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Alumni Advisory Board

Zach Bloom

Zachary Bloom graduated in 2011 with an English major, a letter of specialization in creative writing, a Spanish minor, and a senior thesis on Paradise Lost that he still occasionally brings up at cocktail parties. After college, he worked as a research assistant and paralegal in Boston until 2014, when he moved to New York to pursue a Master of Urban Planning degree at Hunter College. He currently works as a project manager at the Port Authority of NY & NJ, a bistate agency that operates much of the critical transportation infrastructure within the New York metro area."

Laura Stock Craven

Laura Craven earned her BA in English in 1998.  An attorney in the Consumer Financial Services Litigation Practice for the firm Goodwin Proctor, she defends financial institutions in state and federal consumer lending litigation. Ms. Craven has also defended companies and individuals in securities class action lawsuits, shareholder derivative litigation and a variety of other complex business litigation matters. She has also worked on both internal and governmental investigations concerning federal securities laws, accounting issues, and health care fraud.  Ms. Craven was recognized as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer “Rising Star” by Law & Politics and Boston Magazine from 2007-2010.

Sean Moore

Sean Moore received his B.A. with a double major in English and History in 1991.  He received his Ph.D. from Duke University in in 2003 and accepted a tenure-track job as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) that same year.  In 2010, Moore published his first book, Swift, the Book, and the Irish Financial Revolution: Satire and Sovereignty in Colonial Ireland, with Johns Hopkins University Press, and received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.  More recently, Dr. Moore has served as the Director of the UNH Honors Program and has received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Newport Mansions.

Vinh Nguyen

Vinh, a recent grad, was a double major in English and Math.  He works currently as a statistical programmer and researcher at MDRC, a social policy research organization, evaluating programs aimed at helping low-income families and children. As an undergraduate, he served as a member of the Student Advisory Board for the English department and worked as a peer tutor at the Writing Center.  He has also done community outreach and was involved in various student organizations on campus while at UMass.

Bruce Penniman

Bruce M. Penniman (B.A. 1971, M.A. 1974, Ed.D. 1985) is the site director of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, a local site of the National Writing Project.  Before this he taught English for 36 years at Amherst Regional High School, where he also held the positions of department chair and instructional director. In 1999, he was named Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. Author of Building the English Classroom: Foundations, Support, Success (NCTE, 2009), Dr. Penniman is also past president of the New England Association of Teachers of English, and has also edited NEATE's journal, The Leaflet, and the NCTE Assembly on American Literature newsletter.

Cathy Schlund-Vials

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, who received her doctorate from UMass in 2006, is Professor of English and Asian/Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut. She is also the director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute (UConn) and the president (2016-2018) of the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS). In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, Dr. Schlund-Vials is the author of two monographs: Modeling Citizenship: Naturalization in Jewish and Asian American Writing (Temple UP 2011) and War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work (University of Minnesota Press 2012). She has edited and co-edited several collections, including Disability, Human Rights and the Limits of Humanitarianism (Ashgate 2013), Keywords for Asian American Studies (NYU Press 2015), Asian America: A Primary Source Reader (Yale UP 2016), Flashpoints for Asian American Studies (Fordham UP 2017), and Redrawing the Historical Past: Multiethnic Graphic Narrative (University of Georgia Press 2018). Dr. Schlund-Vials was the 2011 recipient of the Association for American University Professors "Teaching Promise" Award and the 2013 "Early Career Award" from the Association for Asian American Studies.

Eden Univer

Eden Univer graduated from the university in 2010 and began a position at ELLE, working on their website. Since then, she has worked at, Teen Vogue, and DuJour magazine. She is currently the beauty editor at the Hearst Content studio, creating stories for the websites of ELLE, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen.