Meet our graduate students

The English Graduate Organization, or EGO, is a club that offers socialization, professional development and other workshop opportunities to the English Graduate Students.  They are officially sanctioned through the G.S.A, and organize and provide a myriad of events throughout the semester. 

Questions, comments, suggestions or want to otherwise get in touch with EGO?  Email:

2022-2023 Officers:
President: Emily Sawan
VP of MFA Affairs: Natascha Boers & Dana Rider
VP of Ph.D. Affairs: Katie Wolf
Treasurer: Kristina Bergen
Secretary: Caryn Dreibelbis

Daniel Adler he/they

Daniel AdlerArea of Concentration: Ph.D. in Lit

Hometown: Portland,Oregon

Daniel was born in Brooklyn, New York. He has studied at NYU, Edinburgh University, and University of South Carolina, where he earned an MFA in fiction. He's interested in historical materialism, the master tropes and autofiction. He also likes yoga, rivers, and monitoring time by the phases of the moon.

Tristan Beach he/him

Tristan BeachArea of Concentration: Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing Studies

Hometown: Tacoma, WA

Tristan was born in Tacoma, WA. He’s lived in different parts of Washington state; Baotou, Inner Mongolia; northern rural Wyoming; and Minneapolis. His research interests include Writing Program Administration Studies, Cultural Rhetorics, Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies and L2 Learner Classroom Experiences. He’s interested in how institutions are constructed, maintained and extended beyond their physical walls—and how people navigate these complex settings. He is a published poet, critic, and editor and has worked with small presses and magazines since 2010. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Goddard College and a B.A. in English from Saint Martin’s University. As a nerd of everything, he loves dogs, gaming, coffee, travel and collecting manga.

Kristina Bergen she/her

Kristina BergenArea of Concentration: MFA in Fiction

Hometown: Reno, NV

When Kristina Bergen isn’t chasing after her four-year-old daughter, she can be found stalking the medieval literature bookshelves and dreaming up new ways to retell myths and legends for a contemporary audience.

Natascha Boers she/her

Natasha BoersArea of Concentration: MFA in Fiction

Hometown: Reston, VA

Natascha writes short stories and flash fiction, and currently, she is working on a novel-length, Urban Fantasy manuscript. Natascha currently resides in Central Reno with her elderly cat, who has been her rock during these difficult times of COVID. Outside of writing, she enjoys British panel shows, forever stamps, exploring nearby bakeries and the comfort of her knock-off Crocs (in casual mode inside her apartment and sport mode outside, in the wild).

Laura West-Brownell, she/her

Laura BrownellArea of Concentration: Ph.D. in Literature

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Laura is a Ph.D. student in literature. She completed her undergraduate and Master’s degree in literature at CSU Sacramento and a second Master’s degree in Gender, Race and Identity at UNR in 2021. She is currently studying U.S. women’s literature with an emphasis on activist movements in the 20th and 21-first centuries. Her research is in feminist fiction and the politics of publishing, with a focus specifically on the gender dynamics of publishing in the 1950s. She grew up in the Bay Area in California and currently lives just on the West of the Sierras, which gives her a beautiful commute to UNR. She has two young kiddos and she owns a bicycle she shop, which keeps her quite busy when her nose is peeled out of books.

Zachary Campbell he/him

Zachary CampbellArea of Concentration: Ph.D. Rhetoric and Writing Studies
Hometown: Reno, NV

Zac studies how extracurricular literacy practices influence academic practice. Zac enjoys spending his free time with his dog, Greta and games of any kind.

Jessica Charest she/her

Jessica CharestArea of Concentration: Ph.D. in Literature with a focus on early modern British Literature

Hometown: Modesto, CA

Jessica Charest is currently a Ph.D. Literature student and GTA here at UNR but received her M.A. in Literature in 2020 from California State University, Stanislaus, during which time she largely worked as a peer writing tutor, as well as a TA. From 2020 through the summer of 2022, she worked as an editor and social media manager for Penumbra Literary and Art Journal and its online offshoot, PenumbraOnline. As an early modernist who is fascinated by all things fantastic and supernatural, she specifically likes to research aspects of early modern literature (especially Shakespeare's works) through a supernatural lens. In her rare free time, she likes to work on her plans to eventually (hopefully) write a fantasy novel of her own.

Courtney Cliften she/her

Courtney CliftenArea of Concentration: MFA in Poetry

From: NV

Courtney is a poet interested in connections and meaning-making. She often explores the complexity of relationships—with another person, with the self, the relationship between life and death, relationships we have to place, ideas, etc. Her work attempts to examine inter-connectedness and deflate boundaries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys giving stick-n-poke tattoos, listening to live music, being in or near any and all bodies of water, or telling her friends to go look at the moon.

CB: Eli Coyle

Eli CoyleArea of Concentration: MFA in Poetry

Hometown: Clovis, CA

Eli Coyle received his M.A. in English from California State University-Chico and is currently a MFA candidate at the University of Nevada-Reno. His poetry and prose have recently been published or are forthcoming in: Barely South Review, California Quarterly, Camas, Caustic Frolic, Hoxie Gorge Review, New York Quarterly, The Normal School, Permafrost Magazine, Soundings East and The South Carolina Review among others. Eli is a certified yoga instructor (200RYT), bartender, musician, backpacker and advocate for higher-conscious-living.

Lauren Frick she/her

Lauren FrickArea of Concentration: MA Public Engagement

Hometown: Highland, IN

Lauren is in her first year of the MAPE program. Her research interests include queer ecology, a/sexuality studies, ecocriticism, and rhetorics of mutual aid. In her freetime, Lauren enjoys spending time outdoors, whether it be sitting under a comfy tree, lounging by the river, or going on a hike, hanging out with friends, finding the best tea lattes in Reno, cooking good food and learning how to rock climb.

Angelina Garcia she/her

Area of Concentration: MA Rhetoric & Writing Studies
Hometown: Born in Hillsboro, OR; grew up in Reno, NV

Angie is a first year Master’s student in Rhetoric & Writing Studies. Angie’s research interests revolve around queer theory and feminism in horror, particularly in the evolving roles of women and queer men in the genre. When they’re not in class, she can be found reading more books than she will ever have time for, enjoying a new horror movie (perhaps a bit too much), and obsessing over any number of video games with more lore than most people care to know.

Galen Gorelangton he/him

Galen GorelangtonArea of Concentration: Doctoral Candidate in Rhetoric and Writing Studies

Hometown: Reno, NV

Galen's background is in ethical philosophy (virtue ethics). His current research takes place at the intersection of disability studies and religious rhetoric (in particular, Buddhist rhetoric). Galen is an active member of the Reno Buddhist Center and also serves as a volunteer chaplain at Renown Hospital and Washoe County Jail. His best friend is a small black cat named Kalika.

Alexander Spaulding Laws he/him

Alexander LawsArea of Concentration: PhD, Literature

Hometown: New Orleans

Alexander -who, out of habit prefers to be addressed as Laws, his surname, even familiarly -has research interests in early modern dramatic works and presentism, especially in comparing tragedy and theological works to contemporary horror and speculative fiction. Both outside and inside of academics, Laws enjoys anime and manga prolifically. However, due to the nature of Laws’s visual disabilities, he is, regrettably, a very slow reader.

Phoebe Low she/her

Phoebe LowArea of Concentration: MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Phoebe (writing as P. H.) Low is a Rhysling-and Locus-nominated writer and poet with work published or forthcoming in Strange Horizons,, Fantasy Magazine, Diabolical Plots, Abyss & Apex and Death in the Mouth: an Anthology of Original Horror from People of Color, among others. Phoebe attended Viable Paradise in 2019, participated in Pitch Wars in 2021–2022, and can be found online atph-low.comand @_lowpH on Twitter and Instagram.

Ashlee Pargett, she/they

Ashlee PargettArea of Concentration: MFA in Fiction

Hometown: Calaveras County, CA

Ashlee Pargett grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Calaveras County, California before settling in Fallon over ten years ago, where she currently lives with her spouse and two children. After several years working in the veterinary field, Ashlee completed her bachelor's degree in English and minor in journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to writing, she does social media book marketing, working with publishers and authors to promote and feature genre fiction. Ashlee writes primarily fantasy, science fiction and romance, and is especially interested in stories that combine speculative elements with romantic elements. Her research interests include examining and addressing the stigma around romantic fiction, and its value as a literary genre. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, listening to audiobooks, playing RPG video games, traveling and spending time with her family and many pets—including quiet evenings by her koi pond.

Reagan Poston she/her

Reagan PostonArea of Concentration: MFA in fiction

Hometown: Mantee, MS

Reagan's first book hit the shelves when she was only five. It was transcribed by her mother--since Reagan's spelling was, and remains,very bad--told the story of a ravenous bear trying to eat campers, and contained within its pocket-sized pages foam stickers shaped like bears and fish. These days, Reagan has traded puffy stickers for experimentation with Southern Gothicism and weird happenings inemblematic formats. When she's not writing or teaching, she enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, making faces at her nieces and nephew over FaceTime, and generally being a pest in group scenarios.

Emily Sawan she/they

Emily SawanArea of Concentration: MFA in Creative Writing

Hometown: Fox Island, WA

Emily is a teacher, writer and book artist. In her own work, she likes blending the line between postmodernism and speculative fiction, and experimenting with forms and functions.

Rhett Steadman

Rhett SteadmanArea of Concentration: MFA Creative Writing

Hometown: Tooele, UT

Rhett came into UNR's MFA program writing about religionand familial relationships. He was working on a collection of short stories focused on the problems, difficulties, and myths surrounding the Latter-day Saint (Mormon) missionary. The last year has seen him pivot back into first literary love in fantasy. He is currently working on a fantasy middle-grade novel, trying to remember what it was like seeing the world through the lens of whimsy.

Dana Jean Rider she/her

Dana Jean RiderArea of Concentration: MFA in Fiction

Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Dana writes short stories that center belief and doubt, often exploring the space between the two. Her work is inspired by liminality, folklore, and the world’s many curiosities. She moved to Reno in 2021 with her partner and their two cats, Snorkel and Dante.