Megan Evans, who will complete her M.A. in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Writing studies has engaged in advanced scholarship through coining the term “rogue feminism” as a way of naming a rhetorical phenomenon she observed in social media platforms.
“As a student working on a Master’s Degree – her orientation and scholarship is quite advanced. Most scholars do this kind of work for a dissertation or beyond,” said Dr. Ginny Crisco.
Along with other students, Evans restarted the Students of English Studies Association (SESA) and served as the vice-president and later the president of the organization. In her leadership, she led the organization of two graduate student conferences, one in the department of English and one inviting students across Arts and Humanities.
“The end result was an engaging and provocative conference that showcased the work of our students at Fresno State. Megan’s work always exhibits a strong sense of professionalism and care for the disciplines of rhetoric, literary studies, composition studies, and creative work,” said Dr. Kathleen Godfrey, English Department Chair.
During her time at Fresno State, Evans has presented at six conferences and helped organize four workshops. In addition, she also worked on the digital humanities project “Surveying Utopias: A Critical Exploration,” an interactive and standing Special Collections exhibition in the Henry Madden Library.
“She has made a significant difference in the lives of our students through the workshops she has developed, the conferences she has planned, and her teaching. Her work at Fresno State has allowed her to develop skills and a strong intellectual foundation that she will employ as she moves forward to a Ph.D. program,” said Godfrey.
Evans plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in Rhetoric and Composition and plans to continue researching within Digital Humanities.
Megan Evans, Graduate Dean’s Medal Nominee, Department of English
During my first semester as a graduate student, I joined my fellow classmates in restarting Students of English Studies Association (SESA) to fill the need for professionalization experience for graduate students in the English Department. Serving as Vice President, and later President of SESA, our goal was to build a community of graduate students that collaborated and shared information as we found them, such as how to navigate the academic world and practices for sharing resources for what to do after we graduated with our degrees. When I became President of SESA, I emphasized this professionalization goal by organizing workshops with my fellow members on topics that related to graduating and career building. I met and discussed topics with professors in my department to gather information to share with my peers. This led to the creation of the “Q&A with English Professors” event in Spring 2018 hosted by SESA and Sigma Tau Delta members.
SESA’s main goal was to create a conference where graduate students in the English Department could share their work. I helped co-organize SESA’s symposiums that worked alongside graduate level classes to offer my peers first-time career and academic experiences with presenting at a conference. As president, I was able to secure SESA’s second symposium the Instructionally Related Activities Grant that aided in providing a more professionalized environment for students. I also worked to expand the second symposium to invite students from multiple disciplines to participate.
Through the encouragement and guidance of my professors, I have presented at conferences like PAMLA and NCTE, for which I was a part of a panel with Dr. Reva Sias. From my work with the department to support my peers, I was honored with the “Outstanding MA Graduate Student” award in Spring 2018. Because I stood out as a graduate student in my work with the department and in my classes, I was invited by Dr. J. Ashley Foster to guest lecture her undergraduate course on archival theories.
From my studies in Digital Humanities and Rhetoric and Composition, I have created my thesis “Rogue Feminism: Looking at Digital Rhetorics in Academia” chaired by Dr. Virginia Crisco. I saw a need for rhetoric studies to focus on modern forms of feminist rhetoric online after seeing little research in this area. This project is one that I hope to continue in a Ph.D. program to study the importance of modern digital rhetorics and their impacts on conversations in academics. I have found my community in Rhetoric and Composition, and I am planning to continue researching within Digital Humanities. I will be the first in my family to go on to a Ph.D. program. I never imagined myself in this mindset, but now that I am here, I have used my experience and the knowledge I gained to show the students I teach that writing is more than the essays they write for their classes. Writing is a part of our lives and in the technology we use every day.