Micki Christiansen has two major forms of engagement with grad students. Micki directs students through the steps for student funding to present at conferences. She can walk you through applications, reimbursement requests, and any other forms you may have to fill out. For GAs, she also manages the keys, scheduling, and offices.
Fun fact! She also has stress chocolate on her desk—visit her.
Kelly Gere is a self-proclaimed “mall kiosk” for the English Department. Lost about anything related to the graduate program? Come to her! She answers advising questions to help with classes, and acts as a liaison between the English Department and the GS Office, the Registrar's Office, etc. Therefore, she's your go-to if you have any questions about classes counting toward degree requirements, course substitutions, etc. Kelly also keeps impeccable records, so if you ever lose a form or need access to forms you’ve filled out for the department (such as a course substitution form), she can get you another one. She also does the enrollment for independent studies/thesis hours, and restricted courses such as the Writing Center Practicum (ENG 510) or the Practicum in Teaching College Composition (ENG 614). Kelly is a great first step to questions about CMU's Master's degrees in English because even if she doesn’t know the answer herself, she will direct you to where you can find it.
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Dr. Kris McDermott, the current coordinator, is a particularly useful person to come to regarding questions or problems; she coordinates between the Graduate College and the English Department, meaning she knows or has access to the answers to most anything you need. In this position, Dr. McDermott can also advise grad students on academic matters. Among other things, she recommends graduate policy changes to policy committees and, as such, she’s open to hearing about how the graduate program is working for you and uses that information to help shape it in future years. Dr. McDermott often hosts Graduate Coffees about relevant graduate topics such as going on to your Ph.D. These events are helpful in that they give students a voice in their educations.
Here's what Dr. McDermott has to say about her role in graduate students' lives:
"If a student wants to change concentrations or make a change in their advisor or thesis chair, they need to talk to me about it. Also: questions about course offerings, financial problems, paperwork questions, personal problems, concerns about grades or profs, have all come to me in the past. In general, I often make petitions and requests to Graduate Studies on behalf of our students regarding credits, thesis deadline extensions, etc. Students can come to me for help in planning special events, conferences, workshops.”
Holly Lewis is in the second year of master’s work in children’s literature. Her interests and research focus surrounds the depiction of gender and sexuality in YA literature. When not teaching ENG 101 or doing schoolwork, Holly can be found binge watching Criminal Minds, writing picture books, or playing with her daughter, Zoey.
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