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
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 second year of her PhD, Christina plans to continue her work in 20th and 21st century American fiction and poetry and extend this research to explore theories of embodiment, feminism, and gender and sexuality. This is Christina’s fourth year as the Graduate Assistant Director of the University Writing Center. Most often, you can find her at in “office” at Pinewood Coffee on Austin Avenue.
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 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.
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 Cassady2015Rhetoric and CompositionBecca Cassady is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English with a focus on rhetoric and composition. She earned her BA in English and her BA in Spanish from Mercer University in 2013. She taught English as a Second Language in Thailand and worked in campus ministry in Georgia before coming to Baylor to pursue her PhD in English Literature. Her dissertation focuses on issues of learning transfer among writing center tutors, while other research interests include writing across the disciplines, literacy sponsorship, and student composition. In addition to her role as the Graduate Writing Center Coordinator, Becca has taught various writing courses within the English department and served as the Executive Vice President of the Graduate Student Association for two years. She also mentors undergraduates within the Honors Residential College. She can often be found practicing calligraphy with the Waco Calligraphy Guild, hiking or hammocking in Cameron Park, or drinking sweet tea.
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 silly cat, Artemisia.
B.J. Thome2015
Aaron Hatrick2014
Ryan Pederson2014
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.
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.

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