By Katy TerBerg
Samantha Schaefer, a WMU creative writing major who graduated cum laude from the Lee Honors College on April 28, is the recipient of a Follett Graduate Merit Award from Columbia College Chicago.
The award, offered to just four incoming students annually, recognizes outstanding accomplishments and the potential for continued excellence in the college’s Creative Writing-Poetry MFA program. Samantha will receive $12,100 toward tuition and fees each academic year. “It’s basically a merit award given to an applicant whose portfolio is considered of esteemed quality,” said Schaefer.
While a student at WMU, Schaefer was involved in a number of activities, including Gold Company II and Onomatopoeia Writer’s Society, a reading series for undergraduate creative writers that she co-founded. She also served for three years as the peer advisor and assistant of the Department of English’s Prague Summer Program, which she attended as a student in 2009.
“I studied abroad twice, once in Prague, Czech Republic and once in Rome, Italy,” said Schaefer.
Her writing has been published on campus in the “Laureate,” the “Albion Review” and “Asylum Lake Press.” Schaefer is the co-editor of the “Black Tongue Review (a charitable literary arts magazine based out of Chicago).”
“While attending CCC I plan on obtaining my MFA in Poetry as well as hopefully exploring alternative forms of poetry including Erasure poetry and three dimensional poetry. I am planning on taking a teaching pedagogy course this fall so that I can teach as an adjunct professor in the spring of 2013,” said Schaefer of her graduate college goals.
“My advice for any and all creative writing majors would be to find a mentor, said Schaefer. “Having a good relationship with my professors is what has really helped me to explore and develop as a writer. I would also advise students to study abroad if it is at all possible. One’s writing undergoes enormous growth under the pressures and joys of travel.”