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MFA Alumni Catch Up

We caught up with a few MFA alumni: Rebecca Thomas, Connie Pan, and Shane Stricker. Check out what they’ve been up to since graduating from the program in 2013.

Rebecca Thomas

In 2013, Rebecca Thomas received her MFA in fiction from WVU, where she currently works as a lecturer. She teaches graduate creative writing online at Southern New Hampshire University and is a fiction reader for Guernica. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, ZYZZYVA, The Massachusetts Review, Hunger Mountain, among other places, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and is available as a Kindle Single. Along with MFA alumna Connie Pan, she serves on the board for Ms. Aligned, an anthology series focusing on women writing about men. She served as the associate editor for the second edition of Ms. Aligned and is now the senior editor for the forthcoming third edition. She is currently the Vice President for Parents’ Place, a Morgantown non-profit that provides community and education for preschool-aged children and their parents. She lives in Morgantown with her husband and two children. You can learn more about her work and current projects at

Connie Pann

Since graduating with her MFA in fiction from West Virginia University in 2013, Connie Pan has lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Honolulu, Hawai‘i; and Livermore, California. She currently resides in Southern Mississippi, where she lives with her partner and miniature schnauzer, works as a bibliologist for Tailored Book Recommendations, drafts new things, and revises older things. A freelance writer and editor, she has written and edited a vast array of communications including literature study guides, full-length manuscripts, and corporate safety manuals across academic, literary, and technical fields. Her poems and stories have been published by Bamboo RidgeCarveThe FiddleheadPRISM International, among other places. Her personal essays have appeared in The BillfoldBook Riot, and HelloGiggles. Along with Pat Matsueda and Rebecca Thomas, she served as senior editor of Ms. Aligned 2: Women Writing About Men published by El León Literary Arts in October of 2017. She now sits on the Creative Board for Ms. Aligned.

Shane Stricker

Shane Stricker graduated from WVU’s MFA program in 2013. He stayed in Morgantown for the next three years working as a lecturer in the English department. After a year away from an academic setting, he enrolled in the University of Tennessee’s Ph.D. program in English with an emphasis in creative writing, fiction. He just finished his comprehensive exams in September and finally let out that breath he’d been holding in since May. He’s currently at work on a novel that will, ultimately, become his dissertation. Since leaving WVU, he has been awarded a fellowship to attend the Writing by Writers Workshop at Tomales Bay and the Mike and Frieda Mullins scholarship from the Appalachian Writers’ Workshop. His stories can be found at Literary OrphansBull: Men’s FictionPassages North, and elsewhere online and in print.