Current Graduate Students

Meet some of our current M.A. and Ph.D. students and learn about their areas of interest.

AbujadIbtisam Abujad, Ph.D. candidate
Area of Interest/Study: Transnational Cultural Studies, with a focus on migrancy, gender, race, and the burgeoning field of Critical Muslim Studies

Ibtisam M. Abujad has published a number of scholarly articles and book chapters, a list of which can be found at Her creative and poetic works can be found in journals such as The Nasiona, The Pointed Circle, Route 7 Review, Rigorous, Blue Minaret Literary Journal, and Cream City Review, among others.  

BurgessHolly Burgess, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: 20th and 21st Century African American Literature, gender and LGBTQ+ studies, and film studies

Holly Burgess earned her M.A. in English at Marquette and returned to the Ph.D. program in 2018. Burgess's dissertation examines police brutality, revolutionary violence, and hip-hop from The Black Power Movement to The Black Lives Matter Movement. In 2021, She presented a paper on Sara and Tegan Quin's memoir High School at MMLA. Her poetry is published in Straylight Literary Arts Magazine and Marquette Literary Review. 

LandwerAyo Ibiyemi, M.A. candidate

Areas of Interest/Study: Postcolonialism, African Diaspora Fiction, Environmental Studies, and Indigenous Studies


LandwerNajma Ibrahim, Ph.D. candidate

Areas of Interest/Study: Somali Women Literature, African and American Diaspora Literature


SuarezJose Intriago-Suarez, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: Post Colonial 20th-century Anglophone literature and its humor, contemporary popular culture, Flann O’Brien, and critical theory


LandwerSusan Jones-Landwer, Ph.D. candidate

Areas of Interest/Study: 19th-Century Women's Literature with a focus on the antebellum women's experience. 

No ImageMaggie Patchet, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: 20th- and 21st-Century American Literature, War Literature

Maggie is writing a dissertation on writings by female combatants in the Iraq War. She recently gave a conference presentation from this project at MMLA entitled “Repurposing Real Stories: The Function of the Frame in Helen Benedict's The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq.” In her time here, Maggi has served as an editorial assistant on Marquette’s Renascence journal.

SimmererJulia Salkind Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: Medieval literature studies with a focus on feminist and gender dynamics/studies and their intersection with power structures in medieval and early modern literature

SimmererCatherine Simmerer, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: 19th- and 20th-century British literature; Catholic literature; war literature and trauma theory; narrative and chronology; disillusionment and nostalgia

Catherine earned her M.A. in English at Marquette and returned to the Ph.D. program in 2018. She has presented research on Arthur Conan Doyle and Austen’s Emma at the MWCBS. Additionally, she published a short biography of Father Brown in Eric Sandberg’s 100 Greatest Literary Detectives.

SimmererJen Stanislawski, M.A. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: 20th-Century American literature, historical fiction, women's literature, queer theory

In May 2023, Jen Stanislawski was awarded the 2023 Sarah Jo Mayville Award for Excellence in Scholarly Writing for her first-year seminar paper titled "Examining the Function of Online Queer Anonymity through a Marxist Framework: A Marxist reading of Tumblr’s capacity to facilitate community building, solidarity, intimacy, identity formation, and a safe space for expression among anonymous queer users."


Kia Vang, M.A. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) based Literatures, Hmong American Diaspora Studies, and Educational Policy

Kia Vang is currently in the Trinity Fellows Program, taking Public Service courses and working at a local non-profit, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, as part of her graduate program. She has published creative work in her book, "The Home We Built on 46th St." And co-published research, "Introducing Our HMoob American College Paj Ntaub: Student-engaged Community-Based Participatory Action Research as Critical Counter-Invisibility Work" in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (TQSE).

KellerEmily Workman Keller, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: British Romanticism, Gothic novels and chapbooks, the literature of British imperialism, and Britain's national identity 

ZastrowAmanda Zastrow, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: Late 19th-/Early 20th-century American literature with research interests in gender studies and place studies

Amanda Zastrow is studying pioneer narratives and American literature of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. She has presented at various conferences and has published in journals such as Pleiades, Pivot, and has a book chapter in the Representing Rural Women edited collection.