Welcome our Fall 2020 Incoming MA Class

August 10, 2020

Please welcome our Fall 2020 incoming MA class...

Christopher Alimenti was born in Little Silver, New Jersey and at the age of fourteen, he and his family moved south to the heartland of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Charlottesville, Virginia. Christopher recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2019 with Bachelor’s in English and is continuing his education as a Master’s student; focusing on Early Modern Literature. He is also an alumnus of the Superscripts Club at VCU, which transcribes 15th, 16th, and 17th-century English writings that range from poetry to prose and even some recipes written in Latin. During his time at VCU, he was a copyediting intern at Blackbird: an online journal for literature and the arts in the Spring Semester of 2019. Christopher longs to continue his education and will enjoy the prosperous steps to becoming a graduate of the Master’s of Arts in English.

Jessica Casey graduated in 2019 from VCU with a B.F.A. in filmmaking. Her goal in pursuing an M.A. in English is to be able to better discuss the intersections of film, feminism, adaptation, and literary analysis with special attention to themes of horror and kinship. Ideally, she'll go on to get a Ph.D. (because Dr. Casey has a nice ring to it) but she's also open to wherever life may take her. When she isn't doing homework, she is most likely doting on her spoiled cat or watching some kind of movie and talking through it (I'm sorry, it is my fatal flaw).

Samantha DeShazo is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from VCU in 2019 with a B.A. in English and minors in history and creative writing. In the fall of 2017, she became enamored with eighteenth-century literature and has a particular interest in women writers and gothic novels. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling, cheesy period dramas, and pampering her beloved dog, Henry.

Shelby Dowdle received a B.A. in English with minors in American Studies and British Studies from VCU in Fall 2016. She is interested in British Modernism, Scottish Literature, and Celtic Studies. Her existing academic research is predominantly focused on the life and works of Virginia Woolf, but she is excited to expand into other areas through her M.A. Outside of academia, Shelby has slowly researched to develop an original work of historical fiction that she one day hopes to publish. Her personal interests include hiking, climbing (sport), and adding to her 400+ title book collection.

Zachary Gibson graduated from VCU with a BA in English in 2014. After graduating, he worked as a photo intern at newspapers in Michigan and D.C. and continued to work as a freelance photographer covering politics until early 2020. His academic interests are twentieth-century satire (specifically that of the long-1960's), information theory, media studies, narratology, and formalist criticism. At present Zach is undecided about what he'd like to do beyond the M.A. program but he is open to both continuing research in a Ph.D. program or teaching. In Zach’s spare time he enjoys running, hiking, and hanging out with his four cats: Trout, Halibut, Glen, and Dobby.

Meredith Lewanowicz is a Richmond native. She graduated from VCU in 2017 with a BA in English. She is a full-time front office manager and a part-time wedding and engagement photographer. Her free time is spent traveling, frequenting Richmond’s coffee shops, and talking theology, literature, and pop culture with her friends. A lover of both classics and contemporary novels ranging from fantasy to historical fiction, Meredith is interested in the translation of literature into other media, such as film and music. Some of her favorite authors include George Saunders, Jane Austen, and J.R.R. Tolkien. She hopes to pursue an editorial career in children’s publishing.

Zerri Trosper graduated cum laude from VCU in May 2020 where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in political science. Originating from the Windy City, ChiTown, or otherwise known as Chicago, Zerri has always been drawn to the urban lifestyle. She appreciates the unique beauty of Richmond and its ability to balance the modern with the historical. While in undergrad, Zerri was a consultant with the VCU Writing Center and loved that she was able to work and collaborate with her peers on a daily basis. In her free time, Zerri enjoys doing yoga outdoors, watching scary movies solely to laugh at them, hosting impromptu book clubs, journalling endlessly, and traveling to music festivals. Her academic interests range widely, but she has a special affinity for African-American Literature, Native-American Literature, and Literary Theory. In her undergraduate career, Zerri discovered her passion and calling for social activism, theories of representation, and transformative justice. Zerri is hopeful and excited that the M.A. program will give her the opportunity to explore and engage with literature that distinctly affects and shapes marginalized identities.