C Rose Widmann – Sigma Tau Delta Poet

Faculty shout-out from Dr. Hui-Ling Malone: “C was a force in two of my classes this year (Critical Literacy and Communities as well as Language and Composition). As a nonbinary student, C led an insightful presentation about queering literacies that helped us all think more about inclusive and equitable classrooms. C is an avid writer and submitted multiple pieces of writing from our writing course and beyond. They are also highly engaged with the campus community, evident through leading webinars and participating in UURAF.”

How would you describe your time as an English or Film Studies major at MSU?

My time as an English Major has been primarily focused on education, since I was a secondary ed major before I had to drop out of the College of Ed. To that end, I took classes that would prepare me to be a teacher. I think that my English classes were the ones that prepared me for leadership and education, I learned how to be a better communicator and create culturally responsive curriculum.

Which classes, instructors, or experiences particularly stand out for you and why? How did they prepare you for the next phase of your life?

My classes with Dr. Johnson and Dr. Malone were invaluable to developing my teaching and leadership philosophies. I learned how to be a more expressive writer, how to encourage students to express themselves, and how to share my writing with the world. Dr. Johnson revitalized my love of reading through his YA Literature class, and Dr. Malone encouraged me to publish my research and writing.

What advice would you give future English or Film Studies majors, based on your experiences in the department?

Read and write all the time, don’t let those skills lapse. Read the books assigned in class and find related readings, save relevant quotes for future use. Reading and writing both need to be practiced, make that time for yourself to hone those skills.

What coursework-related projects were/are you working on this year, and what interests or excites you about them? 

I’ll be presenting two presentations at UURAF, which I’ve never done before. One is on psychological horror in the work of Stephen King, and the other is on a translation I did of a set of 1700’s Swiss almanacs. I also presented my poetry at a Sigma Tau Delta regional conference, and got my poetry published in two journals. But what I’m most proud of are my publications with HerCampus and The Current. My article on the College of Education’s internship year resonated with a lot of students who are struggling with the demands of that program, my article on women’s fencing was retweeted by the US Fencing Association, and I published the first-ever 12pg. spread in The Current on MSU-affiliated artists creating art in the face of the pandemic. I’m really proud of the content I created.

What are your hopes and aspirations, post-graduation? 

I will be getting my M.A. in Arts & Cultural Management at MSU, focusing my research on digital publication and writing center management. I know I’ll have a really busy graduate studies career, but I’m really excited for the opportunity. It’s been my dream to go to grad school, I can barely contain my excitement. I hope that it’s everything I imagine it to be.

Please reflect a bit on the strange experience of being a graduating senior during the ongoing pandemic. What resources have been most useful to you in navigating this unprecedented situation?

My background is in homeschooling, so remote school wasn’t terrible for me. But I definitely felt that sense of missing out on senior year experiences. Bunkering down in your house, watching the news, trying to be involved with communities that were suffering discrimination and violence, all without having the in-person support that you’re used to having. After a year and half it became exhausting. I missed out on a year of sports, of adventures with my friends. I’m grateful that I was able to continue practicing sports on Zoom, and I’m grateful that the writing center was there to help with writing assignments when my brain fried out. But I’m grateful we’re beginning to return to normalcy bit by bit too.