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Department of English

Meet the Graduate Students

Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, including undergraduate programs in English or other disciplines.  While some have recently completed their undergraduate work, many are returning students hoping to energize their craft, switch careers, or pursue their passion for language, literature, and writing. 

Some of our students grew up and attended college in the Midwest; others have come from across the country or from overseas to study at K-State.

You can find out more about some of our graduate students below. If you'd like to contact a current master's candidate to hear more about the program from a student's perspective, please email gradeng@ksu.edu

First-Year M.A. Students 

Sariah CheadleName: Sariah Cheadle

Track:  Children's Literature

Hometown: Fulda, MN

Academic Interests: All things Louisa May Alcott and diversity in children's literature 

What has been the best part of your experience here? 
Story time! Picture this: it's the fourth week of my very first semester of grad school and my bike was stolen. (Ok, that probably doesn't endear you to Manhattan...but that can happen in any town. Let's be honest.) BUT I mentioned this (well, vehemently exclaimed/complained) about this to a couple of faculty members and within one week I had a new bike. Why share this story? Well, here I am, a brand new grad student who knows pretty much no one and immediately a long email chain to several different possible bike leads erupted to help me out. That's been the best part of my experience at K-State: the faculty. They'll help you find a new bike if you need one. Oh, and learn too, I guess. 

What makes K-State’s M.A. in English so special? 
I chose this program because of the variety of classes and tracks available! I love children's lit, and could study it all day long, but I also have other interests and I was glad I could still pursue them as part of my degree in children's literature. 


Name: Mary CookMary Cook

Track: Composition & Rhetoric

Hometown: Butler, Pennsylvania

Academic Interests: Writing Center Theory, Writing Pedagogy, Cultural Studies

What has been the best part of your experience here? 
Before you even begin the program, you know the faculty care about you and want you to succeed. They go out of their way to welcome you into the community (even virtually!) and get to know you as an individual. As a nontraditional student, I felt so much support while transitioning to being a full time student again. I love that I’m free to explore a variety of interests and am not tied to specific courses. Whether it is reading literary theory, applying for a conference, or teaching, there are always people to support you and cheer you on!

What makes K-State’s M.A. in English so special?
The opportunity to teach undergraduates as a GTA is a wonderful, unique experience to K-State’s MA program. I love teaching and being able to combine that passion with my coursework is what initially drew me to the program. In addition, there are so many opportunities to get involved! Whether it is through the library, the literary magazine, student organizations, or internships, you can tailor your education to meet your future goals.


Name: Tolu DanielTolu Daniel

Track: Creative Writing

Hometown: Abeokuta, Nigeria

Academic Interests: Nonfiction Writing, African, African American, Caribbean Literatures and Cultures.

What has been the best part of your experience here? 
For the most part, it has mostly been a lesson in kindness.

What makes K-State’s M.A. in English so special?
I think part of the program’s appeal is how immersive it is. Also you get to learn from some of the best faculty in the field.


Name: Caitlin RadonichCaitlin Radonich

Track: Literature

Hometown: Belvue, KS / San Jose, CA

Academic Interests: Medieval Literature & History, Metaphysical Poetry, 19th & 20th Century Russian Authors

What has been the best part of your experience here? In the Fall 2020 semester I was able to do an independent study in Old English with Professor Kim Smith. Despite the pandemic, Professor Smith went out of his way to accommodate my interest in exploring Anglo-Saxon literature. Puzzling over the nuances of translation with him via Zoom was such a fun and unique experience, and definitely helped keep me sane during what was otherwise a difficult semester.

What makes K-State’s M.A. in English so special? The sense of community within the program is incredible. Every week I am blown away by the generosity, comradery, and just genuine love of learning that I see amongst both my peers and the professors.


Name: Jefferson StormsJefferson Storms

Track: Cultural Studies

Hometown: Basehor, KS

Academic Interests: I’m interested by the ways in which Christianity has manifested itself historically and in contemporary culture, and particularly how Christianity has been explored through art and literature. My graduate research has focused on biblical adaptation and the intersection of Christianity with contemporary culture, with an emphasis on exploring Christian beliefs and practices that can bring about social justice in the modern world.

What has been the best part of your experience here? 
I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to work with skilled and supportive faculty, like Drs. Westman, Gonzales, and Leader-Picone. They (as well as my undergraduate instructors at KSU) have taken time to learn about my interests and have helped me grow through research, classwork, and many high-quality discussions!

What makes K-State’s M.A. in English so special?
I feel that KSU faculty are willing and able to invest in M.A. students in a way that students are free to chase their passions, yet have the resources needed to find success in their pursuits!

Second-Year M.A. Students 

Katherine Dubke

Name: Katherine Dubke

Track: Children's Literature

Hometown: Red Bluff, CA

Academic Interests: British children's literature, literary theory (thank you, Dr. Eiselein), poetry, and creative non-fiction.

What has been the best part of your experience here?

I get to be a full-time student again! Because of the GTA experience, I am free to focus on my instructing and academic responsibilities. Everything I do, whether presenting a paper on the Wind in the Willows, leading my students in a class discussion, or attending a local writing conference, is preparing me for what it could mean to be in higher education for the rest of my life. And besides, the classes here are all so fascinating. I only wish I had time to take them all.

What makes K-State's M.A. in English so special?

From day one (and before I had committed to K-State) I was struck by the genuine welcome I received from everyone--They WANTED me to be part of this community. As a member of the English department, it is such a gift to pursue my degree knowing I have the full support of my professors and my colleagues. I feel like they are (and have been) cheering me on every step of the way.


Dylan HoltName: Dylan Holt

Track: Creative Writing

Hometown: Liberal, Kansas

Academic Interests: Gothic Literature, Fantasy Literature, Mental Health and Magical Realism, Futurist Science Fiction, Video Game and Fandom Writing.

What has been the best part of your experience here?

Outside of school, Manhattan has provided me with a community of truly kind-hearted individuals, and a family not bound by blood. The classes and professors of Kansas State University are consistently engaging, and I never feel like just another face in a crowd. My writing has progressed in a way that makes my time here feel so worth it.

What makes K-State's M.A. in English so special?

The wonderful atmosphere of like-minded people who love the written word and the possibilities contained within the craft.


Natasha MuhametzyanovaName: Natasha Muhametzyanova

Track: Creative Writing

Hometown: Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan

Academic Interests: Fiction writing, Postmodernism and Experimental Literature

What has been the best part of your experience here?

The best thing about being a part of the KState's MA program is that I'm surrounded by so many creative people who understand the power of discourse and writing because of that our creative writing workshops are a great combination of fun shenanigans and constructive criticism. I'm also very grateful for having an opportunity to teach. Teaching has been my passion for a long time and having our faculty guide and support me in this experience is truly invaluable.


Amy Levin PlattnerName: Amy Levin Plattner

Track: Composition & Rhetoric

Hometown: Manhattan, Kansas

Academic Interests: Writing Center theory, Cultural Studies, Multilingualism, Francophone Literature & Culture

What has been the best part of your experience here?

The best part about moving back to Manhattan and attending K-State has been getting to know the amazing group of individuals in my cohort. From our very first day together, I've felt that everyone values my ideas and supports my aspirations. Whether I'm sharing my love for knitting or Writing Center research, I always feel encouraged to continue pursuing my interests – academic or otherwise.

What makes K-State's M.A. in English so special?

K-State's M.A. program is so special because there is the flexibility to explore a variety of academic interests and much of this is possible thanks to the support and encouragement of the professors. Something that is particularly distinctive about K-State's program is the ability to gain experience as a graduate teaching assistant. My skills as a teacher have developed exponentially due to the excellent training and encouragement I've received from the English Department.


Mawi SonnaName: Mawi Sonna

Track: Creative Writing

Hometown: Kansas City

Academic Interests: Poetry, Fiction, and Art

What has been the best part of your experience here?

There are a few things that have made this experience memorable. I personally enjoy teaching and getting to know my students, as well as attending events put on by the department. I've met amazing people through this program, which I otherwise would not have met.

What makes K-State's M.A. in English so special?

At the heart of it, Manhattan feels like a second home because the faculty are so willing to invest in our interests. Likewise, they really do care about their graduate students. I was grateful for the homemade meals they provided during finals week because meal prep and eating well are often essential parts that get put on the back burner during busy weeks. In addition, there are opportunities to take classes outside of your track and English, which is something I value. The openness to experiment and explore your craft with as much curiosity is both unique and necessary to become better scholars and writers.


Recent Alums: M.A. '20


Nick Cady

Name: Nick Cady
Track: Creative Writing

Hometown: Osborne, Kansas

Academic Interests: Novel writing, short fiction, comic books/graphic literature. 

Hobbies/Other Interests: I'm an obsessive cleaner and organizer because it keeps me sane! I'm also a runner and when the weather's nice you might see me out jogging away at 5:30 A.M. I also can't deny that I'm a sucker for rural Kansas and exploring these old areas. When I'm at home, if I'm not cleaning, I'm usually drawing, sketching, or painting (my secret hobbies!). I also love clothes and believe that it's best to have at least one or two new, unworn items in your wardrobe at all times. 

What has been the best part of your experience here? The best part of my experience in K-State's M.A. program so far has been writing stories and novels in my fiction courses with Katy Karlin and Dan Hoyt. I also had the time of my life working on my Catwoman-inspired research paper for ENGL 801 with Anne Longmuir!


Katie Cline in Cap and Gown

Name: Katie Cline
Track: Children's Literature

Hometown: Jacksonville, Alabama

Academic Interests: Harry Potter, cats in literature, Shakespeare

Hobbies/Other Interests: Arts and crafts, procasti-baking (procrastinating by baking), hosting get togethers, Christmas, and Harry Potter and cats again!

What makes K-State's M.A. in English special? I moved halfway across the country because of the caliber of this program. It was everything I was hoping for in an MA program but never thought I would find. The resources available to grad students, in terms of funding, experience, and faculty, are incredible to me! And the professors, most of whom are at the top of their respective fields and specialties, value your thoughts and ideas in ways that both excite and terrify me sometimes.

Grad school pushes me to my limits academically and professionally, and I wouldn't still be here it weren't for my unbelievably smart, kind, understanding, compassionate cohort and friends. With them, I always have a sounding board for ideas, a shoulder to cry on, a couch to crash on, and an extra set of eyes to proofread a paper, and I am forever grateful for them.

What did you do after graduation, and how did the program help you get there?

After graduating from K-State (at the beginning of a pandemic!), I did what so many college grads do: I went home. In Fall 2020, though, I was hired as an instructor at K-State, where I've taught online composition and technical writing classes, with the hope of returning to face-to-face in Fall 2021. Outside of teaching, I've published one article, presented at the inaugural YA Studies Association virtual conference, and have been accepted to 2 virtual conferences for Summer 2021. (I've also listened to a lot of Taylor Swift!) Additionally, I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. someday. 

I credit K-State's M.A. program--and, specifically, the faculty of the Children's Lit track--with helping me move forward in my career. From professors who taught me the key terms and theories of my field to my MP (Dr. Phil Nel) who helped me polish my Master's Project for (eventual) publication to my cohort who still support me in all my ideas, projects, and endeavors, K-State has given me the confidence to pursue academia and share my work with a broader audience. Especially relevant to 2020, my time in the Master's program taught me how to think differently and critically, how to be a compassionate teacher, and how to adapt to literally unforeseen circumstances. I honestly could not have picked a more understanding, helpful, and supportive place to have gotten my Master's!


Cailey McCabe

Name: Cailey McCabe
Track: British and American Literature

Hometown: Irvine, California

Academic Interests: Victorian and British Gothic Literature

Hobbies/Other Interests: YA fantasy, Game of Thrones, Disney

What makes K-State's M.A. in English special? The best part about K-State's MA is how supportive everyone is. I feel supported by the other graduate students and by the professors. The professors really care about the graduate students and do their best to make sure everyone succeeds and grows as English students. Also, there is a great variety of classes to choose from for graduate students, which makes it easy to take classes relevant to my academic interests.

What did you do after graduation, and how did the program help you get there?

After graduating with my M.A. at Kansas State University, I went on to pursue a Ph.D. in English at Texas A&M University. The English professors at Kansas State guided me every step of the way for the Ph.D. application process. My experience at Kansas State helped me to understand my own research interests as Kansas State both introduced me to and developed my interests in Digital Humanities. I now am actively producing a Digital Humanities resource digitizing Victorian Serialized Fiction and without the experience I gained at Kansas State, my new DH project would not be possible. Kansas State English truly supports their graduate students with whatever they need, whether that be writing help, pedagogy development, revising applications to other programs, or personal research interest development. I loved my time at Kansas State University and attribute my current position within a Ph.D. program entirely to my development as a scholar within Kansas State's English M.A. program.


Kasif Rahman

Name: Mohammad Kasifur Rahman
 Cultural Studies

Hometown: Chattogram (AKA Chittagong), Bangladesh

Academic Interests: Cultural Studies, Digital Humanities, Postcolonial Literature, Gender and Women Studies

Hobbies/Other Interests: Playing and Watching Cricket, Traveling   

What makes K-State's M.A. in English special? It was quite an exciting experience for me to travel 8,137 miles from my home country to study at K-State. I didn't have any idea about the weather here at Kansas before I came, and it was a drastic shift from 30 degree Celsius to -5/-10 degrees. But I feel my fellow graduate students and faculty members here at K-State help me feel warm with their continuous support. The department offers a variety of resources from all the tracks so that we can enlighten ourselves with mini seminars, lecture series and other intellectual sharing platforms on a weekly and monthly basis. What I like most here is the cooperative attitude of all the people from our department. As an international student, it would have been more difficult for me to survive here without the continuous support that I get from the department and the university. 

What did you do after graduation, and how did the program help you get there?

After graduating from the Department of English at Kansas State University, I came back to my previous workplace, Jagannath University in Bangladesh. I have tried to implement my new pedagogical understandings in my classes. The M.A. program helped me in designing my courses from a more informed subject position. In addition, with the mentorship and guidance of my professors at K-State I have secured admission to a Ph.D. program in the school of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communications at the University of Texas at Dallas. My research on American abolitionist history and the Digital Humanities M.A. project that I completed at K-State were crucial for discovering the new self in me!   


Krista Danielson

Name: Krista Danielson
Track: Creative Writing

Hometown: Redondo Beach, California

Academic Interests: Creative Non-Fiction, Teaching, Montaigne's essays

Hobbies/Other Interests: Hanging out with our awesome 10-year-old daughter, bike rides to Varsity doughnuts, playing with our cat (or being a plaything for our cat?), World Cup soccer, exploring the treasures of the Sunflower State

What makes K-State's M.A. in English special? I love this program. The support from my professors has been phenomenal. Their teaching is rigorous yet supportive. When I went abroad to Germany, I realized just how well-prepared for academia I was because of the content, expectation, and support of my K-State professors. 

As a GTA, I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with undergraduates. Being able to watch them grow as writers, scholars and human beings invigorates me. Some days, I think I learn more than they do (shhhh--don't tell them!). 

And, my fellow graduate students are some of the most generous, kindest, funnest (is that a word?), smartest and coolest folks I've met!

What did you do after graduation, and how did the program help you get there?

Professionally, I'm working as an Instructor in K-State's English Department. The K-State program definitely helped me get here--I always loved teaching high school ELA and English as a Foreign Language to adults, but the MA program helped me hone my teaching skills towards the collegiate level while providing opportunities to grow as a writer and scholar. 

 As a classic Gen Xer, I've got a lot of family responsibilities, including taking care of both my tween and my mother, and providing emotional support to my husband and extended relations. 

Now that I'm fully vaccinated, I hope that I will be able to safely teach in person in the fall. Miss the creative energy that comes from the university! 

Recent Alums: M.A. '19


Latrice FergusonName: Latrice Ferguson
Track: Children's literature

Writing Project: "'How can you become what you already are?': Coming of Age in Rita Williams-Garcia's Gaither Sisters Trilogy" (M.A. Spring '19) 

Current Position: Studying for a Ph.D. in Education with focus on Reading, Writing, and Literacy at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Academic Interests: Children's middle grade and early chapter books and literacy development, especially in community learning spaces like libraries, day cares and community centers

Hobbies/Other Interests: Hobbies?! What's a hobby? I think I remember those, but it seems quite distant like a dream I used to have....also bullet journaling which is about productivity more than creativity at this point, but I think it counts.

What has been the best part of your experience here? The best part of my experience at K-State has been the professors I've been able to get to know. They have been incredibly supportive and genuinely care about not just my academic self, but also my well-being outside of coursework. Even professors I haven't had class with have been supportive. I've also built great relationships with my peers.

What did you do after graduation, and how did the program help you get there?

Post K-State saw me working during the summer at the amazing Manhattan Public Library during the summer reading program. Doing toddler and preschool storytime programs, which is always fun! Afterwards, I packed up and moved to Philadelphia to begin a PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania in Education with a focus on Reading, Writing and Literacy. Who I work with now at Penn is directly related to my time at K-State. I feel incredibly grateful to the professors at K-State who mentored me.


Kaitlin VIncent

Name: Kaitlin Vincent
Track: Composition & Rhetoric

Writing Project: "The 'Simming' Ecology: The Sims 4 Community's Content Creation as Writing Ecology" (M.A. Spring '19)

Current Position: Freelance technical writing editor and consultant

Hometown: Olathe, Kansas

Academic Interests: Writing Studies, Content Creation, Louisa May Alcott, Strategic Health Communication, Science Writing, Technical Writing, Linguistics, Writing Centers, Video Games, & Fandom

Hobbies/Other Interests: Nintendo games, Bullet Journaling, YouTube and Twitch content creation, Blogging, Petting dogs, Writing letters, Poetry, Being outside

What makes K-State's M.A. in English special? The support from the English Department's faculty is unique. Here, professors actually care about you and your professional development, and they push you to take opportunities that you wouldn't otherwise think to take. K-State's English faculty are highly qualified, dedicated scholars who come from some of the best programs in the field, and they excel at teaching. They've also encouraged me to work creatively on non-traditional projects. This program has given me opportunities to build skills in graphic design, coding, technical writing, and web design.

What did you do after graduation, and how did the program help you get there?

I’ve been working as a freelance editor and consultant on technical writing projects. Additionally, I’ve been working in web development and SEO for my family’s business. The program gave me the toolkit to approach a variety of writing and editing contexts with confidence. Concepts like information hierarchy and theories behind visual and written argumentation have been super useful in navigating my new professional world. The program also inspired me to pursue more creative projects in my downtime, like making a podcast and getting more involved in the fan communities once more.