Meet the New GA’s (Part 1)

IMPORTANT REMINDER: TODAY, September 18th, is the last day to drop Fall quarter classes without penalty. If you wish to drop a class, do so on Campus Connect before midnight.

Also: current students, check your email for important information about Partial Tuition Scholarships! Applications for PTS awards are due on Wednesday, September 26th.


And now, it is my pleasure to introduce all of you to three of the English Department’s new Graduate Assistants. We wish them all welcome and congratulations!

Mark R. Brand

Program & year: M.A. in Writing & Publishing, graduating in May 2013.

GA Role: UCWbL Assistant Coordinator for Writing Groups

Bio: Mark is the short fiction editor of Silverthought Press, producer and host of “Breakfast With the Author,” and his books include The Damnation of Memory (2011), Life After Sleep (2011), Thank You, Death Robot (2009), and Red Ivy Afternoon (2006). He was recently highlighted in a story by CBS Chicago on five indie authors and publishers to watch, and he graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2001 with a B.A. in Biology and Sociology. He lives in Evanston with his wife and son.

Favorite Genre & Books: I have a particular love for literary speculative fiction by writers like Margaret Atwood, Gary Shteyngart, Neal Stephenson, and older crossovers like Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and Yevgeny Zamyatin. My favorite book is one of the very earliest of these, Jack London’s brilliant and under-read The Iron Heel.

Writer who inspires Mark: I’m a big fan of Chicago writer Ben Tanzer, whose writing feels particularly “alive” to me in a way I can’t yet fully articulate. He also writes some very haltingly honest and terrific things about fatherhood that I couldn’t imagine being more timely.

Book which Mark didn’t expect to enjoy but ended up falling in love with: Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead.

Emily Todd

Program & year: First year in the M. A. in English

GA Role: GA for Undergraduate English Program, The Underground Editor

Bio: Emily graduated in 2010 from John Carroll University, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education. From 2010-2012, Emily served as a high school counselor and English faculty (Fall ’11) at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, IL. Also at the academy, Emily served for one year as the drama coach directing plays such as Rumors, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Our Town. While balancing her time as graduate assistant and full-time student, Emily is serving as a substitute teacher for the Archdiocese of Chicago at several local schools. In her free time, she loves visiting the Century Landmark Theatre for independent films, surfing the net for new and upcoming music artists, running to de-stress, and playing piano.

Favorite Books: Disgrace, The Great Gatsby, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Long Day’s Journey into Night

Favorite Authors: Tennessee Williams, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, Flannery O’Connor , Toni Morrison

Authors Emily Hasn’t Read Yet, but Wants to: William Faulkner, Vladimir Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Carson McCullers

Ryan Burdock

Program & year: First year in the M.A. in English

GA Role: Ryan’s primary role is within the UCWbL at both the Lincoln Park and Loop Campuses, with half of his time there as a Peer Writing Tutor, and the other half comprising a Research Team Leader position.

Favorite Era and Writers to Study: I love to read and write papers on American Literature from the latter half of the 20th Century, and as a result my favorite authors are E.L. Doctorow, Thomas Pynchon and Bret Easton Ellis.


If you see Mark, Emily, and Ryan around make sure to say hello! But wait, there are two more new GA’s… so make sure you keep checking in with Ex Libris for Part 2 of  “Meet the New GA’s” as well as the usual updates on all things MAE and MAWP.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s