Where are they Now?

Jennifer Bouchard is the mother of a two-year-old and teaches literature and writing at Enfield High School in Enfield, Connecticut. Her writing work continues with published essays, "At Peace in the Garden," in the Christian Science Monitor and "My Zen Garden" and "Searching for Dali, but Not  Really" both featured in the anthology Press Pause Moments: Essays about Life Transitions by Women Writers, edited by fellow MFA graduate Anne Witkavitch. 

Fletcher Dean is Director of Executive Communications and Chief Speechwriter for the CEO at The Dow Chemical Company. He joined Dow in 2007 after working in a similar position at Eastman Chemical Company. He was honored by the Cicero Speechwriting Awards with two gold medals plus the Grand Prize, recognizing the best speech of 2008. He also was awarded a third place award in the inaugural Theodore. C. Sorenson Speechwriting Awards for 2008. He's currently working on a book on leadership communication and lives in Midland, Michigan with his wife, Jane, and three kids.

Kim Dorfman is currently teaching in the English Dept. at CCSU in a temporary full-time appointment.  She is teaching two writing classes and two sections of World Lit from 1650--present.  She believes that without having learned to meet the demands of John Briggs's course, she'd not have survived this very demanding semester.  Last fall, she taught two courses at Tunxis and two at CCSU, in addition to appearing in a very small role in Aaliyah Miller's short film, After The Headlines.  She is looking forward to the summer which will bring a little more free time to finish the novel version of her thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the MFA degree. She is hell-bent on completing it THIS YEAR!!!!!!! Then, she will submit it for publication, institute strategies that will place it on the bestseller list, make millions of dollars and whip through all the other screenplay, YA, non-fiction projects, and novels she has got planned, back-burnered and ready to go!

Natalia Fiore, an MFA graduate from the first cohort, has been working as a Writing Center Tutor and Academic Tech at Hillsborough Community College in Brandon, Florida, from the fall of 2007 to the present.  On April 17th, 2009, she delivered a well-received presentation on "The Value and Importance of the Writing Center Experience to Become a Better Teacher" at the Florida Regional Writing Center Conference at the University of South Florida in Tampa.  Natalia also has served as a Writing Adjunct on the faculty of Nova Southeastern University Tampa campus since January of 2008.  During her time at Nova, she has taught Basic Writing, College Writing, and Advanced College Writing classes in which she uses her knowledge of film and music to inspire her students to appreciate writing as a transcendent form of expression.  This summer, Natalia will attend the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, to spend time developing two of her short stories for publication. Natalia continues her close writing relationship with her mentors, Don Snyder and Jack Dennis, who guided her through her thesis screenplay, Sonata, which she is hoping to adapt into a TV movie.  She aspires to write and publish a novel and to continue her teaching of college writing. 

Lauren Gallo, a 2013 alum, is a marketing consultant in Silicon Valley currently working in content marketing for clients like eBay, and has two fictional stories so far published through DarkFuse and Thirteen O'Clock Press. She also writes pop culture reviews for the website Fandom Post and owns a blog, Roaming Holiday, focused on travel and lifestyle.

Kirstin Genthner, an MFA graduate from the first cohort, has been very busy procrastinating on sending her novel to an agent. It's so much more pleasant to think one might not get rejected than to get that dreaded email or letter. Meanwhile, she has managed to get an essay published in Miranda Literary Magazine and an article in Michigan in Touch; she has also become copy editor for Miranda Literary Magazine and completed another novel while inebriated by the heady camaraderie of November's National Novel Writing Month.  Finally, she adds to her blog--as inspiration illuminates her cranial bulb--which can be found at wrinkledpage.blogspot.com.

Gwen Jones ‘09, is mentoring in the MFA program, and is an adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Mercer County Community College, in West Windsor, NJ.  Writing as Trudy Doyle, she is the author of four books for Ravenous Romance, one of which, The Lady’s Choice, was featured on the Home Shopping Network’s (HSN) “Escape with Romance” promotion. Writing women’s fiction under her own name, her fabulousness is now enduring the submission process, as she has finally found representation by a literary agent who enthusiastically recognizes her true genius. Experience it for yourself at her blog: trudydoyle.wordpress.com

Ron Samul is an Instructor and Writing Specialist at Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut.  He is the publisher of the international quarterly Miranda Literary Magazine and the director of Skinny Toe Press. He is a writing mentor at WCSU MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. Ron has written articles, book reviews, and fiction for Library Journal, Inquiring News, SNReview and other electronic journals. He continues to write fiction and works on an adventure dive boat in the summer.

Don Stitt: In August 2010, Don premiered a comedy, A Crisis of Biblical Proportions, at the Student Center Theatre on campus. A new production of his family musical, A Kid's Summer Night's Dream, is being prepared in Minnesota.  He recently finished a small comic role in Peace, Love and Misunderstanding, which stars Jane Fonda and is directed by Academy Award winner Bruce Beresford.  His episode of HBO's Boardwalk Empire was aired November 14th, 2010. Don is an adjunct lecturer at WCSU in the Writing Department, "so I get to see my wife more often," he says.  She is the scenic design professor in the theater department.   

Brian Thiem's MFA thesis was approved December 2013. He signed with a literary agent a month later. In July 2014, Brian signed a contract with Crooked Lane Books for a three-book series, the first of which was a revised version of his thesis. The first novel, Red Line, was published in 2015, the second, Thrill Kill, in 2016, and the third novel, Shallow Grave, is scheduled for release in July 2017. Brian is currently working on a fourth novel in the series, and his agent is negotiating a new contract with the publisher. Brian moved to Hilton Head, SC, in the summer of 2016, and is a Writing Mentor in the MFA Program at WCSU    

Rachel Wofford, another graduate from the first cohort, is teaching English at TC Roberson High School in Asheville, North Carolina, and loving it, but considering a change to the alternative high school. After having been informed by her agent that memoirs only sell if you're already famous, she is currently working on two fiction books.  One is about an extended family who must deal the death of a sixteen year old.  In Rachel's words, "...It gets kind of racy and trashy.  I like it."  The other is about three strong and, to varying degrees, insane women who all love the same child; the birth mother, another family member, and the paternal grandmother who is a voodoo witch from Jamaica.  She reports that she has not given up on the memoir!

Colleen Wright is the editor of Literacy Lines and Hope Stone, organizational newsletters for Literacy Volunteers and Bridgeport Youth Lacrosse. Her articles have been published in magazines including AAA’s Journeys, Byline, Kansas City Parent and Baltimore’s Child. She teaches English as a Second Language, and writes about breaking into the national magazine market on her blog, awritingcareer.blogspot.com

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