M.A. Students

Profiles of the MA students in the English Department at the University of Louisville

Michelle Buntain

poetry | philosophies of art | literary theory

Michelle Buntain is an M.A. student whose research interests include the power of poetry, philosophies of art, and literary theory. Michelle grew up in rural Kansas and earned her B.A. in English from the University of Dallas. Outside of school she spends her time traveling, volunteering with dog rescues, and finding new music.

Photo of Lauren Cline

Lauren Cline

19th-century English literature and culture | history of the English language | rhetoric of advertising

My bio: Lauren is a graduate student pursing a Master of Arts in English. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and American Language and Literature from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and also completed minors in Communication and Criminal Justice. Her research interests largely revolve around the application of feminist, new historicist, and sociological theories to nineteenth-century English literature. She is also very much intrigued by the history, evolution, and structure of the English language itself. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys exploring Louisville with her husband and their Labradoodle, traveling whenever she gets the opportunity, watching crime dramas and wildlife documentaries, practicing her French, and spending time with her family in Tennessee.

Photo of MA student Madelaine Decker

Madelaine Decker

fiction | 18th century literature | African American literature

Madelaine Decker is an M.A. student interested in producing fiction as well as researching topics related to 18th century literature and African American literature. She earned her B.A. in English and anthropology from the University of Kentucky. Her favorite city is Galway, her favorite movie is Aquamarine, and her favorite artists include The Obsessives and Georgia Maq. Her favorite line from The Bluest Eye is “Quiet as it’s kept, there were no marigolds in the fall of 1941.” If she could pick the name of a literary person to be her new name, she would pick Beatrice from The Buried Giant.

Tristan DeWitt

Tristan DeWitt

19th and 20th century literature | feminist studies | environmental studies

Tristan is a M.A. student in the English department at the University of Louisville. She is a Louisville native and also received her B.A. in English from the University of Louisville. Her research interests are focused on 19th and 20th century literature, particularly as they pertain to feminist and environmental studies.

Rose Dyar

rhetorical genre studies | composition pedagogy | labor studies

Rose Dyar is an M.A. student focusing on rhetoric and composition. She received a B.A. in English and human rights studies from the University of Dayton. Here at Louisville, she teaches first-year writing courses and co-facilitates the creative writing group. Apologetic discourse and love and labor under capitalism inform her current writing projects. 


Kendyl Harmeling

writing center studies | literacy studies | feminist methodologies

Kendyl is a Master’s GTA who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early American History with a minor in Ethical Philosophy from Western Connecticut State University. She is from Newtown, Connecticut and comes to Louisville, and the field of English, because of her passion for Writing Center pedagogy and practice. One of her professional goals is to direct a writing center in her post-doc future. When Kendyl is not working in the English Department and is not in class, she enjoys writing poetry; playing with her cat, Salem; and exploring her adopted city of Louisville. 

Andrew Hutto

17th-century British literature | mimetic desire |ontological rhetoric

Andrew Hutto is a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Louisville pursuing a master's degree in English. Recently he was awarded third place in the 2020 Flo Gault Poetry Prize and second place in the annual Poetry Derby hosted at Churchill Downs. In the summer of 2019, he served as a preliminary judge for the Louisville Literary Arts Writer's Block fiction prize. Presently he serves on the Pine Row Press editorial board. His work appears in Thrush Poetry Journal, The Weekly Degree°, Math Magazine, Poet Lore, High-Shelf Press, Twyckenham Notes, and elsewhere.

Ayaat Ismail

literature | creative writing | hybrid genres

Ayaat Ismail is currently pursuing her master’s degree in English with interest in 18th century British literature and creative writing. She earned her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Louisville, where she learned to cultivate her love of language. She hopes to pursue her interests in both literature and creative writing by focusing on the experimental and hybrid genres. She is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and loves watching baseball as an avid Cubs fan and spends the rest of her free time reading and writing about diversity and multiculturalism.


Zoë Litzenberg

children’s literature | leadership pedagogy and rhetoric | composition pedagogy

Zoë is currently working on her English Master’s degree. Though seeking to someday teach writing and composition, her background is in Humanities, so she enjoys writing, discussing, and learning about any and every academic discipline. In addition to great conversations, she is passionate about making the writing process accessible and fun. In her free time, Zoë is more than likely weightlifting at the gym, watching movies, swing dancing, or talking about any combination of those three things.

Hayley Salo

Victorian and post-colonial literature | gender and sexuality studies | writing center studies

Hayley is an English M.A. student with a B.A. in English and a minor in humanities from Simon Fraser University. Her research interests focus on Victorian literature with an emphasis on representations of gender and sexuality. She is also interested in post-colonial literature and the interpersonal consequences of colonialism. Having worked in writing centers in the US and Canada, Hayley continues to be interested in writing center studies, especially online pedagogy.

Kayla Sweeney

literature | creative writing

Kayla is currently a pursuing a Masters in English at UofL. She is a Somerset, Kentucky native who received a BA in English for Secondary Teachers from Western Kentucky University. After graduating, Kayla spent a year teaching in Perak, Malaysia with the U.S. Fulbright ETA Program and then taught high school English for three years in her hometown. Her current area of study combines her love for literature with an additional focus on creative writing. Kayla loves working with students of all ages, and hopes to incorporate her MA work into her future classroom.


Emma Turner

writing | literature 

Emma Turner is an English M.A. student. She received her B.A. in English and Women’s and Gender Studies from Lindsey Wilson College in May 2020. From 2018-2020, Emma served as a peer Writing Center Consultant in the Writing Center at her undergraduate institution and began to develop an ever-growing writing pedagogy. During this same time, Emma published several papers in undergraduate research journals on topics ranging from Greek literature, Wuthering Heights, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and Dolly Parton. Her research interests have continually been a mixed bag; however, she always loves what she is studying.


Yuan Zhao

literary theory | narratology | rhetoric and composition

Yuan Zhao is a M.A. student in English at the University of Louisville. He earned his other M.A. degrees in English (literary studies) at Shanghai International Studies University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His current research interests include literary theory, narratology, rhetoric and composition.