College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > English > About > End of Year Achievements

End Of Year Achievements 2021

The Department of English congratulates all our 2021 graduates and celebrates the following achievements:

Bramer, Sarah

Sarah Bramer, Outstanding Academic Achievement & Distinction Award

Sarah Bramer is a graduating senior with a major in English and double minors in Classics and Media Studies. During her freshman year Sarah worked as a section reader for DePaul’s literary magazine, Crook & Folly, and was later published in the magazine’s 39th edition. In 2020 she presented a feminist rereading of Euripides’ Medea at the English Conference. Her primary focus of study has been in 19th century British literature, and for her senior capstone she worked independently with Professor Jennifer Conary (who she would like to thank for all her support throughout her entire college career) on a thesis analyzing George Eliot’s Middlemarch.

Following graduation, Sarah plans to take a gap year to gain job experience before heading to graduate school (hopefully) by 2023. She hopes to pursue a career in either academics or publishing. She is looking forward to spending the summer checking books off her To Read list and finally watching the last three episodes of Schitt’s Creek.

Cortinovis, Miriam

Miriam Cortinovis, Graduate Assistant

Born and raised in Northern Italy, Miriam moved to the United States in 2013. From there she found a passion for literature and books, both writing and reading. She graduated from DePaul University in 2020 with a double BA degree in Creative Writing and German Language & Culture. Working as peer writing tutor, she has just completed her first year of the Writing and Publishing MA program. She hopes in the future to work as literary agent or editor, eventually becoming a full-time Science Fiction and Fantasy author. 

Costello, Caitlin

Caitlin Costello, Graduate Distinction Award

Caitlin Costello is an MFA Writing and Publishing student. Born and raised in Chicago, she is a double demon who also received her undergraduate degree in Creative Writing from DePaul. Caitlin’s short stories and poetry have been featured in DePaul’s Spring English Conference for two consecutive years and two of her poems will be published in the upcoming edition of Crook & Folly. She was an editorial intern for Slag Glass City and Associate Editor of DePaul’s Blue Book: Best of High School Writing 2020.  

Caitlin hopes to publish her short stories, a collection of which she is currently completing for her MFA.  She plans to pursue a career in publishing while continuing to nurture her own writing.

Friedland, Daniel

Daniel Friedland, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

After deciding that the cold and long winters of UW Oshkosh were not for him, Daniel transferred to Depaul in Fall 2019, opting instead for the cold and long winters of Chicago, where he found his love for the English language. During his time at Depaul, Daniel has interned for the online music journal Redroll, has picked up an interest in screenwriting, and has read many books. 

Daniel's post-graduation future is vague but will hopefully become clearer when he moves to New York at the end of the summer, where he hopes to embark on various creative ventures and eat some pizza.

Gilberg, Paige

Page Gilberg, Graduate Distinction Award & Graduate Assistant 

Page Gilberg is a graduate of the English Department's combined degree program. They earned a BA in English Literature in 2020 and an MA in English Literature and Publishing in 2021.

Page worked as a Graduate Assistant at the University Center for Writing-based Learning this past school year. In this role, they oversaw the writing center's copyediting services. Page has also interned with 826CHI and Agate Publishing, where they have helped publish a range of books.

In June 2021, Page will begin their career in scholarly publishing as the Publications Coordinator at the American Academy of Periodontology.

Halikias, Francesca

Francesca Halikias, Distinction Award

Francesca Halikias is a graduating senior who majored in English with an emphasis in creative writing and minored in public relations and advertising. During her time at DePaul, she served as section editor/reader for Crook & Folly, was part of Greek Life (Phi Mu sorority), and was a part of the Hellenic Student Association at DePaul.

After graduation, she will be continuing her Master’s in writing and publishing at DePaul. This summer she will also be interning for Cancer Wellness magazine and StoryStudio Chicago. 

Haney, Patricia

Patricia Haney, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

In June 2021, Patricia Haney graduated Summa Cum Laude from DePaul University with a BA double major in Writing & Rhetoric and English Creative Writing. During her time at DePaul, Patricia worked as a peer tutor and student administrative leader at the University Center for Writing-based Learning. 

After graduation, Patricia will be attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C. to earn an MA in Media & Strategic Communication. She is excited to blend her interests in rhetoric and creative storytelling with a career focused on labor rights and advocacy communication. 

Koch, Caley

Caley Koch, Bill and Irene Beck Award for Community Engagement

Caley Koch is an aspiring writer and editor who is currently attending DePaul University for her undergraduate Creative Writing degree. Caley was a journalist for Morocco World News in 2019 as well as managing editor for the nonprofit organization, Propeller Collective. In 2020, Caley was awarded the position of Co-Chief Editor for Depaul's Art and Literary Magazine Crook & Folly. Caley's work has been published in Hypertext Magazine, The Orange Couch Magazine, Illuminations, and has been featured in the 2020 and 2021 Depaul English Conferences. Next year, Caley will finish her Bachelor’s degrees in Creative Writing, Cello Performance, and Spanish in the spring of 2022. 

Lopez Benedi, Eva

Eva Lopez Benedi, Graduate Distinction Award

Following graduation, Eva will attend the NYU Summer Publishing Institute 2021, a three-week online publishing program during the month of June. After that, she'll begin her Optional Practical Training (OPT) period, during which she hopes to find herself working in the editorial or production department of a publishing company, her dream industry. Of course, she's also plans to visit her family in Spain during the summertime!

Maynez, Maria

Maria Maynez, Bill and Irene Beck Award for Community Engagement, Graduate Assistant

Maria Maynez has been a community organizer in the East Side of Chicago for the Southeast Youth Alliance for the last two years. In the last year, she has participated in the planning, execution and implementation of resources, rallies and protest for the BLM and General Iron movement. Her participation in these initiatives have led to the successful planning of an art market, educational events, the start of a local newsletter and media coverage. She has spent the last year covering the Far South Side and Southeast Side of Chicago as a freelance journalist. 

She received a bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism from Columbia College Chicago and began as a graduate student in the Masters in Publishing and Writing at DePaul in the 2020-2021 school year. Maria hopes to continue her work as a journalist covering community news in underrepresented areas. Her goal after graduation is to continue her work as a community organizer and writer with hopes of creating a program to bridge the gap in publishing in journalism to provide young black and brown students interested in journalism, writing, and publishing these writing and education opportunities. 

Modes, Amelia

Amelia Modes, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

Amelia Modes is a recent graduate of DePaul University where she received her bachelor’s degree in English (Creative Writing) and Media & Cinema Studies. Her writing has been performed at The Vagina Monologues and published in DePaul’s The Orange Couch, a literary magazine. In her free time, Amelia can be found listening to copious amounts of music, trying out new recipes, or fixating on fictional characters.

Following graduation, Amelia will be moving to Colorado and earning her teaching certification to teach special education. She hopes to continue exploring the intersects of education, creativity, and literacy.

Neenan, Kelly

Kelly Neenan, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

Kelly Neenan is graduating from the MALP program with a Certificate for Teaching English in Two-Year Colleges. She also received her undergraduate degree in English Literature from DePaul in 2017.  

After graduation, Kelly intends to teach at a two-year college. As a community college alum and transfer student, she values the opportunities that community colleges provide.  

Roese, Emma

Emma Roese, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

Emma double majored in English and Animation to capitalize on her strengths in writing while taking the courses that drew her to DePaul pertaining to her longstanding interest in creating animation. Over the span of her studies she engaged in multiple internships, volunteered as a section reader for different editions of Crook & Folly, and worked at the University Center for Writing-based Learning as a writing tutor. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in June 2021.

Following graduation Emma hopes to obtain a role that involves elements of her different areas of study, such as creative thinking or analytical writing work. She additionally aspires to travel and eventually cross paths with international friends she made through an online music community.

Shahein, Sara

Sara Shahein, Outstanding Senior & Distinction Award

Sara Shahein received her BA in Literature from DePaul in 2021. She plans on returning to DePaul in the fall to complete her MA in Literature and Publishing. During her time at DePaul Sara worked as a research assistant for Big Shoulders Books and was introduced to the world of publishing. During her free time, she enjoys making connections between works of Art and Literature, hiking with her family, and checking out more books from the library than she can read at one time.  

She recently accepted a position to work as a middle school English and Creative writing teacher and is eager to impact the youth in her community. Once Sara completes her Masters she hopes to pursue a career in teaching at the college level. She is thankful for the opportunities DePaul has given her and gracious for all the advice and wisdom her professors have shared.  

Shooter, Maddie

Maddie Shooter, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

Madison Shooter is a philosophy and English double major, with a focus on creative writing and a minor in Spanish. She has worked for two years as a section reader for DePaul's literary publication Crook & Folly and spent the 2020-2021 school year completing a DUOS research project in philosophy examining popular art and gender theory. After graduation, Madison will continue her study of English and philosophy outside of the classroom and hopes to become an editor or writer for the fantasy fiction genre. 

Sweezer, Jadae

Jadae Sweezer, Graduate Assistant 

Jadae Sweezer is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing program. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Concentration in Law & Courts, and English with a concentration in Creative Writing, from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She spends a lot of time reading and writing, and she likes to take trips to the movie theater, visit museums, try out breakfast spots, and collect books that won’t be read for a few months...or years.  

Szos, Sabrina

Sabrina Szos, Graduate Assistant 

Sabrina Szos received her BA in English from DePaul in June 2020 before continuing her studies in the Writing and Publishing Master’s program. She currently serves as the Associate Editor of Poetry East as part of her Graduate Assistantship for the English Department. She had a hand in creating the journal’s 100th issue, “The Bliss of Reading,” and has just finished designing the 101st issue, “Sonnets & Masterpieces.” Sabrina looks forward to another year of working with Poetry East.

After graduating in 2022, Sabrina plans to continue her work in the publishing world. She hopes to combine her passion for writing and editing with her love of art history to work with galleries and art museums.

Vakulskas, Abby

Abby Vakulskas, Graduate Distinction Award, Graduate Assistant

A Marquette University and Columbia Publishing Course alum, Abby Vakulskas is graduating with an MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing and finishing her work as a graduate assistant at DePaul's University Center for Writing-based Learning. She is grateful for the writing center training she's received (over the past six years, cumulatively), the support of her professors, and her recent teaching internship in one of DePaul's creative writing courses.

After graduation, she hopes to complete and pitch her manuscript and continue working with writing, communications, and other creative projects. She is seeking a career in the Chicago area and looking forward to getting to know the city better post-quarantine.

Woods, Rebecca

Rebecca Woods, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

Rebecca is proud to be graduating with an English degree, fulfilling a dream that she had since she was a fifth grader who was obsessed with Percy Jackson and reading. Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Rebecca is so thankful to have found a home in Chicago. Rebecca spent her four years at DePaul working in Orientation and Admissions, assisting Professor Paul Booth in his research, and making magic at the Disney Store. Having the chance to read Jane Eyre made the English major all worth it for her. 

Rebecca will continue her education at DePaul in the 5-year graduate program, earning her Master’s in Media and Communications with a focus in Media and Cinema Studies, in hopes that she can teach as a Media Studies professor one day. In the meantime, she is working at Barnes and Noble where she can continue to share her love of reading with everyone who dares to listen.

Ferin, Avery

Avery Ferin, Graduate Assistant

Avery Ferin is a current MAWP graduate student with a passion for short fiction and prose. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Avery moved to Chicago when she was 18 to attend DePaul for her undergraduate education to pursue a career in creative writing. She is a lover of many things (namely romance novels, Gray’s Anatomy, her kitten Betty, and Taylor Swift) but more importantly of the opportunities she has received from the GA program at DePaul. 

Avery will be finishing her MA degree this Fall (2021) and is planning on remaining in the beautiful city of Chicago for as long as her bank account will allow! She is currently a full-time sales lead at Madewell by day and freelance creative writer and copy editor by night. As for concrete plans, she has very few. The only thing that is for certain is that she plans on working towards bettering herself and her community in any way that she can. Also writing and reading. She plans on doing a lot of that, too.

Mia Goulart, Graduate Distinction Award

Mia Goulart will graduate from DePaul’s Master of Writing and Publishing program in June of 2021. She has interned with publications like Enid News & Eagle, ETOWN, and Slag Glass City and plans to pursue a postgraduate career in magazine publishing.  

Outstanding Academic Achievement

  • Alice Fu
  • Cecilia Kearney
  • Riley McLaughlin
  • Madeline Norrgard
  • Stephanie Roney
  • Elizabeth Ruda 

Distinction Awards

  • Riley McLaughlin 

Departing Student Worker 

  • Noah Bourgeois

Graduate Assistants

  • Maya Burris
  • Avery Ferin
  • Sarah Pobuda
  • Anna Gerwig

Graduate Distinction Awards

  • Franco-Aureli Diaz
  • Albert Falcone
  • Anthoni Mcelrath