2019 Program Assistants:
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.. a proud Hufflepuff named Madeline Andrews finished her sophomore year at UMass. She is an English-Japanese double major with interests in too many things. As her majors suggest, she is a watcher of anime, reader of books, especially of speculative fiction. Avid consumer and producer of fanfiction, she finds bubbly excitement discussing fanworks and the places where creator and audience converge and muddle about in various media. Traveling comes cheapest in book form. In an attempt to temper inborn human arrogance and color her existence, she seeks out other cultures, languages, and histories, real or not, from beyond her perspective. Among her accomplishments are a wide knowledge of memes and vines, and a decent British accent she likes to pull out if you request it of her.
Rachel Barry is a returning PA for Juniper 2019. She has two adorable but sometimes mischievous black cats named Scout and Boo (yes they are named for the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird.) Her favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut and has a tattoo from his book Slaughterhouse Five. She likes to think that she's funny and pretty easy to get along with, but will let you be the judge of that.
Matvey Bernshteyn is a freshman student at UMass majoring in English. He is originally from Moscow, Russia, now living in Massachusetts. He enjoys writing and spends most of his time trying to come up with new interesting characters and ways to tell their stories. He is a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice.
Peyton Butea is an English major with a creative writing specialization hoping to graduate after Fall 2019. Hailing all the way from Rhode Island, a mystical land of coffee milk and bakery pizza, he hopes to secure a career as a professional author. He's a huge nerd for speculative fiction, particulary science fiction and fantasy, and is filled with a blind and undying rage whenever someone tries to argue that they aren't real literature. He's very passionate about diversity when it comes to writing, and believes inclusive character design is vital to successful fiction. Whether its by including queer and trans characers, characers of color, characters with disabilities or characters from a wide range of religious backgrounds, he believes it is our duty as writers to give people characters that they can truly see themselves in, as only then can fiction truly be an experience that everyone can fully take in. When he's not writing, he's probably feeding his hair dye addiction, playing video games, or cooking! Though, in his heart, he knows he should really get back to writing.
Jakhi Dean is a freshman political science major at UMass Amherst. In high school, they played basketball, ran track and was a member of the debate team. He attended Juniper two summers ago. He writes poetry and short stories. He is currently experimenting with flash-fiction.
Howdy, I'm Chris Hill. By the time Juniper swings around, Chris will have (probably) graduated from UMass. His interests include running, rock climbing, and trying to motivate himself to do either of those first two things. (He started saying howdy ironically, but it's unironic now.) His favorite stories involve time travel and parallel worlds, but will read anythinig if the characters are interesting. He also enjoys surreal stories, and is trying (key word) to unpretentiously understand the universe. For now, he is trying to enjoy beling alive. During the week of the Institute, he hopes to get to know you all better, and hopes that everyone can all learn something from each other.
Victor Ho is an English major specializing in creative writing, set to graduate in late 2019. He has completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge three years in a row, and he is currently working on finishing the novel he wrote in 2018 about superheroes and capitalism, having accepted that his first two novels were garbage. If you ever need to find him during Juniper, just look for the short guy willing to wear a beanie in any kind of weather. Other than writing, he loves cosplaying, listening to the same musical soundtrack over and over, and proctastinating finishing his novel by fantasizing about his novel.
Jake Kirby is a junior at UMass and majoring in English with a specialization in creative writing. Most of his past work consists of poetry. Jake also does Improv at UMass, something he considers to be another creative outlet of his. He is a big fan of yams/sweet potatoes! and likes to groove/funk out to anything and everything: music is a big passion of his. A major propenent of mindfulness, Jakes loves to meditate and explore nature. He reckons we ought to embrace the world with love and a big hug!
Riley Jones is second-year student at UMass, where she is studying English with a concentration in creative writing. She is from a very small town in Massachusetts and grew up living in the middle of the woods. She loves chamomile tea and modern dance. She also loves to write. Recently she has written poems about mice, doppelgängers and the moon. She is fascinated and inspired by the work of Alice Notley, Helen Oyeyemi and the artist Jenny Holzer.
Siena Merlin Moraff
Siena Merlin Moraff is a sophomore at UMass Amherst majoring in Multimedia Stories, a BDIC concentration that explores how different mediums influence the stories they communicate. In her free time, she enjoys being the person who brings a guitar everywhere and can often be spotted at the local rock climbing gym. She is a Ravenclaw, a Knight of Breath, and her last D&D character was a punk-rock tiefling bard. Siena is excited to be working with suck kind and extraordinary people and is ready to start helping bring new voices into the artistic conversation.
A recent graduate of UMass Amherst, Nate likes to spend his time not moving on a bed. He likes to read and write sometimes, usually between his desire to be a Gundam pilot. Nate's mom informs the Gundams are not real, but he will not be deterred by reality. You'll recognize him from clothes he's been wearing since 8th grade and the lack of sleep.
Jamie is a genderqueer Christian writer from Central Massachusetss. They are a freshman Comparative Literature and Linguistics double major. Besides reading and writing, Jamie enjoys acting, singing, cosplay, embroidery, zumba, tea, and trying to fit as many language classes as possible into their already full schedule. Their favorite books are Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer and the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, and they're always up to give book recommendations to fellow readers. When they're not reading or writing, Jamie co-hosts a podcast called Homestuck: The Internet's Ulysses?, a comparative literature podcast comparing the webcomic Homestuck to the 1922 novel by James Joyce. Jamie is super excited for Juniper and can't wait to connect with other young writers from around the country.