Spotlight on the WA Interns!
Who are the Writing Arts interns? They are students, writers, creators, people who inspire the best in themselves and others. Take a moment to meet this semester’s interns!
The newest additions to the Writing Arts department team are Tara Grier and Marissa Stanko. Both of them began their Writing Arts journey in the Fall 2019 semester.
Tara Grier is a freshman hailing from Newark, Delaware. She has been in love with writing her whole life, and is the author of a book she says is part of a fantasy series she envisions completing. Tara and Writing Arts are a perfect match: “Rowan’s Writing Arts program was so different compared to other programs I’d seen, and that’s why I decided to come here.”
She wants to experiment with shorter prose and poetry in the time she is not busy with various clubs on campus--Tara is an involved member of Avant, the Writing Arts Club, and the Whit. Although she has not yet decided her specialization, Tara is interested in putting her editing and leadership experience to use in the Publishing and Writing for the Public focus.
Tara’s passion for getting involved led her to join the department. During her time in the Writing Arts Learning Community, Tara learned about and pursued the opportunity to become a Writing Arts intern. She says she is “most looking forward to strengthening my skill as a writer, but also learning new skills I do not have experience in yet such as video editing, interviewing, and helping with the podcast!”
Tara has a favorite quote that reflects her affinity for writing: “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” - Philip Pullman
Marissa Stanko transferred to Rowan Writing Arts from Salem Community College. She started as a junior, and she is enjoying all of the new techniques she is learning at Rowan. “This semester my classes have really focused on shorter pieces, which I love,” she says. “I’m working on a longer piece on my own as well. Having a space to write is really valuable to me.”
Marissa discovered Writing Arts in 2017. After her first semester, Marissa changed her major from Biology/Chemistry to Liberal Arts in order to take as many writing classes as she could. She cites friend, mentor, and Writing Arts alumna Jorie Rao as her inspiration for applying to Rowan.
Her decision to become an intern was instant. After seeing a post on Instagram asking for applicants, Marissa interviewed and joined the team a week later. She is thrilled to learn new digital skills during her internship that will be relevant in her desired field of higher education. Marissa values her community and is a member of her local Ladies’ Auxiliary, in addition to volunteering at her community college.
Marissa loves to write romance, comedy, contemporary fiction--whatever strikes her fancy. Although fiction and poetry are her preferred formats, she is taking a class in creative nonfiction to explore other kinds of writing. Her favorite writing quote is “A story must be told or there’ll be no story, yet it is the untold stories that are most moving”, by J.R.R. Tolkien, whom she names as her favorite author and “the master or fantasy”.
Returning to the Writing Arts team this semester are Matt Berrian and Connor Buckmaster.
Matt Berrian, a sophomore in the Creative Writing specialization, chose Rowan Writing Arts for its uniqueness--he says “Writing Arts was actually the reason why I committed to Rowan.” He moved from the North-Central region of New Jersey to pursue writing in all of its formats.
Matt is a member of Rowan’s Avant Literary Magazine and Prism an organization dedicated to diversity, something Matt seeks in his studies and appreciates about Rowan. Currently, Matt is exploring flash-fiction and poetry. According to him, “there’s something so alluring [to me] about art that’s concise but still packs a punch.”
He became an intern despite some apprehension. His internship has helped him overcome stress and anxiety in workplace settings, which augments his writing career as well. Matt is excited to be working on an upcoming article covering mental health in creative minds for the Writer’s Insider blog, and a Marvel pop-culture essay in one of his classes.
Matt’s favorite writing quote: “Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”― Neil Gaiman
Connor, from Washington Township, is a veteran in the Writing Arts department; this is his second semester serving as the head intern. He is exploring nonfiction in a graduate class, an opportunity available to him as part of the 4+1 Program, where he can take undergraduate and graduate courses simultaneously to complete his degree faster. He also writes poetry when he feels inspired.
As a new member of Avant and a tutor in the Writing Center, Connor is soaking in all the writing Rowan has to offer. For him, this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and the reason he chose Writing Arts: “I’ve had a passion for creativity and writing all my life, so deciding to major in Writing Arts was an easy decision. I wanted to challenge myself, to improve my craft, and to meet other students passionate about writing. I’ve learned so much about myself through the program.”
In tandem with his current writing endeavors is his favorite quote: “If it is art, it is not for all, and if it is for all, it is not art.” — Arnold Schoenberg
Together, these four individuals suggest a promising future for the Writing Arts department. Read this blog and check out the RU Writing podcast on Spotify to keep up with their work!
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