, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Arthur Hugh Clough in such journals as Victorian Poetry, Nineteenth Century Studies, Victorians Institute Journal, and Nineteenth Century Prose. His website: http://www.auburn.edu/%7ekeirscm/  He writes: "As much as I love Auburn and my work as a professor here, I think William and Mary will always exist in my mind as the Platonic ideal of English departments. My classes were always exciting, challenging, eye-opening, and often quite funny (I seemed to have had a number of professors with great senses of humor). Like Jason Jones, I developed a strong interest in Victorian literature at William and Mary, and was nurtured by some of the same outstanding professors, including Terry Meyers, Adam Potkay, and Deborah Morse, who directed my Honors thesis. I also worked for two years in the Writing Center under the tutelage of Colleen Kennedy, who taught us much about how to respond helpfully to the varieties of concerns and writing abilities that presented themselves there, but also gave us room to grow and develop as counselors. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was learning to listen to students in ways that would have great benefit for me down the road when I began to teach my own classes." (2006)

Jason B. Jones '93 obtained an M.A. from Northwestern in 1994 and a Ph.D. from Emory in 2002. His first jobs after W&M were as an assistant on a grant-funded project at the Center for Research Libraries (Chicago) and as a content developer at the Institute for the Learning Sciences, working on corporate training software. Currently he's an assistant professor of English at Central Connecticut State University and is the author of Lost Causes: Historical Consciousness in Victorian Literature (Ohio State Univ. Press, 2006). His websites: http://www.english.ccsu.edu/jones/ and http://jbj.wordherders.net Jason writes: "It's not very surprising that, as a professor, I have a trove of anecdotes about being an undergrad that I trot out to divert my students as occasion warrants. That I have long relied upon my memory of the intellectual and personal example of Colleen Kennedy, who kindly directed my honors thesis, is also not surprising. But what is surprising, in retrospect, is how completely my subsequent career has returned me to my beginnings in English at W&M. My first class in the English department was Deborah Morse's seminar on Dickens, taught in an appropriately gloomy classroom somewhere in the Wren building. I can still remember the essay exam answer I wrote, a slightly dreadful piece on the sexual imagery behind Bill Sikes's murder of Nancy in Oliver Twist. For better and for worse, that was the answer where I began to understand the way metaphors and figurative language work in narrative; that I went on to a graduate degree in Victorian literature & psychoanalytic studies, and that I now teach a Dickens class regularly, is doubtless just an uncanny coincidence. Getting to see Professor Morse annually at the North American Victorian Studies Association conference is an ongoing delight!

"But I had another Victorian class at W&M, too: Terry Meyers's junior honors seminar on Tennyson and the pre-Raphaelite poets. This class had a quite different, but equally lasting, impact. Midway through the semester, Professor Meyers invited us as a class to his home, as a kind of opportunity to relax, and he showed us his collection of Swinburne-related materials. One of these was a short prose piece of dubious origins which, since I was taking Robert Maccubbin's drama class at the same time, I recognized as a parody of a play by John Vanbrugh. Professor Meyers showed me how to go about proving this connection, which involved working with his extensive archive of Swinburne correspondence, and then he helped me to shape the results into a note that was published in Notes and Queries a year or so later. This was my first experience with actual academic research, and with the vital ways research can inform, and transform, teaching. But it was also a terrific example of how professors can shape students' lives outside the classroom, too. I now help students write their own honors theses, and I coordinate an undergraduate research and creative achievement day, in hopes of helping to pay down these debts.

"At the time, of course, I had no idea that these experiences would register themselves so deeply. But in fact not a day goes by when I do not draw on some aspect of my time in the English department at William and Mary." (2006)

Jane F. Kotapish '93 had her first novel, Salvage, published by MacAdam Cage in the United States, by McClelland & Stewart in Canada, and by Faber & Faber in the U.K. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. (2008)

Brian Henry '94 published his fifth book of poetry, The Stripping Point, in FHenry picebruary 2007. In 2005, he accepted a position as Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Richmond. (2007)

Paco Hope '94 writes: "I was a double major in English and Computer Science, and that has helped my career in countless ways. I've written one technical book ("Mastering FreeBSD & OpenBSD Security", O'Reilly, ISBN 0596006268) and I'm engaged with O'Reilly to release another one this Spring. I credit my education in W&M's English department with giving me the discipline and skills to write as well as I do. Although I work in a technical field, I still have to convey meaning and mood along with the substance. I'm now a featured speaker at a variety of technical conferences (STARWEST, STAREAST, Better Software, Software Test & Performance, Software Security Summit, etc.) and it's all a result of the capabilities I developed at W&M. The company I work for, Cigital, was founded by two W&M grads as well. (Jeff Payne, MBA and Jeff Voas, CS) We value the well-rounded skills that you need in today's competitive tech marketplace. Being able to write convincingly and compellingly distinguishes our technical people from the average. Being W&M grads, we recognize the value of the liberal arts education and we capitalize on it, even in technical fields." (2006)

Jason Ross '95 has a new behind-the-scenes role on MTV's MADE, as music supervisor and multi-platform content producer. Seven Mary Three (7M3) will be releasing its sixth album soon. (2006)

Casey Clabough '96 is currently an associate professor of English at Lynchburg Clabaugh picCollege in Virginia. He serves as literature editor for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities'Encyclopedia Virginia and is the author of The Warrior's Path: Reflections Along an Ancient Route (U. of Tennessee Press) and The Art of the Magic Striptease: The Literary Layers of George Garrett (U. Press of Florida). (2007)

 

 

Matthew J. Marr '97marr completed a Ph.D. in Spanish literature and cultural studies at the University of Virginia. His 2003 dissertation was published as Postmodern Metapoetry and the Replenishment of the Spanish Lyrical Genre, 1980-2000 (La Sirena, 2007). After teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, and Middlebury College, he's now an Assistant Professor of Spanish at The Pennsylvania State University. (2008)

Samuel Steele '97Steele pick has been serving as a naval flight surgeon attached to Carrier Air Wing Nine. He flies with and cares for three squadrons of F/A-18 Hornets and Superhornets stationed at the Navy's master jet base on the West Coast in Lemoore, CA. He is currently recovering from surgery he underwent following a shipboard mishap, but will soon join his air wing on board the John C. Stennis supporting maritime security and ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. (2007)

Congratulations to Christy Wetzel '98, winner of the 2006 Young Lawyer of the Year Award, Virginia State Bar. Christy received her J.D. from Duke University Law School andcurrently serves as Chair of the Domestic Violence Safety Project. (2006)

Zest Whitley – '93  After getting a M.A. in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, where I was lucky enough to take a Faulkner-Welty course with none other than a visiting Susan Donaldson, I went on for a Ph.D. at the University of Florida (in history, though, so I'm something of an apostate). I worked for 4+ years in Richmond, first with the Dictionary of Virginia Biography and then as in-house historian at the Valentine Museum. For the past two years I've been an editor with The Papers of Thomas Jefferson at Princeton University. We research, annotate, and publish all of Jefferson's correspondence and assorted other jottings in chronological volumes (one vol. per year). I live in Princeton with my wife Sarah and our 5-year old son Mason.  (2010)

Carrie Thornton – '97  Carrie tells us "I have been living in New York City and working in the trade publishing industry. I am currently an Executive Editor at Dutton, a division of Penguin USA. Previously, I was the Editorial Director for Three Rivers Press, the trade paperback division of Crown at Random House where I spent over nine years. I have also worked at Simon & Schuster and St. Martin's Press. My editorial specialties include Memoir, Humor, Music, Popular Culture and Narrative Nonfiction. I have been married to, my husband, a native of Brazil and a graphic designer by trade, for five years, and we have a four year old daughter and a son on the way in late February." (2010)

Jennifer (St. Clair) Alluisi – '99 "After graduation, I stayed at W&M to get an MA Ed in gifted education, and then I moved to Charlottesville, VA, where I was the gifted coordinator and a language arts teacher at Sutherland Middle School for 2 years. I decided to move on from teaching and found an interim job as a mortgage loan processing manager for about a year and a half before I landed a job in 2004 at a nonprofit association management company. I serve as the Director of Educational Programs for our association clients, all of whom are nonprofit professional membership societies. I also began a part-time freelance copyediting business in August 2008, Green Ink Edits (www.greeninkedits.com). I still live in Charlottesville with my husband and 2 dogs. (2010)

Amy (Bryce) Paul '90 - Immediately after graduation I landed a job as a copywriter with a direct mail fundraising firm (yes, there are writing jobs for English majors!) just outside of Washington, DC. In 2001 I started my own agency, HSP Direct, with two partners and now have more than 40 employees helping raise money for a variety of candidates, advocacy groups, and non-profits. My husband, Dave, and I have three daughters. We take a lot of trips back to Williamsburg -- where the draw for my family is now Busch Gardens, not the beautiful W&M campus! (2010)

Nora Corrigan '98 - writes: "I received my Ph.D. in Renaissance literature from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2007. I'm currently an assistant professor at the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS. (2010)

Valerie (Gill) DeBrava MA '90 - writes: "Please see my Interfolio website at http://www.interfolio.com/portfolio/Valerie-DeBrava/ This site provides a complete description of my past and current scholarly activity. (2010)

 Matt Shipman '98 - tells us: "I spent 10 years working in DC as a reporter covering environmental policy issues. For the past 2.5 years, I've been working as a science writer for North Carolina State University. I also work as a freelance writer, contributing articles primarily to regional media outlets (e.g.,Virginia Living). As it turns out, one CAN make a living as a writer. Go figure. Along the way, I've also gotten married and had a couple of daughters -- with another on the way. Life is good.  I launched a nonprofit group in early 2009 that focuses on providing in-kind donations to local shelters and food banks. Called the First Step Project, we partner with a Raleigh-area organization that provides shelter to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We also help others who are interested in starting similar efforts in their communities. Our work was featured in the April 2010 issue of Real Simple magazine. More information is available at http://firststepproject.org/ (2010)

Laura Smith '97 - writes: "I finished my Ph.D. in English at the University of Texas in summer 2010 and joined the faculty of Stevenson University as Assistant Professor of English in August 2010. An article entitled, "From Rupture to Remembering: The Embodied Experimentalism of Akilah Oliver" also came out recently in Multiethnic Literatures of the U.S. (MELUS). (2010)

Amanda (Mandi) Rooker '97 – In 2007, I began a freelance editing and writing business, Amanda Rooker Editing, based in Yorktown, VA. In a short time it has grown to serve a variety of clients, from multiple-bestselling authors to large technical firms to first-time local authors, providing research, ghostwriting, editing, writing, and book project management. What's served me best as a nonfiction freelance editor & entrepreneur is my W&M English degree - the critical thinking skills and relentless challenge from my professors equipped me well for productively editing, writing, and researching in a wide variety of fields, such as marketing, environmental science, military training, biblical linguistics, and more! Thanks especially to Dr. Jack Willis, Dr. Peter Wiggins, and Sam Kashner. (2010)

Diego Osuna – '93 BA English/Sociology Diego was featured as one of the "40 under Forty" by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.  Check it out http://www2.bizjournals.com/twincities/events/2011/40_under_forty/diego-osuna.html (10/2011)

Brian Henry – '94 BA English I was recently promoted to full Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Richmond. My sixth book of poetry, Wings Without Birds, was published by Salt Publishing in 2010. My translation of the Slovenian poet Ales Steger's The Book of Things was published in November as a Lannan Foundation selection by BOA Editions. I received an NEA fellowship to translate Steger's prose book Berlin. (10/2011)

Marcia Chamberlain – '90 BA English I live in Houston, Texas, where I work with Writers in the Schools (WITS), a nonprofit organization that teaches the power and pleasure of creative writing. For 14 years I have served as writer-in-residence at inner-city schools, homeless shelters, museums, and juvenile detention facilities. Currently, I teach for WITS at the Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers. (10/2011)

Casey Clabough – ’98 BA English and Government is the author of the novel “Confederado”, the travel memoir “The Warrior's Path: Reflections Along an Ancient Route”, a biography of southern writer George Garrett, and five scholarly books on southern and Appalachian writers, including “Inhabiting Contemporary Southern & Appalachian Literature: Region & Place in the 21st Century”. Clabough serves as editor of the literature section of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities' Encyclopedia Virginia and as general editor of the literary journal James Dickey Review. His work has appeared in over seventy anthologies and magazines, including Creative Nonfiction, the Sewanee Review, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. Clabough’s awards include the Bangladesh International Literary Award, an artist's fellowship from the Brazilian Government, and several U.S.-based fellowships. He lives on a farm in Appomattox County, Virginia and serves as graduate director at Lynchburg College. His forthcoming books include an edited anthology entitled “Women of War: Selected Memoirs, Poetry, and Fiction by Virginia Women Who Lived through the Civil War”(Fall 2014), a memoir, and a creative writing textbook. Website: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/338035.Casey_Howard_Clabough (10/2013)

Martha Heil – ’97 BA English Martha is now working at the University of Maryland's NanoCenter, a collection of facilities on campus for designing, examining and making nanoscale materials and structures, as its science communicator. On July 5, 2013, she and her partner James Riordon welcomed their second daughter, Nicole Jean Riordon Heil. (10/2013)

Wendy McLeod Powers – ’91 BA English Wendy Powers recently published a novel co-written with her husband, Robin McLeod (a UVA alum). "The Testament of Judith Barton," published with permission of The Hitchcock Trust, tells the story of the Kim Novak character from "Vertigo." More information can be found at the novel's website:
www.thetestamentofjudithbarton.com. (10/2013)

Mai Lan Isler Fogal – ’91 BA English After graduating from William and Mary, I went back to my high school in Vienna, VA (Madison H.S.) and taught ninth grade English. After one year, I went to law school in Oklahoma and Texas and married my high school sweetheart, a career Air Force officer. I practiced law in Dallas, TX with Jones Day and then in several other states due to military moves. While we were stationed at Langley Air Force base in Hampton, VA, I was an adjunct professor and moot court advisor for the law school at William and Mary. I am currently practicing law part-time with Capell & Howard (Montgomery, AL). I am still relocating every couple of years and now live in Honolulu, Hawaii (Hickam AFB). (10/2013)

Lee Banville – ’95 BA English and Government This year I became an associate professor of journalism at the University of Montana. I am in my fifth year teaching following 14 years at the PBS NewsHour in Washington, D.C. Exciting news for me, but not nearly as exciting as Tucker finally getting fixed up. (10/2013)

Sean Armstrong – ’92 BA English

Andrew Zawacki – '94 BA English Andrew Zawacki's translation from the French of Sébastien Smirou's first poetry volume Mon Laurent has just been published by Burning Deck Press, as My Lorenzo. Zawacki's fourth poetry book, Videotape, is due from Counterpath Press in March. (10/2013)

Sarah Caprani Lang – ’98 BA English I am living and working in Orlando, Florida with my husband Domenic and chocolate labrador retriever Duke. Post-William & Mary, I spent six unforgettable years in London, U.K. where I held positions with a wine distributor and the U.K. Audit Commission and Inspectorate and met my dear husband. Back on this side of "the pond" I have spent seven years in a marketing position with the Orange County Convention Center. Domenic and I also donate much of our time to the Orlando community, especially through the Arnold Palmer Hospital (APH) for Children's Family Advisory Council where we work to help lighten the load for the families of patients in APH long-term - all in loving memory of our son Nick. Additionally, travel, family, culture and enjoying Florida sunshine are also favorite pastimes. (10/2013)

Scott Moyers – ’90 BA, ’91 MA English I've worked in book publishing in New York since leaving Williamsburg in 1991 after BA and MA programs with the wonderful English department. Viva Tucker! I attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course on a Ferguson-Blair scholarship from the College, a marvelous scholarship program that has launched a number of students into careers in book publishing over the years. I'm now the publisher of the Penguin Press, a hardcover imprint focusing on serious nonfiction and literary fiction. My wife, Kate Sekules, a writer and entrepreneur, and I live in Brooklyn with our 8-year-old daughter Beatrice. (10/13)

Betsey Rosenblatt – ’96 BA English 2012 will mark the seventh year I've been in business for myself as a writer and editor. At Rosso Writing www.rossowriting.com), I help organizations tell their stories so the people and communities they serve can thrive. I write about education, children and families, health, human services, immigrants, philanthropy, leadership, housing, the arts, and anything else my clients request, for the web and in print. (10/13)

Erin Clarke – ’98 BA English and Government After graduating from William & Mary, I attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course (now the Columbia Publishing course) at the suggestion of Professor Willis in my senior year Irish Literature Seminar. I worked for a year as a publicity assistant in Random House adult trade, before moving to the Knopf children's group, where I am an executive editor. I work on picture books, middle grade, and young adult, both fiction and nonfiction. Notable books I have edited include THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak, BEFORE WE WERE FREE by Julia Alvarez, ALL YOU NEVER WANTED by Adele Griffin, ALIENS ARE COMING by Meghan McCarthy, and WONDER by R.J. Palacio. I met my husband (a writer and translator) at Radcliffe and we live in Brooklyn with our daughter. (10/13)