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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Archived Bios

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February 2010: Hannah Ekren

Year: Senior
Major: English Literature
Minor: History
Sigma Tau Delta Member Since: 
Spring 2009

Random Facts About Me
- I have two brothers
- My parents owned a resort, so I grew up as a resort kid.
- I have a passionate hatred for Emily Dickinson.
- I'm a HUGE Harry Potter nerd!
- My future plans entail grad school and hopefully a career as a professor. I plan on focusing on Victorian, Colonial, and Post-Colonial Literature.
- I'm a Twins fan.
- I love to travel, some of the highlights have been China, Italy, Vienna, Budapest, Berlin, and Paris.
- I'm a firm believer in Retail Therapy.
- I LOVE rain and thunderstorms.

Favorite Books
- My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Other favorites are:
- The White Tiger by Aravid Adiga
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
- Burnt Shadows by Kamilla Shamsie
- Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin


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November 2009: Laura Januschka

Year: Senior
Major: English Education
Minor: French
Sigma Tau Delta Member Since: 
Fall 2008

Favorite Books:
- The Awakening
- The Time Traveler's Wife
- He's Just Not that into You
- The Giver
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Favorite Authors:
- James Patterson
- Billy Collins
- Tim O'Brian

Writing Piece:


I look out into the kitchen
And I see, taste, feel the past….

Clink Clank Clang
Red lights glowing
6 am

Shuffling Hustling Bustling
Moving effortlessly
In the groove of a routine

Sizzling Hissling Crackling
Warm cotton sheets beckon me to stay
As the crisp air stuns

Tip Toeing Timidly
I sneak to the stairs
And sit mesmerized

Lost in your natural rhythm
Never noticing me in awe
Catching glimpse of Grandma’s love

Creak Squeak Shreak
Announces my descent
Interrupting your breakfast ballet

Scuffling Rustling Stirrings
Distractions disrupting
Our grandma granddaughter time

Gathering around the table
Slinking onto the grandchildren’s bench
Sweet smells of morning surround

Moaning Groaning Grumbling
My stomach impatient
As Cream of Wheat cools

Smooth milky velvet
Swirls on my palate
Tastes forever treasured

The Sun is barely rising
But your smile shine’s through
Moments remain in my memory…

But most likely forgotten in yours

…6 am…silence
No clinking
No clanking
No clanging

A shuffle A hustle A bustle
But it belongs to me

A Broken Ballet
Gone is the Sizzling
Gone is the Hissling
Gone is the Crackling

Rummaging Seeking Searching
Stickers label everything
Sadness strikes…Realization hits

You Scuffle You Rustle You Stir
Times have changed
But your warm heart remains

Silently sorry
A lonesome tea kettle sings
As I shake cornflakes into your bowl

The Sun has already risen
Still your smile shine’s through
Moments remain in my memory…

 October 2009: Emily Bartz

Year: Senior
Major: English Literature
Minor: Music
Sigma Tau Delta Member Since: March 2009

I grew up a missionary kid (MK) in the Philippines and graduated from Faith Academy Manila in 2006.  My parents are from North Dakota and Minnesota and adopted me when I was eight months old.  They became missionaries in 1989.  My parents now live in Pretoria, South Africa.

I find being a Missionary Kid and Third Culture Kid a key part of my personality.  At the very least, it explains me.  A lot of what I write and draw is about the missionary kid experience: being a foreigner in your own country and having dozens of “weird” experiences and few “normal” experiences.  For instance, I had a passport before I had a driver’s license.  I prefer the din of rain on a tin roof to the comfort of secure shingled house.  In summer 2009, I drew a short graphic novel about my first two years in America entitled,Phusaza.
My favorite book is Capyboppy by Bill Peet.  In recent years, the three most influential books on my life are the graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl.  My teenage obsession with The Lord of the Rings transferred into other things, like martial arts, linguistics, England, and human rights.

I graduate in May 2010 and plan to either join the Foreign Service or attend graduate school abroad.

 Student taking photo of animal from a vehicle.


September 2009: Leah Schmidt

Year: Senior (with one more year!)Photo of Leah Schmidt.

Major(s)/Minor(s): I’m double majoring in Secondary English Education and Spanish.

Sigma Tau Delta Member since: March 2009

A little about me:

  • I completed my AA Degree at Riverland Community College and transferred to MSU last year. 
  • I have two younger sisters (one at Bemidji State and one in high school back in my hometown) whom I miss very much. 
  • This is my fourth year working as the Technical Director of the Owatonna High School Theatre Department.
  • I love cooking and eating.  I’m on a chicken fajita kick right now.
  • I am a chapstick addict.  It has to be mint chapstick though!
  • I love school and can’t wait to become a teacher so I can be at school every day!

My favorite books so far:
To Kill a Mockingbird, When You are Engulfed in Flames, and yes I’ll admit it… I like the Twilight series.  You can begin the teasing now.  Hey, if it gets young people reading – I’m all for it!



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