Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Becky Cooper

Second Advisor

Jennifer Townsend


The Laureate is an undergraduate literary journal sponsored by the Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University. As Editor in Chief of the 17th Edition, I coordinated the journal’s publication over the course of an academic year. The editorial process follows methodical stages, which have become standard over The Laureate’s lifetime—recruiting submissions, selecting submissions, coordinating with the design center, and hosting a launch party, etc... Of course, every editor has a unique experience, but we must honor the journal’s entity as something larger than ourselves—this journal has existed long before my time, and I hope it keeps on keeping on. By chance, I met The Laureate’s founding editor at the 2018 English department awards ceremony—I happened to be carrying a copy of the manuscript in a paper bag—and he was very proud to hear of its survival. In a world of increasing artistic illiteracy, journals such as this one become more essential than ever. Online platforms reward art for its popularity rather than its substance, paving the way for Instagram poetry and Pinterest crafts. Small publications cannot compete with an opportunity to go viral. With all of this in mind, I fear for The Laureate’s future, and wonder if can withstand our societal changes.

As Editor in Chief, I had the honor and privilege of working under my superb faculty advisor, mentor, and friend—Becky Cooper. Through my reflection, I celebrate the ways in which she fostered my creativity throughout my adolescence, and how her unwavering support emboldened my artistic endeavors. I wonder at who I might have become without such a mentor. I argue that we cannot maintain a respectable creative society if we do not nurture or value creative instincts, especially the creativity generated by young people. We must encourage a new generation of artists to share and publish their work, by making them believe their work is worth sharing.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access