Contributor Bios

Antoinette Bridgers-Smith, a citizen of the Comanche Nation, earned her Bachelor’s degree in English at Oklahoma State University and a Master’s degree in Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma, in which she focused on the impact of positive representation for Native American youth with the use of the graphic novel Super Indian. She is currently an Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of Oklahoma for the First-Year-Composition program. She has taught for the program since 2017 beginning as an adjunct instructor; during this time, she earned the department’s Adjunct Teaching Award. As a part of the program, she has worked to address the intersection of race and education by co-leading a workshop discussing microaggressions in the classroom. Outside of her position in First-Year-Composition, she has created and led, with the support of OU’s Native American Studies department, a series of community-based workshops with the purpose of using writing as a tool to explore the trauma of sexual assault. Additionally, she has had her poetry published in the literary magazine Red Ink. Recognizing and studying the impact that writing can have has cultivated a love for teaching and writing, she strives to merge the two in her classroom to help students find their voice.

Derek Bartholomew is a former MA student of the University of Oklahoma English Department.

Born and raised in Norman Oklahoma, Davina Caddell graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in literature and an MA in Native American Studies. While earning her degrees she served as president of the Sigma Tau Delta honor society and was an intern with the Sequoyah National Research Center, the Chickasaw Nation’s family and cultural department, and the Choctaw Nation’s policy department. She also served as a member of the first constitutional committee for the University of Oklahoma Indigenous Graduate Student Alliance. She is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation. Currently she lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she teaches high school history at Arizona Agri-science and Equine Center early college high school. 

Brian Daffron is a doctoral student in English at the University of Oklahoma, specializing in Native American literature. His previous studies include a B.A. and M.A. in English from Arkansas State University, and a professional writing master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma. His publications include Mid-America Folklore, Tribal College Journal, Indian Country Today, Native American Times, OKC Business, and American Indian Art. Daffron also co-authored two articles with Juanita Pahdopony for the anthology When Dream Bear Sings: Native Literatures of the Southern Plains. His pending publications include two entries in the Encyclopedia of Native American Literature and a poem in the upcoming anthology Level Land: Poems for and about the I-35 Corridor. His additional academic interests include studying the Kiowa language. His wife, Maya Torralba, and their four children are of the Kiowa, Wichita, and Comanche nations and live in Norman, Oklahoma.  

Taylor Ellis is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work at the University of Oklahoma and is a former MA student in the University of Oklahoma English Department.

Matt Kliewer received his MA in English at the University of Oklahoma and is currently a Ph,D. student specializing in Native American Literature at the University of Georgia.

Haeyoung Lee received his MA in English at the University of Oklahoma.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Molly McAmis is a student at the University of Oklahoma. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Language Arts Education. She aspires to teach at a local high school, while keeping higher education in mind for later in life. She has been on both the President’s honor roll three semesters in a row, and she has been on the Dean’s honor roll every single semester since entering college. She is passionate about her future as an educator. She is determined to learn and grow as much as she can through her various coursework and studies before becoming a full-time educator.  

Elisabeth Murphy is a Ph.D. student at the University of Oklahoma, studying literature and culture in the English department. She received her B.A. in English from Bridgewater College in May of 2018 and her M.A. in English from Radford University in May of 2020. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Oklahoma, and in her role as an instructor, she pushes students to consider viewpoints beyond their own. Her primary research focus is on British women writers of the late Romantic and early Victorian periods. Elisabeth’s master’s thesis Quiet Resistance in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel: An Examination of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre dissects two prominent novels of the Romantic and Victorian periods, showcasing how each author provided a critique of the patriarchal society she was living in. While Elisabeth’s focus is on 19th Century British literature, she greatly enjoys studying Native American rhetorics, literature and culture.

Allison Nepomnick received her MA in English at the University of Oklahoma.

Born and Raised in Oklahoma, Jessica Nichols-Ruedy is 5th generation Oklahoman and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. It was at the University of Oklahoma that Jessica received her B.A. in English Writing and M.A. in Composition, Rhetoric and Literacy. During her time as a graduate student, Jessica, who identifies as a non-Native ally, developed an interest in indigenous rhetoric. Jessica focused specifically on Native activism during the Standing Rock protests of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Additionally, Jessica spent time researching how Native peoples in the U.S. have enacted what Mohawk scholar, Audra Simpson, deemed a “politics of refusal” to complicate and shape federal and state tribal policy. Her research led her to notice the ever-constant conversation between Native voices and the U.S. federal government. This realization inspired Jessica to apply to law school in the hopes of delving deeper into the inescapable relationship between Native sovereignty and the U.S. government. Since attending OU Law, Jessica has furthered her knowledge by taking Federal Indian Law and Peacemaking. Jessica has plans to graduate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in the spring of 2022 and hopes to further explore and participate in the discourse between American Indian Tribal Nations and the U.S. government.

Brenna O’Hara is an MA in English at the University of Oklahoma,

Kelli Pyron-Alvarez is an assistant teaching professor at the University of Oklahoma and earned a BA in English from UNT (2006), a MA in Native American Studies from OU (2014), and a MA in English from OU (2017). Her past work focuses primarily on race, identity and representation in film, television, and literature, as well as Irish history and literature with a large focus on the IRA and rebellions. Kelli also works with the Foundation for Liberating Minds, a non-profit organization focused on decolonial and anti-racist leadership and education. Her work with FLM focuses on LGBTQ+ education and support, anti-racist readings & discussions, and she will soon begin a lecture series for white allies and accomplices to better understand critical race theory and discussions about white supremacy and systemic racism. Kelli is currently a doctoral student in Education Studies.  

Tatiana Rosillo is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s in Literary studies with a focus on Indigenous horror literature and film from the University of Oklahoma. Raised primarily in Oklahoma, she graduated from OU with a Bachelor’s degree in literature with a minor in film studies. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a library technical assistant and was apart of efforts to increase diversity amongst the Rose State College library collection. Currently working as a graduate teaching assistant, Rosillo hopes to utilize the decolonial methodologies learned from her time at the University of Oklahoma both in her teaching and scholarship throughout her career. She intends on later pursuing a doctoral degree with a focus on identity and monstrosity in the horror genre of literature and film. Her work primarily focuses on the intersections between race, gender, and sexuality within the action, fantasy, and horror genres of film and literature.

Born and raised in Choctaw, Oklahoma, Lori Roy is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Oklahoma. She is pursuing a major degree in English Writing and a minor degree in Dance History. She has been classically trained in dance for over a decade and has been a lover of the arts for her entire life. She will study law after the completion of her bachelor’s degree and plans to use her qualifications to help victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Stephanie Salyer is a PhD student studying Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. She was raised in parts of Ohio, Missouri, and the Philippines. Salyer’s area of research emphasis is Media Arts, focusing on films and editing. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Film from the University of Central Arkansas and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Southeast Missouri State University. Her master’s thesis was a period piece film, set in the 1950s, about the lives of three teenage boys in a small town. Salyer has had short films screened in over 30 film festivals and has done editing work for Arkansas PBS. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on film viewers and their perceptions of editing. In the future, Salyer plans to continue working in film production, completing research studies in film editing, and university teaching. 

Kerry Scroggie is currently pursuing a B.A. in English at the University of Oklahoma. Her previous studies include an M.A. in Women’s Studies with a graduate certificate in LGBTQ+ Studies from San Diego State University and a B.A. in Sociology from Oklahoma State University. Her Master’s thesis investigated how genetic genealogy media productions reflect problematic methods of historical memory in the U.S. and perpetuate the erasure of marginalized communities’ histories and kinship bonds. As a graduate student, she co-published a book review of Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices in the Journal of Homosexuality and completed a service-learning internship with Lambda Archives of San Diego, an organization that works towards the preservation of LGBTQ+ history. Currently, she works as an editorial intern with World Literature Today and a writing consultant with the University of Oklahoma’s Writing Center.

Corbin Shaffer received his bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Writing from the University of Oklahoma in July 2023. During his time at Broken Arrow High School, he focused on technical writing and design, even being part of a contest to create new exhibits for Discovery Labs. He would eventually enroll at OU where he did private poetry readings and peer reviews for other students. He also was on the Dean’s Honor Roll and the recipient of the Patty and Roger Clapp Scholarship. Currently teaching overseas, he still writes short stories on occasion, with an emphasis on horror and literary fiction. His work investigates death, tragedy, and artistic legacy. His stories such as “It’s a Riot!” and “Apollo, Don’t Break My Heart” can be viewed in publications such as the Tulsa Review and Aster Review. In his spare time, he can be found in the back of your nearest record store or local cinema.

Stevi Smith is a junior at the University of Oklahoma pursuing an English writing degree with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She has a short story published in the Tulsa Review entitled “Daisies,” which won second place in the Tulsa Review writing contest (2021). She won the Lydia Dorothea Haag Award in spring 2022 for superior creative writing as a newly enrolled English major. She has been interning with the literary magazine World Literature Today since September of 2022 and has helped to edit interviews and create content for both the blog and the magazine. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in novel editing. Stevi is passionate about women’s rights; she often writes about her own experiences as a woman dealing with medical professionals with the hope of calling attention to the lack of focus on women’s health. She grew up in Collinsville, Oklahoma, and hopes to work for a major publishing company upon receiving her bachelor’s degree.

Kristen Wheaton is a doctoral student in English at the University of Oklahoma, specializing in rhetoric and composition.

Noah Weller (He/Him/His) is a junior at the University of Oklahoma aiming for a degree in English Literature. His academic interests include historical fiction, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy novels, with his favorite series being the A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. His goal is to become an English teacher at the High School, with the goal in mind to move up to teaching 12th grade specifically. Noah was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, the youngest of three, and spent his high school career at Glenpool High School, located in a growing town on the outskirts of Tulsa, Ok. He started at the University of Oklahoma in the spring of 2020, where he would spend his first few semesters almost entirely online due to COVID-19. Some hobbies/interests that he has outside of school include reading, playing video games, watching TV and film, and writing his first short story. He currently works as a student worker at the Bizzell library for the Interlibrary-Loan service.

Aaron Whitestar is an MA student in English at the University of Oklahoma.

Jacob Witt is a second year M.A. English graduate student at the University of Oklahoma. His academic interests include Native American and African-American/Black American literature, as well as World Folklores, Mythologies, and Traditional Beliefs. He spent his formative years in the pine trees of East Texas, graduating from small-town high school, New Diana. Years later, he received his Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Teaching English cum laude from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. During his undergraduate career, he served as Treasurer of the Phi Iota chapter of English honor society Sigma Tau Delta. He has worked as editor for multiple articles appearing in online blog RawBrillianceMedia.com including “The Sneaker Culture Doesn’t Love Me” and “Larry June and Your New Year’s Resolutions,” both authored by Alfred Peterson. In his spare time, he enjoys reading Young Adult and New Adult fiction novels and attempting to find ways to work with those in his academic interests. He also enjoys travelling to other countries and spending time with his family and friends. He is striving towards a career in teaching at the collegiate university level.  

Jordan P. Woodward (she/her/hers) is a PhD student at The Ohio State University in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy in the English Department. The purpose of Jordan’s work is to understand the formation of relationships between people, identity, and place, and rhetorically listen to how these relationships are expressed in oral, written, digital, and embodied ways. Her research explores representations and experiences of environmental in/justice and ways diverse stakeholders communicate and negotiate place-based interests through vernacular and credentialed expertise. She is also interested in coalition building, how it happens, its successes and its challenges, around environmental and place-based issues.

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