Welcome Our Fall 2018 Incoming MA Class
August 21, 2018
Kimber Andress is a rolling stone. She was born and raised in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, attended college for a bit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, made a big move to Newport News, Virginia, and then somehow found her home in Richmond, Virginia and her academic home at VCU. Kimber graduated with her BA in English from VCU in Spring 2018, and she is excited to continue her education. A nut for basically anything literary, Kimber considers herself a jack of all trades—a lover of all literature, with a specific interest in how literary texts allow one to see how gender, sexuality and the pressures of the patriarchy present themselves over different periods. Kimber also has an interest in cats, true crime, plants, and oddities.
Kyrie Boyle, pronounced K-Eerie-A, is a Virginia Beach native. She received her BA in December 2017 with a double major in literature and creative writing and a studio art minor. Kyrie is married, and has a resident Mother-in-law and three adorable fur-babies, who will unfortunately not be joining her in Richmond while she completes her MA (and possibly her PhD) at VCU. A prodigious reader, Kyrie averages 250-300 books per year and is the only person she has ever met who read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick in its entirety and just for fun in the third grade. It is her dream to follow in the footsteps of her Great-grandparents Barbra and Lyall Brumfield who served as English lecturers at Louisiana State University for upwards of thirty-five years. Kyrie’s academic interests include, but are not limited to, 17th, 18th, and 19th-century British literature as well as 19th and 20th-century American literature. She is intrigued by how the application of various literary theories subtly change the message or interpretation of any literary work. She is fascinated by the evolution and seeming interchangeability of male and female gender roles as literature progresses towards modernity. Kyrie is passionate about English education and is always willing to help her classmates improve their academic writing and research skills.
Laura Cramer graduated from Bard College in 2012 with BA in Anthropology, where her final year’s research and undergraduate thesis examined the 2011 London riots and surrounding media narratives. Since graduating she has continued to work and write on subjects such as science fiction, surrealist poetry, and the Frankfurt School. During her time in Richmond she has worked as an independent radio and podcast producer in addition to organizing and curating electronic music and art events with the recently founded collective “Behavior.” Given her background in Anthropology, she hopes to take advantage of the MA program’s potential for interdisciplinary work with the Gender Studies department, the MATX program, and the art school. Continuing her study of narrative she hopes to further experiment with literature, audio storytelling, and anthropological technique.
Emily Csukardi left her familiar home in Phoenix, Arizona for the appealingly greener and cooler Richmond, Virginia four summers ago. She received her BA in English from VCU in December 2017. Emily is pursuing her Master’s in English in an effort to continue deepening her practice of writing and engaging with literature. She enjoys dissecting literary works from post-colonial and feminist perspectives with a focus on women writers. Previously, Emily wrote and edited for the digital publication, The Pulp Zine, in which she focused on artist interviews, music features and personal narratives. Emily also worked as a staff writer for Glendale Community College’s newspaper, and served as a writing consultant for VCU’s Writing Center. She plans to teach secondary English. In her spare time, Emily enjoys local concerts, playing bass guitar, traveling and playing vinyl records in her apartment with her wonderful partner.
Lauren Davidson was raised in Albuquerque, NM but moved to Vienna, VA in her last year of high school. About three years ago she moved to Richmond to attend VCU, and in the winter of 2017 she received her BA in English with a minor in Religious Studies. Her academic interests include 18th to 20th century American Literature with a focus on women writers. During her time in the MA program she hopes to strengthen her critical skills and eventually enter a PhD program to become a professor. Outside of academia, Lauren enjoys spending time with friends at trivia night and walking along the James River with her fiancé.
David Diaz just graduated in spring 2018 with his BA in English from VCU and is returning for a deeper and more mature understanding in the subject. The topic that interested him most in his undergraduate studies was literary theory, particularly metafiction and meta-narrative. David used to only read non-fiction, but his undergraduate studies led him to find that fiction can often be a more accurate authorial portrayal of events, themes or ideas. He was taught to question and critically evaluate everything. David feels like he has a good start on his academic/intellectual interests and what he plans to research, but there is a lot more to cover with the help of the Department and his peers in the MA program.
Hannah Kilgore received her BA in English with a minor in creative writing from VCU in 2017. As an undergrad she focused primarily on 18th century British texts, but she’s excited to expand her horizons while pursuing her MA. In her spare time, Hannah enjoys hiking, going to museums, and watching The Great British Baking Show.
Amalia Oswald is a Charlottesville native who received her BFA in Acting from Adelphi University in 2014. She lived in and around NYC for five years before coming back to Virginia. For the past few years she has worked in the Charlottesville theater scene and as a teacher at an alternative preschool. However, she is throwing caution and early childhood education to the wind to pursue her long love of literature and focus on the anti-heroine in 19th century literature, particularly on the Victorian stage. She currently lives in Charlottesville with her partner and their large black lab mix, Harriet Louise, who loves to eat grass and listen to Chopin.
Shannon Roberson graduated with a BA in English in 2007 and promptly moved to Japan where she taught ESL for 3 years. She moved home to Chicago (with brief interludes abroad) and in 2012, Shannon moved to Beijing, China, where she worked for an international primary school teaching second grade. She met her husband in Beijing, who hails from Richmond, Virginia, and the two transplanted to his hometown in 2016. Determined to continue her path in education, Shannon received her teaching license from University of Richmond in December 2017 and currently works as a high school English teacher in Chesterfield County. Since spring has finally arrived to Virginia, Shannon and her husband spend their weekends cycling, growing their herb garden, and making more plans for travel. While Shannon typically enjoys sci-fi dystopian and historical fiction, she is always in search of ways to make global connections in her classroom, gravitating to social commentary works by international and modern American writers.
Miranda Schnakenberg was dismayed when her dreams of being a Raptor Trainer ended with the abrupt closing of Jurassic World. Her dino dreams squashed, she decided to pursue her dream of being a professor instead. She earned a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Mary Washington in 2017. Her literary love is Modernism, her specialty being Great War literature. She intends to study perspectives on the war that lie outside traditional canon, with a focus on literature from Germany and the Homefront as well as contemporary responses seen in film and video games. When she isn’t walking the battlefields of France or watching War Horse for the umpteenth time, Miranda can be found writing, painting, and creating short films. She is the proud mom of four ferrets, a corgi-mix named Vinnie, and a five-toed cat named Hemingway. Her beloved cat, Gatsby, recently passed away, and she is working on starting a non-profit in his honor.
Vivian-Lee Taylor recently graduated from VCU with a BA in English and a minor in psychology. She has lived in Richmond for the past four years, but she is originally from King George. This past year Vivian-Lee presented at her first conference, the Southeastern Writing Center Association, where she presented on her newly published chapter for the VCU Writing Center; “Just Tell Me What to Say: Writing Centers and Learning Differences.” Vivian-Lee is interested in 20th and 21st century literature; her favorite authors include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, and Junot Diaz. Vivian-Lee is excited to join VCU’s MA English program and to keep adding books to her bookshelf at home.