Alumni Spotlight

Chelsea Bergmann '15, '18

Chelsea Bergmann

Secondary English Teacher
Wade Hampton High School

"I was recently moved to teach higher level English courses this year at Wade Hampton High School, shifting my focus from Freshman Academy to English 3 Honors (American Literature) after teaching 9th graders for 7 years. In this move I have found an amazing opportunity to teach and prepare students more directly for higher level college courses that many of them will take in their Junior or Senior year of high school. This opportunity for growth as an educator has allowed me to create and refine curriculum that is rigorous, engaging, and fulfilling. It has also allowed me to work collaboratively with fellow English teachers across grade levels, ensuring that our curriculums provide smooth and transitive rigor at each grade level and provide attainable challenges as students progress. My favorite parts about my move have been building meaningful relationships with my students and the new and fresh depth of academic conversations students immerse themselves in about American literature."

Rodger Bishop '15

Rodger Bishop

Instructional Designer
Clemson University Libraries

"Studying English at Winthrop continues to influence and guide me to this day: from studying abroad and publishing creative fiction to my current work in instructional design for a major university library system. I’m forever grateful for my friends and professors who made those years at Winthrop so powerful, a time that lives rent-free in my heart, a place that will never lose its charm."

Rachel Burns '16

Rachel Burns

Social Worker/Mental Health Therapist
Department of Mental Health

"I graduated with a B.A. in English from Winthrop in 2016 without a clear idea of what I wanted from myself or my degree. I figured, at the very least, it would benefit my exploration to hone the skills of clear language and expression. After graduation, I taught English in South Africa as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant and in Tanzania as an English teacher at a girls' boarding school. I was inspired by the work of several women I met during this time who provided counseling, material support, and advocacy for the betterment of their communities. Upon returning to the States, I enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at the University of South Carolina where I used my English background to develop curriculum for a trauma certification, research orphaned and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa impacted by COVID-19, and advocate for students as the Graduate Student Representative to the Social Work Faculty. Now, as a licensed master social worker (LMSW), I provide therapy to children, teens, and their families, supporting my clients' desire to share, understand, and transform their life stories."

Morri Creech '94

Morri Creech

Associate Professor and Writer-in-Residence
Queens University of Charlotte

"I graduated with a B.A. in English from Winthrop in 1994 and earned an M.A. and M.F.A. from McNeese State University. I have taught graduate and undergraduate creative writing at McNeese State University and Queens University of Charlotte. I am the author of four books of poetry, including The Sleep of Reason, which was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize, and my fifth book, The Sentence, will be published in 2023."

Bryn Eddy '22

Bryn Eddy

North Strand News

English major, humanities minor, with a focus in journalism (I made the focus myself by taking as many MCOM journalism classes as I could fit into my schedule).

"I am a reporter at North Strand News, meaning I cover news for North Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach, Little River, and Longs. I have been a crime reporter in the Myrtle Beach, SC area since I graduated from Winthrop in May 2022. Some of my stories on local murders and other high profile crime cases have been featured on BuzzFeed and Apple News. I have also been able to interview a few celebrities, including some people from the Netflix Tiger King series. Being a journalist has made me a better storyteller and a more confident person."

Alisha Grace '17, '19

Alisha Grace

GP Strategies

"I earned both my B.A. in English literature and my M.A. in rhetoric and composition at Winthrop University. I tutored in the Writing Center for three years, was awarded a graduate assistantship and became the assistant director of the Writing Center my final year as a graduate student—a job I truly loved.

During my M.A., I began freelance editing manuscripts for small independent presses and self-publishing authors. After graduate school, I continued my editing work and became an adjunct English instructor at Winthrop. For three years, I taught critical reading, thinking and writing courses for my alma mater.

More recently, I began working as a copywriter for the marketing department of a global company, GP Strategies, where I write and edit a variety of marketing content about workforce transformation solutions and learning and development trends. I love that although I am no longer in education, the work I do now is still intimately tied with self-development and professional growth."

Javy Gwaltney '11 '14

Javy Gwaltney

Communications Manager
Electronic Arts

"I’ve had a roller-coaster of a career since my time at Winthrop, starting out writing freelance articles and reviews for publications like Paste Magazine and VICE before securing a full-time position as an editor at Game Informer in Minneapolis. There I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to countries like Malta, Germany, and Kuwait to cover video games and the impact they have on culture. I now live in Los Angeles and serve as a Communications Manager at Electronic Arts, working on both the Battlefield and Star Wars franchises. During my time at Winthrop, I fell deeply in love with all things literature and writing – spending many hours grabbing random books off the shelves in both Bancroft and Dacus and diving in. The professors at Winthrop encouraged my most creative tendencies while challenging me in ways that helped me grow as a writer and a person."

Alecz Hansen '19

Alecz Hansen

Senior Audit Analyst

"I received a B.A. in English with a minor in internal auditing (which has been renamed to risk assurance). I love working on the methodology side of auditing because it allows me to use a lot of the skills that I gained while working at the Winthrop Writing Center (e.g. reviewing, formatting, and giving guidance on how to best present my department's reports). I'm also constantly writing, using critical thinking/reading skills, and finding new ways to use my English degree in a field where English degrees are few and far between."

Jeanne Harris '14

Jeanne Harris

Elementary Library Media Specialist
Spartanburg School District

"In my position I stand up for student choice in what they read, design, and research. I partner with teachers to bring aspects of critical thinking into classroom projects. I also plan school-wide reading promotions, curate the library's collection of books, and manage the school's 1:1 technology program. There is no better job than laying the foundation for the love of reading and researching!"

Mary Hicks '21

Mary Hicks

Procedure Writer
Wells Fargo

"I earned my B.A. in English with a minor in communication studies. As a student, I worked as the Opinion Editor for The Johnsonian. Pitching stories to the team, managing deadlines, assigning and editing opinion pieces for the writers as well as writing my own, gave me incredibly valuable experience that I refer to in all of my job interviews. In my current role as a procedure writer, I specialize in writing, editing, updating and publishing procedures and job aids. I provide clear communication to my partners and collaborate with subject matter experts regularly. I often think back to something I learned in one of my technical communication classes: most of technical writing includes just as much collaboration and communication with experts and users as writing itself. This part is often one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job because it gives me the opportunity to engage with others and continue to learn about new processes!"

Hannah Jackson '18, '19

Hannah Jackson

Waubonsee Community College

"My official title is Librarian; however, my responsibilities are oriented around those of a Reference Librarian: I get to help library members with their research questions in-person, over the phone, and through a live-chat. In addition to helping the other librarians update the college's LibGuides, I conduct library instruction sessions (which is when an instructor brings their class into the library so the librarian can walk them through how to use the databases and catalog for their research) and am in charge of collection development for English, Psychology, Anthropology, and Film Studies. Although I love working with the library materials, I most enjoy interacting with the library members, being there to help them in any way I can, and working to make sure they feel welcomed and included in the space."

John Kroft '18, '22

John Kroft

Financial Operations Analyst

"I have a B.A. in English literature and language with a minor in writing, professional option, (Dec. 2018) and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance (Dec. 2022). My job title is Financial Operations Analyst. I (and my team) work as an intermediary between the Sales and Underwriting teams and the Implementation and Accounts Payable teams. We ensure proper implementation of pricing models on accounts for the purpose of automation. Other primary duties include the retroactive application of these models, analysis of the quality and quantity of work complete, and continuous improvement projects."

Lauren Leonard '19

Lauren Leonard

Renewal Underwriter
National Risk Solutions Insurance

"I work in the insurance industry on home and apartment policies that are up for renewal each year! I examine the guidelines from different insurance carriers, review home inspection reports, and communicate regularly with sales agents to make sure that their clients' homes are in good condition to be offered coverage each year. Before this job I never would have imagined that an English major could transition into an area like insurance, but with all of the analysis, writing, and technical pieces involved in the job, I've found that I can use what I learned from my English classes at Winthrop every day and have loved every minute of it so far!"

Jamerson Magwood '06

Jamerson Magwood

Transfer Credit Coordinator, Registrar's Office
Trident Technical College

B.A. History & B.A. English/Professional Communications

"In my current job, I am responsible for providing students, faculty, and staff with independent management and support of transfer and non-course credit processes and activities in the Registrar’s Office. These activities include reviewing and evaluating academic, technical, and/or professional credentials to include official transcripts and credit by examinations for transfer credit and/or non-credit awarding. In my former role as a technical writer for Atlas Technologies, Engility Coporporation, and L-3 Communications, I provided technical writing, acquisition logistics, and program management support in various capacities over a ten-year period to dedicated engineering programs that touched all branches of the U.S. Department of Defense and other relevant federal government agencies."

Kay McSpadden '76, '80

Kay McSpadden

Retired English Teacher
York Comprehensive High School

"I began teaching special education in 1977 at North Middle School in Lancaster, and the next school year I taught 6th grade ELA, and then for the following three years I taught English at Chester High School. My husband and I moved to Nashville for a year, and when we returned, I began teaching at York Comprehensive High School where I taught until I retired in June 2021. In 1999, I was one of eight community columnists chosen to write a monthly op-ed for The Charlotte Observer, and at the end of that year, my editor asked me to continue. In 2007, Stampley Press in Charlotte collected some of those columns and published them as Notes from a Classroom: Reflections on Teaching. In 2012, I won the NCTE fiction prize co-sponsored by the Norman Mailer Writing Center, which included a trip to NYC for a star-studded gala and a summer writing retreat at Norman Mailer’s Brooklyn home. Since then, I’ve written short stories for literary journals like Kestrel, Cobalt, and Chautauqua; was a finalist in the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Festival Fiction Contest; and have written two short plays produced by Main Street Theater in Rock Hill."

Lauren Miller '16

Lauren Miller

Associate Attorney
Law Office of Carlos M. Carvajal

"I followed my dreams and moved to Brooklyn five years ago to attend law school. I'm now an associate attorney at a small law firm in NYC, practicing mostly entertainment law and commercial litigation. My time at Winthrop, especially working in the Writing Center, helped me succeed in law school and my career with all of the legal writing I have to do! I plan to pursue a career in film production as a production attorney."

Dasia Payne '14

Dasia Payne

Associate Managing Editor
Berkley | Penguin Random House

"I am the Associate Managing Editor at Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House, located in New York City! After graduating from Winthrop University, I was blessed to receive a scholarship in the summer of 2016 to attend Columbia University's Publishing Course, an intensive six-week program that prepares students for entry-level jobs in publishing. I was soon hired at PRH as the managing editorial assistant for the imprint, Berkley, where my team and I are responsible for keeping the impressive Berkley/Berkley Romance/Ace list on schedule. My position is extremely fast-paced, and I must juggle a lot. Managing editors are truly the nuts and bolts of a publishing house and I love my position because it continues to allow me the opportunity to work with and learn about a variety of other departments. It’s been a thrilling five years in the career of my dreams, working with authors such as Ali Hazelwood, Emily Henry, Jasmine Guillory, Ruby Dixon, and a new, personal favorite, Ashley Poston. I am so thankful to Winthrop’s Department of English for preparing me for my role in the publishing industry."

Allison Snipes Welte '19

Allison Snipes Welte

English Teacher
Chester High School

"I graduated with a B.A. in English and a secondary education certification. I currently teach English 1 and English 2 Honors at Chester High School in Chester, South Carolina. I also serve as the Technology Mentor for CHS and as a mentor to an induction teacher. I am also a faculty sponsor of the Beta Club and the co-chair of the New Teacher Welcome Committee. 

I am currently back at Winthrop as a graduate student. I am pursuing an M.Ed. in learning design and technology so that I can specialize in online learning. I will graduate with my M.Ed. in May of 2023. I love teaching English, and I feel that Winthrop prepared me so well to do so. I love the field of education, and I can't wait to use what I've learned from the Department of English—as well as the College of Education—at Winthrop to continue my career in education."

Scott Whiddon '96

Scott Whiddon

Professor of Writing, Rhetoric & Communication and Writing Center Director
Transylvania University

"Winthrop's English and Creative Writing faculty gave me both the skill sets and the imaginative framework to find my way through an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. — which led me to my current position as a tenured faculty member and writing center director. The close ties with faculty, opportunities for leadership development, and the small school setting were crucial for not only my career, but how I see the world and my place in it."