Professional Writing Faculty Praise this Year’s Graduates 

Sarah Olmedo

Sarah Olmedo is an unbelievably motivated student, who excels as much in fiction writing as she does in poetry. Sarah’s thesis advisor, Dr. Linda Dove, notes that much of his poetry is narrative-driven, and he “possesses the mind of a storyteller. He is also quick to know what he likes and doesn’t like as an editor and reader, and this conviction speaks to his ability to defend his own choices and use his voice.” Sarah’s thesis has been published as a chapbook, Daybreak, which is a collection of poems that arcs across the seasons of a young adult’s life and includes powerful testimony on family, friendship, and love. Sarah, Dr. Dove says, “has an uncanny ability to use myth—both traditional and personal—in her work as a foil and as a tool of discovery. She is as familiar with Cupid and Psyche as she is with Miss Scarlet from the board game Clue. Loss permeates the work, but Sarah has learned how to turn the words away from sentiment and into a more intense experience for the reader using raw and uncanny images and words that she has invented for just this occasion.” 


Nicole Favors 
Nicole Favors

Dr. Dove has seen graduate Nicole Favors grow as a writer and editor during her Woodbury career. A sign of this growth is visible in her ability to identify problem spots in her poem drafts on her own, a skill Dr. Dove notes “is extremely rare for an undergraduate creative writer. I am perhaps prouder of her for that achievement than anything else!” Nicole’s thesis has been published as a chapbook, If Not Today, Tomorrow. The project, Nicole says, engages “sensitive issues around traumatic experiences that I’ve gone through but also covers me rising above the trauma in order to heal.” It was the chance she needed to “speak my truth.” That process, Dr. Dove says, “calls for such an advanced level of expertise in terms of craft to be able to incorporate this level of trauma and tragedy into a poetic framework, using poetic technique as a tool of understanding and transformation.” Nicole looks back at her high school goal to someday publish a chapbook and can now celebrate having met this accomplishment at the age of 20, graduating after only three years. She is grateful for her professors, who “genuinely cared about me as a student, which as a result led me to build relationships with them that I know will last a lifetime.” You can read about Nicole and her poetry in this interview in Woodbury’s 7500 Magazine.


Roxanne Adams

Roxanne Adams graduates with a thesis project on Mexican Repatriation, which involved labor relations with Mexico and resulted in the removal of approximately one million people from the United States in the 1930s. Dr. Rich Matzen says, “Roxanne’s passion for this subject was reflected in her conducting original research with Mexican Americans still affected by those times. As her thesis director, I admired how important the integrity of communities is to her.” 



Last Updated on May 11, 2023. 

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