The Center has an incredibly diverse staff. Our advisers are not all English majors; in fact, this year we have advisers concentrating in theatre, politics, theology, integral, kinesiology, health science, and more! We also have several Graduate advisers from the MFA in Creative Writing program. Take some time to look through the bios and get to know us!
Major: Health Science
Hometown: Ventura, CA
Favorite Books: The Moral Lives of Animals by Dale Peterson & House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Favorite Movies: The Shining, Titanic, Moulin Rouge & The Nightmare Before Christmas
Favorite Revision Tool: Making charts and lists to organize ideas.
Favorite Quotation: "For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love." -Carl Sagan
Hometown: Wilton, CA
Favorite Books: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen & The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Favorite Movies: Breakfast at Tiffany's & Casablanca
Favorite Revision Tool: Reading out loud and circling errors in cool colors so that I don't feel too bad about my mistakes.
Favorite Quotation: "Live life in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you no one would belive it." -Unknown
In Her Own Words: I love Jesus, dogs, coffee, fashion, and last but not least, writing.
Major: English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Favorite Books: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling & Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Favorite Movies: The Parent Trap (Lindsay Lohan version), Pride & Prejudice & Gone With the Wind
Favorite Revision Tool: Printing as many drafts as possible until you can read out loud without picking up your pen.
Favorite Quotation: "I only hoep that we don't lose sight of one thing--that this was all started by a mouse." Walt Disney
In Her Own Words: Don't take yourself too seriously, and know that all happens for a reason--one day we'll be able to look back and laugh at the beauty of how all those puzzle pieces fit together just right.
Year: 2nd Year MFA Candidate
Genre: Creative Nonfiction
Hometown: Fullerton, CA
Favorite Books: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley & Angels in America (play) by Tony Kushner
Favorite Movies: The Birdcage & Pride & Prejudice
Favorite Quotation: "What seem to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise." -Oscar Wilde
Hometown: Murrieta, CA
Favorite Books: Siddartha by Hermann Hesse, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin & Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Favorite Movies: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Food Inc. & Forks or Knives
Favorite Quotations: “There is no wholly masculine man nor wholly feminine woman. Fluid hardens to solid. Solid flows into liquid." -Margaret Fuller
"No union with slaveholders! No compromise with slavery!" -W.M. Garrison
"No one drop of rain believes it is to blame for the flood." -Unknown
"My ignorance has never struggled so, has never made me long so much to know." -Dante
"I have found no companion as companionable as solitude." -Henry David Thoreau
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, my faith in humanity is restored." -Albert Einstein
"Intelligence implies that one can dwell comfortably without pictures, in a field of concepts and generalizations." -Neil Postman
"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking it's an idiot." -Albert Einstein
"Be thou assured, if words be made of breath, and breath of life, I have no life to breathe what thou hast said to me." -William Shakespeare
"You cram these words into mine ears against the stomach of my sense." -William Shakespeare
"Why must I always be kind to those who would wallow in my hours?" -Henry Charles Bukowski
Year: 2nd Year MFA Candidate
Hometown: Orangeville, CA
Favorite Book (fiction): Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston
Favorite Movie: The Breakfast Club
Favorite Revision Tool: Post-outlining
Major: English, Dramatic and Film Arts
Hometown: Mariposa, CA
Favorite Book (poetry): erotic poems by e.e. cummings
Favorite Movie: V for Vendetta
Favorite Revision Tool: Freewriting
Favorite Quotation: "Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel
is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked
a hot fudge sundae." -Kurt Vonnegut
Jen Herrington - Administrative Assistant
Hometown: Troy, NY & Plainfield, VT
Favorite Books: The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy by Murry Bookchin & The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone
Favorite Movies: Fargo
Favorite Revision Tool: Pruning the redundant.
Favorite Quotation: "There is nowhere you can go and only be with people who are like you. Give it up." -Bernice Johnson Reagon
In Her Own Words: Do what you can, and don't get upset.
Year: 2nd Year MFA Candidate
Hometown: Harvard, MA, & Lafayette, CA
Favorite Books (fiction): Atonement by Ian McEwan & Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Favorite Poet: Pablo Neruda
Favorite Movie: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Favorite Revision Tool: Time
Minor: Creative Writing
Hometown: Santa Clara (born), Cupertino (currently)
Favorite Book (fiction): Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Favorite Book (poetry): Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
Favorite Movie: Amar, Akbar, Anthony
Favorite Revision Tool: Marking and writing any quotations that stick out to me. This helps me see the overall theme and what strikes me the most in each text.
Favorite Quotation: "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." -Ray Bradbury
In Her Own Words: "It was something she had felt and decided she would keep, regardless of whether he ever knew or not. it was a feeling capturing a real moment, but it was a feeling she would keep just for herself. Whatever that feeling was and however it felt, she knew it. I wished I could be as certain sometimes but then sometimes I wondered if certainty even existed." -From "Baby Brown"
Tereza Joy Kramer – Director
Poetry, Rhetoric, Composition, TESOL, Journalism, Spanish
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Favorite Book (nonfiction): Ethics for the New Millenium by Dalai Lama
Favorite Poet: Sharon Olds
Favorite Movie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Favorite Revision Tool: Discussion
Favorite Quotation: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us ... . And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automaticallly liberates others." -Marianne Williamson
In Her Own Words: I've never thought of myself as a good writer -- I just enjoy trying.
Major: English, Preparation for High School Teaching
Minor: Theology and Religious Studies, Catholic Tradition
Hometown: Hercules, CA
Favorite Book (fiction): Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Favorite Movie: The Lion King and Maria Full of Grace
Favorite Revision Tool: Control F
Favorite Quotation: “Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.” –John Green, from "Quotations (And Holden Hats)" [Vlog]
Hometown: Highlands Ranch, CO
Favorite Books: Burned by Ellen Hopkins, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen & The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Favorite Movies: Gran Torino & Remember the Titans
Favorite Revision Tool: Whiteboards and post-outlining.
Favorite Quotation: “It takes courage to repent, and more courage to change." -Rumi
Hometown: Antioch, CA (on paper); Brooklyn, NY (in my heart)
Favorite Books: Ghosts by H. Ibsen, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, How to Be Good by N. Hornby, Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson, The Log From the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck, Polysyallabic Spree by Nick Hornby, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, Timbuktu by P. Auster & The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
Favorite Revision Tool:
In Her Own Words:
Major(s): Theatre and English
Hometown: Vacaville, CA
Favorite Book (fiction): Different Seasons by Stephen King
Favorite Book (poetry): Nine Horses by Billy Collins
Favorite Movie: Young Frankenstein
Favorite Revision Tool: Reading out loud, a ballpoint pen, and a piece of scrap paper.
Favorite Quotation: "Try not to become a man of success but rather a man of value." -Albert Einstein
In Her Own Words: Despite being super-busy all of the time, I'm generally a pretty happy person. I get animated when something excites or interests me. Don't be surprised if I use sound effects as adjectives.
Hometown: Napa, CA
Favorite Book (fiction): Harry Potter Series, the stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & anything by John Green
Favorite Movie: Music and Lyrics & The Proposal
Favorite Revision Tool: Reading out loud and using highlighters!
Favorite Quotation: “If you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all." -John Green
Sara Vander Zwaag
Year: 2nd Year MFA Candidate
Hometown: Bryn Mawr, PA
Favorite Book (fiction): The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Favorite Books (poetry): The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers by Bhanu Kapil & Noon by Cole Swenson
Favorite Movie: American Beauty & Howl’s Moving Castle
Favorite Revision Tool: Free writing/free-association brainstorming
Favorite Quotation: “We will be stardust. Ancient tailings /of nothing. Elapsed breath. No, / we must first be ice. Be nails. Be teeth. /Be lightning.” –C.D. Wright, from “Re: Happiness, in pursuit thereof”
In Her Own Words: I love words, science, and art.
Minor: Italian Studies
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA
Favorite Books: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein, The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards & The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Favorite Movies: What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Annie Hall & Finding Neverland
Favorite Revision Tool: Reading and rereading and rereading and rereading.
Favorite Quotations: "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all." -Emily Dickinson
"Liberal and conservative have lost their meaning in America. I represent the distracted center." -Jon Stewart
In Her Own Words: Read everything. Read textbooks, posters, receipts, novels, flyers - read whatever you can get your hands on. The best writers are the best readers!