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EGO Officers for the 2013–2014 Academic Year

Sheila Gross, President
Sheila is a second-year PhD candidate in the Literature and Criticism program. Her areas of interest include British literature, medieval and 19th-century women’s literature, myth and fairytale, and popular culture studies. In addition to serving as the EGO president, Sheila is a graduate assistant to a professor in the English Department and works as a student archivist in the library’s Special Collections Department.

Contact Sheila at

Rachael Warmington, Vice President 
Rachael is a PhD candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She earned her BA in English from Montclair State University, MA in English from Seton Hall University, and her MFA at City College of New York, City University of New York. She presented her paper “For-Profit Universities:  The End of Public Higher Education?” at the EAPSU 2013 Fall Conference. She also presented her paper “The Physical and Psychological History of the Female African American Identity: A Literary Perspective” at the 2013 MELUS conference, and her paper “Ownership of the Flesh: Margery Kempe’s Freedom through Christ“ was presented at the 2013 IUP English Graduate Organization’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference. Rachael also presented her paper “Frankenpagan: The Assimilation of Christianity into the Saga of the People of Laxardal” at the Medieval and Renaissance Forum this past April. In addition, she presented another section of her research in progress, “Simulation in the Saga of the People of Laxardal”, at the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies. Rachael was a joint recipient of the 2013 Graduate English Programs in Literature and Criticism for Outstanding Service and Citizenship Award. She was honored to win second place in the Jimmy Stewart Poetry Competition held this past fall at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in correlation with the Jimmy Stewart Museum. Rachael is also an editor for IUP’s journal Crimson Quill.

Contact Rachael at

Jaron Fox, Secretary
Jaron is entering into his final semester of the master’s program in Literature and Criticism. His academic interests include speculative fiction, labor and class studies, Marxist theory, science fiction, post-colonial theory, eco criticism, and creative writing studies.

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Lauren Shoemaker, Historian
Lauren is in her second year of the PhD program in Literature and Criticism Historian for EGO. Her interests are reproductive politics and race as they intersect in ecocritical, queer, and postcolonial economic approaches. She studies 20th- and 21st-century literature, mostly from the U.S. and India. She is interested in service learning programs in the classroom both as a community project to strengthen town to gown relationships and as a personal commitment to social justice. She also loves science fiction!

Contact Lauren at

Matthew Stumpf, Webmaster/Media Coordinator
Matthew received his bachelor’s degree in English Literature from California University of Pennsylvania before coming to IUP to pursue a master’s degree in Literature and Criticism. Matthew’s scholarly areas of interest include, but are not limited to, Southern American literature, literary theory, and post-modernism. After the completion of his master’s degree, he plans to take a little time for himself before pursuing his PhD in literary criticism.

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Jennifer Matos Ayala, Social Event Coordinator and Fundraising Chair
Jennifer is in her third year of the Literature and Criticism doctoral program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is a part-time faculty member for Westmoreland County Community College. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she completed a master’s degree in English Education from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez while working as an English instructor and Writing Center tutor. Primarily focusing on African American women writers, she has studied the use of love as a strategy for liberation, the female image, the mother figure in certain texts, and the importance of culturally-relevant texts for Hispanic students, among others. Her proposed topic for her dissertation will be focused on the representation of the body and sexuality of women of color in literature and memoirs.

Contact Jennifer at

Samantha Audette, Workshop Coordinator
Samantha is originally from Lakeland, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Southeastern University. She did not come north until she decided to attend graduate school. Samantha received her master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Toledo, where she also was a graduate instructor in English Composition I and II. She is now in her last semester of coursework for her PhD in Literature and Criticism. She is currently a graduate assistant. Her areas of interest are broad and varying, but she primarily focuses on feminist theory, women's literature, magical realism, and pop culture.

Contact Samantha at

Asmaa Alshehri, Public Relations Officer
Asmaa is a second-year master’s student in the Literature and Criticism program. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia. Her interests include 20-century American literature, multi-ethnic literature, and women’s literature and criticism. 

Contact Asmaa at

Matthew Robert Loudon, Treasurer
Contact Matthew at

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