What is your idea of perfect happiness?
It’s not always a happy feeling, but I like that feeling I get after I’ve just finished a good book — a sort of contented, thoughtful silence.
What is your greatest fear?
Abstractly, I’m afraid of being a failure. Concretely, I’m wary of water and things you find under its surface, like slimy rocks and trees. I’m not fond of fish, either.
What trait do you like least about yourself?
I’m socially awkward. I shy away from social functions and sometimes even answering the phone gives me anxiety. Giving readings of my creative work has helped me come out of my shell a bit, though I’m decidedly still an introvert.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
He might not be thought of as a “historical figure,” but I’m a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut. He’s a Hoosier, for one, and I’ve always liked his dark humor and honest voice. His partly biographical masterpiece “Slaughterhouse-Five” is a favorite of mine, but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for “Harrison Bergeron,” a science fiction short story.
Who is someone you’ve met at Indiana State you’ll remember the rest of your life?
I have a lot of someones.
Dr. Thomas Derrick, a professor in the department of English, took me under his wing very early into my English major. With his guidance I won the undergraduate Bakerman Student Research Award, and with his blessing I got a job at the Indiana Statesman.
Mark Lewandowski, a huge nerd and also a professor of creative writing, introduced me to creative nonfiction and solidified my decision to pursue a career in writing. I suppose he’s to blame for my interest in getting an MFA.
Martha Milner, the student publications director, has helped me grow as a journalist, an editor, a writer and a designer in the year that I’ve worked under her. Her feedback is honest, and she’s always available when I need advice.
My coworkers at the Statesman never fail to make me laugh, and I’ve had a great time getting to know fellow English majors and creative writers I’ve crossed paths with here at ISU.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’m thankful for the talents I already have, but I’ve always admired people who can dance well. I can’t dance at all.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Somehow I’ve managed to work two jobs, go to school full-time and make the dean’s list each semester for the past two-plus years. I don’t know how that happened, but I’m pretty happy about it.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Probably a tree. We could use more of those.
What do people notice first about you?
Lots of people say that I’m nice. I hope they’re telling the truth.
What does BLUE mean to you?
Every day at noon as I’m walking to class I hear the alma mater echo across the campus and I smile. More than anything else, ISU has given me plenty of opportunities to succeed. I began my time here in 2008, and it’s been quite a journey since then. I’ve marched with the Marching Sycamores. I’ve performed with the University Symphony. I’ve won awards and scholarships for my writing, and I’ve been published in ISU’s literary journal Allusions. After years of looking, I finally found my niche in the Indiana Statesman and the Creative Writing Society. It’s been an experience and I would absolutely do it all again.