Alumni Success Stories


Connor Huizenga (2018) will begin teaching eighth-grade ELA at Memphis Business Academy in the fall of 2018.  

Julia Dang (2018) will begin her job at Colegio Americano de Torreón as their ninth grade English Language Arts teacher in the Fall of 2018. This school is located in Torreón, Mexico. The program includes a college preparatory curriculum taught primarily in English, and upon graduation students receive an American High School diploma and the Mexican Bachillerato diploma. 

Liz (Cappo) Pafford (2017) has been accepted into the English Literature, Cultural Theory, and Social Practice Ph. D Program at Kent State. She will also be teaching part time at Bryant & Stratton College.

Shukri Bana (2016) won a Fulbright scholarship to spend nine months in South Africa working as an English teacher.

Kyle Letot (2016) accepted a position teaching English at Wickenburg High School in Arizona.  In the Fall of 2017, she will be teaching English in South Korea.

Carson Ratliffe (2016) is teaching English at the West Michigan Aviation Academy.

Caitlin Ryske (2016) is teaching English at the West Michigan Aviation Academy.

Anne Weston (2016) was hired to teach eighth-grade English at Mattawan Middle School.

Isiah F. Dodd (2015) is an English minor who is currently working as and ELA interventionist in Chicago.  He has been accepted in a M.ED program in Curriculum/Instruction and Elementary Education at DePaul University

Andrea Fabbro (2015) has been accepted to the  M.A. program in English at the University of New Mexico. Her studies will focus on critical theory, ecocriticism, and the general topic of literature and environment. Andrea was also the 2014 recipient of the English Department's (GVSU) Outstanding Major award.

Casey McCullen (2015) was an English Language Arts major, participated in the Maastricht Study Abroad Program, and graduated in December of 2015.  She now teaches 3rd grade at South Elementary in Coopersville Public Schools.  

Valerie Skubick (2015) has been admitted to the M.Ed. Program in Higher Education at Oakland University beginning Fall 2015.

Erik Baker (2014) is a third grade teacher at Stratton Meadows Elementary in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Anne Giocondini (2014) is teaching English in Ukraine on a Fulbright scholarship.

Mark Jemerson (2014) obtained a graduate degree (MS) in Library and Information Science at Simmons College in Boston, MA.  After graduation there, he returned to Grand Rapids to take a job as the Teen and Youth Librarian at Grand Rapids Public Library, where he’s already formed a Teen Council for the library and is working on expanding the library’s collection of graphic novels.  

Linsey Devries (2013) is an editorial assistant at Zondervan Publishing working in the Zonderkidz Bibles division.

Bree Gannon (2013) is working on an M.A. at Michigan State University its Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures program, with a focus on Critical Literacy and Pedagogy.

Graham Liddell (2013) spent a year working for a Palestinian news agency in Bethlehem and has just been hired as a reporter for the British website Middle East Eye

Philip Savage (2013) will complete his M.A. from Western Michigan University in 2015. He has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in English Literature at the University of Washington

Abby Franks (2012) is teaching middle school English at the American International School in Kuwait.  She has also working on an MA in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education through the University of Indiana-Bloomington

Kristina Pepelko (2012) works as a freelance writer and editor for small business and nonprofit clients as well as entrepreneurs. Previously, she worked as Development Manager for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. 

Melanie Rabine (2012) is a Writing Specialist at the Meijer Writing Center.  

Dan Slane (2011) is in the Peace Corps, teaching English in Cambodia.  He and his students recently produced a video about their experiences.


Lisa Domke (2006) taught elementary for eight years at West Ottawa Public Schools, most recently as a second grade Spanish Immersion teacher.  She received her M.A. from GVSU in 2010 and  is currently pursuing a PhD in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education with specializations in ESL and in Language and Literacy Education at Michigan State University.

Jennifer Perkins (2005) is the Manager for Curriculum and Instruction for National Heritage Academies Charter Schools National Headquarters. She oversees curriculum for 84 schools in 9 states. 

Joseph Haughey (2003) received his Ph.D. in English from Western Michigan University and is now teaches English Education at Northwest Missouri State.  


Paul Clemens (1995) has published two works of investigative journalism (Made in Detroit and Punching Out: A Year in a Closing Auto Plant).  He has also appeared on the The Daily Show.

Tara Star Johnson (1993) graduated with a degree in English (Secondary Education Emphasis). She received her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 2005 and NCTE's Promising Researcher Award in 2007. Tara is an associate professor of English Education at Purdue University and currently serves also as co-editor of one of NCTE's mainstay journals, English Education

Page last modified June 25, 2018