Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program Graduates Class of 2019

2019 MFA CommencementThe Pacific University Master of Fine Arts in Writing program, one of the country’s top low-residency literary programs, welcomed 33 new alumni on Saturday, June 22, as it celebrated its 2019 Commencement Ceremony.

Founded in 2004, Pacific’s MFA in Writing program celebrates writing as an art that has the potential to make a difference in the world. Through a rigorous course of study with an emphasis on the creative process, award-winning writers work closely with students to support and inspire emerging craft and voice.

Faculty mentors include some of America’s finest contemporary writers. They include the renowned poet Kwame Dawes, recent recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize for Poetry and a Pushcart Prize, poet Marvin Bell, recipient of an American Academy of Arts & Letters Award in Literature, and fiction writer Chris Abani, recipient of the PEN Hemingway Book Prize and a Guggenheim Award.

Recent alumni have gone on to their own success: Norris Burkes MFA ’13, a syndicated columnist, received the 2019 Will Rogers Humanitarian Award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Anita Gill MFA ’18 received a Fulbright Award. Abby Murray MFA ’09 was named Poet Laureate of Tacoma and won the 2019 Perugia Press Prize for her debut poetry collection, releasing in September.

The program has flourished from its onset and continues to grow in both name recognition and philanthropic support, as evidenced by the recent establishment of a scholarship fund for aspiring female writers in the name of late faculty member and renowned author Katherine Dunn.

Ceremony Photos

Pacific University Master of Fine Arts in Writing Class of 2019

Melissa Nichole Anderson
San Antonio, Texas

B.K. Atrostic
Kensington, Maryland

Nicole Barney
Canton, Michigan

Carolyn Mendel Bishop
Weaverville, California

Nathan Lauer Bridgeman
Hong Kong

Leta Rebecca Cunningham
Denton, Texas

Jill Deasy
Bellevue, Washington

Joy Saler Drees
San Diego, California

Kathryn Louise Herron
Olympia, Washington

Deborah Dawn Hopkinson
Thonotosassa, Florida

Samantha Britton Jacobs
Oakland, California

David Alexander Killeen
Portland, Oregon Wenona

Rose Kimbro
Portland, Oregon

Julia B. Levine
Davis, California

Lisa Michelle Loewenthal
Portland, Oregon

Linda Suzanne Luther-Starbird
Bend, Oregon

Shari Jean MacDonald Strong
Portland, Oregon

Ann Maioro
Vista, California

J. Roxian McDonald
Moss Landing, California

Gayle McGarvey
Seattle, Washington

Andrea Janine Michalowsky
Portland, Oregon

Stephen McPeake Milam
Vancouver, Washington

Samantha Marie Moody
Portland, Oregon

Cynthia Gayle Nooney
Piedmont, California

Dian Nancy O'Reilly
Soquel, California

Chante Shenice Owens
Reno, Nevada

Victor A. Pollak
Salt Lake City, Utah

Emily Ransdell
Camas, Washington

Elizabeth Aldridge-Payne Rieke
Mill Valley, California

Laura Jan Shore
New Brighton, NSW, Australia

Kumud Madhok Srinivasan
Oregon

Megan McCartney Welch
Berkeley, California

David Paul Widup
Ashland, Oregon

Jul. 8, 2019