EGSA Members
(Current English Graduate 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
Kelly Collins2019
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 Literature?Olivia Taylor is a first-year Master's 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 Beaudry201819th Century New England Female AuthorsAnna is a second-year Master's student, studying 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.
Shannon McClernon2018Shannon graduated from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, in spring of 2018 and entered the MA program at Baylor the next fall. She is interested primarily in the intersections between poetry, agriculture, and Christianity. Currently she is working on her thesis entitled "The Agricultural Imaginary in T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral and Four Quartets."
Harrison Otis201817th Century BritishHarrison Otis, originally of Freeport, Maine, comes to Baylor by way of Virginia (BA: Patrick Henry College), Saskatchewan (MA: University of Regina), and France (language study: Planète-Langues). Although he wrote his Master's thesis on teleology in the 20th-century novels of Evelyn Waugh and Iris Murdoch, he's currently interested in questions relating to the nature of leisure, time, and education as reflected in 17th-century British literature. He currently serves as a Teacher of Record in the Department of English and a Graduate Assistant Director in the University Writing Center.
Luke Sayers201820th Century American LiteratureLuke Sayers is a second-year PhD student studying 20th century American literature. Originally from Pennsylvania, he received his BA in English Literature from Grove City College and his MA in Theological Studies from Westminster Seminary California. Luke taught English as a second language in Saint Petersburg, Russia before beginning his studies at Baylor. His research interests include postmodernism, Cold War literature, and the work of Vladimir Nabokov. He enjoys gardening, walking in Cameron Park, and spending time with his wife Chloe.
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 Stockstad2018Romantic Prose-Gothic Depictions of Veterans and ServicemenA veteran of two wars and two services, 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 Wells2018Early American Literature; Politics & Literature; Religion & Literature; Philosophy & Literature; Francis BaconHannah is a PhD student and an Iowa transplant who’s fallen in love with Texas. After receiving a BA in English and a philosophy minor from Central College in Pella, Iowa, she moved to Waco with her newlywed husband Matt, a PhD student in political science. Hannah’s interested in the intersection of politics, religion, philosophy and literature in early America, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, with specific interests in classicism and utopianism in the American founding. Her studies are also characterized by a love for Willa Cather’s Midwestern novels and a sneaking suspicion that Francis Bacon is to blame for most of the problems in the world today. Beyond Baylor, look for her in parks, thrift stores, Tex-Mex establishments, and her kitchen.
Christina Lambert 201720th Century American Fiction and Drama, Eco-Criticism, Religion and LiteratureOriginally from Temecula, CA, Christina Lambert came to Texas via the Midwest, where she earned a BA in History from Hillsdale College. She recently completed her MA at Baylor in May of 2019; her thesis was on the fiction of Wendell Berry through the lens of Eco-theology. Now in the first year of her PhD at Baylor, Christina plans to continue her work in Modern American fiction and Eco-criticism—and extend this research to explore theories of embodiment, feminism, and gender and sexuality. This is Christina’s third year as the Graduate Assistant Director of the University Writing Center--which means that you can find her in one of three places: the UWC’s new location in Moody Library, Carroll Science, or (most often) Pinewood Coffee Shop. She’s always happy to chat about Wendell Berry and how to keep plants alive—especially over a long river walk or a good cup of coffee.
Molly Lewis201719th Century British LiteratureMolly returned to graduate studies after several years of working in publishing and communications in Southern California. Prior to that, she received a masters in literature from the University of Edinburgh after completing her undergraduate degree in English at Wheaton College. She's interested in Romantic and Victorian writing on art, nature, work, love, and death. You know, just a few of the big things.
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 student, Presidential Scholar, Teacher of Record, and English Dept Rep to the GSA (2019-2020). Sørina earned her M.A. from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, where she wrote about Sehnsucht in the works of C. S. Lewis. Her latest publication is an academic essay collection entitled "The Inklings and King Arthur: J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, C. S. Lewis, and Owen Barfield on the Matter of Britain" (Apocryphile Press, 2017), winner of the 2018 Mythopoeic Society Inklings Scholarship Award.
Clayton McReynolds2016Phenomenological Reading of the NovelClayton McReynolds is a fourth year PhD student. Although he earned his B.A. in Literature from Patrick Henry College in Virginia, he remains an Idahoan at heart. His current research focus is on a little something he likes to call "mimetic phenomenology" in the novel, which he promises is less pretentious than it sounds. He presently enjoys working as a Teacher-of-Record at Baylor. When he is not busy writing or reading or grading or whatnot, he watches stuff, plays stuff, reads stuff, writes stuff, and generally abides.
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
Becca Cassady2015A PhD student in Baylor's English program, Becca is interested in twentieth and twenty-first century American literature and short fiction. She's a Georgia peach who holds B.A.s in English Literature and Spanish from Mercer University, where she was heavily involved in campus ministry, a number of honor societies, and Spires, the university's undergraduate research journal. During her senior year, she had the opportunity to present her research on George Orwell's 1984 at the National Conference for Undergraduate research. After graduation, Becca's love of language, travel, and teaching led her to Thailand, where she taught English as a second language and learned the meaning of true hospitality. She returned to the States to work with college students in a ministry setting before deciding to return to the Academy. No worries, though - despite all of the work thrown her way, she'll always sacrifice sleep for a good conversation.
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.
Jonathan Kanary2015Religion and Literature; Medieval Literature; 19th-20th Century BritishJonathan grew up in Oklahoma, but has lived in Virginia (for college), Wisconsin (for seminary), and California (where he served in full-time parish ministry as an Anglican priest). In 2015, he moved to Texas (for Baylor’s English PhD program). His scholarly work focuses on the ways that literature adopts, adapts, and responds to the language and categories of the Christian spiritual tradition—especially in medieval and 19th-20th century British literatures. He has been published in Christianity & Literature, The Living Church, and Light (a journal of light verse), and has an article forthcoming in the Irish Theological Quarterly. Alongside his doctoral work, Jonathan also serves as Associate Priest for Spiritual Direction at Christ Church Waco, and was a member of the task force that produced the Book of Common Prayer 2019. In his spare time (such as it is) he enjoys laughing with friends, swing dancing, drinking hot tea, feeding neighborhood kittens, and reading children’s books aloud—usually to adults.
Holly Spofford2015Holly Spofford is a Ph.D. student from Northern Virginia. She graduated summa cum laude from Grove City College, with a major in English and a minor in history.  Her research interests center broadly on Romantic and Victorian poetry and their portrayal of both human and nonhuman communities. At Baylor, she has worked as a writing center tutor and an instructor of freshman composition, and she currently works as a research assistant for Josh King. When not studying, she enjoys reading fiction, doing CrossFit, and escaping to the great outdoors (or at least to Baylor’s marina). Perhaps most of all, however, she enjoys long conversations with friends, family, colleagues, and students. You can usually find her in one of Waco’s lovely coffee shops, book(s) in hand.
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 cuddly cat, Katie.
B.J. Thome2015
Meagan Anthony2014Victorian; Gender Studies; Creative WritingMeagan is a Northerner in a southern town. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. and the University of Houston with a M.A. in English. A published poet and an experienced dog wrangler, Meagan focuses on 19th Century British literature, gender studies, and creative writing.
Aaron Cassidy2014Renaissance and Religion/Literature; Church History, Theology, Inklings StudiesAaron Cassidy began Baylor’s PhD in English program in 2014. He holds a BA in Radio, TV and Film from University of North Texas and an MA in English (with a Drama minor) from Texas Woman’s University (despite the name, it is co-ed), where he taught First-Year Composition for three years. Aaron wishes to concentrate on Religion and Literature, with a focus toward Renaissance authors like Milton, Spenser and Bunyan. He is interested in how Christian authors have represented the faith through imaginative works, particularly those that respond to intellectual challenges. Other interests include church history, theology, and Inklings studies.
Aaron Hatrick2014
Rachel Kilgore201419th Century NovelRachel Kilgore is a Ph.D. Candidate in the English department and is currently working on her dissertation tracing the novel’s rise from theatre culture in England with Dr. Kristen Pond. Her work begins with Henry Fielding, ends with Robert Browning, and includes Lawrence Sterne, and the unparalleled Jane Austen While primarily studying British novels of the 18th and 19th century, her interests also include rhetorical narrative theory, the ethics of reading, and the out-loud novel and the digital humanities. She has a master’s degree from the University of Dallas and has taught writing and literature classes at (among others) Houston Baptist University, The University of Houston Downtown, Belhaven University and Baylor University. Currently, she works with the Institute for Faith and Learning and is a consultant for the Graduate Writing Center. In moments snatched between writing sessions, she enjoys walking in Cameron park, crocheting, relaxing with friends, growing herbs and flowers, and dreaming of tiny cob houses.
Caitlin Lawrence2014Caitlin Lawrence is a PhD student in Baylor’s Religion and Literature program. Originally from Seattle, Caitlin completed her BA and MA in Organizational Communication at Pepperdine University. For the next five years, Caitlin taught in Pepperdine’s Communication Division as a Visiting Instructor. During that time, she worked with other faculty and staff to create the Year2Malibu Sophomore Experience, designing educational field trips and engaging students beyond the classroom. Caitlin’s research examines the relationship between fairy tales and Christianity. If she wasn’t in Waco, she would probably be at Disneyland.
Ryan Pederson2014
Josh Pittman2014Medieval; religion and literatureJosh is a medievalist in the religion and literature track. He is interested in phenomenology, literary theory, and theological anthropology. His dissertation studies the function of violence in Lawman's Brut, using Jean-Luc Marion's and Emmanuel Levinas's phenomenologies to do so. He has a wonderfully forbearing wife and one unit of offspring: male, cute.
Sara Dye2013Rhetoric & CompositionSara Dye is a Ph.D. student from Huntsville, AL. She graduated with a B.A. in English and Humanities from the University of Mobile in Mobile, AL. At UM, Sara won the Annie Boyd Parker Weaver Award, an award in which the university faculty designates, by secret vote, the most outstanding female student of the graduating class. Sara previously worked as an English tutor at both UM and Baylor. She now teaches freshman composition at Baylor and loves having the opportunity to help students read carefully, think critically, and find an effective way to express their ideas in writing. Sara’s research areas are primarily in rhetoric and composition, particularly religious rhetoric and community-based writing. Sara also enjoys rollercoasters, sports, tacos, beaches, and coffee.
Wesley Garey2013Early Modern (17th Century)Wesley Garey is a PhD Candidate in English Literature at Baylor University. He grew up in Atlanta, GA, and attended Covenant College for his BA, before moving to Waco, TX, to begin doctoral study at Baylor. His dissertation focuses on rhetoric of praise in seventeenth-century biblical epics by John Milton, Lucy Hutchinson, and Abraham Cowley; other research interests include religion and literature, literary theory, postmodern literature, and educational theory. He has presented his research at the International Congress of Medieval Studies and the South-Central Renaissance Conference, and is a Graduate Assistant for Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning. When not reading, writing, or teaching, Wesley can frequently be found either in Cameron Park or at one of Waco’s many coffeeshops.
Luke Mitchell2013I study 20th C. and contemporary British and Irish literature. I especially like poetry--on both sides of the pond. I wrote an M.A. thesis on George Mackay Brown's use of short fiction as a means of recovering and representing what Frank O'Connor calls "submerged people groups." My hobbies include cooking, sitting on the front porch, eating El Ranchito's delicacies, and listening to jazz.
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.
Elizabeth Travers Parker2013Victorian PoetryElizabeth Travers Parker is a PhD candidate in British literature at Baylor University. Her research focuses primarily on 19th century devotional poetry, and her dissertation asks how the literary forms of religious devotion shape ecological conscience for Elizabeth Barrett Browning, John Ruskin, Christina Rossetti, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. She recently published an article on pedagogy as moral formation in the International Journal of Christianity and Education, and she has two entries on the devotional prose of Christina Rossetti forthcoming in the new Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women Writers. She also recently contributed a chapter on the incarnational landscapes of The Chronicles of Narnia to the forthcoming volume The Christian Mind of C.S. Lewis. Elizabeth has taught at Baylor University and the University of Kentucky, and she is teaching part-time at Asbury University this fall. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband Seth and her daughter Penelope Jane.
Loren Warf201318th and 19th Century BritishLoren Warf is a Ph.D. student from Dickson, TN. Before arriving at Baylor, she received her B.A. in English from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN, and then spent four fabulous years working at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Her literary interests include all things Gothic, but she focuses on 19th-Century British fiction. Loren is currently the alternate GSA representative and serves on GSA’s policy committee. Her husband, Nathan, is a doctoral student in Baylor’s Political Science Department. Loren and Nathan spend as much time as possible watching television and chasing their lab/Doberman mix, Olive.
Syeda Hayat2012
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.
Christine Pyle2012Renaissance and 17th Century British; Religious Poetry; Late MedievalChristine Pyle is a doctoral student originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she graduated summa cum laude with B.A. degrees in English and French from Louisiana State University. At Baylor, her primary research interest is the contemplative tradition, particularly its manifestations in seventeenth-century English religious poetry and the writings of the medieval mystics. In addition to teaching freshman composition, she is a Graduate Fellow in the Baylor Honors College and has participated in the Conyers Graduate Scholar Program. Christine enjoys adventures, Cajun food, handwritten letters, and all things Francophone.
Andy Rasmussen2012Renaissance; Religion/LiteratureAndrew Rasmussen is a Ph.D. student at Baylor University. He graduated summa cum laude from Nyack College in Nyack, NY in 2011. His research interests include Early Modern British literature, urban rhetoric, and the civic intersection of theology, politics, and literature that emerges in the short lived English Republic. He has presented at Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Thomas R. Watson Conference, and the Southern Conference on British Studies, among others. His chapter “Beatrice and Byzantium: The Female Body in Taliessin Through Logres” is featured in the upcoming The Inklings and King Arthur. He currently teaches Freshmen Composition and serves as EGSA’s Vice-President. He is also involved in the BRCP and has served as the GSA Representative for EGSA.

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