Members

Baylor’s English Graduate Student Association serves as an advocate for the English graduate student body by functioning as a recognized liaison between graduate students and both English department faculty and University administration. EGSA also works to advance the professional interests of both MA and PhD students and seeks to promote camaraderie among graduate students. Membership in EGSA is open to all Baylor University graduate students in English.

EGSA Officers for the 2021-2022 School year

We love being your officers and are happy to help in any way we can.  Check below to see who can best help you, then contact us via our emails, listed on the home page!

  • President: Anna Beaudry  Our fearless leader. If there’s an issue that affects us all and you think it should go to Dr. Russell, talk to Anna, our official liaison. If you have a question relating to your own unusual case and you’ve already run it by Matt Turnbull (Peer Advisor), take it to Dr. Russell.
  • Vice President: Kelly Chittenden Our fearless leader in training.
  • Secretary: Harrison Otis a.k.a. Mister Secretary Sir, a.k.a. Minister of Misinformation. Send him your announcements and entertainment for us all!
  • Treasurer and Fundraising Chair: Hannah Wells The keeper of the purse. Pay her your dues!
  • Peer Advisor: Matthew Turnbull The wisest of us all.  For questions about paperwork, inside tips, grad school survival, and proof that it can be done, contact Matt.
  • Professional Development Chair: Ray Stockstad Provider of practical wisdom, he organizes information and meetings that help us get jobs!
  • GSA Representative: Christina Lambert. Our official representative to the larger Graduate Student Association; let her know if EGSA is too small a pond for you! 
  • GSA Alternate: Molly Lewis. Assists the GSA Rep and attends GSA meetings when she’s not able to.
  • Technology Chair: LaJoie Lex. Our website caretaker. For questions, suggestions, and complaints about this website, email me!
  • Social Chairs: Luke Sayers and Sarah Kaderbeck Arrangers and facilitators of fun and festivities!
  • Orientation Chairs: (To be elected in January 2022) Welcomers of all our newest members! They organize the prospective student weekend and help new students get settled in when they arrive in the fall.

The Graduate Student Association:

The GSA meetings are open to all graduate students on campus. Though we have official liaisons between EGSA and GSA, leadership in the GSA is open to all graduate students as well. Ask Christina Lambert or Molly Lewis if you’d like more information on getting involved!

EGSA Members

List of all current Baylor English MA and PhD students

Membership in EGSA is open to all graduate students in the Baylor English department and is presumed to include all English graduate students. Voting and holding office are restricted to dues-paying members; however, all English graduate students (and their significant others and families) are welcome to attend meetings and social functions.

NameYear of EntryFocus/ConcentrationAbout
Jonathan Diaz2020
Kristyn Drew2020
Justice Flint2020Theology and LiteratureJustice is a first-year MA student from Wichita, KS. She earned an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Butler Community College in 2018, then transferred to Bethel College, graduating with a B.A. in English this year. Her research interests include 19th century British literature (particularly the works of Charlotte Brontë), the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Christian theology in literature, and how Christian thought may suggest an alternative to the atheistic approaches common in contemporary literary theory. Free time is currently scarce, but Justice has historically enjoyed pursuits such as figure skating, archery, playing violin, tailoring, drawing, photography, graphic design, bookbinding, scrapbooking, and video editing. Her favorite books, apart from classics like The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Jane Eyre, tend to be nonfiction on subjects related to theology, worldviews, cultural issues, history, philosophy, and the art of critical thinking. She is an obsessive journaler, and firmly believes in the value of handwritten, wax-sealed notes.
Sarah Kaderbek2020Late Victorian, Early Modernist British LiteratureSarah Kaderbek is a first year Master's student and graduated with a B.A. in British and American Literature from Franciscan University of Steubenville in December 2019. Sarah's research interests include late Victorian and early Modernist authors, such as Oscar Wilde or G.K. Chesterton, with a special focus on the works of J.M. Barrie; the Inklings, most especially J.R.R. Tolkien; and Aristotelian philosophy of rocket science and space exploration, of all things. Outside of class, she can be found watching "old" movies with friends, collecting vintage hats and plush sheep, and praying that her black thumb doesn't kill the houseplants.
Grace McCright202020th-21st century American literatureGrace McCright is a first-year Master's student interested in 20th-21st century American literature, specifically the work of female authors. Originally from the Dallas area, she comes to Waco from Marshall, Texas, where she earned her BA in English with a minor in Religion from East Texas Baptist University. Outside of her studies Grace enjoys playing board games with her husband Niall, going on walks around Baylor's campus, and enjoying coffee dates with friends.
Sydney Nicholson202020th Century British Literature and NarratologySydney is a first-year MA student with an interest in 20th-century British Literature. She likes to write on narrative theory and themes of community/isolation in literature and particularly enjoys reading Joseph Conrad, Charles Williams, and modern drama. While she grew up in Texas, Sydney earned her BA in English Literature and Spanish at Mississippi College. In her free time, Sydney enjoys hiking/biking, trying new restaurants, and visiting art museums.
Yifan Zhang2020
Zeyi Zhang202017th Century Literature; Milton; Classical Reception; Science in LiteratureZeyi Zhang is a PhD student interested in Early Modern literature and John Milton in particular. She graduated from the English Department of Peking University, where she wrote her undergraduate thesis on Milton and Ovid, and her MA thesis on Milton and the utopian works of Francis Bacon and Margaret Cavendish. She is interested in the relationship of science and religion in Early Modern literature. In her free time, she enjoys watching sport games very much, though she is not a good player at all. Her favorite sports are tennis, snooker, and gymnastics. She also likes going to the theater and the opera.
Kelly Chittenden2019Modern American LiteratureKelly Chittenden is a second-year PhD student from Pleasant Hill, CA. She hopes to specialize in 20th-century poetry and theology, focusing on connections between Biblical and modern perceptions of medicine and healing. Before coming to Baylor, Kelly earned her BA in English from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. In her free time, Kelly loves running, spending time with her husband Jacob, and drinking rather shocking amounts of cold brew coffee.
Andrew Hicks2019
Samantha Kiser2019
Allison Scheidegger2019Victorian poetryAlli is a first-year English PhD student interested in Victorian poetry in general and Robert Browning's in particular. Before coming to Waco, she earned her BA in Literature with a Classics minor from Patrick Henry College in Northern Virginia, then spent two years teaching Latin and English to elementary and high school students. When she's not reading for school or for fun, she enjoys baking and eating unusual desserts.
Olivia Taylor2019Renaissance LiteratureOlivia Taylor is a PhD student from Fernandina Beach, Florida. Before coming to Waco, she earned her B.A. in English from Palm Beach Atlantic University, and spent a semester abroad in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature, Tolkien, Agatha Christie, and books in general. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and stories (long and short), listening to music, traveling, watching and being involved in theatre, and spending time with friends and family.
Madison Wayland2019Creative WritingMaddie is a first-year Master's student interested in creative writing and contemporary American literature, particularly creative non-fiction on topics of illness and the intersection of art with health science. Originally from Upstate New York, Maddie completed her undergraduate studies in Biology and English/Creative Writing at SUNY Geneseo before trading the snow for the Texas sun. When she's not reading or writing, she can be found baking, exploring Waco's coffee shops, and spoiling her miniature schnauzer puppy Lucy.
Anna E. Beaudry2018, M.A. 2020, PhD.19th Century New England Female AuthorsAfter completing her Master's degree in the spring of 2020, Anna is delighted to commence her PhD studies, focusing on 19th century American literature, particularly that of New England female authors. Anna attended Grove City College for her undergraduate work, then taught middle and high school English and Rhetoric for four years. Anna particularly loves the poetry of Emily Dickinson and the short stories of Sarah Orne Jewett. In her spare time, Anna loves to garden, tease her beautiful and dumb greyhound Pippa, and binge-watch British murder mysteries with her husband Troy.
Harrison Otis201820th-century British LiteratureHarrison Otis is a Teacher of Record, fourth-year PhD student, and Graduate Assistant Director of the University Writing Center. Originally from Maine, he received his BA Literature from Patrick Henry College (Purcellville, VA) and his MA English from the University of Regina (Saskatchewan); he also studied and taught for a year in Rambouillet, France. His research interests include the 20th century Catholic novel and the relationship between narrative structure, theology, and metaphysics. When not studying, Harrison enjoys playing music, hiking, and bicycling.
Luke Sayers201820th Century American LiteratureOriginally from Pennsylvania, I moved to Waco in 2018 to begin the PhD program at Baylor. My wife Chloe and I have a one-year-old son named Henry. In my free time I enjoy brewing beer, hiking, and traveling.
Ryan Sinni201817th Century British LiteratureRyan Sinni graduated from Union University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Christian Studies. He is now pursuing his PhD in English at Baylor University and hopes to graduate in 2024. Union is currently in the process of publishing Ryan’s undergraduate thesis on John Calvin’s view of the Lord’s Supper. Ryan's research interests include John Milton, Lucy Hutchinson, George Herbert, and the influence of the Reformation on seventeenth-century British literature.
Ray Stockstad2018British Romantic and Gothic ProseA Marine Corps and Navy veteran of the first and second Gulf Wars, I enjoy playing games, brewing beer (and sun tea), watching movies, and studying how we create our sense of Self, using the Other as a mirror. My wife, Kelly, and I love our Baylor community and the fast friends we have made in the last year.
Hannah Wells2018American literature before 1900Hannah is a PhD student and an Iowa transplant to Texas. After receiving a BA in English and a philosophy minor from Central College in Pella, Iowa, she started at Baylor the same time as her husband Matt, a PhD student in political science. Hannah’s interested in 19th century American fiction, studying the sentiments toward classical republicanism and modern science of writers including Melville and Hawthorne. Along with teaching, she currently interns at the Mark Twain Journal.
Christina Lambert 201720th and 21st Century American Fiction and PoetryOriginally from Temecula, CA, Christina Lambert came to Texas via the Midwest, where she earned a BA in History from Hillsdale College. She completed her MA at Baylor in May of 2019; her thesis was entitled, "'A holy stream and a strange marriage' : Environmental and Sacramental Healing in Wendell Berry's Jayber Crow." Now in the third year of her PhD, Christina plans to continue her research in 20th and 21st century American fiction and poetry. She teaches a food-themed 1310 course (which is an absolute delight!) and loves to gush about Wendell Berry. Her real office is Pinewood Coffee Bar.
Molly Lewis201719th Century British LiteratureMolly is currently writing her dissertation on clerical interpretations of popular nineteenth-century poets while teaching British literature and working as a freelance editor. Prior to her doctoral efforts at Baylor, she worked for several years in non-profit communications and in publishing. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2007 and her bachelor’s in English with a writing concentration from Wheaton College in 2005. Since joining her colleagues at Baylor, she has served as EGSA’s social chair, vice president, and president. But she is more widely known for highly qualified baking skills and an unhealthy emotional attachment to her equally codependent cat, Beatrice.
LaJoie Lex201717th Century British PoetryLaJoie Lex is a PhD student who grew up on a beautiful hilltop farm in New York State. She completed undergraduate studies at SUNY Cortland and earned an M.A. in English from Binghamton University. LaJoie taught English at a K-8 charter school in Waxahachie, TX before returning to further her study of literature and become a professor. She primarily enjoys the 17th-century poetry of John Donne and other metaphysical poets, with a focus on religion, ecology, and gender. LaJoie loves to go on adventures with her husband, relax with her orange tabby cat, and discover and play new board games with friends.
Stewart Riley2017
Matt Turnbull201717th Century EnglandMatt Turnbull is presently a third-year Ph.D. student intensely interested in Milton and the English writers in his era. He is particularly interested in observing connections between the realism/nominalism conversation of the 17th century and the views of the nature of language which prevailed in the late 20th century. He has been married to his wife, Christie, for almost 30 years. They have eight children, many of whom are grown. Before coming to Baylor he spent two decades as a pastor and as a literature and language teacher of high school and junior high students. Augustine’s Confessions is his favorite book, and War and Peace is his favorite novel.
Sørina Higgins2016Magic in Modern British & Irish TheatreSørina Higgins is a PhD Candidate, Presidential Scholar, Teacher of Record, and English Dept Rep to the GSA (2019-2021). She likes to dance, cook, bake, and work in the garden.
Ben Rawlins2016Modern American Poetry and DramaOriginally from Kansas, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City and Nashville since leaving home for college. In Nashville, he earned an M.A. in English from Belmont University and M.T.S. from Vanderbilt Divinity School and also taught writing and literature during this time. At Baylor, Ben focuses on modern American poetry and drama, especially the relationship between literature and the material world. His dissertation explores the vitality of things in the poetry of Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, and H.D. Beyond academic interests, he enjoys being outside, hanging out with his nieces, and watching good movies and TV.
Jordan Sillars2016Jordan Sillars entered the Ph.D. program in the fall of 2016. His literary interests include 19th C. American literature, eco-criticism, and science fiction. Jordan's most recent degree came from the University of Toronto, where he earned his MA in English. He's a Canadian citizen, but grew up in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and now lives with his wife, Hannah, in Waco. They enjoy exploring Cameron Park with their dogs, visiting the farmer's market, and chasing down the Pokey-O's ice cream truck.
Daniel Smith2016
Reyna Johnson2015MedievalReyna Johnson is a Southern Californian transplant in the PhD program at Baylor, studying medieval literature. In 2015, she completed her B.A. in English (with a concentration in French) at Regent University in Virginia prior to moving to Waco. When not studying, she spends her time writing short stories, reading fantasy novels, enjoying musicals, and avoiding the Texas heat.
Sarah Tharp201519th Century MedievalismSarah Tharp completed her MA at Baylor in 2017 and loved it so much she decided to stay for the PhD. She is from Dubuque, Iowa and misses seeing the Mississippi River almost every day. She graduated from Olivet Nazarene University where she double-majored in English and Social Sciences. Sarah enjoys cooking, watching movies, and spending time with her husband, Alex, and their silly cat, Artemisia.
B.J. Thome2015
Aaron Hatrick2014
Ryan Pederson2014
Aubrey Morris2013MedievalAubrey is a PhD student studying medieval literature. She grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, then attended the University of Oklahoma, where she graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English, marched in the band, and got used to fading into a group of her peers on national television. At OU, she also fell in love with Chaucer, Robin Hood, Middle English, and manuscripts, and she has not looked back (or, perhaps, forward) since her first graduate course in medieval literature. Her modern-day interests include Marvel superheroes, science fiction, musicals, and watching slightly more television than is probably good for her.
Lois Johnson2012Religion/Literature; Post-Colonial LiteratureAs a Ph.D. student in the Literature and Religion Program, Lois is interested in the creative intersection of the human imagination and the Divine – a theology of art, so to speak – and specifically how that intersection is manifest in Post-Colonial Literature such as Magical Realism. Questions that arise from this interest include, but are not limited to, what responsibilities do human artists have to their creations? What creative responsibilities belong to humans as creatures made in the image of a creative God? In what way is the collective creation of human culture analogous to art? Who is responsible for culture-as-collective-art? A graduate of Baylor University’s undergraduate program with a Masters from Aquinas College and several just-for-fun classes at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lois taught Freshman Composition, Argument and Persuasion, and Public Speaking for seven years at Davenport University, also in Grand Rapids. When she is not busy studying, she is painting her house various bright and occasionally hideous colors, riding her Green Lantern bicycle around campus, and taking really, really short walks in the Texas heat with her lovely, long-haired Maine Coon, Sir Basil the Foxtail, also known as Basil Spiderbane.

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