Program assistants for the 2019 institute will be announced in the winter! Here are the PAs from summer 2018:
Madeline Andrews is an English and Japanese double major and just completed her first year at UMass. A native of eastern Mass suburbia, Maddie likes a wide variety of things and is always willing to learn more. Between binging anime series and dabbling in cosplay, she writes fanfiction (a point of embarrassment and pride), novel nuggets, and diary entries. She adores cultures, fandom AUs, and mental spaces different from her own and feels that literature is the cheapest way to experience that. She delights in playing with words and form to bridge gaps between telling, hearing and reading a story. Her favorite color is teal, she’s a proud Hufflepuff, likes to dance, and despite adoring the Lord of the Rings movies, she’s never read the books. Hoping for a tan by July 2018, Maddie is psyched to meet brilliant and creative people and to foster a place where we can share and explore our perspectives.
Erin Alzapiedi is a sophomore double-majoring in communication and English at UMass. She is media editor for the on-campus literary magazine Jabberwocky, as well as editor-in-chief for Odyssey Online at UMass Amherst. Journalistic endeavors aside, Erin dabbles in many forms of creative writing with a soft spot for creative nonfiction and poetry. When she isn't writing she can be found hunting for photo opportunities, making films, and going on road trips with her friends. She has made some of her best friends through writing and she looks forward to meeting you at Juniper!
Rachel Barry is going to be a junior at UMass Amherst in the fall of 2018, currently studying English with a concentration in creative writing but also considering adding another major. She is from Kingston, MA, and her favorite place to read is the beach. She doesn’t really like third person narration, however, she is a fan of irony. Rachel is currently reading Beloved by Toni Morrison and she would recommend that you do too. She also adopted two black kittens this past summers, named Scout and Boo for their literary counterparts in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Michael Galat is a recent graduate of UMass Amherst with a degree in psychology. Raised in western Mass, he enjoys all kinds of literature, particularly with first-person narrators and non-traditional forms, but currently specializes in writing stories with absolutely no plot. He loves to collaborate with and listen to the stories and thoughts of other writers. When he isn’t reading, Michael can be found watching movies, memorizing random pieces of information, or pondering some of life’s pettiest questions.
Symone Green is a junior at UMass Amherst studying English with a concentration in creative writing. Though she mainly writes poetry, she loves reading fiction and is working on her first chapbook. Symone appreciates all visual arts, nature, and dreams of songwriting and producing an animated cartoon some day. When Symone is not counting down the days until Juniper begins, she’s a DJ for the college’s radio station and a professional grilled cheese maker.
Chris Hill is an English major who will graduate in 2019. He hails from Ashburnham, MA, which you may know as the town John Cena went to high school in (albeit at the expensive private school a few miles down the road from the public high school). Chief among his talents are running, arguing over semantics, and being weirdly good at remembering song lyrics. While he has mostly written poetry up until this point, he is currently in the process of writing a novel, which you can expect to find on the shelves of your local bookstore sometime within the next 70 years. His favorite authors are David Foster Wallace, Vladimir Nabokov and Sylvia Plath. Other interests include existential philosophy, most music (except metal), and superhero movies.
Victor Ho is a current junior at UMass Amherst slash pharmacy school dropout, majoring in English with a creative writing specialization. He plans to pursue an MFA in fiction when he graduates, but for now, he's tinkering away at the first draft of his second novel and accepting the fact that he won't graduate in time. He writes novels and occasionally short stories, and prefers to write works with heavy social commentary. When he isn't wearing a beanie, he doesn't feel complete as a person. Besides writing, he also enjoys drawing comics, re-reading novels he enjoys 20 times, and being bad at video games.
Riley Jones is a first-year student at UMass Amherst, where she is studying English and dance. She has been writing for just about as long as she can remember. When she was young she used to write stories about fish. Now she writes about women who paint pictures of doors and girls whose mothers build them wings made of wood. Riley is a hoarder of books and the stacks of them in her room make it difficult to safely walk from the bed to the door. Her favorite book is The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. She writes for the way it allows her to return home to herself.
Juliana Malloy is currently a sophomore at UMass Amherst pursuing an English major with a concentration in professional writing and technical communication. She also plans on double majoring in accounting and English by next year. She loves to write poetry and has a blog that she works on weekly that publishes her works for her family and friends to see. She has the biggest passion for classic and alternative rock, so you'll most likely find her jamming out to Springsteen or Dr. Dog. When she's not working on her blog or listening to music, you'll find her watching Netflix and eating a massive quantity of Cheez-Its.
Natalee Marini is a first-year English major working toward an education minor. She has always loved reading and writing, especially anything dark, and spends perhaps more time doing both than she should. Her favorite authors are Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe. When not hard at work, she can most likely be found zoning out, eating, or watching copious amounts of YouTube.