2014 Fall Symposium Participants

Keynote Speaker:

Prof. ButtsTracy Butts received her doctorate in English from the University of Georgia (2001). She teaches courses in African American, American, and multicultural literature.


Janette S. Allen is a Chico native, the mother of two daughters, the wife of a man with a beard, the owner of two black labs and a graduate student at Chico State. Her work asks questions concerning the historically under-represented in American literature and seeks to reinstate the voice of ignored and intentionally disregarded writers.

Danielle Astengo is pursuing an M.A. in English Literature and a single-subject teaching credential in English. Her research efforts are currently focused on exploring teaching methods and digital tools that would allow the study of literature to be a more creative, engaging, and accessible endeavor for contemporary students.

Esther Auerbach has been attending Chico State for a year and a half, working on the requirements for the English Master's program which she hopes to start in the spring of 2015. Her focus is non-fiction Creative Writing.

Clifford Benjamin is a former Chico State student, currently in exile in Louisiana, studying Rhetoric at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The educational sparks fostered at Chico State makes Clifford feel compelled to return home to present his work, as the roots stem from Chico.

Tomie Anne Bitton is a graduate student studying English with an emphasis in Creative Writing at CSU, Chico. She is currently teaching creative writing while working on a number of personal essays to be included in a memoir focusing on women and motherhood. Her personal essay, "Musical Beds," was recently included in Manzanita, the CSU English literary journal. The English department has awarded her the Creative Writing and Diversity awards and the Jean Nedrow Kutz Scholarship. She plans to pursue an MFA or Ph. D. in creative writing after graduating from CSU, Chico. When she is not writing, reading, studying or teaching she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

Daria Donoghue Booth is in the second semester of her graduate program in creative writing and She is the advancement director in the college of Humanities and Fine Arts. She lives in Paradise with her husband Alan and daughter Hannah.

Sylvia Bowersox first went to Iraq in 2003 as a US Army broadcast journalist. She was stationed in Mosul and Baghdad, but reported from Coalition outposts around the country. A year in Iraq wasn’t enough, so she returned to Baghdad as a civilian, spending almost two years working in the US Embassy as a State Department press officer. Sylvia received her BA in English literature from San Francisco State University, and is currently completing her MA in creative writing at California State University, Chico, where she lives with her husband Jon, her son Holden, and Timothy, her service dog.

Eric Dunk was born and raised in Santa Rosa, CA. He received a BA in English Literature and Philosophy at CSU, Chico. He is currently working towards his Masters in Creative Writing at CSU, Chico. He enjoys playing basketball, reading in the morning, and a big breakfast with strong coffee. He recently got hired to referee college basketball, a person achievement.

Stephanie Evans is a native of Orland, CA. She is attending Chico State as a graduate student studying creative writing and teaching. Stephanie focuses on writing creative non-fiction stories that reflect struggles of being chronically ill as well as poor during her collegiate career.

Dani Fernandez is in her third semester of the graduate program and is pursing a Masters with an emphasis in composition. She is a first-time teacher at Chico State this semester and is applying to PhD programs for the Fall 2015.

Tim Hayes is a second semester graduate student focusing on creative writing. He has had a novel published and has appeared in Seven-Eighths Underwater, the literary magazine published by Chico High School, which has won the Columbia University Gold Medal Award. He is currently teaching academic writing, and plans to teach creative writing during his time in the program.

Alexandra N. Moreno has been writing since the age of eleven when she discovered the written word. She is a junior at Chico State University and is pursuing a career in creative writing as both author and teacher. She is the current president of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. Alexandra recently completed her first novel length manuscript which she is slowly but surely dragging through the revision process. She draws her inspiration from Tim O'Brien, Laurie Halse Anderson, and J. K. Rowling.

Athena Murphy is a graduate student focusing on American Literature with an emphasis on humor studies. After completing her MA she is going to pursue a single subject teaching credential so she can warp the minds of tomorrow’s youth.

Jill J. North is pursuing a MA in Creative Writing at CSU, Chico. She received her BA in Literature from CSU, Chico in 2014. She resides in the small town of Cottonwood, California where she owns a boarding and training facility for dogs. She also helps run her family’s small ranch raising grass-fed cattle. When she is not writing Jill can be found enjoying nature with her girlfriend and their crazy canines.

Vincent Portillo is a graduate student in the Department of English, focusing on Language and Literacy. In addition, Vincent is a supervising mentor for the First Year Experience Office’s U Course Program where he also contributes to the ongoing design of the program. At the invitation of Dr. Michael Perelman, Vincent is also researching and co-authoring a book manuscript on the relationships between business, war, and economics tentatively titled: The Disastrous Consequences of Unchecked Power: An Exploratory Political Economy of War, the Economy, and Economic Ideology.

Marty Salgado is a graduate student in the English department at CSU, Chico. His focus is in creative writing and is currently studying literary nonfiction writing. Marty is currently working on his masters project which will be a recollection of his childhood growing up in Southern California as a Mexican-American. Marty Salgado is currently teaching English as a T.A. in the CSU, Chico English department. You can read one of Marty's flash nonfiction stories has been published in Watershed Review, Chico State's literary journal. Marty wishes to thank his family as well as Dr. Rob Davidson and Dr. Jeanne Clark.

Nathan Sandoval is in his first semester in the graduate program. His emphasis is Rhetoric and Composition within the Language and Literacy program. He has a strong background in Philosophy and technical writing. Writing and teaching has given him several opportunities, and he wishes to help others utilize language for their own goals and aspirations.

Ashley Schwieger will receive her BA in the Spring of 2015. After graduating she plans to attend a secondary teaching credential program. She hopes to continue writing about women in science fiction.

Derek Swain is currently an English Graduate Student with an emphasis in Language and Literacy. He's worked at the University as an Instructor and mentor for Academic Writing, and is writing a thesis exploring the utility of games and play in academic contexts.

Molly Sullivan is currently finishing an honors thesis project focused on the language of madness in the eighteenth-century British novel. She will graduate in December and will be moving to Seattle at the end of the semester. She intends to pursue her graduate studies in the United Kingdom next year.

Charles Bradford Walker is a third year graduate student at CSU, Chico in the English program with an emphasis in creative writing.  He is currently teaching academic  writing while working toward his M.A. Degree.  While his thesis project will be based in fictional short story, he writes poetry and nonfiction as well.  He has lived in many places across this country, but considers Northern California his home.  Much of his writing is based in this knowledge.

Jeremy Wallace is an English graduate student here at California State University, Chico and a self-made dollaraire. He is currently researching ways to improve and build upon the solid foundation that literary scholars have provided in the way of teaching and add a new level of engagement and excitement to the 21st century classroom.

Kris Wheat is currently finishing her Master’s Degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. Her main focus is poetry, and is expected to graduate this December. She will be presenting with a panel of Creative Writers.