The English Department supports current students and alumni and invites all to submit news, information and successes. Include your name, major / concentration, year of graduation and your news. We will also post a photograph:

Submit news, updates and corrections to the department webmaster:


John Crowley

John Crowley:

Since I’ve left CNU in 2011, my life has been a whirlwind of adventure. I left CNU with a B.A. in English with a focus in Creative Writing. In my last few weeks, I had applied to teach English overseas in Japan and I was lucky enough to pass my interviews and join the AEON English School. After I was given the position I became informed that I had less than a month to get all my documentation together and make my way overseas. So, I hastily left for Kakogawa, Japan in early July 2011 with little money and even less knowledge of the Japanese culture.

In my two years there I taught students at a variety of levels. I had students in Kindergarten all the way through Post-Graduate levels, each presenting themselves with different levels of English and exciting challenges. I studied Japanese in my spare time and made sure to sample the country's cuisine every chance I got. I came to appreciate the world from a fresh new angle and grew a lot in my time there.

I later returned to America to pursue my career as a film writer. I entered Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2013 and studied for my MFA in Cinema & Television with a concentration in Script & Screenwriting. While there, I got to work on a plethora of productions, ranging from student films, to television programming and even a feature film titled In-Lawfully Yours. I traveled to Los Angeles during an educational trip called the Hollywood Experience and met with many great producers, writers and directors. I finally received my MFA in May 2015 after writing the first few episodes of an original television series called Red Hats which I based off the popular sitcom Golden Girls.

During my graduate studies, I spent my free time getting into fitness as well as acting as an alumni advisor to Kappa Delta Rho at CNU. I became a LesMills instructor in 2013, and I continue to teach BodyJam, a dance/cardio fitness class. With my fraternity, I helped council my brothers during my two years in Virginia Beach, and while I no longer hold the position I still travel back and forth to keep up my close relationship with the chapter.

Currently I have moved back to my birth state, New Jersey, and I’m working towards finding work in the “Big City.” My desire is one day getting into a writer’s room and writing for television. I also hope to work as a professor on the side, one day working full-time at a university. But for now, I’m busy at work writing screenplays and fine-tuning my writing abilities, in the quiet and solitude of a basement in New Jersey.


Morgan Elwell

Morgan Elwell:

I graduated from CNU in 2011with a B.A. in English, and my first summer after graduation was spent being an intern for The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell at MSNBC. I had a blast! The experience I received from this internship helped land me my first full-time job after graduating - being an Associate Producer for Virginia This Morning, central Virginia’s only live, local, talk and entertainment morning show.

The job was stressful at times, but full of amazing experiences. Some days I would be manning the producer’s seat in the control room, other days I’d be shuffling guests around making sure everything was in place for the live show. Some of my favorite guests were Jay Pharoah from SNL, actress Molly Ringwald, and all of the baby animals that the local SPCA brought with them! In 2013, I also became the Producer for Battle of the Brains, a quiz show that high schoolers across Virginia competed in for a college scholarship.

After working as an Associate Producer in Richmond for 15 months, a show in Washington D.C. called and asked me to become their producer. So I packed my bags, moved to DC, and began working on Defense News with Vago Muradian. This was a taped show that aired once a week, which was a little different from the daily live show taping of my previous job.

Here I helped script the show, researched all sorts of military and defense programs, and created a show that aired across several networks including the Pentagon Channel, and the American Forces Network. I was lucky enough to meet Ine Eriksen Søreide, the Minister of Defence for Norway, and got to talk with her about her country’s relationship with Russia, and how Norway became the first NATO country to allow women to serve in the military. During my time here I also worked behind the scenes on interviews with Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, where he discussed the F-35 program, and an interview with Senator Mark Warner who touched on bipartisan efforts to overhaul the Veterans Health Administration.

In late 2014 I moved to New York City and became the Communications and Marketing Manager for Mystery and Thrillers at Kensington Publishing Corp., I’m still in this position today. I work with all sorts of authors and plan out the marketing and publicity campaigns for their books. Some of the authors I work with include Kevin O’Brien, Mary Burton, Nancy Bush, Debbie Howells, Suzanne Chazin, and Charlie Donlea to name a few. There is never a dull moment, and I love every day I’ve spent at this job!


Carolyn Creedon, B.A. English

Carolyn Creedon
Carolyn Creedon, who studied creative writing and English at CNU, has published her first book of poetry at Kent State University Press (2012). The book is receiving critical acclaim from noted scholars:

 Wet, the Winner of the 2011 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize 

“I’m moved by the way that Carolyn Creedon’s work treats experience as sacred. She won’t look away from difficult truths. She writes frankly about her own frustrations, longings, and heartbreaks, but she also recognizes the suffering of others—their secret grievances and griefs. The daily working world is here in full measure. And yet there’s an oddly religious feeling that keeps breaking through this volume, which cherishes the small things, the lesser divinities, and ends with a prayer. It heartens me to welcome this fiery and fervent book, this wet collection, into the world.”
—Edward Hirsch, Judge

“I have long admired Carolyn Creedon’s work. Her first book is strong and vital. She is not like anyone else now publishing in our country. Her directness and immediacy make her a kind of legitimate granddaughter of the sublime Walt Whitman. ”
—Harold Bloom

Lindsay Marie Simpson, B.A. English, Captain's Log alumna (2007)
After graduating in 2007, I moved to Petersburg, Virginia to work as a reporter at a small daily named The Progress-Index with fellow Captain's Log alumnus Elliott Robinson. After being accepted to graduate school, I left to pursue my career in secondary education. In November 2010, I was offered a job at my alma mater, North Stafford High School, to teach English, Learn and Serve as well as Journalism I, II and III. Only a month later, I received my Master's degree in Secondary Education. I also serve as the advisor to The North Star, our school's quarterly newspaper, coach the winter and the fall color guards, serve on the School Improvement Plan committee and Renaissance committee in addition to teaching both standard and inclusion English course.—October 2011

Mary Sornberger, B. A. English / Literature Concentration (2004)
Mary won the Agnes L. Braganza award for nonfiction, first place prize, at the 30th Annual Writers' Conference & Writing Contest (2011). Her winning essay titled "Mourning in America” powerfully explores her struggle to understand and to help those with anorexia. Her writing is brutally honest and will help many. She is a member of Hampton Roads Writers <>, and she has worked as a reporter for—April 2011

Andrew Deitrick wins journalism award
Andrew Deitrick, a senior English major and Online Editor for the Captain's Log, is honored April 9, 2011, for winning 2nd place in the Society of Professional Journalist's Region 2 competition for best journalism website affiliated with a student newspaper. Andrew designed and implemented a comphrensive, interactive website for the Captain's Log, professionalizing the website. Andrew is also one of four CNU journalism student filmmakers who filmed a 45-minute documentary profiling the unique role Collegiate Times student journalists served during and after the April 16, 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. The film "Documenting Disaster: A Campus Newspaper Pieces Together a Torn Community" premieres at 5 p.m., Friday, April 15, and at 3:30 p.m., April 16, in the Ferguson Center's Studio Theater. Co-filmmakers are Victoria Shirley, Cassie Vinch and Samantha Thrift, Communication Studies majors. CNU student composer Andrew Bell wrote and conducted an original musical score, recording the work for piano and voice in CNU music studios.

Christian Freymeyer
Christian Freymeyer, B.A. English / Journalism concentration
Christian has just received official word that he willl be leaving June 1, 2011, for Cameroon, West Africa. He will be working with schools teaching computer skills, along with helping set up other social and health programs.—April 2011

Check out Christian's Peace Corps blog: —August 2011

Katie Murray
Katie Murray. B.A., English
Katie has been serving in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa, for about two years. You can read about her adventures there in her blog, Peace Corps: Katie.April 2011

Mark Newton, B.A. English, Journalism Concentration
 A graduate student studying journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University, Mark sat on a panel—"Computer-Assisted Reporting (C.A.R.) on Campus: Top Investigations by Student Journalists"—at the Investigative Reporters & Editors (I.R.E.) conference Feb. 26, 2011 in Raleigh, N.C. His project on C.A.R. was one of four student projects chosen for presentation at the conference.

Ashleigh Tullar, B.A. Communications; Minors, Writing & Journalism (2007)
Captain's Log intern Spring 2004 (wrote articles, helped with page layout). Layout & Design Manager Fall 05-Spring 07. I am currently working at The Virginian-Pilot (3 years now) as a legal sales executive in the advertising department. I won sales rookie of the year for 2009!

Joe Atkinson, B.A., English. (1999)
After years in the newsroom at the Daily Press, Newport News, Va., I started working in May 2010 as a Creative Writer at Snow Companies in Williamsburg. Snow is a pharmaceutical marketing company, but with a bit of a twist. We work directly with people who have chronic illnesses to help them tell their stories, from first symptoms to treatment. A coworker of mine likes to say that we work with the "good arm of the drug industry." It's a really rewarding job.
I should point out that there's a "CNU Mafia" at Snow. We only have a couple of CNU grads in the creative department, but there's a huge contingent of CNU grads on the accounts side. It's definitely a CNU-friendly company.

Elizabeth MacGahan, Captain's Log copy editor, 1995-98
A long-time copy editor and features editor at the Daily Press, Newport News, Va., Liz is now the online media coordinator at the News-Register in McMinnville, Oregon. Also known as the hostess extraordinare for the Alternative Thanksgiving feasts she and her husband, Angus, put on for a decade in their Hilton Village home. Price of admission to the feast—canned goods for the food bank.September 2010

Elliot Robinson, B.A. English
 I am the Managing Editor of the Hopewell News, Hopewell, Va., a newspaper with a circulation of 11,000. What I've learned so far from being in charge is that it is impossible for anyone to focus on one thing and survive in this industry. I'm doing photos, layout, editing, posting to our site, writing, you name it. It seems like a lot of hard work and it is but I look forward to going to the newsroom every single day. I'm also hoping for the best to all of the CLoggers (Captain's Log alumni) at the Daily Press. I wish I had the resources to hire them all.—March 2010

Christine Barnhill. B.A., English, Captain's Log
I am a copywriter with the Hankins & Anderson architecture and engineering firm. (September 2010). Prior to that, I was a copywriter for Amerigroup Corporation in Virginia Beach, developing content and copy for the website and the social media outlets.

Amber Lester, B.A. English, Captain's Log
I am a reporter for a news Web site called The Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily, based in Williamsburg, Va. I primarily cover education. Before that, I was a copy editor and designer at The News Leader in Staunton and a features writer at The Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg. In October, I will marry fellow CLOG alumnus, Sean Kennedy, who works at the Daily Press. (September 2010)

Steven Flemming, B.A. English (Journalism) (2001) Captain's Log 

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in English with a journalism concentration in December 2001, I worked as a copy editor and page designer at the Daily Press until August 2003 (I was already there as a part-time employee when I graduated). Next I went to The Frederick News-Post in Frederick, Maryland, where I was part of the desk from September 2003 to August of 2004. Tired of the second-shift copy desk grind, I switched gears and went to Crowell and Moring, a D.C. law firm, to work as a marketing and business development writer from August of 2004 to April of 2005. I wasn't terribly fond of the law firm environment, so I moved on to Calvert, a mutual fund company in Bethesda, Maryland, where I work as the legal department's regulatory communications specialist. I coordinate the production of all of the reports, prospectuses and other SEC-regulated documents. I've also done a lot of freelance music writing over the last several years, as my work as appeared at Soul Summer, Fly Global Music, Soulbounce, DC Agenda and Hip Online. I am currently working on a Master of Liberal Arts Degree at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.(March 2010)

Elizabeth Beck,
B.A. English (2008), Captain's Log, Editor-in-Chief
After two years as a copy editor and page designer at the Daily Press in Newport News, I am now part of a two-person centralized design desk at the Suffolk News-Herald where I design the daily newspaper and special sections for both the Herald and its sister paper in Franklin, The Tidewater News. I also update the Herald's website, Facebook and Twitter. In my spare time, I volunteer at the Peninsula SPCA in Newport News. On the personal front, I am getting married to another CNU alum (a biology major named Travis Land) on Sept. 19, 2010. (Sept. 2010)

Jamie L. Carter, B.A. English (2007)
Grant writer/technical writer for The STOP Organization-Hampton Roads. I have been employed there for over three years.  I currently write grants and format and create technical documents for reporting purposes.  I am also currently preparing to pursue my Master's of Science in Technical Communication at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. In my spare time I volunteer at a church, serving breakfast to low-income individuals who are homeless, drug- or alcohol-addicted. (September 2010)

Stephanie Melnyk
, B.A. English (2010)
Currently attending Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida.  This will be home for 3 years before I have to decide where and what I want to practice. (September 2010)

Joe Atkinson, B.A. English, Captain's Log 
My story goes something like this. Before I could even peel off my graduation gown, I got a high-paying job as an editorial assistant at the Daily Press (the part about the money is a lie). Back in 2004, when Tribune went all young-readers crazy, I got pretty deeply involved. I didn't really have an official title at that point, but my old editor called what I was doing Utility Journalism. Utility Journalism actually ended up being sort of a precursor to what's happening in newsrooms today. I had to do a little bit of everything - writing, photos, video, a little copy editing, posting stories to the site, etc. That's becoming more and more the norm now. I got married to my long-time girlfriend Melissa last February. 

Misty Cline, B.A. English, Captain's Log alumnae
I spent a couple of years at the Daily Press, then moved to Macon, GA with my husband. Worked for the (Macon) Telegraph for seven years, moving around as a copy editor and designer until I had sole charge of a bureau section. Downsizing struck and I wasn't in a position to go back to night shift work.
So I moved over to public relations for a small university. Two years on main campus, now I'm a one-woman marketing department for our satellite campus. I do side marketing for different organizations in my free time; currently working on a local Foundation for Retina Research fund-raising walk. (I have a seven-year-old with Retinitis Pigmentosa.)
I'm working on a Master's in Public Administration. We visit Newport News once a year or so. (March 2010)

Julie Hagy
, B.A. English (2005)
Freelance writer for the San Diego Union Tribune and the Los Angeles Times community newspapers. Formerly, she was a
 New York City Teaching Fellow teaching 10th grade, Special Education, at the Henry Street School for International Studies in Manhattan. She teaches 10th grade English, as well as chemistry. Julie earned a B.A. in English with an emphasis in journalism. She writes: “I've done some freelancing here and there for a trade newspaper out here, and I'm also working on a piece about my first year teaching in an inner city school.” She plans on attending a doctoral program in writing when she completes her two years in the teaching fellows program. (June 2009)

LaRae Stefan, B.A. English, is a full-time news reporter for thePerry County Republic-Monitor newspaper in Perryville, MO. (June 2009)


Loren Loving Marquez, B.A. English,
Assistant Professor of English, Salisbury University, Maryland

Though she may be new to the Salisbury University English Department, Dr. Loren Marquez is already keeping herself busy teaching courses such as English 101 (Composition I), English 465 (Research in Composition) and other courses. Her office still has its bare white walls, and books take up about half of her bookcase, as she is still just moving in. But she did have some free time to give us an introduction and the chance to get to know her a little better.

Dr. Marquez received her Bachelor’s from Christopher University in Newport, Virginia, with a focus in Writing and Rhetoric, and then attended graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University for her Masters and Texas Christian University for her Ph.D., both in Writing and Rhetoric. She says she “always wanted to become a teacher” and feels that “writing is not just for the classroom." Marquez feels that her students should learn writing and rhetoric so they can use them for civic duties outside the classroom, and in their every day lives.
When asked why she chose teaching and writing, Marquez said she has always loved writing and has always wanted to teach. She aspires to be a good teacher, good mentor to her students, and also, to turn her dissertation into a book.

—Story by Kristen Manion, Salisbury University

The English Department likes to stay in touch with alumni who didn't major in English, but who are good friends of the department's students, alumni and faculty.

Submit news, updates and corrections to the department webmaster:

Victoria Shirley, B.A. Communication Studies (2011)
The 2010-2011 Editor-in-Chief of The Captain's Log, and multimedia editor before that, Victoria landed a television news reporting job at KNOE-TV8.

Cassie Vinch, B.A. Communication Studies (2011)
The 201-2011 Sports editor at the Captain's Log, Cassie is now a news reporter at WAOW in Wisconsin.

Billy Fellin
Billy Fellin, B.A., Communication Studies (2010)

The former sports editor for the Captain's Log, Billy is now a Sports Producer at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where he reports in print and video. (March 2011)

Eric W. Pesola, B.A., Communication Studies (1998)
I am currently (Spring 2010) the Asst. Director of New Media & Marketing for the W&M Alumni Association. I have been here for about 4 years. Before that I worked at Trader Publishing, Landmark Communications, the Norfolk Nighthawks, WAVY TV-10 and Thomas Nelson Community College, though not all at the same time. I worked at the CLOG first as a contributing cartoonist, staff illustrator, then layout editor, then managing editor and finally completed the circle as a contributing cartoonist (1993-98). I have actually written a book about another CLOG alum, and former editor, Mike Leonard. The book is called "LEONARD LEGEND" and is about his adventures after CNU.

Sean Kennedy
, Captain's Log, Sports Editor (2006)
As far as my career: I've been working at the Daily Press Sports Dept. for almost 6 years now (yeah, wow). Lately, I've been getting heavily into the online realm, trying to expand our brand there -- especially on stuff like Facebook and twitter. Far more importantly, though, I'm getting married to fellow former Captain's Log edito Amber Lester in October. Very excited (and busy!). (March 2010)

Philip Leclerc, Captain's Log News Editor 2005-06 alum B.A. Math, Economics & Psychology (Spring 2009)
After my tenure with teh Captain's Log, I spent my senior year studying abroad in eastern Africa (Tanzania) under scholarship before returning (for a fifth year) to finish my B.A. in Math-Econ and Psychology. B.A. in hand, I decided to transition from VCU's math M.S. to a related VCU math Ph.D. in Systems Modeling and Analysis. (September 2010)

Paul Frommelt, Captain's Log, Sports Editor
As you can imagine, it's been an interesting few years since graduation. I started right out of school at the Connection Newspapers in Northern VA as one of four Sports Editors. The Connection Newspapers is a chain of 19 different weeklies around NoVa. I won 8 VPA awards for writing and layout during my time there and left as the Senior Sports Editor.  I took a job at a company called DigitalSports which was an all Internet company covering high school sports. We focused on shooting and editing video as well as writing gamers and features. It was a great product, but it couldn't make any money so I was laid off last June and took a position at the Fairfax County Times - another weekly - as Sports Editor.I also do play-by-play and color commentary for high school and college games on Verizon Fios as well as co-host a weekly public access show on high school sports. I've been living in Loudoun County since 2008 and am getting married this September. (March 2010)

Hugh Spain, Captain's Log, Editor-in-Chief
I was married in 2008 to my wife, Allyson. We are living in Williamsburg. She is an early childhood special ed. teacher with York County. I am working for an online company in Oyster Point Newport News, (we also own another site, as the managing editor. We are a company that sends out news and syndicated features to over 3 million email subscribers per day. With BookDaily, we make available first chapter book samples for visitors who want to read the first chapter of a book before purchasing. I basically coordinate with content providers to get all the content on our site and delivered to readers. I also write the copy for the publications, etc., and do a little blogging, press release writing, a few features here and there. I manage two others on the Editorial staff. (March 2010)