MA in LCS Student Profiles-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University

Arianna Garofalo

Arianna Garofalo

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies (Part-Time CMU Staff)

Email: ariannag@andrew.cmu.edu

Arianna earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida. At Rollins, she was a writing tutor and also worked as the managing editor for Specs, a multimedia journal integrating poetry, fiction, and critical essays. After Rollins, Arianna spent six months traveling across the East coast, volunteering, working on farms, and keeping a blog.
 
Arianna now works full time as the First Year Writing Program Coordinator in the English department while pursuing her MA in Literary and Cultural Studies as a part time student. Her long-term goals include teaching at the university level and continuing with her writing. When not fulfilling work and education obligations, Arianna enjoys traveling, cooking, hanging out with her husband and her bulldog, and renovating her house.

Alexander Hall

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: amhall@andrew.cmu.edu

Alex graduated cum laude from Colorado State University with a degree in English Education and a minor in History. For the next three years, he taught English, public speaking, and journalism at Weld Central High School in Keenesburg, Colorado. His management experience at Colorado State’s student radio station helped him revive Weld Central’s newspaper, which had not seen publication for over twenty years prior to the 2016-17 school year.
 
Alex is beyond excited to be a CMU grad student, and is devoting his time to improving his writing and knowledge of literature. He hopes to pursue a career in editing, copywriting, research, or anything else that involves writing. When he’s not playing with his dog Poipu or in the kitchen helping his wife make eclairs, he enjoys studying Portuguese, reading, running, and rooting for the Cubs and Penguins.

Catherine Heiner

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: catherih@andrew.cmu.edu

Catherine Heiner graduated from the University of Utah with Honors BA degrees in Writing and Rhetoric and Theatre Studies. She has worked as a journalist for The Daily Utah Chronicle, and as a dramaturg on a number of productions, including Self Defense, or death of some salesmen, American Idiot, and As You Like It. As a playwright, she has participated in the New Play Workshop in 2016 and 2017 with her plays Stuffing Season and Shots Fired. She plans to use her studies to explore how historical context can inform and influence theatrical productions.


Alexander Kisiel

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: akisiel@andrew.cmu.edu

I received my B.A. from SUNY Binghamton, where I majored in English Literature and Music, and I plan to study 20th century American literature while at CMU. In my spare time I enjoy playing piano, guitar, and knitting.

Sandra Kruse

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: skruse@andrew.cmu.edu


Jon McIntire

Jon McIntire

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies (Part-Time CMU Staff)

Email: mcintire@andrew.cmu.edu

Jon McIntire graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.A. in Social and Political History. He received a grant for his research into how mainstream superhero comic books have addressed homosexuality and portrayed LGBTQ characters in their pages since the 1980s. Jon’s interests include the historical and cultural significance of both passive and interactive forms of mass-media entertainment, the continuous evolution of popular culture and how it pervades into and manifests in various other facets of society and culture, the sociocultural perception of “high” and “low” art forms throughout history, and how all of the above have influenced or been influenced by both youth culture and minorities; specifically, the LGBTQ community. Jon works at CMU as a scanner operator/data entry clerk in Hunt Library.

Alison Meehan

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: ameehan@andrew.cmu.edu

Alison graduated from Pace University with a B.A. in English Literature and an M.S. in Publishing. She has written about sexuality, media, and rape culture for sites such as The Establishment and Project Consent as well as dabbling in podcasting. Alison's interests focus on transmedia and how storyworlds develop across platform both from the creator and with fan-contributed works. She is interested in how technology and narrative interact to satisfy consumer demands. In her free time she cooks, practices yoga, enjoys live theatre, and games.

Chloe Perry

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: chloep@andrew.cmu.edu

I completed my bachelor's degree in English at UC Berkeley, and since have served two years of national service in Chicago and New York City public schools through AmeriCorps. I then continued work in schools and education in New York City through a nonprofit for an additional two years.
 
My research includes present social justice issues, most specifically education inequality in the United States; ways that culture and education teach us about "bodies that matter," “otherness,” and which human lives are valued greater and why. Furthermore, I’m interested in exploring the ways that US nonprofit and volunteer culture interacts with education as an institution, the school to prison pipeline, income segregation, and power dynamics among different groups of individuals. This includes popular culture education, and education through artistic and activist movements. 

Adrianna Rodriguez-Diaz

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: adriannr@andrew.cmu.edu

I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University where I studied English Literature and minored in European History. My main areas of interests are the use of gender politics, sexuality and sexual exploration in Early Modern and Victorian texts. While at CMU I hope to further develop my critical thinking abilities and to further and better understand the texts that I work with, the authors that created them and the society that created those authors. After my master’s, I hope to be able to be able to earn a Doctorate Degree in English Literature.

Bliss Saleebyan

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: bsaleeby@andrew.cmu.edu

Bliss completed her English B.A. at UCLA shortly after her 19th birthday. She has since worked as a substitute teacher at 4 public schools in La Cañada, where she herself attended K-12. Bliss is continuing her studies at CMU through the M.A. in LCS program. Though her fascination with language first showed itself through the silly musings of a 4-year-old poet, it has ultimately led her to pursue literature in academia; upon completion of her M.A., Bliss hopes to teach composition and critical analysis. Apart from her continued passion for writing, she is an avid powerlifter, ruthless pun enthusiast, and self-proclaimed concert junkie. 

Christopher Smida

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: csmida@andrew.cmu.edu

In 2015, Christopher Smida graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Literature, receiving Highest Honors in the Major, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating, he worked and traveled while researching grad school programs that fit his academic interests. Excited to study in the English Department at CMU, Chris wants to develop himself as a writer, explore his interests in theory and criticism, and become better able to address economic inequality. In addition to being a student, Chris is a surfer, musician, avid reader, and animal lover.

Katie Stallsmith

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: mstallsm@andrew.cmu.edu

Katie Stallsmith earned her B.A. from New York University, where she majored in English and American Literature and minored in Creative Writing. After a brief foray into teaching preschool, she is eager to return to academia, to pursue a Master’s in Literary and Cultural Studies at CMU. In her research, she is particularly interested in examining the use of the first-person perspective within 20th- and 21st-Century American poetry and other cultural artifacts.

Kelsey Trimm

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: ktrimm@andrew.cmu.edu


Katherine Tucker

Katherine Tucker

M.A. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies (Part-Time CMU Staff)

Email: tuckerk@andrew.cmu.edu

Kate is a full-time staff member at CMU as an assistant to the department head in Mechanical Engineering. She has an M.S. in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University and a B.A. in English with concentrations in Literature and Creative Writing from Elon University. She is interested in learning more about Reader-Response theory and examining how the act of writing is inherently informed by the way the author expects the audience to understand their writing. She is also interested in diving deeper into Modernism and how politics and culture have shaped 20th (and 21st!) century American Literature. She enjoys yoga, painting, fantasy, science fiction, and watching The West Wing.