You’ve read their blog posts, now read their bios
Mary Egan – Founder, Blog Editor: Mary founded the Jet Fuel Review in her senior year at Lewis University. Since graduating in 2011, she has ventured into the publishing world. Mary currently lives in Brooklyn and works at Macmillan Learning, where she is an Associate Project Editor. When she’s not at work, Mary enjoys reading on the subway, participating in National Novel Writing Month, rewatching TV shows, and enjoying the “time suck” that is the internet.
Christian Mietus — Blog Editor: Christian is a Junior at Lewis University who is an English major, and Film Studies and Russian Language and Culture double minor. Above all else, he prioritizes his development as an individual, and film and literature connoisseur. Most of his time is spent on appreciating cinema and novels. Some of his favorite directors are Andrei Tarkovsky, John Cassavettes, Ingmar Bergman, Kenji Mitzoguchi, Bela Tar, Carl Th. Dreyer, and Wim Wenders. He also appreciates authors such as Dostoevsky, Balzac, and Tolstoy. Christian hopes to expand his skills as a writer, reader, and thinker, and, through his curation of the JFR blog, he encourages others to do so as well. Check out some of his work on Christian’s Cinematic Syntax.
Jo Spangler — Film Blogger: Jo Spangler is a junior at Lewis University, majoring in English Literature and Language with a minor in Creative Writing. She is a writing tutor in the Lewis Writing Center and a Youth Enrichment Aide for the YMCA. In her free time, Jo enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, and watching movies. She has been to 10 countries outside the United States, including England, Italy, Turkey, and Austria. One of Jo’s favorite book series is The All Souls Trilogy, by Deborah Harkness, because of how she mixes the supernatural with history and the focus on character development. In the future, she hopes to go into the publishing industry to help find new and exciting books for people to read.
Kammeran Hughes — Blog Editor: Kammeran Hughes is a junior at Lewis University, where he dual majors in History and English with a concentration on creative writing. On campus, he also works as a tutor at Lewis University’s writing center. Off campus, he loves to read and write. His favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo, perhaps because it is as long winded as he is. While he is not writing, he is trying to find a quiet place to read and sleep. This year he hopes to encourage a greater understanding of the world through literature. Check out his upcoming work on Hughes’s Historic Grounding.
Zakiya Cowan — Contemporary text blogger: Zakiya is a senior at Lewis University studying Creative & Professional Writing and minoring in Spanish Language and Culture. As an editor, she is devoted to creating a collection of work that encapsulates the voices of those who are silenced and left in the margins. She is most enthralled by writing that is rule-breaking, raw, and gives even the slightest insight on the innumerable experiences we endure as human beings. Some of her favorite writers include Britteney Black Rose Kapri, Safia Elhillo, Gabriel García Márquez, Bell Hooks, Joyce Carol Oates, and Toni Morrison. Aside from Jet Fuel, she works as a tutor in Lewis’ Writing Center and interns at United Way of Will County as their Creative Writing Intern. In her free time, she enjoys making to-do lists and watching Insecure.
Patricia Damocles — Music Blogger: Patricia is a junior at Lewis University majoring in English Language Arts and Secondary Education with a minor in Creative Writing. She is a transfer student from Benedictine University who previously studied Writing & Publishing in the journalism field. Aside from being an editor for Jet Fuel, Patricia is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, a tutor at the university’s Writing Center, and a sales associate at LOFT Outlet. What she strives to achieve as a Jet Fuel editor is to give passionate, aspiring writers a platform to express themselves. As someone who has had the opportunity to be published in a previous issue, she is aware of how empowering it is to have her voice acknowledged in the world of literature. In her free time, she enjoys reading poetry and short stories, and also making memories with her friends, family, and cats. Some of her favorite writers include Maya Angelou, E.E. Cummings, T.S. Eliot, and Langston Hughes.
Kasia Wolny — Literature Blogger: Kasia is a senior at Lewis University, where she enjoys her studies in English literature and creative writing. In addition, she works at the Writing Center where she is a Fellow in the ELL program. Kasia loves to read literature from around the world and across genres; some of her favorites are Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison, Khaled Hosseini, Wojciech Kuczok, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Diana Gabaldon. In her writing, she likes to focus on short story and essay composition, and on Polish-English translation of poetry. Kasia is a mom of two teenagers who, being bilingual, regularly poke fun at her for mispronouncing English words. In her free time, she likes to hike, cook, tend to her garden, visit art museums, and drink tea with friends. You can read her essays at The Canon—Close Encounters.
Zachary Klozik — Board Game Blogger: Zachary is a junior at Lewis University, majoring in English Creative and Professional Writing. On campus, he also works as a tutor for the Writing Center. Zachary especially enjoys reading and writing poetry. His favorite author is Jhonen Vasquez and that is why one of his favorite television shows is Invader Zim. He also loves Vasquez’s graphic novel Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Zachary likes to spend a lot of his free time listening to music and watching movies. His favorite genre is science fiction which is why some of his favorite movies are Donnie Darko and A Scanner Darkly.
Levi Schmillen – Horror Film Blogger: Levi is a senior at Lewis University majoring in Exercise and Movement Science with a minor in Natural Science. He is an employee for Athletico Physical Therapy as a Rehabilitation Aide. In relation to his job position, he is currently conducting a study in researching the effects of flexibility on strength output in sedentary individuals. After graduation, he plans on attending a physical therapy program in his pursuit of becoming a physical therapist. Levi’s favorite hobbies include competitive games of chess along with playing the piano. On the piano, his favorite song to play is “River Flows in You” written by Yiruma. Levi has joined the JFR blog in hopes to relay his perspectives and observations on the horror film genre. Check him out on his blog “Levi’s Lessons in Evil”.
Miguel Soto — Literature Blogger: Miguel is a senior at Lewis University, majoring in English Literature and Language. As an editor, one of his main concerns is giving a space to marginalized voices, centralizing on narratives often ignored. He loves reading radical, unapologetic writers, who explore the emotional and intellectual stresses within political identities and systemic realities. A few of his favorite writers include Gloria Anzaldúa, James Baldwin, Julia de Burgos, Audre Lorde, and Octavio Paz. His own writings appear or are forthcoming in OUT / CAST: A Journal of Queer Midwestern Writing and Art, The Rising Phoenix Review, Rogue Agent, and EFNIKS. He writes for the Jet Fuel Review blog in Not Your Binary: A QTPOC Reading Column, and he also loosely blogs under the guise Xicanx Libre.
Kayla Chambers — Film/TV/Literature Blogger: Kayla is a senior and student at Lewis University and began as a Communications major. Since then she’s decided to double major with English. While she joined the staff of Jet Fuel in early 2017, this will be her second year working as a layout editor for The Flyer, the university’s newspaper. Her own writing was published in the 2015 issue of Windows Fine Arts Magazine. She spends her free time with her family and reading news articles and videos on current events. She also loves watching and reading anything along the lines of mystery, fantasy, and science fiction. Thus a love for Pretty Little Liars, Invader Zim, X-Files, Agatha Christie, and anything Sherlock Holmes related has sprouted over the years. Find her blog under the category Kayla’s Moody Mystery Chamber.
Jakob Kagay – Film Blogger: Jakob is a senior at Lewis University who is majoring in History with a concentration in Public History and minoring in Professional Writing and Business Administration. On campus, he works at the front desk of the Library and interns at the Adelmann Collection on the second floor. During his free time he enjoys playing video games and being the Game Master for a Dungeons and Dragons game he plays with a group of online friends. He also enjoys learning history whenever possible, reading history books and watching documentaries or historical films whenever possible. Read his film blogs at Jakob’s From Fact to Film.
Michael Lane — Blog Editor: Michael is a senior at Lewis University who is taking up studies in public relations/advertising, but also dabbling in a marketing minor. Since he was a young boy, Michael always loved movies and the business surrounding them. One of Michael’s biggest heroes was the late, great Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, who inspired Michael to start writing about movies himself. Movies may be Michael’s number one hobby, but while away from school and work, he also loves reading comic books, playing video games, and spending time with his friends. Michael is the horror film blogger on JFR, so please accompany him and take a trip Down A Dark Lane.
Andrea Holm — Mindfulness Blogger: Andrea Holm is a senior at Lewis University. She is majoring in psychology and double minoring in sociology and professional writing. Her goal is to earn a PhD in clinical psychology and become a mental health doctor. She is a member of the Lewis University women’s cross country and track and field team, participating in middle distance events. This is her first year working for the Jet Fuel Review, and she has chosen to help out as Fiction Editor and Copy Editor. Outside the world of Lewis, she spends time riding her four horses, as it is a very therapeutic hobby and something she is passionate about.
Jake Johnson — Music Blogger: Jake is currently a senior at Lewis University, majoring in public relations. One day, he hopes to serve as PR for one of his favorite musicians, but for the meantime, he’s content with serving tables at his waiting job. Lover of all things music related, you will never be able to catch Jake without headphones in. If you do happen to, he’s likely hanging out with his friends, avoiding his homework, or re-watching Parks and Recreation for the umpteenth time. Find his blog under the category Colors of Noise.
Noah Slowik — Music Blogger: Noah is a junior studying English language arts and secondary education at Lewis University with a minor in theology. On campus, he works as a tutor at the Writing Center and as a reporter for The Flyer. He is entering his third year coaching high school boys’ volleyball at Breaker Volleyball Club, and also works seasonally at Dunkin’ Donuts. He enjoys reading the science fiction novels and short stories of H.G. Wells, Kurt Vonnegut, Octavia Butler, and Ted Chiang, among others. Inspired by the imaginative tales of these authors, he has also started writing science fiction stories of his own. In his free time, Noah explores bands emerging from the indie music scene in Chicago such as Twin Peaks, The Walters, and Whitney. You can read his reviews in the section Between Rock and an Indie Place.
Quinn Stratton — Comic Blogger: Quinn is a senior who recently transferred to Lewis University majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. He has been an avid reader of all literature, comics or otherwise, since he can remember and also enjoys watching movies, listening to and playing music, The Simpsons, proofs from “The Book,” cats, dogs, coffee, and board games. Discover some comics in the Words an’ Pictures sub-blog.
Daniel Fiorio — Music Blogger: Jack of all trades, master of some. Daniel is a writer, blogger, and music critic from the south suburbs of Chicago. His column Basement Dwelling is a breath of fresh air in music reviewing because it’s a music fan reviewing new albums that he owns himself, be it on CD or vinyl. His diverse and eclectic taste in music covers everything from indie rock, pop, electronic, rap and everything in between. Other passions of Daniel’s include comic books, film, going to shows, visiting as many record stores as possible and talking at great length about Rick and Morty or some band you’ve never heard of.
Bree Scott — Assistant Blog Editor: Bree is a three-time transfer student and is currently in her junior year at Lewis University. She has her Associate of Arts degree from College of DuPage and is pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in English/professional writing and a Minor in social media. She has been published in two issues of COD’s Prairie Light Review with five original poems, and was also an assistant editor on one issue. Bree enjoys long-boarding with her friends, seeing movies, going to concerts, poetic music, jumping out of vehicles to rescue animals, and going on camping trips. You can check out her writing in her series Bree’s Melancholic Tales.
Haley Renison — Poetry/Music Blogger: Assistant Poetry Editor Haley Renison is a senior at Lewis University with a major in theology, a minor in peace studies, and a soon-to-be minor in creative writing. She hopes to travel the world and work with Catholic Relief Services or nonprofits and make her mark on humanity by providing services for those in need. Eventually, she plans to settle down and go back to school to obtain a PhD and become a professor. She has a secret passion for creative writing though, thanks to a wonderful high school teacher, and is excited to be working for the Jet Fuel Review. Haley runs cross country and track for Lewis and the little free time she does have is spent with friends, watching The Office on Netflix, discovering new music, or complaining about how hard practice was that day. Haley also loves attending concerts and hopes to publish some of her own poetry someday. Find her writings under the Poetic Playlist page.
Gianna Capperino — Assistant Blog Editor: Gianna was a nursing student at Lewis University. During school sessions, she works as a CNA where she lends her ear out to veterans so often that she thinks it still is the Korean War. She hopes to work as a healthcare blogger or harass politicians to change healthcare policy. In her free time, she likes to explore the world and do other risky sports that disqualify her from getting life insurance. Gianna wrote a blog called Capperino’s Romantic Inquiries.
China McDonald — Assistant Blog Editor: China is a student at Lewis University majoring in Journalism with a minor in Spanish and political science. When China was younger she couldn’t stand the thought of reading books, but then one year it became her life. Now she reads every single day and has published a story that’s still in progress on Fictionpress. She hopes one day to become a popular author and journalist. When she’s not reading she’s watching Scandal on Netflix or some type of anime show. She’s obsessed with dogs and has two Alaskan Malamutes named Summer and Winter. She loves spending time with animals and doing research about them. And one day have a nice house filled with crazy children and cute puppies.
Reno Stramaglia — Film Blogger: Reno Stramaglia was a biology major at Lewis University. For his education, he plans to apply to medical school in spring 2017, where he wants to focus on medical genetics. Additionally, he likes to be active and visit the gym every day. He spends a lot of time studying for the MCAT and working a part-time job. The films that he enjoys watching include documentaries, comedies, action movies, and adventure films. He likes a wide variety of genres of music, too; however, his favorite types of music include Motown and The Beatles. He does not watch a lot of television but does enjoy watching the Discovery Channel and cartoon comedies like Family Guy. When he reads, it is most likely a scientific text of some sort. And, if he had to name something unique about himself, it would probably be that he taught himself how to play the keyboard, and that he is also of both Italian and Greek descent. He wrote a blog along with Donatas Ružys under the “Casual Critics” moniker you can find here.
Donatas Ružys — Film Blogger: Donatas Ružys was a student at Lewis University working towards a Bachelors of Science in Biology. He was born in Lithuania and moved to the U.S. when he was nine. He has aspirations of attending medical school in the near future. Growing up, he played basketball all year round up throughout high school. Currently, he works as a medical assistant at a dermatology clinic. He also volunteers at two hospitals, and really enjoys working inside a health care setting. He enjoys most genres of movies, more specifically comedies, action movies, thrillers, and occasionally horror films. The TV shows that he is currently watching are Shameless, The Last Kingdom, and Narcos. Find his writing under the Casual Critics page.
Michael Cotter — TV Blogger: Michael was a student at Lewis University working towards his Bachelor of Arts in English studies with a film studies minor. Between classes, he works at American Eagle Outfitters folding jeans and counting the days until he can return to Walt Disney World where he hopes to work in January of 2016. In Fantasyland, he’d like to be working at Walt Disney World in Public Relations or Guest Services at Magic Kingdom, but he’ll settle for a job with which he can comfortably support himself and be happy. In rare moments of free time, Michael can be found watching TV. In cases of no free time, Michael will stay up all night to catch up on the 165 shows he is currently watching. During commercial breaks of re-runs of Will & Grace and Veronica Mars, Michael likes to write poetry and song lyrics, watch movies, stalk Britney Spears on social media, and go on quests for the perfect slice of pizza with his friends. He is thrilled to have been a part of the Jet Fuel team on issue #9 and can’t wait to work on further issues. Find his TV blogs under the What Are You Watching? page.
Kelly Lyons – Blogger: Kelly Lyons was at Lewis University pursuing a major in English with a concentration in creative and professional writing as well as a minor in history. Because sitting in bed all day watching Netflix isn’t a paid profession, Kelly plans to find a job editing or publishing books once she graduates. Besides working on the Jet Fuel Review, Kelly is also an online editor of The Lewis Flyer and a tutor in the Lewis University Writing Center. When Kelly isn’t at school, she enjoys spending her time reading fantasy novels, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, playing with makeup, and petting as many dogs as she can. Her posts are found in the Book Bucket List page.
Dominique Dusek – Blogger: Dominique was an English Major at Lewis University. In addition to serving roles as the submissions manager and marketing and development assistant for JFR, Dominique actively participates in Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor Society, and shares her love of writing with the Lewis community as a tutor at the campus writing center. A consummate English nerd, she spends most of her free time if not reading and writing, binge-watching episodes of Sherlock on Netflix, jamming out to Frankie Valli and riding her horse. Dominique discusses all things Shakespeare in her blog, Dom’s Shakespeare Blog.
Jessica Jordan – Literature Blogger: Jessica Jordan was a former student at Lewis University. Her major is English language arts and literature with a minor in Spanish. She knew ever since she was a child that she loved to read, she would spend days at a time during the summer in her room reading. She enjoys reading all types of stories and novels, there is not anything that she would not mind trying to read. Besides reading constantly, she enjoys being active and loves yoga and scary movies. Jessica is also a member of Sigma Tau Delta and currently is interested in getting into the publishing industry after graduation. Jessica discusses modern literary heroines in her blog, Jess’ Literary Heroine Spotlight.
Sabrina Parr – YA Fiction Blogger: Sabrina was a former student at Lewis University who majored in English on the professional and creative writing track. In her free time, Sabrina loves to read, watch movies and TV. Sabrina is a Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf, and Vampire Dairies enthusiast, but she also loves Reign and Once Upon a Time. Sabrina loves almost anything supernatural and one day hopes to write a book about the supernatural. She almost always has a book in her hand and is always on the search for a new book to read. Sabrina hopes one day to work in publishing and to have her work published. Head over to Sabrina’s blog, Sabrina’s Book Corner, for bite-sized reviews of the latest novels.
Grant Mazan – Blogger: Originally from a town in Kansas just outside of Kansas City, Grant Mazan attended Lewis University studying psychology with a minor in creative writing, which he hopes to use as a further means of expression. Grant’s other artistic experience includes photography (both digital and film), video production, jewelry and metalworking, and music and recording/editing songs for himself and his acquaintances. In his free time, he listens to music and reads since he does not own a television or have internet. Grant studies authors’ relationships with their drinks of choice in his blog, Literary Libations.
Mike Egan – Film Blogger: Mike was a communications major with a focus in electronic media production. He loves film, which is great, since that’s what he writes about! For four years, Mike has been a video blogger on YouTube. In that time, he’s filmed, edited, and uploaded over 650 videos for an audience of over 1,000 subscribers. Nothing huge, but he enjoys it. His channel is called VlogginEgan, if you’re interested. When he’s not watching films or making videos, he can be found at the local comic book shop. His current favorites are Black Science, Manhattan Projects, and East of West. Though, he thinks the current runs of Avengers and Batman are pretty fantastic as well. Mike discusses film in his weekly blog, Depth of Field.
Miguel Gonzalez – Film Blogger: Miguel Gonzalez was an education major at Lewis University with a minor in Film. When he is not at school or selling tuxedos to gentlemen at work, he is working to become a YouTube/Vine personality. Miguel loves to watch a movie’s special features more than the actual movie. His other hobbies include drawing, hacky sacking, collecting screen-used movie props, and going on adventures with his significant other. He hopes to spread his passion for all things film with Jet Fuel Review. Miguel discusses film in his blog, The Wilhelm Scream.
Lucas Boelter – Blogger: Lucas Boelter is a former Lewis Student who is intensely curious about life and the world. Among his numerous hobbies are reading literature, history and philosophy; drawing; writing poetry; communing with nature on long, 10,000 step walks; being provocative; and admiring visual art, especially painting and sculpture. He lives a Paleolithic lifestyle and sees diet & nutrient therapy as the future of medicine. He is repulsed by capitalism and begs the universe for its immediate collapse daily.
Lauren Pirc – Blogger: Lauren was a print journalism major with minors in multimedia journalism and professional writing. When she’s not reading and writing, she loves bowling, watching movies, playing video games and hanging out with friends. She loves writing various types of articles and was also the Editor-in-Chief of The Flyer student-run newspaper at Lewis. Lauren also loves reading many different types of novels and stories. Her blog Books on Screen takes a look at adaptations of famous stories while her Fictional Friday allows her to show the reader some authors and books that they may be missing out on.
Liz Baudler – Blogger: Liz Baudler recently graduated from Columbia College with a Fiction Writing degree. She founded and used to edit The Toucan Literary Magazine. She writes about Chicago Memoir for Examiner.com and reviews books for Chicago Literati. When she’s not glued to a computer researching literary controversies or reading books and chuckling, she likes to ride her bike, and cook. If you want to know what Liz thinks about when she’s not thinking about literature, go to www.theblonelyblog.wordpress.com and you will be occasionally disappointed. She still writes about literature. Here at the JFR blog, Liz penned the weekly News of the Books column.
Lucas Sifuentes – Blogger: Lucas Sifuentes was born in South Dakota but raised in wide variety of Chicago’s suburbs. In December 2011, he graduated from Lewis University with a Bachelor’s degree in writing and film studies. Before writing for the Jet Fuel Review, Lucas was involved with JJC’s Wordeater magazine and worked with Northwestern’s WNUR, creating flyers for their annual Sonic Celluloid event. Lucas writes the ‘Lucas’ Film Corner‘ post about something that’s interesting him in the world of cinema, as well as Bibliophilia about the world of literature. You can follow Lucas on Twitter @Lucas_Sifuentes.
Mark Jacobs – Blogger: Mark joined the Jet Fuel Review staff after the release of the first issue. A student of aviation and a writer, he was first published on aviation mega-site Airliners.net more than a decade ago. At Lewis, his work has appeared in Windows Fine Arts Magazine and, of course, in the Jet Fuel Review! A sophomore at Lewis, Mark spends most of his time either going to class or explaining to his professors why he was late. Mark currently writes the weekly Awesome Word posts and, in the past, he wrote Nerdy Notes.
Linda Strahl – Blogger: Linda was a former Lewis student, and was one of the Jet Fuel Review‘s most prolific bloggers. When she wasn’t working on the Review or its blog, she could usually be found researching the characters for a play or keeping the cast and crew from getting into heated arguments at Lewis’ Philip Lynch Theater. Linda wrote the Ekphrastic writing blog. She also wrote the weekly Writing Challenges and the Writing Excuses round-up.
Mike Malan – Blogger: Mike Malan recently graduated from Lewis University with a degree in English with a sub-specialty in creative writing. Mike especially enjoys writing Gothic, Poe, and all things that chill your bones. He is a dark writer but you can find him dabbling in politics. He is also interested in the editing process and hopes that you will enjoy his work. Each week, Mike wrote his Horror Blog on a new terrifying piece of literature.
Tim Fitzpatrick – Blogger: Tim is an avid reader, writer, and Bulls fan. He spends the majority of his free time discovering new stories; whether they be in books, film or in his own head. Tim was an English major at Lewis University with a focus on creative writing and most of his writing includes something about pop culture. He has such a large knowledge about some of the most trivial things he has to find some way to make it useful, so he adds it to his writing. Tim has carried his love of a good story over to the Jet Fuel Review’s blog. His blog, The Storydome, compares a book to it’s respective movie to see which one tells a better story.
Deirdre McCormick – Blogger: Deirdre McCormick joined the Jet Fuel Review staff in the fall of 2011. She was a biology major with a minor in creative writing. She enjoys reading and writing science fiction and speculative fiction, as well as experimenting with language, on occasion, and writing poetry. She is currently constructing experiments for investigating holistic antimicrobial agents and their effects on bacteria. She is also learning to find balance between being a writer and having interests in scientific development. Ethics regarding biology and its artistic and political representations in the media—the Biopunk and the transhumanist movements, respectively—are areas of great interest to her. More importantly though, if Deirdre were a villain, Ketamine and the force of horrifically detailed narration would be her primary weapons. In the past, Deirdre wrote the Science in Creative Writing blog and also covered Obscure Punctuation.