Creative Writing Alumni

Class of 2014

Chris Fairfax is an Email and Inbound Marketing Specialist at Surgiform Technology, Ltd., in Lugoff, SC.

For a year after graduation, Seth Warner, the 2014 Outstanding Senior in English and Creative Writing, will teach kindergarten in the Tai Po area of Hong Kong.

Class of 2013

In Fall 2013, Kyleen Carpenter began an MS in Counselor Education at the University of South Florida; she is a USF Honors LLC graduate assistant.

In Fall 2013, Sam Disharoon began law school at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Allison Johnson works at Blanchard Machinery Company in West Columbia, SC.

Carey Mears, the 2013 Outstanding Senior in Creative Writing, does marketing for Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance in St. Petersburg, FL.

In Fall 2013, Emma Reynolds began an M.Ed. in Counselor Education and Student Affairs at Clemson University.

Class of 2012

After graduation, Cameron Cook, the 2012 Outstanding Senior in Creative Writing, worked as director of audience development at independent film company Paris MTN Scout in Greenville, SC. In October 2012, his short story, “Moans Like Sirens,” was selected to be filmed as part of the 2013 Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival. In 2013, he co-founded and became editor-in-chief at the website CultureMass, and then he began the MAT program at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. He has also been making short films, including Comfort and Hester.

Daniel Dye completed the Trinity College London TESOL program (Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages) at the International House of Bristol.

Tripp Spradley will begin coursework for a Master in Divinity at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, TX (2012).

Zach Sprouse took a full-time position as a paralegal for the law firm of Savage, Turner, Pinckney & Madison in Savannah, GA, after graduation. Currently, he works as an associate for The Ledlie Group in Atlanta, GA, with another PC English alumnus, Philip Hauserman ’04. Zach advises clients of the corporate communications consultancy on crisis communications, crisis planning and response strategies, marketing support, brand research, and media relations.

Amanda Sutker served two years after graduation in the Peace Corps teaching English in Ethiopia; Amanda kept a blog about her experiences, which you can read here. Part of her Peace Corps work include a literacy program with Hollins University MFA students (including Caroline Todd Whitney ’10); you can read more about it in the HollinsNews.

Class of 2011

Mary Carpenter took a job after graduation as the Executive Assistant at flower magazine  in Birmingham, AL; in the spring term of her junior year, Mary interned at flower (read her official online welcome from flower here). Currently, she runs her own calligraphy/styling/design business, Love, Louise Designs.

TJ Dempsey wrote for the Examiner.com as the Greenville, SC, DVD examiner after graduation. Check out his work here. In Fall 2013, he began an MA in Film Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

Amanda Eason began graduate work at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (summer 2012).

In December 2011, Akeem Favor accepted a position as a Program Coordinator for FABBS in Washington, D.C. FABBS, which is the Federation of Associations in Brain and Behavioral Sciences, is a part of the American Psychological Association. Among Akeem’s duties will be creating web pages for the organization. In May 2012, he became a member of the news staff at Edge Media Network. In Fall 2013, he began an MA in International Multimedia Journalism at Newcastle Upon Tyne University in the United Kingdom. He is also an Arts staff writer at The Courier and a staff writer at JesmondLocal.

McKenzie Wells received her MAT from North Greenville University (T. Walter Brashier Graduate School). In August 2014, she will start teaching English at Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, SC.

Chelsea Wright received MA in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi in 2013. She received the Ann Abadie Award for the best work in Documentary Media for the photography exhibit “Down Friendship: A Journey Home” in February 2012.

Class of 2010

For the next two to three years after graduation, William Baker will be working in Bratislava, Slovakia, with Trans World Radio, an international broadcast organization. As content editor for anything written in English, William will find creative ways to use the internet as well as print.

Alison Feleppa is an Associate Producer, Press Release Writer, and Production Assistant at WGGS TV 16 in Taylors, SC.

Lori Garvin obtained her master’s degree in Human Nutrition from Winthrop University (2012)  and is currently completing a dietetic internship in Asheville, NC. In June 2013, she received her Registered Dietician (RD) License.

After graduation, Lauren Johnson moved to China to teach English for two years. In 2013, she began an MA in English at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Micah Mallory McCann works at Resource Financial Services in Columbia, SC.

Callie Murr will teach English for a year at L’Académie de Limoges in France (specifically the high school Lycée Renoir).

In November 2010, Erin Smith was accepted into the master of arts in teaching program at Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC.

In summer 2013, Caroline Todd Whitney received her MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. She worked as a Preconstruction Assistant at Marathon Electrical Contractors, Inc., and in 2014 became the full-time Facility Security Officer, which, as Caroline says, “means that I pretty much make sure that we maintain all the standards and meet all the requirements needed for the company to be able to do government contracts overseas. Oddly enough, its a fantastic career for an English major/me. I’m constantly having to do research and condense information down into digestible chunks (like writing a research paper); I have to lead training classes (teaching opportunities); as well as attend classes for my training. Marking classified documents is like doing MLA stuff—not the same format at all, but knowing the rules and how/when to use them. I love it. It helps that I work with some fantastic people. They all think I’m a super hero.” She keeps a blog at prosebeforewoes.wordpress.com.

After graduation, Katie Turpen worked  in New Orleans with a program called YAV (Young Adult Volunteer) through the Presbyterian Church (USA). She received a master’s in Journalism from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and she currently works as a Development & Features Reporter at The Anniston Star.

Class of 2009

After graduation, Charlie Johnson wrote for The Town Report in Westchester County, NY. He received a Paralegal Certificate from Duke University in 2013 and is currently a paralegal with Springs Creative Products Group in Rock Hill, SC.

Carolyn Negley is an Epic Certified Clinical Consultant and Programmer at Negley, Ott, & Associates.

In 2010, Nichole Rowe Grant completed her Master of Arts in Teaching (English) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Class of 2008

After teaching English for a year to preschoolers in Hong Kong, Katy Bagley Barrett began an M.A. in History at UNC-Charlotte (completed in 2011). She worked as a compliance analyst at Universal Health Care in St. Petersburg, FL, and currently she is a Marketing Communications Generalist at Raymond James Financial, Inc., in St. Petersburg.

Luke Rodgers joined the Myachi team full time in Summer 2008, and he currently works at FAO Schwarz in New York City. The New York Times wrote an article about Luke and his co-workers, available here. If you check out the accompanying slide show, you can see Luke in slides 5, 6, and 9. Check out the official Myachi website.

From 2008-2009, Jeremy White taught high school math in Athens, Georgia. In Fall 2010, he began the PhD program in mathematics at Clemson University.

Class of 2007

Val Alessandrini Huff received an MS in Counseling from the University of South Carolina. Currently, she is the Director of Digital Marketing & Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for Hughes Media in Atlanta.

Currently, Elisabeth Behringer works in Frankfurt, Germany, as the Manager of PR & Communications for Worldhotels, an independent hotel group. Elisabeth says, “As I do write every day as part of my position, I would say I get to use my Creative Writing degree quite a lot.”

Emily Davenport Fieg has an internship with a film/tv company in Atlanta, where she is involved in shooting some pilot episodes (to air on cable) and setting up a company web page.

In 2007, Mary Giddings Dunlap took a position as a Communications Specialist with Fluor Daniel in Greenville. She says, “The job basically entails me doing the layout and design (AND WRITING) for the employee publication each month! I will be the assistant to the Editor of the publication, meanwhile traveling to do interviews with various employees of the company.”

In June 2009, Jacky Gypin went back to Italy, where she taught for a month at an English language summer camp. In July, she headed to Greece, where she worked as an au pair for a six-year-old boy. Jacky worked at an English Language School, called California School of Languages, in Santa Monica as the housing and admissions coordinator. In her spare time, she also became a full blown TV star, beginning with The Ellen DeGeneres Show(watch Jacky in Ellen’s game Who Dat? here).  Jacky’s also been seen in the audiences of American IdolDancing with the Stars, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! Currently, Jacky teaches English/ESL at at YBM Preschool Academy in South Korea.

In July 2007, Ryan Naus moved to Williamstown, Kentucky, and took a position as a staff writer with The Grant County News. You can see some of his work here.

After receiving a master’s in journalism from the Annenberg School of Communications at USC in Los Angeles, Amanda Rossie began a PhD in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State University in Fall 2009. She’s been awarded two fellowships, one from the Women’s Studies department and one from the Graduate School. In Fall 2009, her essay, “Looking to the Margins: The ‘Outsider Within’ Journalistic Fiction,” was published in the first volume of The IJPC Journal (Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture). Amanda received her PhD from Ohio State in May 2014.

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Class of 2006

In Fall 2006, Katy Falk began graduate studies at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee; she will graduate in spring 2010 and then begin a one-year residency at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida.

In 2008, Laura Knowles Cavanaugh received her MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, and she also worked as the Managing Editor for the Fuller Writing Center. Currently, she writes the Holistic Body Theology blog and is the office manager at Neurobehavior Services in Pasadena, CA.

Class of 2005

Julia Koets graduated from the University of South Carolina with an MFA in Poetry in 2008 and is currently working on a PhD in Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cincinnati. While at USC, she worked at the South Carolina Poetry Initiative and was the poetry editor at the USC’s literary journal, Yemassee. Julia has published several poems, including “For Julia in Little Armenia” in undefined Magazine, “Gentle Corners of the Night” in Euphony, and “Fallen” in Cutthroat. Currently (2009-2010), Julia works near Los Angeles with lower-income youth in an AmeriCorps program called the Academy for Literacy Through the Arts. As part of the program—which organizes, plans, recruits volunteers, etc. for arts-based literacy events—Julia has given several poetry workshops in schools and at community events. She also helps with the monthly arts-based Big Read events, and she’s also mentored two middle and high school-level girls groups. In 2012, Julia’s first book of poetry, Hold Like Owls, was published as the seventh annual winner of the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize; she wrote an essay about the book for Azalea Magazine, which you can read here. On 15 May 2012, her poem “Paper Birds” appeared on Verse Daily. Visit her website at www.juliakoets.com.

Class of 2003

Jennifer Dorminey graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens in 2006. While at UGA, Jennifer was a member of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, and her note entitled “‘Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit’: Should the United States’ FDA Have Followed the Lead of Great Britain’s MHRA in Banning Antidepressant Drug Use in Children and Adolescents?” was published in the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law34.1 (2005). She also received the Notes Editor of the Year Award for 2005-2006. Jennifer returned to her hometown of Tifton, Georgia, as an associate in the law firm of Hall, Booth, Smith, & Slover.

Jill Walker completed her MFA in creative nonfiction at St. Mary’s College of California. She teaches at Pittsburg Senior High School in Pittsburg, CA.