I am an aspiring literary scholar who is obsessed with Ireland and theory. I am what one might call a “nerd,” and I’m proud of it. Grammar is my guilty pleasure, so don’t ask me about the Oxford comma unless you want get me started on an indefinitely long grammar geek-out.
I was born in Kettering, Ohio, but I barely remember those years because I was a very tiny prototype of Kathryn that had meager memory development skills, so I consider myself to be more from Indiana than the state of my birth. I've grown up in the Kokomo area, and it's always a hit or a miss whether or not people will have a clue what I'm talking about. (That number decreases exponentially if I instead get more specific and say I'm from Russiaville.)
You've probably gathered that I'm a huge nerd (and if you haven't, that means you missed that time just a couple paragraphs ago where I self-identified as such). That didn't just spontaneously happen one day; for as long as I can remember, I've loved school; I'll admit that by the end of each summer vacation, I was itching to get back in the classroom because my brain plain-and-simple got bored. In fact, I love school so much that I want to stay in it forever; but, since being a career student costs money I don't have, my goal is to become a professor and never leave this magical place called college.
Anyway, here are a few highlighted experiences that have made a notable difference in my educational/professional life. I could ramble about for hours, so feel free to contact me or check out the rest of my site for more information!
The Digital Literature Review (DLR) is an undergraduate scholarly journal immersive learning project at Ball State University . Basically, that’s a fancy way of saying that it’s a “real life” experience where the end product matters much more than the grade.
I was on staff for the journal for three years: as a member of the Editorial Team, as the Lead Editor, and then as a Teaching Assistant. This journal gave me in-depth knowledge about various literary topics, leadership experience, professional experience, the chance to successfully get work published (see My Writing), and the opportunity to work with professors to improve the program each year.
Throughout my time in higher education thus far, I've had the opportunity to present at a variety of conferences. Most of these experiences have been through my four years of employment at the Ball State Writing Center and through my involvement with the DLR.
While most of the conferences I've attended have been within my homestate of Indiana, I have also had the opportunity to travel outside of the state, like when I went to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a writing center conference in 2015. These experiences have helped broaden my appreciation for the diversity of scholarship there is trans-regionally.
In order to make the most of these experiences, I have made sure to branch out and try a variety of presentation styles. My experience includes: individual, poster, duo, panel, group, and workshops. More information about my conference experience is located on My Resume / CV.
Project Leadership works to pair college students with high school students who are members of the 21st Century Scholar program in order to help them get through this stage of their education, until they can move on to higher learning. I loved working with my mentee; it was highly rewarding for both of us, and I loved the fact that I got to make a difference in the life of a student.
Although my schedule didn’t allow for an entire semester abroad, I spent two separate weeks in Europe: I studied in Ireland during the Spring of 2015 and in London during the summer of 2016.
These two brief study abroad experiences solidified my plans to pursue a master’s degree in Ireland, and they broadened my appreciation for cultures and bodies of literature around the world. I plan to become a scholar of Irish literature (among my other interests mentioned earlier), so the week I spent at the National University of Ireland Maynooth was a taste of a dream come true.
In high school, I attended various leadership conferences, summits, etc... basically, all of the “resume builders” for “high achievers,” whatever that means. One of these camps that actually managed to make a difference in my life was Economics for Leaders , and I have remained involved in the organization ever x
After a rigorous and competitive application/interview process, I was chosen as a Program Coordinator for the organization in 2013, so each summer I get to work a couple of these programs and make a difference in the lives of high school students, paying it forward, as it were, for what the program did for me at that age.
As an English major and now as an MA candidate in English, a common question I get is about who my favorite author is. That's just about as impossible as asking a parent to pick their favorite child; in other words, I definitely have one, but I'll never tell you who it is! Specifically within my literary scholarship, though, I favor the works of William Shakespeare and James Joyce.
I prefer to study British literature, but that's mostly because Irish lit tends to get lumped together with their friendly/not-so-friendly neighbors. My goal, though, is to try to separate the two. I believe that Irish literature should be studied separately from British, in its own set of classes, instead of as an addendum to the Brit lit syllabi.
In regards to theory, I'm (yet again) a huge nerd. I'm particularly fond of film studies/analysis, which is reflected in my published academic work since most of it involves the analysis of some sort of television show or movie.
I'm also interested in leadership theory and how I can apply what I have learned about this area of study to literary analysis, so leadership is something I write about and something I do. At the culmination of my time as a member of Ball State's Honors College, I completed an honors thesis; in this paper, I applied leadership theory to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. This paper was supposed to be around 35 pages long... but mine clocked in at 131 pages because I had so much dense theory and analysis to unpack that my project ended up being better suited to a dissertation (which is just a fancy way of saying that I have no self control!).
In May of 2017, I graduated summa cum laude with a major in English with a concentration in literature from Ball State University . I also have two minors: leadership studies and professional writing/emerging media. Additionally, I was in the Honors College and completed an honors thesis prior to graduating in 2017. (See previous section for details about my thesis!)>
I maintained a GPA of approximately 4.0 throughout college, which has earned me a consistent spot on the Dean's List. (For more info on my education, check out My Resume / CV page!)
I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in English at IUPUI , after which I intend to earn my Ph.D. in the same subject. While here, I will be working as an assistant director at the University Writing Center on a full assistantship, and I plan to pursue their Certificate in Teaching Literature .
My ultimate goal is to be an English professor specializing in film theory and Irish literature, and my "mission," so to speak, is to get Irish lit taught separately from British. Currently, nearly all works from Ireland have come to me via a British lens/course structure, and anyone who knows anything about the history between these two countries knows how problematic that is; my ambition is to fix that.