Incoming class 2014-2015

Melissa-BrandMelissa Brand defected from North Jersey, but couldn’t escape the magnetic pull of the great Garden State.  She lives “just outside of Philly,” where she spends most of her time writing psychological reports in her attic. She has worked with children with autism and behavioral issues for over twenty years, initially as a teacher and currently as a psychologist. She loves spending time with her wacky six year old, doing crosswords with her husband, and chipping away at a memoir in the wee hours of the morning. 
Emily BrodeurEmily Brodeur is a poet originally from Hartford, Connecticut. She received a BA in English from Eastern Connecticut State University while working as a sous chef and preschool teacher. She’s called Boston home for the past four years, where she worked for Pearson Education as an assistant editor. Emily earned her MA in Literary Criticism from Simmons College in 2014. While at Simmons, she studied the relationship between psychoanalysis and narratives that rely on the fluidity of the body. In addition to poetry, Emily is writing a creative cookbook that tells the story of her family’s emigration from Italy and Sicily. 
Katy-CallahanKaty Callahan is a South Jersey native with a degree in psychology from Messiah College. Although she primarily writes literary fiction, semi-confessional poetry, and long-winded love letters, she wants to explore all genres. Her favorite word is “defenestrate,” but she doesn’t get to use it that often, much to her simultaneous disappointment and relief. 
Katelyn-CatinellaKatelyn Catinella received her BA in Writing  Arts from Rowan University, where she learned she loved writing fiction. She was trapped in suburban New Jersey for the first 22 years of her life, but finally escaped across the bridge to become a Philadelphian.
Kevin-DornKevin Dorn grew up in the Seattle area and has spent the past few years living in Portland, Oregon where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Portland State University.  He is the recipient of the Nina Mae Kellogg award for fiction and is currently at work on his first novel.
Deena-El-GenaidiDeena  El Genaidi earned her BA and MA in English from Villanova University. Since graduating, she has been teaching at Bucks County Community College, Widener University, and the Community College of Philadelphia. She recently returned from teaching English in Morocco. She currently lives in Philadelphia and primarily writes fiction.
James-FaccintoJames Faccinto is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area who graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2013 with a BA in American Literature with a minor in Film & Television studies. He has also studied short fiction and creative non-fiction at the Paris American Academy. His spare time is filled with hopeless noodling on the guitar and ukulele, as well as a somewhat haphazard participation in the sport of rugby.
Cherita-HarrellCherita Harrell graduated summa cum laude from Rowan University. She holds a BA in Writing Arts and was the 2013 recipient of Rowan University’s Excellence in Writing Arts Award. She resides in the South Jersey area with her two children and plays with gas masks for a living. She writes both fiction and poetry, and her fiction has appeared in Decades Review.
Micaiach-JohnsonMicaiah Johnson is a fiction writer from Southern California currently living in Philadelphia. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Riverside with a degree in Creative Writing. She has visited nine countries, been pulled over for speeding eleven times, and is most proud of a scar she received from a poisonous plant in the rainforest. 
Nina-LaryNina Lary is a west-coast writer excited to be at Rutgers-Camden and not “go with the flow” for a while. Born in a small Iowa town where people meditated in a golden dome, Nina and her nomad-of-a-mother promptly moved west. After two decades of spiritual hijinks and implausible urban tales, living in log cabins, high-rise hotels, and a place called Weed, California, Nina landed in Portland, Oregon, where she stayed for a while and wrote about art and culture for magazines with one-word names like Bitch and Flaunt andCurve. She has seen Portlandia and does not garden or craft in her spare time. 
Sarah MikulisSarah Mikulis is a native of Massachusetts. She holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Anthropology. Her writing explores themes of shifting personal narratives expressed through varying experiences of the sacred and profane. She began writing at the age of ten on her uncle’s old naval academy typewriter. She then spent several decades trying to figure things out. She drew two conclusions: 1) for the most part – everyone’s trying to do their best and 2) she’s a writer. She calls Northwestern New Jersey home.
Derrick-MillerAfter living in Boston for several years, where he earned his BA in Writing/Literature/Publishing at Emerson College, Derrick Miller moved back home to South Jersey and began working on a novel and numerous short stories. To pay off his exorbitant student loan bills, and to scrape together some cash for food and other bills, Derrick has put his degree to work in such diverse fields as bartending, waiting tables, A/V installation, substitute teaching, babysitting, and Internet trolling.
Caroline RashCaroline Rash comes to Rutgers-Camden by way of New Orleans, Arkansas, China and South Carolina. She is a graduate of Clemson University and has previously worked as a copy editor, teacher, associate editor for The Double Dealer literary journal and assistant to Faulkner House Books. She will be studying poetry.
Alex-RuizAlex Ruiz was born in North Jersey and grew up in Central Florida. A graduate of the English and Theatre Arts Departments of Rollins College, he is a fiction writer, poet, and activist. He loves his toe-shoes, spends too much time on Twitter, and loathes people using “less” when they mean “fewer.” If you ever catch him reading, do not approach unless you have a container of black coffee.
Shelby-VittekShelby Vittek is a food, wine, and travel writer focusing on creative nonfiction. During her third year at Drexel University, she gave up a pre-med track to pursue a career in writing. She is the author of Drink Outside the Box: Wine 101 for the College Crowd and has won awards from the Association of Food Journalists for her food writing. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post’s travel section, Table Matters, The Smart Set, thePhiladelphia Daily News, and Art Attack Philly. Follow her on Twitter @bigboldreds.
Brock-WarrenBrock Warren grew up on a steady diet of fairy tales and fantasy novels in that part of the Ozarks where the tractors outnumber the cars. He started higher education with the intention of becoming a literary scholar but somehow wound up in divinity school exegeting biblical texts and preaching. He’s sidestepping his pursuit of the clerical collar for now to instead take a shot at the MFA, but thinks writing provides a rich opportunity to continue wrestling with daunting theological questions. 

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